One Week To Opener; Bears Still Don't Have It Together..........

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by soulman, Aug 31, 2014.

  1. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Messages:
    4,947
    Likes Received:
    1,505
    Ratings:
    +1,914 / 7 / -3
    ßearz ßuckz:
    1,761ß
    Heading into opener, Bears still don't have act together
    [​IMG]
    David Haugh
    After a preseason that did little to answer most pressing questions, Bears start preparation for Bills
    Offense promises to be special but chronic problems on defense and special teams point to up-and-down season.

    Game week in Chicago begins much the same way training camp opened in Bourbonnais, with the Bears facing uncertainty at safety, linebacker and on special teams.

    That's not the kind of continuity any NFL team seeks from one season to the next. That's running in place for a month.

    The competition Bears general manager Phil Emery stressed on day one never really materialized and no starter in key position battles seized an opportunity. You know August didn't go that well when wide receiver Santonio Holmes, signed two weeks ago, represents the preseason's most pleasant surprise. Whether good scouting or a happy accident, the Bears aren't complaining.
    [​IMG]
    Holmes reminded the state of Ohio on Thursday in Cleveland how explosive the former Buckeyes star can be when healthy. He also likely struck fear into NFC North defensive coordinators. If Holmes can stay on the field, his presence as a No. 3 receiver and punt returner gives the Bears as many dangerous skill-position players as any NFC team. What group is deeper than that of Holmes, Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Matt Forte and Martellus Bennett? 49ers or Falcons? Anybody?

    lRelated [​IMG]

    It all starts with quarterback Cutler, whose comfort in the second year of coach Marc Trestman's offense stood out more than anything. The obvious growth in Cutler received less attention than whose name will appear next on the depth chart, with No. 2 quarterback Jimmy Clausen edging out Jordan Palmer in a decision easier than it appeared. Not that Clausen looks ready to lead this team to the playoffs if Cutler goes down but, with any luck, the Bears never will find out.

    The most inspired option to back up Cutler signed Saturday with the Bills — Kyle Orton. Orton clearly wanted to compete on a team with an unproven starter. That lack of opportunity and financial considerations never made him a viable option for Emery. The struggling Bills expect Orton to be in uniform at Soldier Field for the opener the Bears will use to find answers to questions that persist.

    A big one looms on the offensive line, a supposed strength. No position group depends more on chemistry and timing, yet the starting five went the entire preseason without working together against live competition. The next snap starting right tackle Jordan Mills takes in a game will be his first since the 2013 season finale. The Bears cannot afford to let assumed strengths develop into weaknesses or knowns to become unknowns.

    They face enough concerns on defense, where chronic issues in the middle of the field threaten to derail a season once believed headed somewhere nice. In other words, yes, the Bears still miss Brian Urlacher, who patrolled that area like an All-Pro for years.

    Charles Tillman and Lance Briggs, teammates since 2003, can say publicly this is the most talented Bears defense they have played on, but they only sound like old guys with bad memories. More talented than 2005 or 2006? Based on the preseason, nobody knows if this defense will outperform last year's, despite its improved line.

    At safety, Ryan Mundy offers stability at one spot but neither the draft nor free agency adequately addressed the unsteadiness at free safety. Chris Conte returns as the most qualified starter — yes, 40 NFL starts confirm that — but shoulder surgery and a concussion slowed his progress. When a guy signed to help on special teams, Danny McCray, wins the job by default, it hardly inspires optimism.

    Nor does the situation at outside linebacker, where neither Shea McClellin nor Jon Bostic removed doubt. Beginning the third season of Emery's tenure as GM, we await one of his defensive draft picks playing consistently like an NFL starter. Cutting cornerback Isaiah Frey left the Bears with two members of Emery's first class in 2012. Cornerback Kyle Fuller shows signs of bucking the trend, if he overcomes an ankle injury. A defense that relies as heavily on players older than 30 who are susceptible to breaking down must be able to depend on their draft picks more than the Bears can.

