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Events of Last Two Weeks Make Clear Bears Biggest Need is Organizational Leadership

| December 18th, 2014

patton

Quick timeline…

Last week Aaron Kromer admitted to an act that would have led to his excommunication from 31 of the 32 NFL coaching staffs. But Marc Trestman, ever the genteel humanitarian,  wrapped his arms around a buddy and said, “People make mistakes. How about some cocoa over at my place?”

After that decision GM Phil Emery made clear in pre-Saints game comments the actions of Kromer (a) infuriated him and (b) would have been handled differently were he to have the power to handle them. Disciplining coaches does not come under the purview of the GM, Emery told us. That’s the head coach’s responsibility.

Now comes Wednesday night and the LEAK HEARD ROUND THE LEAGUE. Jay Cutler, the handsome man paid handsomely by Emery to be his franchise quarterback, was benched by the head coach in favor of Jimmy Clausen, a wretched quarterback with only one more win than me in the NFL. No word from coaches or front office alike led to a night and morning worth of speculation about last gasps from drowning coaches, $16M in injury settlements, Ken Whisenhunt trades…etc.

From the Twitter feed of Adam Hoge:

So Kromer doesn’t get fired, but Cutler gets benched? Trestman: “That’s a completely … That’s a question that I’m not going to answer.”

Of course that is a question Trestman is not going to answer. How can he answer it? What he was going to say is these issues are completely separate and he’s right. One individual admitted to publicly stabbing a player in the back. The other individual didn’t play well. He chose to fire the one who will have no impact on his future coaching career.

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Benching Jay Cutler Last Drop of Jelly in Bears Dysfunctional Donut

| December 18th, 2014

Miami Dolphins at Chicago Bears

Monday night against the New Orleans Saints was the last straw.

Even an amateur’ analyst’s passing glance at the game tape would recognize a quarterback almost purposely ignoring the offensive system in which he’s being asked to execute. At ten or more moments in that contest Jay Cutler passed on the opportunity to hit an open man underneath, instead choosing to fling the ball down the field, often to nobody in particular. A week earlier Bears offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer had Sally Fielded the locker room with tears, admitting to an act of sideline treason and breaking the sacred covenant of the locker room by admonishing his quarterback publicly.

The Saints game was a Monday night mutiny by Cutler and no one on earth could convince me the quarterback was not calculated in his futility. A week earlier Trestman had refused the opportunity to fire a coordinator well-deserving of the slow, security guard aided walk to the front sidewalk. Monday night’s game tape was an opportunity knocking too loudly. Trestman fired Cutler as Bears starting quarterback.

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A Nothing Team Led by Nothing Men Deserving Nothing From Their Loyal Fans

| December 16th, 2014

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In August of 2005 I self-produced my first play, Shore Points, at the Irish Arts Center in New York. It was a limited run but still ranks amongst the most exciting experiences of my life. I decided over the run to sell Coors Light cans in the lobby for the powerful, almighty “suggested donation” as a means of erasing at least some of the credit card debt I was quickly accruing. My family came. My friends came. Friends of my family came. Family of my friends came. And they all drank. A lot.

I took the cash and went to Ireland with Noah Brier, co-founder of this website, in October of that year. We were in a town called Dundalk on Sunday October 16th. Dundalk like many Irish towns is in a Catholic coma on Sundays aside from a few pubs specializing in fine Sunday roasts serving creatures most of us find cute. No smart phones. No open internet cafes. Nothing. And the Bears were playing the Vikings at noon CT.

We found a pay phone. And for three hours continually called a friend in New York. Every fifteen minutes or so. We didn’t stop calling until Thomas Jones ran in a longish touchdown early in the fourth quarter, making the game 21-3. Updates at an Irish payphone. More than $40 spent. That’s how much I care about the Chicago Bears. That passion led to the creation of this website a few weeks after I arrived back in the states.

