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Divisional Round Weekend Game Previews & Predictions

| January 9th, 2014

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All season I have done a feature on Twitter called the Around the League Tweets (with various fake sponsors) and five times this season I mentioned how excited I’d be to bet against Andy Dalton in a playoff game. And what did I do? Not only did I not gamble against Dalton but I picked the Bengals to win! My quest for a perfect postseason died on Wild Card Weekend. I deserved the opening 3-1. On to the next round…

SATURDAY 4:35 PM ET – NEW ORLEANS AT SEATTLE

Line: Seahawks -8

Analysis: Thought Rob Ryan’s performance in Philadelphia was one of the most impressive defensive game plans we’ve seen in the NFL all season long but that won’t be enough to compensate for NOLA’s offensive struggles on the road. Seattle beat the Eagles in Philadelphia by relying on Mark Ingram and the ground game – an element the Seahawks will certainly take away with their front. That leaves Drew Brees to win the game through the air and he’s not the same player on the road.

Side note: Is it strange that I would give the Seahawks no shot if this game were in New Orleans? That doesn’t feel like the mark of a Super Bowl champion. I’ll worry about that next week.

Final Score: Seattle 24, New Orleans 13

SATURDAY 8:15 PM ET – INDY AT NEW ENGLAND

Line: Patriots -7

Analysis: I am desperate to pick Andrew Luck in this game but I can’t erase the images of Alex Smith looking like Joe Montana against this Colts defense. Yes, the Colts executed a remarkable comeback but they also allowed a Jamaal Charles-less Chiefs offense to score 40+ on them in their own building. Now they get Tom Brady?

Side note: Isn’t the dream ending here an Adam Vinatieri field goal in terrible conditions to win it for the Colts?

Final Score: New England 37, Indianapolis 27

SUNDAY 1:05 PM ET – SAN FRANCISCO AT CAROLINA

Line: Pick em.

Analysis: Luke Kuechly has had a wonderful season at middle linebacker and is only an historic Robert Mathis year away from winning DPOY. But one thing has been evident after studying Kuechly: he struggles in coverage. Sometimes he struggles terribly in coverage. If the Panthers end up with him isolated on Vernon Davis at any key moment in the game, they’re dead.

And with both of these clubs sporting dynamic pass rushes, I see the game decided by quarterback containment once the play breaks down. Whichever QB makes bigger plays with his legs wins. I say that’s Kaepernick.

Side note: No non-quarterback injury had more influence on my picks this week than Steve Smith. Without Smith at full strength I just don’t see how the Panthers offense can be consistently productive against this Niners defense. With him at full strength…well we’ve all seen that Smith can wreck postseason games by his lonesome. Yes sir, we have seen that firsthand.

Final Score: San Francisco 20, Carolina 16

SUNDAY 4:40 PM ET – SAN DIEGO AT DENVER

Line: Broncos -10

Analysis: I am taking Peyton Manning. That’s it. That’s the entirety of my analysis. I am taking Peyton this week. And next week. And more than likely a few weeks after that.

Side note: I am terrified of Phil Rivers in this game. But I am taking Peyton.

Final Score: Broncos 34, Chargers 31

Tagged: , , , , , , ,

  • jimmychange

    I’m taking Rivers. Mainly because Peyton is jinxed in the post season. The football gods love to smite his teams. For whatever reason, karma just won’t be on his side.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Luck is lucky, the Bears are semi-cursed. Let the turtlehead be smote – congrats on the 55 TDs and almost 4.5K yards… but I want to see the playoff-choking continue. 3 rings is enough for any one family, and you know Eli is never getting near the big one again.

  • NewBearInTown

    Repost from last thread.

    Lovie Smith has a roster that’s a lot better than its record looks in Tampa, but he’s going to need a strong draft. They’re only about $7M under the cap thanks to last years’ spending spree. And so many of the deals are fresh I don’t see a way to save a lot of money… except cutting Revis or converting part of his salary to signing bonuses and making that $16M cap number even more daunting in future years.
    If Lovie wants to make any significant upgrades, they’ll have to come through the draft. It’ll be interesting to see how that goes.
    His first year in Chicago, he surprised everyone by drafting nothing but defensive players. The strategy worked as several of those guys became the foundation of his Superbowl D. I don’t think we’ll see a repeat performance in Tampa this time, but he surprised everybody once already that way. We’ll see what direction he goes.
    One thing he does need, a quarterback. Even if Mike Glennon is the guy he wants to trust as the starter in 2014, he has nobody else on the roster. There will be veterans on the market, so you have to wonder who Lovie will pick up as the veteran backup to tutor Glennon or another draft pick. Some guys available include:
    – Rex Grossman (Former Bear)
    – Shaun Hill (Former Lion)
    – Matt Flynn (Former Packer)
    – Josh Freeman (Former Viking… oh wait)
    or Dan Orlovsky, last year’s backup.