    Remember that when piling on defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, who bears responsibility if things unravel but shares it with Emery and Trestman. Emery drafted and signed the players at Tucker's disposal. Trestman retained Tucker and should be held accountable for more than just the offense that buoys his reputation. Before you explore buying the domain name FireJoeDeCamillis.com, consider the head coach and GM also determine how much a team emphasizes special teams.

    No longer can the Bears count on winning a game or two per season thanks to special teams. No longer do they have a defense that makes assuming anything wise. They have a special offense and especially familiar problems that remain unsolved with the 2014 season six days away.

    They have 9-7 written all over them, health permitting.

    dhaugh@tribune.com
    Twitter @DavidHaugh
  2. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2014
    Messages:
    2,059
    Likes Received:
    712
    Ratings:
    +956 / 4 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    1,181ß
    Hate to think Trestman is another Lovie, just on the opposite side of the ball
  3. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Messages:
    22,760
    Likes Received:
    3,126
    Ratings:
    +3,782 / 10 / -8
    ßearz ßuckz:
    1,983ß
    hurray another debbie downer thread....not enough of those exist. What does Haugh have us going, 2-14? Zoinkiees's the team doesn't have it's act together according to a writer that really doesn't know what the team's done the last 2 weeks b/c no one has seen a practice since they broke camp and headed back to Chi-town.
    • Like Like x 4
  4. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Messages:
    4,947
    Likes Received:
    1,505
    Ratings:
    +1,914 / 7 / -3
    ßearz ßuckz:
    1,761ß
    Heading into opener, Bears still don't have act together
    [​IMG]
    David Haugh
    [​IMG]
    Head coach Mike Pettine of the Cleveland Browns talks with Marc Trestman. (Jason Miller / Getty Images)

    After a preseason that did little to answer most pressing questions, Bears start preparation for Bills
    Offense promises to be special but chronic problems on defense and special teams point to up-and-down season.

    Game week in Chicago begins much the same way training camp opened in Bourbonnais, with the Bears facing uncertainty at safety, linebacker and on special teams.

    That's not the kind of continuity any NFL team seeks from one season to the next. That's running in place for a month.

    The competition Bears general manager Phil Emery stressed on day one never really materialized and no starter in key position battles seized an opportunity. You know August didn't go that well when wide receiver Santonio Holmes, signed two weeks ago, represents the preseason's most pleasant surprise. Whether good scouting or a happy accident, the Bears aren't complaining.
    [​IMG]
    Holmes reminded the state of Ohio on Thursday in Cleveland how explosive the former Buckeyes star can be when healthy. He also likely struck fear into NFC North defensive coordinators. If Holmes can stay on the field, his presence as a No. 3 receiver and punt returner gives the Bears as many dangerous skill-position players as any NFC team. What group is deeper than that of Holmes, Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Matt Forte and Martellus Bennett? 49ers or Falcons? Anybody?
    lRelated [​IMG]

    It all starts with quarterback Cutler, whose comfort in the second year of coach Marc Trestman's offense stood out more than anything. The obvious growth in Cutler received less attention than whose name will appear next on the depth chart, with No. 2 quarterback Jimmy Clausen edging out Jordan Palmer in a decision easier than it appeared. Not that Clausen looks ready to lead this team to the playoffs if Cutler goes down but, with any luck, the Bears never will find out.

    The most inspired option to back up Cutler signed Saturday with the Bills — Kyle Orton. Orton clearly wanted to compete on a team with an unproven starter. That lack of opportunity and financial considerations never made him a viable option for Emery. The struggling Bills expect Orton to be in uniform at Soldier Field for the opener the Bears will use to find answers to questions that persist.

    A big one looms on the offensive line, a supposed strength. No position group depends more on chemistry and timing, yet the starting five went the entire preseason without working together against live competition. The next snap starting right tackle Jordan Mills takes in a game will be his first since the 2013 season finale. The Bears cannot afford to let assumed strengths develop into weaknesses or knowns to become unknowns.

