Bears on verge of unraveling?
Bears on verge of unraveling?
Plenty of blame to go around as once-promising season turns sour
David Haugh In the Wake of the News October 26, 2010
For the record, I would trade for Jay Cutler all over again if I were the Bears.
I still would give up Kyle Orton, two first-round draft picks, a third-rounder and Michael McCaskey's photography collection for a 26-year-old Pro Bowl quarterback. I still see more pros than cons in acquiring a player with such rare physical ability as Cutler, baggage and all.
Teams that win the football lottery seldom worry about the tax bill.
But realize that when the Bears traded for Cutler in April 2009 on one of the franchise's most exciting days since the 1985 season, everybody naturally made some assumptions.
We assumed Jerry Angelo would allocate whatever resources necessary to protect the organization's most prized investment with offensive line stability and coaching continuity. We assumed Cutler would make the cast around him better as great players can. We assumed Cutler himself would commit to continuing a career ascent into the next echelon as budding stars do.
We have been reminded the past two weeks why we never should assume anything about the NFL, especially this Bears regime.
Angelo's first-round prize of an offensive lineman, left guard Chris Williams, is on his third position and spent Sunday disguised as a speed bump for Redskins defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. And the bust-in-the-making supposedly protects Cutler on the stable side opposite right guard Edwin Williams and J'Marcus Webb, NFL offensive line interns.
Ultimately neglecting the line may doom Angelo, who also let Lovie Smith allow Mike Martz to hijack this playoffs-or-bust season after experiencing some early success. Had Martz continued calling plays and adjusting to defenses as he did the first three games, the Bears' biggest problem now may be how to spend their off weekend. Martz would be the talk of the league.
But Martz's insistence on force-feeding his scheme regardless of the pressure it put on an overmatched offensive line thwarted the offense and killed the progress Cutler started to make.
The result is a damaged quarterback with flawed mechanics and stunningly worse decision-making ability, an athlete sorely in need of tough coaching trapped by a superstar's mindset forbidding the entry of constructive criticism.
We see signs that a well-conceived, disciplined game plan can work — as it did in Sunday's first half when Cutler executed the short passing game well enough to head into the locker room with a 14-10 lead and 105.3 passer rating. Then in a movie we've all seen before, he imploded.
Rip the offensive line all you want, but Cutler now has thrown 33 interceptions and 34 TDs as a Bear. In the 22 games Cutler has played in Chicago, the Bears have lost 12. Fair or not, the argument that Cutler never will be a winning quarterback in the NFL can be made stronger today than it could April 2, 2009.
Cutler's postgame bravado that he still would go at Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall "every time," even after Hall's four interceptions stemmed from success against Hall in 2008. In a 41-14 Broncos win over the Raiders, Hall struggled with one-on-one coverage of Eddie Royal, who caught nine passes for 146 yards and a TD.
"We played one-on-one football with them; we didn't outscheme them," Cutler said after that game. "Eddie Royal beat DeAngelo Hall time after time after time."
Sorry, Cutler wasn't throwing to Royal on Sunday and the Bears' offensive line of '10 isn't the Broncos' of '08. Sometime between Hall's second and third pick, I still would have had Cutler start picking on Carlos Rogers. But you only can coach a quarterback who accepts coaching.
As close as the Seahawks and Redskins losses were, the Bears needed Cutler to find a way to pull it out as do quarterbacks in his pay range and on the NFL plane he aspires to be. There was a time I felt confident saying Cutler one day could enter the realm of Favre, Brees, Rivers, Brady or Manning.
But the more I see, the less I'm sure. And the more whispers I hear out of Halas Hall, the less I think every Bear is convinced Cutler will fulfill the potential they once saw.
When a franchise guesses wrong about a quarterback, everything else threatens to unravel. The margin for error shrinks.
Smith admirably admitted Monday he should have thrown the red flag to challenge Cutler's fumble on a quarterback sneak that broke the plane of the goal line. But that was early in the third quarter and, the point is, nobody bailed out the head coach.
It defies logic too why Chester Taylor didn't carry the ball after gaining 24 yards on two straight plays in the third quarter. But that head-scratcher became a bigger problem for the coaches because no players did anything to make it a moot point.