    Also, Lovie is working with a shortened list of picks. The Revis trade, aside from the cap cost and first rounder also costs Tampa a 3rd rounder this year. If they cut Revis, it costs a 4th.

  • NewBearInTown

    AFC teams are fortunate that they don’t need to go to Seattle or New Orleans to win the Superbowl. Peyton is a beast, but notoriously not a beast in the playoffs. Manning will put up 3 touchdowns and 300+ yards. Let’s see if his defense and running game can follow suit. The Chargers are playing really hot right now. [I’d pick the Broncos as well, but this is the game I’d least like to put money on].
    I think Carolina’s defense and Marion Barber both deliver historic home performances to carry their teams to victory. I think the Patriots do to Andrew Luck what they did to Tim Tebow a couple of years ago. You just can’t let Tom Brady have 21 points on you before you start playing.

    • gpldan

      Everybody talks Carolina D but Niner D is probably the best right now

      • NewBearInTown

        Both teams are solid on D and heavily depleted in the passing game… which means the final score will be something like 44-41.

      • Trac

        Its still painful to acknowledge any teams defensive goodness. Sigh.

  • gpldan

    Buffone 4-0 with his picks

    Big Doug cannot lose

  • gpldan

    Senility creeping into B&B show. They called Briggs a Sam lb while doing a tirade that the Lions coaching search isn’t offensive biased despite Whisenhunt leading the group, you know the guy who took the Cards to the dance and has proven winning when he’s had a qb

    • NewBearInTown

      Always think its funny that the strongest OLB plays the “weak” side. I get the terminology, just a funny paradox.
      This year’s crop of candidates is a weak group GP. Last year there was a surplus of coaching talent, which is why you saw some teams (Miami for example) make a move. This year you’ve got a lot of coordinators and college guys that maybe need a couple more winning seasons to prove their worth, or a bunch of retreads that didn’t have great records the first time around.
      If I was picking for Detroit, I don’t know who I’d target. There just isn’t a compelling figure out there right now (except Ray Horton, who nobody seems to want). Lovie really was the best of the bunch.

    • Still a Doug Plank Fan

      Unrelated to your post, but did you ever finish reading “Monsters”? Was on the look out for your review.

      • gpldan

        Not yet.

  • Irish Sweetness

    I don’t care who wins the games as betting without the spread this week is fool’s gold. With the spread, three games are a toss-up – the books are too good at this.

    But San Diego are 10 point dogs ?? The last time they played – in Denver I think – the Chargers had 170 yards rushing and allowed the Broncos only 18 or thereabouts, dominating the line. Now, the poor Chargers pass defense aside … how are Denver at least 10 points better? San Diego’s defense has improved considerably over the last 5-6 weeks.

    One bet for me this week, SD +10.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Just placed the bet and the Chargers are gone into +9.5. Damn, waited a day too long.

  • Trac

    I have to pick the Chargers Jeff. Ryan Mathews is going to tear up the Broncos on the ground. Be afraid of him, he is the key to keeping turtle head off the field.

    • Bender McLugh

      hahaha….wait, you are joking right?

      • Irish Sweetness

        They rushed for 170 against the Broncos in Denver -why can’t they do it again?

        • Sactowns#1

          Because right now it’s looking like Mathews isnt going to play.

          • Trac

            “Au Contraire”

            “My mind-set is I’m playing,” said Mathews, who praised the work of the team’s running backs. “We keep fighting.”

            Maybe he will, maybe he won’t.

          • Bender McLugh

            even if the Chargers run all over Denver, and yes the Chargers D is improved, I just don’t see them stopping the offensive juggernaut of Denver now that Welker is back in the mix. No way the Chargers keep up with them…..

          • Trac

            Of all the matchups this weekend, this one is the most interesting. The Chargers have been peaking at the right time.

          • Irish Sweetness

            There’s that then. Frak.

    • SC Dave

      I’ll pick with Jeff. Peyton Manning.