    They face enough concerns on defense, where chronic issues in the middle of the field threaten to derail a season once believed headed somewhere nice. In other words, yes, the Bears still miss Brian Urlacher, who patrolled that area like an All-Pro for years.

    Charles Tillman and Lance Briggs, teammates since 2003, can say publicly this is the most talented Bears defense they have played on, but they only sound like old guys with bad memories. More talented than 2005 or 2006? Based on the preseason, nobody knows if this defense will outperform last year's, despite its improved line.

    At safety, Ryan Mundy offers stability at one spot but neither the draft nor free agency adequately addressed the unsteadiness at free safety. Chris Conte returns as the most qualified starter — yes, 40 NFL starts confirm that — but shoulder surgery and a concussion slowed his progress. When a guy signed to help on special teams, Danny McCray, wins the job by default, it hardly inspires optimism.

    Nor does the situation at outside linebacker, where neither Shea McClellin nor Jon Bostic removed doubt. Beginning the third season of Emery's tenure as GM, we await one of his defensive draft picks playing consistently like an NFL starter. Cutting cornerback Isaiah Frey left the Bears with two members of Emery's first class in 2012. Cornerback Kyle Fuller shows signs of bucking the trend, if he overcomes an ankle injury. A defense that relies as heavily on players older than 30 who are susceptible to breaking down must be able to depend on their draft picks more than the Bears can.

    Remember that when piling on defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, who bears responsibility if things unravel but shares it with Emery and Trestman. Emery drafted and signed the players at Tucker's disposal. Trestman retained Tucker and should be held accountable for more than just the offense that buoys his reputation. Before you explore buying the domain name FireJoeDeCamillis.com, consider the head coach and GM also determine how much a team emphasizes special teams.

    No longer can the Bears count on winning a game or two per season thanks to special teams. No longer do they have a defense that makes assuming anything wise. They have a special offense and especially familiar problems that remain unsolved with the 2014 season six days away.

    They have 9-7 written all over them, health permitting.

    dhaugh@tribune.com
    Twitter @DavidHaugh
  5. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Messages:
    4,585
    Likes Received:
    1,287
    Ratings:
    +1,595 / 2 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    644ß
    I hate reading stuff like this but do it anyway knowing it's coming from a gloom and doom guy.

    You mean the Bears have question marks and areas of on-paper weakness? Woah...who'd a thunk it? Show me any NFL team that doesn't. And before you scream "Seattle Seahawks!", ask yourself who is gonna take over if Wilson gets hurt and has to miss some time.

    Tavaris Jackson
  6. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Messages:
    4,947
    Likes Received:
    1,505
    Ratings:
    +1,914 / 7 / -3
    ßearz ßuckz:
    1,761ß
    David Haugh is one of the few Bears beat media who won't simply parrot the party line out of Halas Hall and he's not a rant artist like Steve Rosenbloom or a moronic asshole like Rick Morrissey. When Haugh writes a column like this based on his opinions of what he's seen and what he knows you can bet that it' pretty accurate.

    This should be a great thread to debate some of the issues I've highlighted. There are quite a few.

    I'll just start by saying that a year ago I was thrilled with Marc Trestman but now I find myself losing my trust in him that he'll do the right things for the good of the team. I also see a guy who losing confidence and is hesitant or possibly second guessing himself about decisions he made earlier this year.

    One of the big changes I've seen is the difference between his pressers last year when he spoke with authority and confidence. He filled us in on the technical reasons for things and his decisions. This year we're getting more Lovie style "coach speak". You know the; "we like so and so", "so and so has done such and such", "this guy is our so and so" and so on.

    The other thing I've noticed is that while he's sitting there declaring that these problems with the defense and STeams are "fixable" it's obvious to all of us that they aren't getting "fixed". I think that's what David Haugh is trying to point out here. We've been spinning our wheels for a month.

