And last but not least.
5) Yeah there were bright spots but they were too few and far between. For every look we got at guys like Wootton who can become a fixture at LDE. And an Armando Allen who could actually become the open field weapon on offense that Hester never has been. An the other worldly year Marshall has had to finally give us some hope that we do have some resemblance of a passing game.
Along with these we've had poor line play, a group of TEs who can't catch and don't even block all that well, a very mediocre year from Forte and his under use in the passing game and seeing Bush ignored in games when he was more effective at running the ball than Forte. Bad game plans, bad play calling, poor protection, bad decision making by Cutler and what else?
If the minuses didn't outweigh the pluses half the threads on this board right now wouldn't even be here and we'd be the NFCN Champs and have home field advantage in the playoffs. But the minuses have far outweighed the pluses. There is a sickness running through the team but fortunately not everyone is affected. So either heal the sick or put them out of their misery.
Only about half the players on the team believe they can win and that ain't good enough. I see a lot of unhappy faces and I hear a lot of excuses but no solutions save one. The only guy who had enough balls to stand up and tell it like it is gave the solution. Make changes even if it costs people there jobs. That's the painful honest truth coming from a guy who had to face that in himself in order to get back to where he is today. Once you go down that road on painful honesty you can't ever turn back. Brandon Marshall said what needed to be said.
Make the changes. Keep what works eliminate what doesn't along with whoever is responsible for it player and coach alike. The Bears have most of the elements in place to be a very good football team but they don't play like it. Once Phil Emery can put a finger on the reasons why and if he has the stones to make the needed changes we could be right back on top but if not get ready for another slide back into the middle of the pack if the under acheivers aren't let go.
Yes, I hope Lovie gets replaced and we get someone that is a high end coach. I also hope he doesn't gut the team. Honestly, the team has enough talent to play better than it has. OL issues and all.
Lovie actually has some very good traits -- which is why he is so popular. The players just love him and he does all of his tough love stuff in private. I think those are two excellent coaching traits.
However, whether the players love him or not, I don't see the desire out there that I see from some other teams. Maybe it's motivation, fire, whatever... some of the players have it, but I don't see the players believing that they can do it. call it wahtever you like. And a HC needs to be able to make that happen if nothing else. Have the players be able to play beyond their abilities -- I see the very opposite.
A HC also either has to be able to make the people around him better by his own abilities or be able to recognize and bring in talent good enough to surround himself with people that can make it happen all around him. If you can't do either of those things, well... bad things happen. You only beat bad teams. That's the bottom line with Lovie. Lots of good, but more bad and unless whe change the channel we'll be watching the same show again next season.
Soul, well done, as always.
Superb analysis, Soul, thank you. I think we see things pretty similarly and agree in general that the defense should (and can afford to) take a back seat to the offense this offseason. Call me a homer-optimist but I do fully believe this team can be a serious contender in the NFC next year IF some key moves are executed correctly. Here's the order of priority:
1] Sweeping improvements on the offensive coaching staff. At minimum that means a new OC and some new positional coaches. I will leave the HC question out for now...we will know shortly here anyway which way Emery is going.
2] A true starting quality LT in FA. Absolute must. Player priority #1.
3] There has to be a DAMN GOOD reason to draft any other position besides OL in the 1st round. The 3rd overall priority is an interior OLman, ideally a OG/OC who can take over center for the next decade either next year or the year after that. The player that comes to mind as the perfect late-1st pick for us is Barrett Jones of Alabama.
4] The next priority is a SLB/MLB to develop. 2nd round choice in all likelihood. The rest of the defense is basically going to have to ride it out another year.
5a] We need a competent TE who can block AND catch. If we can afford a Dustin Keller type in FA, love to see it. Otherwise, it's gonna have to be a draft choice to develop which is why #1 is so important. Obviously our current TE coach needs to be shown the door.