  • George Hernandez

    More excited for FA and the draft to be honest. What do we do in FA? Jairus Byrd? Greg Hardy? There are so many options for our 1st rounder, CB, S, DE, DT, ILB which way do we go? There are so many guys in that mid-round range Justin Gilbert, Clinton-Dix, Kony Ealy, Louis Nix III, CJ Mosley…all of those guys would upgrade our D. Emery has proven if there is a problem position he will address it via free agency AND the draft, WR’s suck? no problem here are Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey! Crappy OL? Here are Jermon Bushrod, Matt Slauson, Jordan Mills and Kyle Long! Need LB? Sign 2, draft 2. I have a feeling that we will have 3 to 4 new Defensive Linemen, 1-2 new LB and 3-4 DB’s. I am excited to see what this off season will bring.

  • Sactowns#1

    Whats the Geico Caveman doing on the front page?

  • Shady

    Here you go gamblers, best info for ATS betting:

    NFL’s biggest betting mismatches: Divisional Round

    By JASON LOGAN

    Thursday, January 09, 2014

    Each week, Jason Logan breaks down some of the underlying mismatches in the NFL, hoping to give you an inside edge when handicapping the schedule. Here are four of the biggest betting mismatches for the NFL Divisional Round:

    New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks (-8, 46.5)

    Saints’ commitment to run vs. Seahawks’ rushing defense

    The Saints got the road-woe monkey off their backs with a win at Philadelphia in the Wild Card Round, thanks in part to their commitment to the running game. New Orleans, despite missing RB Pierre Thomas, handed the ball off 36 times to Mark Ingram, Khiry Robinson and Darren Sproles, marching for 185 yards on the ground. That cut down on turnovers and chewed up 34:53 worth of clock, keeping the Eagles’ explosive offense off the field.

    The Seahawks’ stingy defense is a much tougher test than Philadelphia’s porous stop unit. But, if Seattle does have one weakness, it’s against the run. The Seahawks were pushed around by opposing rushing attacks in their three losses this season. They allowed the Colts to put up 109 rushing yards and a score, watched San Francisco rumble for 163 yards, and gave up 139 yards rushing in the loss to Arizona. The Saints fell behind quickly in their Week 13 loss to Seattle and ran the ball just 17 times, so it won’t be hard to improve on those numbers.

    Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots (-7.5, 51.5)

    Colts’ comebacks vs. Patriots’ fourth quarter defense

    The Colts are becoming as predictable as a Rocky movie. Scene 1: Indianapolis gets its head beat in for two quarters. Scene 2: Bell rings for halftime, head coach Chuck Pagano does his best Mickey impersonation before a pump-up montage to awesome 80’s cock rock. Scene 3: Colts come out swinging and rip victory from the clutches of defeat. Cue credits and Survivor. Indianapolis did just that versus Kansas City Saturday, scoring 35 points in the second half. That’s kind of been the calling card of the Andrew Luck era in Indy.

    The Patriots enjoyed a bye week and hopefully figured out a way to get through the fourth quarter without needing a pile of points. New England’s offense has masked a serious issue, with the defense unable to close out games by itself. The Pats have given up 31 total points in the final frame over their last three outings – offsetting that by answering with 49 points of their own. However, those fourth-quarter lapses could come back to bite New England hard if the Colts get on the comeback trail.

    San Francisco 49ers at Carolina Panthers (Pick, 41)

    Niners’ momentum vs. Panthers’ bye week blues

    As past playoff pushes have shown us, it’s the hot team – not the higher seed – that has the edge. And no team in football is hotter than the 49ers. Not even the icy temps at Lambeau Field could slow down San Francisco, which has won seven in a row (4-3 ATS). The 49ers are coming off a massive victory over Green Bay on a last-second field goal and are out to avenge a loss to Carolina earlier this season.

    The Panthers built up a lot of momentum in the final weeks of the season, winning three straight and 11 of their final 12 games to grab the No. 2 seed in the NFC and a first-round bye. But many are asking if Carolina has peaked and whether taking a week off will cool the Panthers’ play. Carolina is no fan of the bye week – playoff or regular season. The Panthers are 0-3 SU and ATS coming off the bye week under coach Ron Rivera and were knocked out of the playoffs in 2008 after a 12-4 season earned them a first-round break, losing 33-13 as 9.5-point favorites to Arizona in the Divisional Round.

    San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos (-10, 54)

    Chargers’ third-down success vs. Broncos’ third-down defense

    The Bolts have already laid the blueprint for beating the Broncos, knocking off Denver 27-20 as 10-point road underdogs in Week 15. San Diego controlled the tempo and dominated time of possession in that game, burning up 38:49 to Denver’s 21:11. A big part of that win – and the Chargers’ overall success – is the team’s ability to keep the chains moving on third down. San Diego ranks tops in the NFL in third-down conversion rate, picking up the first 48.17 percent of the time, and went 6 for 12 on third downs in the win over Denver.

