75 Comments

2015 Bears Must Inspire Fans to Believe a Title is Possible Beyond This Season

| July 31st, 2015

josies

Last Saturday afternoon I was sitting in Josie Woods, downtown Manhattan, in the same seat, in the same corner I’ll spend a hundred hours this fall.

Above was the same television set, “the Bears TV” which you can at the far end of the image above, now showing a meaningless third-place Gold Cup match between the United States and Panama.

To my left the same ragged, barren wooden shelf which will soon hang the same now-doesn’t-fit-my-thigh Tom Waddle jersey like a championship banner at the Boston Garden.

In my hand was the same pint of Coors Light that has nursed me through Henry Burris and Jim Miller trying to tackle and whatever that was Rex Grossman did in the Super Bowl and The Marion Barber Game and – if I were drinking then – the entire decade of the 1990s.

It’s all felt the same, you see, being a Bears fan. Sure there have been some division titles since January 26th 1986. There have even been seasons almost as exhilarating as a championship run, a la the Mike Brown overtime interception spree of 2001 in the wake of one of our nation’s most trying times.

But it’s all been the same. A quarterback not quite good enough. A coach not quite good enough. A GM not quite good enough. Ownership not quite good enough. When those three elements are consistently subpar in the NFL sustained success, sustained excitement, sustained entertainment is an impossibility.

Read More …

Tagged: ,

60 Comments

5 Reasons Bears Will Be Better Than You Think: Part III

| July 26th, 2015

fangio

The final installment of Andrew Dannehy’s optimistic training camp preview.

#2 Vic Fangio.

There has been so much talk about the offense, but it doesn’t matter unless the Bears get their defense figured out. Fangio isn’t a miracle worker. He’s also not Mel Tucker. The difference between the two can’t be overstated.

We’ve seen teams take huge jumps in the standings by adding new defensive coordinators. Just last year, the Vikings went from having the worst scoring defense in the league to the 11th-best because of Mike Zimmer. We’ve seen similar results from the likes of Wade Phillips and Dom Capers and Fangio himself helped the 49ers go from middle of the pack to elite.

The Bears secondary is still a disaster — at least Chris Conte is gone — but their front seven should be pretty good. All the talk about changing schemes is stupid. Fangio is a good coach who will find a way to make it work. He did last year in San Francisco when most of his talented players were on the sideline.

They won’t be elite next year, but don’t be surprised if they jump into the top-20, that really should be enough for them to win more games than they lose.

#1 The Relationship Between the Coach & QB.

The Bears have a good coach and a good quarterback. Teams with both almost always end up being good.

Read More …

Tagged: , ,

75 Comments

5 Reasons Bears Will Be Better Than You Think: Part II

| July 26th, 2015

Andrew Dannehy continues his look at why the Bears will exceed expectations in 2015.

#4 Contract Years. 

Alshon Jeffery and Matt Forte are the team’s two best skill position players and both are looking for a big pay day. The last time Forte was in this position, he was having the best year of his career and was on pace, before injury, to finish with one of the most productive seasons ever from a back. We haven’t seen Jeffery playing for a contract yet, but you can bet he saw the money handed out to Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas and wants to get his.

If both players have monster seasons, in addition to the other players they have, the Bears offense is going to move right along. Now, add in the fact that Marty Bennett also wants a new contract and Jay Cutler is essentially playing for his NFL life.

Nobody on the Bears was motivated last year. After a relatively successful offensive showing in 2013, they got arrogant. They can’t afford to do so again this year.

#3 John Fox.

Fox has been through this before. He’s taken over two teams that were disasters the year before, one going 1-15 the other 2-14, a 5-11 team shouldn’t be a problem, right?

In both of the previous instances, the Panthers and Broncos won six more games in Fox’s first year and this Bears team has significantly more talent than those teams did.

The Bears issue wasn’t/isn’t talent, it was all the X-factors that the really good teams don’t even worry about anymore. There was no chemistry and no leadership, Fox has proven he can help with both problems.

Tagged: , ,

53 Comments

5 Reasons Bears Will Be Better Than You Think: Part I

| July 26th, 2015

shea

The expectations for the Bears are at Wannstedt-level lows, but there are several reasons to think that they’re going to be better than almost everyone is predicting.

The common predictions for the Bears are ranging everywhere from 4-12 to 8-8. Not crazy when you consider they went 5-11 last year, but to describe them merely as a team that had that record last year is missing so much of the picture. As awful as they were just a short time ago, the Bears have some stuff going for them and that stuff might just be enough to get them into the playoffs in 2015. Here are five reasons why the Bears are going to be better than you think.

#5. THEY CAN COMPETE IN THE NFC NORTH.

There has been a general assumption that the NFC North is a great division, but both Detroit and Minnesota have major weaknesses that could be their downfall.

Read More …

Tagged: , ,

13 Comments

Introducing Our New Sponsors: Art of Men & 26Shirts.com

| July 25th, 2015

aom logo

I made the editorial / business decision a year ago to be sponsored by not-profit companies. I’ve never done this site for cash and I’m not going to start now. But if a few solid organizations could make this site profitable whilst allowing me to do something good, I’m all for it.

Art of Men – ArtofMen.org

Several years ago I began working with an organization called Art of Men. I so loved the founder, Art Gurwitz, and the mission of the organization that I have taken on a leadership role with them. I would spend time here summarizing what the organization does but AoM’s mission statement takes care of that.

THE WORLD IS FALLING APART.
NOTHING WORKS.

Everybody’s complaining, but no one is doing anything about it.

SOMETHING HAS TO BE DONE.
We’re doing it.

WHAT IS ART OF MEN?
We’re guys across the world taking matters into our own hands.

Read More …

Tagged: , ,

134 Comments

Enigma that is Marquess Wilson Could be Important for 2015 Bears

| July 15th, 2015

Dec 29, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Marquess Wilson (10) warms up prior to a game against the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The 2015 Chicago Bears could end up needing Marquess Wilson more than many think.

While nobody seems overly concerned with Kevin White’s health, the fact that he’s barely practiced since the Bears drafted him should be worrisome. Alshon Jeffery has had various injury issues in the past. When the Bears top two receivers were struggling last year, they didn’t have an answer. It should almost be expected for that to happen again this year and, if it does, they’ll need Wilson to step up.

Read More …

Tagged:

111 Comments

As Training Camp Approaches, A Lack of Expectations Define Bears Summer

| July 13th, 2015

bears

According to Paddy Power, Ireland’s premier gambling site, the Chicago Bears are 30-1 to win the NFC in 2015. Only two teams have worse odds: the Redskins and Bucs. (Those two teams are sub-professional.) Only four teams in the whole of the NFL have worse odds to win the Super Bowl. But one does not need the citizens of County Clare to state what is clear to anyone objectively examining the Bears 2015 roster: this team just isn’t all that good.

Does that mean they can’t win some games? Of course not. It’s the NFL. But they have flawed quarterback, unhappy running back, rookie at wide receiver, disgruntled tight end and serious deficiencies on the offensive line. The defense? The Bears have as many men on one-year deals as T-Mobile. The unit will be improved as a result of the coaching change alone but will any of that improvement mean anything if a majority of the group will be elsewhere in 2016?

Read More …

Tagged:

© Da' Bears Blog