How you divvy up blame between bad coaching and worse Cutler the last two losses matters less than what those defeats meant. If the obituary for the 2010 season is written after a fourth straight year without making the playoffs, the cause of death will be traced to the last two Sundays at Soldier Field. With the AFC East foes looming and the Vikings and Packers lurking, the opportunity portion of the Bears' schedule has passed.
The Bears are idle Sunday. But they may have just completed their (good)bye week.
Bears brass refuses to see mess right in front of them
Bears chairman Michael McCaskey has officially announced his separation from reality.
''Lovie is doing a, uh, is a terrific coach, and I have all the confidence in him in the world,'' he said recently in an interview. ''We have got to win more games and finish stronger at the end of the season, but, in my mind, there is no requirement he win the Super Bowl in order to continue on as the Bears' head coach.''
Where does one start after one is done cleaning up one's spewed breakfast?
McCaskey apparently started to say that Lovie Smith was doing a good job this season, but even the chairman seems to have his limits in the blue-sky department. Those of us looking for any indication the end is near for Smith and general Jerry Angelo were briefly heartened by McCaskey's initial hem and/or haw, only to be crushed by his description of Smith as a ''terrific coach.''
By what measure could Lovie be considered a great coach? Only by a measure Lovie's wife devised.
Forget the last three playoff-less seasons. Smith's stubbornness this season has stopped him from making obvious adjustments. And if it isn't stubbornness, then all we're left with is cluelessness. What's terrific about that?
McCaskey said his confidence in the coach is almost limitless, which is as scary a thing as you can hear if you're a Bears fan.
Firings are in order
This team isn't going to win a lot of games in the second half of the season, so perhaps a pinprick of reality will pop McCaskey's bubble of dreamy optimism before it's too late. But don't hold your breath, unless you're inhaling the same stuff he is.
And that last bit from McCaskey about the Super Bowl -- the question shouldn't be whether Smith keeps his job if the Bears somehow stop the rotation of the planet and win the title game. It's whether Angelo and Smith should have jobs the day after the regular season ends.
The answer is no.
Unfortunately, nothing McCaskey said would indicate Smith is anywhere close to being jettisoned, which is stunning if you've paid any attention to this team the last 3Â½ seasons.
McCaskey's comments came well before the Bears' six-turnover loss to the Washington Redskins on Sunday, but it's unlikely the disaster changed any minds at Halas Hall. These people always think they're one brush stroke away from creating a Rembrandt.
It's not even a matter of having the guts to tell the truth. They refuse to see the truth. It doesn't help that they have their hands over their eyes. The organizational blindness would be humorous if it weren't so maddening.
The chairman says the coach is terrific.
A tsunami hits, and the coach says, ''Good, we needed rain.''
The offensive coordinator says the offensive line is making huge strides, never mind the bits and pieces of quarterback scattered around the field.
The quarterback says that, given the opportunity, he would have continued to challenge the Redskins cornerback who had just picked off four of his passes.
You'd think this is a 6-1 team instead of a 4-3 team that has lost three of its last four games.
Appearances aren't deceiving
No one in the organization is particularly big on accountability. Smith should've lost his job after the 2009 season, but what happened? He sacrificed some assistant coaches on the altar of butt-saving. Angelo put together an atrocious offensive line this season, but how has he reacted to the beating Jay Cutler continues to take? By cutting defensive linemen.
At the top of the pyramid sits 87-year-old Virginia McCaskey, a gentlewoman who should be enjoying her grandchildren, not running an NFL franchise. But after retaining Smith last year, team president Ted Phillips said Virginia was indeed in charge. We'll have to take his word for it because she rarely speaks publicly. Appearances suggest no one is steering this ship.
If anyone were, the nonsense we've seen this season wouldn't have been allowed to continue. Smith would've ordered offensive coordinator Mike Martz to untie his foot from the gas pedal. Martz would be using Chester Taylor more. Angelo would've done something about the offensive line.
Somewhere along the way, the Bears began to equate openness with bad business. They seem to be petrified that, if they acknowledge the emperor's buck-nakedness, fans are going to stop buying tickets to see the show.
What the Bears don't seem to comprehend is the anger of their fan base, which is tired of the mediocrity and tired of being talked down to by Smith.