    The Broncos defense has been the elephant in the room all season. Denver’s stop unit has been burned for big numbers and is missing one of its key cogs in LB Von Miller, who is out for the season with a torn ACL. The Broncos were in the middle of the road in terms of third-down defense, limiting opponents to a 38.07 conversion percentage (16th), but can’t afford to keep the Bolts on the field Sunday. San Diego did a great job holding on to the ball and removing Peyton Manning and the Denver offense from the equation in Week 15.

    http://m.covers.com/#/Betting-News/Article.aspx?id=/article/sdi:353658

    • Shady

      Recap: Saints, Colts, Niners, Chargers

      • Still a Doug Plank Fan

        EVERYBODY is winking at the New Girl in the playoffs, “making out” as though Rivers has finally reached playoff puberty.

        No Sale. He’s still the kid in the back of the class that just wants to be noticed because he’s wearing his jersey after everyone else put theirs away for the year.

        Manning will make his Mascara run.

        • NewBearInTown

          But would you put money on that?

          I agree, its hard to pick the 6 seed that limped in over the 1 seed that’s rewriting the record books… but then again that’s what folks said when the Giants played the Patriots in the big dance a few years ago.

          • Still a Doug Plank Fan

            Yes. I’d bet against Rivers, despite Manning’s history of playoff failures. I would take the broncos x 10.

          • NewBearInTown

            I’ll take that bet. Loser has to post 500 words on his favorite Lions or Vikings victory of 2013.

          • Still a Doug Plank Fan

            Yer on!

          • johnnywad

            This is great.

          • Irish Sweetness

            I put a lot lot of money on San Diego. Maybe famous last words .. but how does SD – whose D has improved towards the end of the season (especially with tthat 3rd down%) who beat them, suddenly get a 10 point headstart? That’s just Manning’s rep … but this is theplayoffs, and we know his record there.

        • tobijohn

          You are SO mean!

          • Still a Doug Plank Fan

            I know. I never have been able to stand Rivers, even though I think he’s a decent QB. I also don’t think the Chargers want to win for him as much as the Broncos want to win for Manning.

        • Irish Sweetness

          With respect to Phil Rivers, he’s the #2 rated QB in the NFL. The penny might have just dropped for Mr. Rivers. It took about ten years for Elway.

  • Still a Doug Plank Fan

    Sooooo….as prototypes go, I suppose that – well – this is one….

    http://guardiancaps.com/#prettyPhoto

    • johnnywad

      Still doesn’t change anything. Its all about the skull decelerating while the brain doesn’t. Doesn’t matter what the outside covering is. The problem is inside the skull not outside.
      Don’t know if you were around last summer when I posted some stuff on this. Its of supreme importance to me as I have an eighth grader that loves the game.
      I’ve gone to extreme lengths to get the information for myself and make my own decision based on what I found. I spoke with several folks along the way including the chief of neurology at one of our local hospitals, a doc at the Mayo Clinic and ultimately, (though via proxy), a doc in the brain trauma division at Walter Reed.
      Ultimately, I’ve simplified it for my own purposes. A kid playing high school football runs a small risk of developing CTE. All kids are different, and if yours happens to be one that due to position or even just their specific body traits, that is more prone to headaches and/or concussions, get the hell out. Most kids that play high school football will be just fine. Look around. The world is full of guys that played with absolutely no residual effect.
      Now if your kid happens to be talented enough to play college football it gets a little more dicey. You start mixing in more mass and velocity, longer seasons and practices, and added tenure in the game and all bets are off. A D1 college player stands a much greater chance than an ordinary high school player of suffering injuries that may in fact, impact his life.
      And if your kid happens to be talented enough to play in the NFL, he will in all likelihood walk away with some degree of CTE. How severe depends on so many factors its difficult if not impossible to discern what the risk to any one player will be. Just plan on it being a factor.
      My kid just wants to have fun. He’s not physically gifted enough to be anything more than a decent high school player. So given the benefits gained by playing the game, I am allowing him to do so. If he should start having issues with head injuries, he’s out. No further discussion.
      I really rambled a bit here, but for any helmet manufacturer to claim they can solve the problem is a minimum disingenuous and at most, bordering on criminal. I’d hate to think of letting those boys play under some false sense of security that the helmet will save them from closed head injuries. It won’t.

      • Still a Doug Plank Fan

        Yeah. I wasn’t around last summer much; this is my first year of joining the Blog OTA’s…so I missed your post from last year.
        Found that link in an article about banning helmets altogether, based on the Rugby Model (where people actually die, but have a lower rate of CTE’s!)