    IMHO it's even worse than that and many of you have seen me post my opinion about it. I'm seeing a defense full of new players, talented players, guys with experience and although over 30 show they can still play at a high level. Then I see that defense as a whole making the same mistakes and play back on their heels just like I saw last year. What's the one constant? What wasn't replaced.

    Haugh is correct when he says that should this defense fail again then Trestman and Emery need to step up and take their share of the blame too. Retaining Tucker is what I imagine Trestman is second guessing as well and so should Emery who hired him when he watching all of he effort to restock the defense with draftees and free agents being shattered by incompetence.

    We'll know all we need to know about that defense after game four. All I'm wondering is if things haven't improved will Trestman and Emery have the guts to make a change or will they let another season of great offensive play be wasted by a defense who can't stop anyone and STeams who are anything but special.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Messages:
    4,585
    Likes Received:
    1,287
    Ratings:
    +1,595 / 2 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    644ß
    I'm as skeptical of Tucker as anybody but even I believe he deserves 4 games to make a case one way or another for/against him.
    • Bear Down! Bear Down! x 1
  8. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Messages:
    4,947
    Likes Received:
    1,505
    Ratings:
    +1,914 / 7 / -3
    ßearz ßuckz:
    1,761ß
    Ooops. I thought this thread got lost when my computer froze up temporarily. Guess I'll ask one of the staff to combine both of them.
  9. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Messages:
    22,760
    Likes Received:
    3,126
    Ratings:
    +3,782 / 10 / -8
    ßearz ßuckz:
    1,983ß
    ST's is a issue no doubt, but that hasn't been talked about to death congrats on the insight....

    Seriously, Orton was the best backup option? Was this hack watching Clausen, who's younger and cheaper, sling it around in PS? He looked damn good. And why does anyone think Orton would want to come here anyways? B/c of all the money he wasn't going to sign for?

    Oh no's Mills was hurt all pre season and didn't get to work w/the 1's. Guess the team will start slow(possible) PS is a good place to get work done, but hardly a deal breaker and what exactly could the Bears have done about this? Draft a day 1 starting OT when all their needs were on D? Notice how he doesn't answer that question.

    You mean they're still missing a HoF MLB 2yrs after they let him walk? No shit!!! really Haugh wanna tell me again how they still miss Kruetz? Once your done your done, and BU was done. How do you replace one of the all time greats btw?

    Really no one knows if this team can outperform one of the worst D's in Bears history even w/an improved DL(which was the primary weakness?) worst statement ever in an Bears article.

    Ya S's and LB's suck, just now realize this one haugh; to busy sniffing glue all offseason to notice those huge holes? How is this article worthy now?

    Hey Haugh, other then Lovie's last year, an annomoly, when did the Bears really have a D that could be relied upon anyways...and thanks to the JA/Lovie drafting Emery/Trestman/Tucker now have to deal w/the consequences.


    This is like a Marriotti article, awful
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2014
  10. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Messages:
    4,947
    Likes Received:
    1,505
    Ratings:
    +1,914 / 7 / -3
    ßearz ßuckz:
    1,761ß

    Like I said. I'll give him that. Maybe I'm wrong and maybe David Haugh is wrong but if so then Tucker is doing a very good job of sandbagging us all right now and I simply don't think he's that clever.

    Plain vanilla D or not you still go out and execute and they didn't! It the same issues all over again but with almost 50% turnover in personnel and two new positions coaches the players seem to love and respect.

    How many compliments have we heard coming from any of them about Tucker? I haven't heard a single one have you? Has anyone else?
  11. DaTreeBears

    DaTreeBears Pro-Bowler

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2013
    Messages:
    1,107
    Likes Received:
    608
    Ratings:
    +719 / 0 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    439ß
    Who are the 7 they lose too? I can only see 6 teams having a legitimate shot at beating them if they lose to the others this team will lose much more then 7. I'm talking if majority of the major players staying healthy if major injuries occur that changes everything just like any team.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Messages:
    4,585
    Likes Received:
    1,287
    Ratings:
    +1,595 / 2 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    644ß
    Yeah I'm not negative on the schedule at all. Theres a fair mix of opponents in there.