For the last three weeks, for the first time in my life, I have watched the Chicago Bears play football and not cared an iota about the result. They have played the care out of me. They are a nothing team led by nothing men deserving nothing from their dedicated fans.

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New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears – Monday Workday & Monday Night Football Thread

| December 15th, 2014

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Some Final Thoughts…

1 – Have read in multiple places the Bears now have an opportunity to utilize Marquess Wilson more prominently in the game plan due to the absence of Brandon Marshall. Poppycock. Wilson should be utilized in the exact same manner he would have been were Marshall healthy. Bears are already making a terrible decision by changing the positions of Jon Bostic and Christian Jones in the name of, to paraphrase Trestman, “less disruption”. All three should spend the final weeks of 2014 playing the positions they are projected to play in September of 2015.

2 – Josh Bellamy should start tonight for the Bears and Cutler should target him. When I watched Bellamy play against Cleveland this summer he handled first-round pick Justin Gilbert with ease. (I was so convinced by Bellamy I expected him to spend the year on the Browns roster.) I think he’s a pro.

3 – So now every time the Bears run the ball unsuccessfully, media and fans will question whether the blame belongs to the blockers and back or if Cutler should have checked out. That is the damage done by Aaron Kromer. That is why its inexcusable he is still a member of the coaching staff. (Do you think Tom Coughlin would still have Kromer around? John Harbaugh?)

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Letting Jim Harbaugh Coach Elsewhere Will Be a Decade-Long Regret at Halas Hall

| December 12th, 2014

harbaugh

Here what’s I know about Jim Harbaugh’s coaching career.

His first head coaching job was at San Diego and he led the Toreros to program bests in every conceivable way.

His second head coaching job was at Stanford where the Cardinal had been a Pac-10 doormat since Ty Willingham left town. He won 4 games. Then he won 5 games. Then he won 8 games. Then he won 12 games. 12 games. At Stanford. A university that had never won 11 in the entirety of their footballing existence. (And before you credit Andrew Luck, go take a look at John Elway’s W-L record at Stanford.)

His third head coaching job is at the San Francisco 49ers. He is 43-17-1 and has appeared in 3 NFC title games and a Super Bowl. In the 8 seasons prior to his arrival, the Niners did not record a single winning season.

Jim Harbaugh isn’t a good head coach. Jim Harbaugh is one of the best coaches in the entire world of football and he is available. That does not happen often. It’s happening now. The Bears will regret it for many years if they don’t become serious players for his services.

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New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears Game Preview

| December 11th, 2014

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip never amounted to much of a show but this is one of my favorite five minutes in TV history.

The Saints are horrible. The Bears are slightly more horrible. So why do I like the Chicago Bears this week?

I always like the Chicago Bears.

WHY ELSE?

  • If the Saints didn’t win a Super Bowl a half decade ago they’d be the Chicago Bears. Their sideline is lousy with coaches shouting at one another, their defense is in the tank and now will have 2013 first-rounder Kenny Vaccaro on the bench, their offense shows up every other month and they are coming off a humiliating thrashing at the hands of the also-terrible Carolina Panthers. That was remarkably their fourth consecutive loss at home – a place where they’ve dominated the sport in the Sean Payton/Drew Brees era. It’s bad in New Orleans but…
  • …if you are miserable in New Orleans, you must not like drinking or eating or music or joy.
  • 40 carries, 271 yards, 6.8 yards a clip, 2 touchdowns. That is what the Panthers did to the Saints with a wasteland of an offensive line and a combination of Jonathan Stewart, Cam Newton, Mike Tolbert & Fozzy Whittaker.
  • Cam Newton is the fifth most sacked quarterback in the NFL. The Saints didn’t get near him.

2014 Draws Comparisons to 2009

The 2009 Chicago Bears were 3-1 heading into their early-season bye week. They came out of the bye and lost 8 of their next 10 games, including defensive embarrassments against Cincinnati, Arizona and Minnesota. The team was dead and buried.

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