        I hear you. I played, but not beyond HS. Back then, we barely had helmets. Some plastic shell with a nod to foam inside. Yer right – it’s one hell of a dilemma. With it being THE GAME in America, change will come slow and inadequately. But your point that some are predisposed and some are not was very interesting to me. Didn’t know that.

        • johnnywad

          Turns out neck strength is a factor for one. Two kids sustain identical hits, the one with the strongest neck fairs far better than the other. There are lots of factors and I’m sure the science to understand them is very new. The problem is you never really know who or what to believe.
          Sometimes I wonder if football players as a general rule aren’t born with CTE. You would really have to wonder if you listened to my son and his buddies for about ten minutes. Dumbasses.

          • Still a Doug Plank Fan

            Yeah…heh!!!! When my son hit his teens, I worried my seed had been horribly broken down at his conception.

            Later, discovered he just had the typical 1422 Disease. From age 14-22, brain malfunctions are the norm.

          • tobijohn

            Kind of reminds me of a Mark Twain quote:

            “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”

          • Still a Doug Plank Fan

            So I was a year off? Shit. Maybe it WAS my fault…I had 22.

          • Irish Sweetness

            I miss being 17. I knew everything back then.

          • SC Dave

            “I am not young enough to know everything.”
            – Oscar Wilde

          • Still a Doug Plank Fan

            Heh!! Yeah, that too….

          • Still a Doug Plank Fan

            You’ve got me curious now though. I’m going to find stuff to read. Any recommendations you have will be welcomed.

            I recently sat down and watched the Doug Plank highlight hits vids on You Tube (something I do when I need to be revved up, like recalling the ’85 game against the Cowboys), and it really looks a lot different to me now than before when I was just wanting to watch the Bears get people carried off on stretchers.

            Ok, I still KINDA like that…but still.

          • johnnywad

            http://www.sportslegacy.org/

            I started here. This was a springboard to everything else.
            The best information I found was face to face with doctors. My son plays lacrosse with a kid whose dad happens to be a neurologist. Naturally he and I started discussing this stuff on the sidelines. I found it interesting that he allows his son to play lacrosse and very high level hockey but not football. Turns out the reason isn’t neurological at all. He’s more concerned about the knees and spine than the brain. Very telling.

          • johnnywad

            And for the record, I’m not concerned about the NFL players and their brain injuries. These guys know the risks and they’re fairing far better with their long term health than factory workers, steel erectors, soldiers and commercial painters to name a few. Many jobs are dangerous, all of them have bosses that try to mitigate the severity of the risk, and none of them pay like professional football.

        • Irish Sweetness

          You weren’t here for the off-season? Oh, are you in for a treat …..

          • Still a Doug Plank Fan

            Will there be two a days?

          • Irish Sweetness

            Yes.

            One on moon/mars bases …. one on alien agenda ….. bring a pencil and paper … and a gonk for the end of your pencil …and some more paper …. and some spare gonks.

            (blog collectively facepalms)

            What?

          • Still a Doug Plank Fan

            Okay. But I’m bringing my own soap.

          • johnnywad

            I think its time for another episode of “Ginny’s Attic” Irish. Just what is Chris Conte willing to do to remain a Bear?

      • NewBearInTown

        Reading the research you did on this (there was I think one other poster as well) last year made a lot of sense to me. My oldest is seven and not exactly a football guy (but things change). I think I would take the exact same approach as you and I appreciate you posting your thoughts.

        • johnnywad

          Welcome NB. I worried myself sick over it . So I just decided sort it out myself.
          Get your kid a lacrosse stick. SOOOOO much fun. I wish I had grown up in an area that had organized lacroose for kids. In my opinion its the best youth sport going. Seven is a great age to start learning the necessary technical stick skills.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Anybody on here – looking at you Cor – do the old headbanging as a kid? I just to do that shit for hours at metal bashes.

        {Blog: Yeah, we can tell ………}

        Huh?

    • NewBearInTown

      This looks like very poor science. All of the claims might be true, but the marketing is terrible. They basically have the physics equation for force as a selling point.

      Still, I have to wonder if there isn’t some good work that can be done to improve helmets.

      What I see with cars is that they are designed to buckle at impact. This does two things (1) it slows down the passengers before impact, thus greatly reducing the “brain stops slower than the skull” issue, and (2) it redistributes the force of impact into the frame of the car rather than the cockpit.

      At the high school level, this would be prohibitively expensive, but you have to wonder if they could design professional helmets to literally buckle at a certain amount of force. Even an inch of buckling could make a huge difference.

