The MVP of this Offense is Cutler, and Addressing Coaching/GM Deficiencies
After looking back at the past two weeks worth of games where the Bears lost to the Raiders and the Chiefs, it appears to me that the real meat and potatoes behind that offense was not Matt Forte, but rather, Jay Cutler. The Bears have other running backs who are capable of carrying the load on the ground (Marion Barber and Kahlil Bell), but are seriously deficient at quarterback. If I'm Martz, I'm giving Nathan Enderle the green light when Caleb Hanie begins struggling in the Broncos game.
Despite the poor quarterback play in the first two weeks after "The Broken Thumb Heard Around the World," the Bears were in perfect position to win both games. Poor play selection on offense killed many sustained drives, which were further exacerbated by pitiful execution. For instance, in last week's gut-wrenching defeat at the hands of the Chiefs, Mike Martz decides to throw a bubble screen pass on 4th and 1. Most offensive coaches would have simply lined up and ran the ball right at the heart of the defensive line for a first down, or would have run a quarterback sneak for enough of a gain to move the chains. Not Mike Martz, though. As soulman would say, he got a "too cute" with his play call, and thus, the Bears turned the ball over on downs.
And what the hell was with all the six and seven step drops? Didn't Martz learn from his experiences with Cutler that with the ineptitude of the offensive line, the "Greatest Show on Turf" is simply not possible? Does he not even care? If Hanie goes down, that will mean that Josh McCown, who from all accounts, is as worthless as was Todd Collins, will get the nod to play quarterback because he is a "Martz" boy. As well as he might know the Mike Martz system, shouldn't the Bears consider going to him to stir up the pot a little bit in order to motivate Hanie to better protect the football and to manage the game better? It cannot be that hard to simply manage the offense, to rely upon the running game to set up a few play-action passes, throw a few screen passes when appropriate, and use the short-to-intermediate passing attack to direct the offense down the field.
Of course, those last two sentences are moot in point, because Martz won't let Hanie be Hanie. Every quarterback has his identity, and Hanie is no different. In the Raiders game, we should have been up 14-6 at halftime, and possibly have won by a score of 20-15, taking into account the fact that Sebastian Janikowski kicked three field goals in the third quarter. In the Chiefs contest, where do I begin? Hanie was forced by Martz to take six and seven step drops, just like what was tried with Jay Cutler intermittently throughout the past two years that coach and player have worked together in concert. Hanie found himself bailing out of the pocket most of the afternoon because the offensive line buckled under the constant pressure that the Chiefs, who entered Sunday's game having sacked opposing quarterbacks just 13 times, attacked the Bears with. Versus the Chiefs, the Bears' offensive line gave up six sacks, reverting back to the major problem that has plagued Lovie Smith's offenses for the past five seasons. Hanie never had a chance at success, and when he wasn't overthrowing his wide receiver (Earl Bennett) on a wide open pass that would have gone for a touchdown, having a touchdown called back inside the five yard line because of an illegal offensive alignment, or throwing to a wide-open Roy Williams in the end zone only for him to develop yet another case of "alligator arms" and deflect the ball from his hands into the mitts of one of the Chiefs' defensive backs, it was Martz who dallied with his frame of mind instead of letting Hanie "be Hanie."
Now, I want to address the issues of our front office. For years, many DBSters have complained and launched anti-Angelo campaigns. Last winter, I wrote a blog entry detailing why I, at the time, thought that he was the right guy to lead the Chicago Bears to the playoffs and the Super Bowl in the future. What I was basing this on was his body of work thus far: four division titles (three of which he constructed), one NFC Championship runner-up, and the NFC's representative in Super Bowl XLI. It never occurred to me that I was missing so many details on Jerry Angelo. I knew of his propensity to draft poorly in the first few rounds with possible exceptions in Gabe Carimi, Chris Williams, Matt Forte, and Stephen Paea. Angelo's strengths have normally come from his ability to draft well in rounds 4-7. However, his major weakness I've come to learn about has ultimately put the Bears in serious danger of missing the playoffs this season: he has not worked to enhance the depth of his major skill position players, like, say, quarterback, or wide receiver. The Bears have never had a solid wide receiver on Jerry Angelo's watch, while Cutler never had a good backup. The Pittsburgh Steelers are the ideal franchise by which teams should follow how to operate and build their franchise. Charlie Batch was a solid backup quarterback for a number of years in Pittsburgh and even led the Steelers to several big wins in his time with the team. The Bears need a player like Charlie Batch to be in place should Cutler go down again. Defensive end is another position in need of being addressed. But one of the most damning of all, which really frustrated me when he stood by and said that "nobody worked to improve...than the Chicago Bears," his inability of creating a stable, forceful, and powerful offensive line has cost him dearly. The poor offensive line play cost the Bears in the NFC Championship Game when the line couldn't protect Cutler, who would exit the game with a MCL sprain. This season, every loss the Bears have endured saw the quarterback get sacked at least three times.
Now, the Bears are paying the piper for Angelo's stupidity in thinking that what the team current has is good enough based on cost analysis.
(What do you all think about what I said?)
Last edited by Dagan81; 12-08-2011 at 10:14 PM.
High Fives / Like - 3 BEAR DOWN!, 0 Dislikes
I think we know all about JA and Martz's playcalling. The thing with me is why at the very least wasn't Hanie vetted more and given more garbage time. NOT saying that would have improved Hanie but at least shown if this guy would fold up under heat. And if known earlier they could have moved for a more suitable backup or someone better than McClown. I honestly didn't think Hanie would be this sub-standard. Man was I ever wrong.
Arguing on the internet is like winning the special olympics, even if you win your still messed up.
Restore the roar!
High Fives / Like - 1 BEAR DOWN!, 0 Dislikes
Nice job dagan. We may still get our Charlie Batch...hope so
Charlie Batch would be PERFECT for the Bears. With him right now, we'd be 9-3 easily. I just don't us winning too many more games this season with Hanie at QB. I don't know what Lovie Smith is thinking when he says that he has no desire to bring in another QB because all the ones we have now are either incompetent or so young that it would be impossible to tell how their play would be.