5b] I won't get into the Hester-should-stay-or-go thing, but I don't want to see him on offense that's for damn sure. He's literally a negative there as you pointed out. Therefore, we need another WR option who can actually play the position with a modicum of competence. It could be someone we already have on the roster/PS (Joe Anderson?) or a new draftee to develop (yes, this means Drake needs to be handed a pink slip too). It would be ideal if this player could double as a 2nd return man a la Knox, so we don't need to keep Hester AND Weems on the roster wasting 2 WR spots.
Theres the plan, Phil. Get to work.
Thanks brother but you posted the lead in and I thought it really hit at the heart of matter.
Originally Posted by Rakk
There really isn't as much wrong with that team as many think. A lot of the pieces are in place but for the life of me I cannot figure out why Lovie Smith continues to pursue certain courses of action with this team that don't work and never have. The man is beyond stubborn about some things and that if anything is what will get him fired.
He does not know offensive football from an attack point of view and he allows his OCs far to much leeway with too little accountability. He refuses to change what must be changed when it needs changing and to the press and public he's smug, patronizing and seems almost indifferent to the feelings of the fans. That seems to me to be a very foolish approach coming from a guy who's just a game or two away from becoming the former Bears HC.
And Urlacher can stick it up his ass as far as I'm concerned. If the team was winning games they should win and offering reasonable competition in ones that are in doubt then they'd have their fans support. But they're not and as a result they don't. I don't boo. I just stop watching them which is the only form of passive protest I can muster from 1000 miles away. I watch the Broncos instead.
I have never been a Lovie Smith fan but I can't argue with what success he has had since he's been here especially when compared with his predecessors after Ditka. Personally I don't care whether he stays or goes any longer. All I care about is a change in the attitude and the culture that surrounds my team. No NFL team can dominate defensively well enough to win championships the way the '85 Bears did and even they didn't have to do it without an offense.
I want to see the offensive talent we have put to better use and I want to see it now. We've waited and anguished over it long enough. We have a franchise QB, an All Pro WR, one of the best all around RBs in the NFL and a great power back to match with him, and a slot receiver who's one of the most dependable and sure handed in the game. Yet we still can't mount a consistent offensive attack game after game.
I've never in my life seen an offense that could discover more ways to fuck up than those guys do and to me that's on the coaches and Lovie must be included because when the day is done he is the head motherfucker in charge. So if he wants to stick around and Urlacher wants to keep playing ball for him then Lovie needs to get off his dead ass and start doing what needs to be done to put this team into championship contention every year and so far he's not done that.
So to me it's either do it or step aside and let the next man in. I don't care which and there is no longer any middle ground.
This is why I believe Emery will make a change this year with Lovie. This team has talent, a good foundation, but lacks leadership and vision. There may be a slight dip, but I really don't see a multi-year rebuilding effort. Look what Pete Carroll did in Seattle? A pretty quick turnaround I think, and same with Harbough in SF. The team has a solid core, and it's just uninspired, and unfocused right now.
Originally Posted by soulman
Interesting thing I just learned, there are people that believe that Bates has been running the passing game for quite some time according to Hub's report via the score's B&B show. Take it w/a grain of salt, but he didn't bang on Bates or Tice; he mentioned it off hand as he talked about the relationship between Marshal and Cutler.
Well, that's why I've been hesitant on Bates. I don't necessarily believe the report, but I don't necessarily not believe it either. Either Meathead or Bates could be calling it, or a synchronized combination of stupid for all we know.
Until I know bates has had nothing to do with this train wreck I can't get behind him. Not to say he would not make a great OC, but I just don't have all the facts and I don't like to jump in without knowing.
Originally Posted by Riczaj01
Well I don't believe he's had 100% say in it, but I think he's had more then what the coaches are willing to admit to save face. I think that Cutler(in paticular)/Marshal have a ton of pull about what happens in the pass game, and I think therefore Bates has to have more say then what has been let on.
LMAO, what a great line!
Originally Posted by bearsinhouston
I don't know if this years OC debacle is all Tice or part Tice/part Bates, but lets find out for sure and not jack this up. Can't afford to have any clown school members of the offensive coaching staff hanging around next year.