The idea is to have professional football people in the positions that call for professional football people. Is that asking too much?
if this guy kidding me he would do the trade for cutler all over again lmfao. Who the hell invests all that in a franchise qb and gives him crap to throw to and crap to protect him? Especially the oline part. We just saw what a wr happy owner has cripled the cowboys franchise and helped injure Romo. Buit at least he has weapons to throw to. Cutler has no go to guy. To top it off protection is so bad the guy is scared back there. He looks paniced. Im sorry but I see Cutler as being David Carred and we wont get shit out of this investment thanks to no vision for an offense gm. If this is what they wanted to do with the offense after getting Cutler I would have never been for the move. I look at what the Giants have done for their franchise qb, what Pitt did, what Jets did, what Indy did.......then look at our team meh
I'd still do the trade again motown..( and denver's 2-5 record show that, that even with the picks going backward)
Originally Posted by motownbear
Agree 100%, we needed to make better O-line decisons to protect Cutler- BUT that is a seperate argument from the Qb trade.. which I'd still do
what's the point though DB? At this point if we ruined this kid we lost two first rounders. Sure JA surfire first round picks arent exactly something to look forward to but still might as well kept KO and we could be equally mediocre on offense with two extra talented first round talents whereever they felt to spend it. If you dont give a franchise player the tools to succeed why bother?
before the trade people were telling me why bother making this move if we have no oline and no wrs(I believe it was jimmors). I probably hoed him for that logic but now Im fully onboard that. This trade is moronic with their approach to making the offense relevant. Sorry jimmors you were right
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The Point is we didn't have the time machine to know the O-line would not hold up, getting players like pace, omiylae, shaffer would not work.Just saying the had a plan, just didn't work, which we can fault them all day for, BUT after 60+ years of No top QB, I was and still am VERY comortable making that trade and Finding Olineman or WR's easier than a top Qb
Originally Posted by motownbear
Especially on bears, where we have had No luck on draft or free agency on Qb's.. so i'll always take the chance on the Top QB and 'search" or lineman or WR's.. than doing the Opposite of a contuined bad Qb'ing and bemoaning "why can't we trade for a good qb?" for another 30 years...
obviously the choices they made have not worked out as thought- but unfort that is the nature of Sports- most moves actually do not work as expected.We now have our top picks( and know nothing will ever convince you we go oline, but do think we are) for 2011 and can get the top lineman in draft AND get another from F/A.. and still have the Qb. if you are convinced we would use for olienman, than NOT trading also doesn't help the line, right so in same position with a lot worseresults and still wasting time/picks lookign for a qb
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Will you now admit that Martz is pass-happy? This 3:1, 4:1 pass/run ratio is not good and needs to stop. The running game was working Sunday and he still abandoned it. Sixteen runs doesn't cut it. The Bears are like 31st (or is it 32nd) in the league in run attempts. Haugh hit the nail on the head, Martz needs to adjust to defenses, not force-feed his scheme.
Had Martz continued calling plays and adjusting to defenses as he did the first three games
, the Bears' biggest problem now may be how to spend their off weekend. Martz would be the talk of the league. But Martz's insistence on force-feeding his scheme regardless of the pressure it put on an overmatched offensive line thwarted the offense and killed the progress Cutler started to make
...the more whispers I hear out of Halas Hall, the less I think every Bear is convinced Cutler will fulfill the potential they once saw.
Agree overall it does need to Stop- you will never get an argument from me about that jeff. I would like to see more runs each and every game.. Just don't think needs to be 50/50 or 'if" the pass working, need to change because "oh my god! we are above 60%, better run more to get under"...The redskins DEAD LAST against the pass, so this week did expect a higher pass percentage- did make sense to attack a D's weakness. and as shown above think a "mixture" is the answer like did in the 3rd,,i'm fine esp in this day and age in the NFl of a high 50's pass to low 40's ratio( esp when mix in the screens thata re like runs as we saw with forte sunday)
Originally Posted by GeorgiaJeff
I'm reasonable. Tom Waddle said a 65:35 pass/run ratio was acceptable. I'd personally like it to be closer to 55:45 or 60:40, but I'll take 65:35.
Originally Posted by dabears54
right now its:
Originally Posted by GeorgiaJeff
215 pass plays,, 156 run plays or a 58% to 42%.. or "better" than you want. just think sometimes its more about 'emotional" response than actual numbers
edit- ( and if count the sacks its 65-35% or still within your range).. couldn't figure why the pass and runs didn't add up at first, but its the sacks..