      The downside is you’d have to bring multiple helmets to the game for each player – a running back might go through 10 or more in one game. But I think the media and fans would probably love the visual of a mangled helmet getting taken off between plays to show the player is alright. It also provides a nice automatic trigger for concussion testing. If the helmet shows a certain degree of buckling, the player gets tested before returning to action.

      Figure each helmet costs $500, you lose 50 a game to buckling, that’s $25,000. Sounds like a lot of money, but it isn’t even one player’s game check at the vet minimum. D1 schools could easily afford it as well.

  • SC Dave
  • Still a Doug Plank Fan

    Since first reading about and following the news about Marshall’s Camp in Florida, I got more and more interested in the psychology of locker rooms and teams, etc.

    Hence, I just got, today, my copy of John F. Murray’s “The Mental Performance Index” http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1935444891/ref=oh_details_o05_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I’ll let y’all know if I learn anything new. Just interests me. What are the difference makers in winners and losers? Why do some teams, with tons of talent and by all accounts good (or good enough) coaching keep hanging up their cleats before post-season? Why do teams that are mediocre sometimes hoist the Lombardi, or come close to it?

    I really, really think Marshall’s Camp is impressive as hell – I’ve said that a few times here on the blog. Don’t know what other teams are doing something similar (or players), but I’m going to wander the web, see what I can turn up.

    • johnnywad

      I’m betting you’ll find it’s rare. I did hear today on 670 that LeBron James and Kevin Durant spend a good deal of the off season together training and battling one on one. They don’t even play for the same team. No coincidence I suppose that they’re two of the best in the game.

      • Still a Doug Plank Fan

        Found a couple of small examples, but still digging. Murray’s book does. BTW, rate the 85 Bears as overall the #1 SB team in history based on mental performance index.

        • Trac

          What the heck is a mental performance index?

          • Still a Doug Plank Fan

            Essentially, from what I’ve read so far, it’s a psychologist’s formula for determining why a team is successful based on not their physical but mental performance. I’m still digging, but he sat down and watched all 15,000 plays in every Super Bowl from the first to SB 46. He then used a kind of measurement that calculated the physical actions and mental decisions of every play and every player involved, and came up with the MPI

            He’s got credentials, especially in the NFL (where he has focused all his efforts), and the MPI is his creation. Whether or not he’s nuts remains to be seen, but he has put some serious time into it. The Washington Post called him “The Freud of football”, and he’s been on ESPN, NFL Film specials, etc.

            Here’s his site: http://www.johnfmurray.com/

          • Irish Sweetness

            Isn’t it as simple as those who play as teams are successful? Teamwork wins out over combined star-appeal/names ?

          • Still a Doug Plank Fan

            Yes, sort of? That espirit de corps (sp?) Is hard in a free agent world I think. It takes just the right people at just the right time.

      • Johnathan Wood

        Right before Rose’s MVP season he spent the whole offseason with a personal trainer and working out with Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook.

        Not coincidentally, those three all had breakout years that year. The offseason progress you can make in the right environment is massive. Just look at Jeffery last year vs. this year.

        • SC Dave

          Injury was a principal factor in the difference between Jeffery last season and this.

          • Johnathan Wood

            yes, but not JUST injury. He got a lot better at some of the little things, and had himself in better physical shape.

      • Irish Sweetness

        I just found out that Denis Rodman is basically the defacto U.S. ambassador to North Korea? KIm Jong Fuckwit asked for him specifically, and they’re best mates. A crack head U.S. ambassador? What a planet.

        • SC Dave

          I suspect similar things have happened in the past.

        • Bender McLugh

          There’s an episode of Vice (HBO) where they go to North Korea with Rodman on his first visit and are totally stunned by it. Not sure how this is just a publicity stunt by Kim Jung but it has to be.

          • Bender McLugh

            oh and the Harlem Globetrotters were with them as well and played a scrimmage for the exalted leader….

          • MikeBrownhadaPosse

            That’s a great show.

  • tobijohn

    Back to the Bears D. After reading this article, now I’m a bit worried:

    http://www.csnchicago.com/bears/there-enough-dough-bears-defense

    • Trac

      Peppers is probably gone which coupled with a few other moves the Bears could make, we should have anywhere from 20-25 mil cap space. This is pretty much where NB and some of the other experts have us.

      Contrary to wishful thinking, I would have to say that it’s going to probably take 2 full off seasons to draft and sign free agents to right this ship. Next year could be darn near just as bad as this one was, depending upon who we sign and who heals up from their injuries. We might be able to tighten up our front four but no way all our problems get solved this year, it’s just too much to realistically expect.