    SF has had a horrible off- and pre-season. I'd far rather play them on the road then Seattle which Green Bay has to.

    Dallas is a dumpster fire, especially on D. If Romo's back doesn't hold out, they're a dumpster fire all around. Way rather play them then Philly.

    Carolina gave away their only WR worth having. And Cam is ding'd up. Hardy will be suspended. Major step back there.

    Fairley is too fat to hold onto his job and Raji so out for the season. The Jets have major injury issues in the secondary and Milliner has been a disappointment thus far. Atlanta lost their starting LT for the year on an OL that was horrendous last season. Buffalo has nothing on O and their DROY MLB is IRd. Tampa has an OL that may make the Bears 2011 version look decent by comparison.

    We aren't the only team with question marks by a long shot.
    • Like Like x 2
  13. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Position Coach

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    7,977
    Likes Received:
    1,806
    Ratings:
    +2,599 / 10 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    2,246ß
    Article sounds reasonable to me. Unless one is not open to the PS being a preview of the season.
  14. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Position Coach

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    7,977
    Likes Received:
    1,806
    Ratings:
    +2,599 / 10 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    2,246ß
    There is no doubt in my mind that they are fixable. I also don't think we have the people in place that know how to fix them. Maybe not on ST because the talent that Joe has been picking is not so good, but the D has the talent to do better than it has.
  15. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Position Coach

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    7,977
    Likes Received:
    1,806
    Ratings:
    +2,599 / 10 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    2,246ß
    I'm also on the "4 game" Tucker plan. So far, he has not shown he will do well. He does have 50% of the teams that are not very strong, but he also had teams in the PS that he should have done better against. We'll see.
  16. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Assistant Head Coach SuperFan DBS Writer

    Joined:
    May 21, 2012
    Messages:
    10,466
    Likes Received:
    2,861
    Ratings:
    +3,321 / 4 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    2,298ß
    And this is with a healthy defense. When the inevitable injuries hit (hopefully not as bad as last year) it will be even worse. Some have said it's due to the guys coasting and not trying in the preseason, and they'll turn it on in the regular season. Kind of a "Camp Lovie" thing. I've thought about this the last couple of days, but in my heart I know it's not that. Nobody is "playing possum" here. No conspiracy theories either. I think it's just a simple case of the defense not being very good.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. dabears70

    dabears70 Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2013
    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    50
    Ratings:
    +64 / 1 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    78ß
    The defensive line will be one of the better D-Lines in the entire league and i think our corners will hold their own. We all know the problem will be with our LBers and safeties but if Briggs can still be above average and DJ Williams can do his job of stopping the run and Mundy can play a decent SS and if Conte can come back and stay healthy........then we can be a top 15 defense. Now i realize that's a whole lot of if's but i don't think that's anything unreasonable.
    • Bear Down! Bear Down! x 1
  18. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Assistant Head Coach SuperFan DBS Writer

    Joined:
    May 21, 2012
    Messages:
    10,466
    Likes Received:
    2,861
    Ratings:
    +3,321 / 4 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    2,298ß
    I agree with you though. We'll know a lot more after a few games. I'm hoping for the best.
  19. GermansbombedPH

    GermansbombedPH Pro-Bowler

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,980
    Likes Received:
    50
    Ratings:
    +53 / 1 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    34ß
    maybe it is just me, but Haugh has nothing else to write about... Real season can't start soon enough. You can go 0-4 in preseason and still end up with a 16-0 record
    • Like Like x 1
  20. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Assistant Head Coach SuperFan DBS Writer

    Joined:
    May 21, 2012
    Messages:
    10,466
    Likes Received:
    2,861
    Ratings:
    +3,321 / 4 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    2,298ß
    His point wasn't our preseason record, but rather how bad the team looks. In fairness to Haugh, we do look pretty rough right now.

Share This Page