I think the time has come for Hester to be cut loose from this team. He is no longer an effective kick returner, and he has never been a very good receiver. This year has been his least productive season of his seven years he's been with the Bears. He's clearly lost a step on kick offs/punt returns, and he can't catch passes to save his life. Right now, our passing game is really a one-trick pony with the Cutler to Marshall connection. If, for some reason, those two should go south, so, too, will our offense. As much as we are capable of having a really potent running attack against most teams, a running game can't be the only solution to an offense's woes. That much was made evident in the Texans game when we weren't getting off passes like we needed to, when receivers like Hester and our main tight end, Davis, were dropping passes, and when the usually-reliable Bush fumbled the ball after he had made that huge gain on 4th and 1 in the 1st Quarter.
This is possibly the worst offense in the entire league. All those changes we made in the offseason have done little to improve it over last year save for the fact that a lot of the problems come from Tice's mystifying playcalling. I will say, however, that Tice called a pretty decent game from what I saw against Houston. We just didn't execute the game plan like we should have.
I honestly believe we have the best running tandem in the NFL. It is something that teams would die for. And we don't use it effectively. If there was ever a game for running and ball control it was Sunday. You HAVE to pass to keep them honest (and you move to the pass if it is working - but the weather was horrible and it wasn't working anyway) but in a game like that you run it. And you thank your lucky stars that we have two excellent runners with a complimentary style. Use them.
And how hard is it to see when womething is successful? Houston is a really good D and they took the lanes away from Forte pretty good. But when we ran Bush, he got yards. How does a coach either not see that or ignore it?
No one wants to face this, but unless DH can get back some mojo on STs, there's going to need to be some serious soul-searching this coming offseason regarding his future on the roster. The O--both player performance and coach playcalling/personnel management--has been a huge disappointment so far this year. Something has to change. We can't continue waiting for the D to score points and win the game every week. Really ridiculous when you think about it....
I agree with you wholeheartedly, MP. The Bears are just lost right now without that second stud receiver (Jeffery). Even when we had Jeffery as an option, he wasn't being used nearly enough to satisfy everyone's wants and desires and, frankly, this team's needs. Still, he was the second most used receiver up until he broke his hand. Right now, we have three good receivers -- Marshall, Jeffery, and Bennett -- with only Marshall managing to stay healthy all season.
I hope that Jeffery gets back soon.
As far as Hester is concerned, he needs to go at the end of the season, but will the Bears be willing to part ways with a fan favorite who is still owed a lot of money guaranteed? That's my biggest concern. I could see the Bears drafting that kid out of the University of Missouri who has returned like five punts/kick offs for touchdowns this season (he returned one against Tennessee last Saturday) sometime in the later rounds and using him specifically for special teams.
I disagree with cutting Hester, completely. On the kick/punt returns, blocking has not been all that great, and his biggest problem is that he doesn't say "ahhh, hell with it" and just run straight ahead. He goes side to side too much, but that's not a reason to cut the guy. Maybe he has lost a step, but IF THEY USE HIM CORRECTLY, there's no need. It is slightly distressing to think that The Bears may have taken the longevity of its most valuable QB and KR because they don't use them properly, however.