      • Irish Sweetness

        I unfortunately agree with you Trac …. doesn’t look feasible to fix that defense in one season, not properly.

        • George Hernandez

          Agreed, so if we focus on the D line it should cover up some of the ugliness of the back 7. If we aren’t as bad against the run and have a half-decent pass rush, we can be in the 18-22 range defensively which should be good enough to sniff the post-season next year. Use next year to finish the defensive rebuild. I see us trading back if we can get a decent deal this year, with all our holes we could use more ammo.

    • SC Dave

      What a bunch of douche nozzles. Fuck those clowns.

    • Still a Doug Plank Fan

      Just read that-thanks of the link. I think NBIT has a handle on our cap…and I am going to put my money on Cliff Stein every day to make the money work. Trac’s probably right though, this isn’t a single-season fix. We have some aging superstars.

      • Johnathan Wood

        they can get a solid D for next year, but for a long-term solid D they are going to need some young studs to build around.

        It is my belief that a good unit requires at least three difference makers surrounded by solid talent. The Bears have no difference makers left who are under 30 on defense. They need to find those guys in the draft (or one in FA if they have the money).

        • Still a Doug Plank Fan

          Out of nowhere, I wonder if we can go back for a sec to the Conte interception in the GB game, on their first drive.

          I thought that was a helluva timely pick, and had the potential to set the tone for the D all day long. Am I making too much of it?

          And even more heresy…CAN Conte BE a difference maker (in a good way) once our pass rush returns from the dead, by being merely above average?

          • George Hernandez

            You hit it on the head, an upgraded pass rush allows you to get by with Whitey McSlow as your FS. Hence, I would rather see about loading up to get Greg Hardy vs. Jairus Byrd in FA.

          • MikeBrownhadaPosse

            C’mon, he’s not slow. He’s white. And he’s got abysmal instincts. But he’s not slow.
            Just misplaced.

    • NewBearInTown

      My initial feelings about this guy are probably overly harsh. The conversation in that video and the text of the article are probably more intelligent than two thirds of the discourse in Chicago Sports Radio and print. But the writer is still being a bit naïve.
      I’ve gone through the cap before. We’ll cut Peppers, likely with a post-June 1 designation, and free up some space this year. The net result of that cut plus the cost of the draft class and a few other factors will get us $20M in cap space. The team has the ability to convert any portion of Jay’s salary into a bonus that it wants. So if we get stuck, we can make the deal less front-loaded (its currently a bit heavy in 2014). The team also has the ability to extend Brandon Marshall, which is probably a smart investment. His deal and Alshon’s will determine how much the offense will really cost going forward. McCown and Garza might not be back if they want big money. That’s the way the cap is – you let good players go sometimes.
      On the defense, we need 1 CB, 1 S, 2 DE, 1 DT. He’s incorrect that we have nobody on the d-line with experience; we have Paea who will be going into his third year as a solid role player at DT.
      We’ll sign Wootton, so that leaves really 2 DBs and 2 DLs. 4 vets. 4 vets can come as cheap as $2.5M if they’re all on 1 year deals. So really there is probably $10-15M in extra money to offer in contracts. I think that’s maybe one mega contract and one mid-level contract – which is what we need. We have the money, we’re not the richest club around in terms of cap, but we have probably more money than 2/3 of the other clubs.

      • Johnathan Wood

        don’t forget too that they can restructure Cutler’s deal to free up room if needed very easily.

      • Irish Sweetness

        If Peanut doesn’t come back we need 2 safeties and a corner …

        • NewBearInTown

          I posted those positions based on currently open spots on the roster. We have Conte, who is sub-par, but who can start if we run out of money. For example, if we were to sign Jairus Byrd, Wootton, two mid-level DLinemen and Peanut. We would have a starting group that included Conte at safety. Emery could then draft a guy or two to compete with Conte for a job, but that doesn’t mean they’d be ready in week 1 to start as rookies.
          Emery will have 12 men (included nickel) who are able to play as our starting defense before the draft starts. Then he’ll try to improve on that group of 12 in the draft. Unless the safety market comes in cheap, I suspect Conte will be one of those 12, but that Emery will draft a safety in the first three rounds to try and improve the position.

          • SC Dave

            Sounds like reasonable suppositions to me.

          • bearsfantillend

            Hopefully this is how the 3rd round of the draft will go.

            Goodell’s lacky “Wow with a change of pace from previous drafts, With the 3rd round pick the Bears select Safety ‘Guy Doesntsuck’ from KickAss State”

            Random ESPN Analyst “Interesting pick by the Bears, Guy is different from the last several Safeties the Bears picked in previous years in this round, who were usually slow, often white, and had histories of injuries. I think this is the steal of the draft. What are your thoughts Mel Kiper…. Oh Dear God!!! Folks, Mel Kiper will not be able to join us for the rest of the draft, it turns out that some drunk and rowdy JETS fans have just assault Mel, and we fear for his life right now, oh well on to the next pick.”

            GOD I HATE MEL KIPER!

          • Irish Sweetness

            Please not Conte … he’s just not going to turn into Steve Atwater. I’d love to see Peanut go to safety and be allowed to play football. Our best stripper should not be stuck out at CB, and he’s not getting any faster. Any good 6’3 CBs in the draft?

          • johnnywad

            Wright is gone in this scenario right? I gotta think he’s done in Chicago. And what about Ratliff as mentioned above? I’m no expert on the matter but he doesn’t strike me as the centerpiece to a 3-4 D line.

  • bearfanincb

    Wow — Pats, Hawks, 49ers and Broncos — that’s real riverboat gambling there.

    • Irish Sweetness

      ATS ??? (shrugs)

  • Irish Sweetness

    Two Bear receivers in the pro bowl …the same year …. has that ever happened before? Methinks not.

  • Trac
  • bearsfantillend

    Lovie Smith’s son also has an affinity to Safeties. Mikal Smith is the Safeties coach for the Bucs.

  • Irish Sweetness

    It just occurred to me that we are definitely moving to a 3-4 defense next season – I think it was Emery’s plan all along …Tucker will be gone – and here’s why ….

    The Bears know Pep is done. He costs too much for not bringing the old pep anyway. The 4-3 pass defense is predicated on having a premier DE – regardless of it being a 1 or a 2 gap defense … which Pep certainly was in his day, but clearly no longer is …

    The 3-4 requires a special NT – which the Bears signed (albeit a guy who has also seen better days) from Dallas. It also requires two solid ILBs -Briggsy and DJW could provide this (Bostic is a benchwarmer/student in this scenario). It also requires those two pass rushers on the outside. Can you say Chicken Dinner and Khaseem Greene? Khaseem? Really? Yep – he’s got the speed .. you’ll see a different guy in the 3-4, I believe (ditto Cornelius Washington). We always said CD was a 3-4 OLB -if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck ….

    Briggsy is being wasted shadowing TEs and would make a far better 3-4 ILB IMHO. DJW can mentor Bostic for the future.

    Emery knew before he came to the Bears he wanted to make them a 3-4, and the moves make sense when viewed from that perspective. We cannot be a 4-3 without Brian Urlacher and a younger Pep. We do not have a good 3-T DT. Melton is not really that man.

    So Emery will likely go DE in round one (unless the best NT on his board falls to him).

    Wooten hits the weight room and becomes the 5-T end, we draft the other one.

    Et Voila! Our new defense …

    Wooten Ratliff / #1 draft pick (#1 draft pick DE)

    CD Briggsy DJW Greene or Washington

    Ergo, we need to spend the FA money on a good safety and a CB – no projects at those positions please, because we don’t have the draft picks to draft good ones. Got to spend those on a DT, a DE, and a Center in the third.

    • NewBearInTown

      Not sure I agree with everything you posted, particularly about where certain players would fit. I do think that Emery will move away from the solid 4-3 front, primarily because the kind of linebackers he likes to draft on defense have more of a speed game than a power one, which is better suited to a 3-4.

      But I think rather than a pure 3-4, Emery will look for more a hybrid style. They run that in Denver, in New England and in Seattle. Those teams are doing okay right?

      Big props for the list of names though. Nice to hear some suggestions for new talent rather than the same old Horton/Phillips discussion.

    • is ratliff signed? i thought we had him on a 1-year-deal last year?

      • Irish Sweetness

        Oh, right, didn’t know that. We have a lot of work to do …. worst comes to the worst we just get the best NT we can in Rd 1 and build around him. DE in rd 2 and Center in 3. Get the front 7 up and running and maybe the back-end doesn’t look so bad.

    • Johnathan Wood

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Cornelius Washington is not a fit in a 3-4 defense. He was available in round 6 for the sole reason that Georgia switched to a 3-4 before his last year and he couldn’t find a position. Didn’t work at OLB, too small for DE.

      If they go to a 3-4, Washington is likely done as a Bear (not that you base your defensive scheme around a 6th round pick who has rarely played).

      Still seems more likely to me they go to a hybrid defense like what SEA and SF run. Sometimes 4-3, sometimes 3-4, always attacking.

      • Johnathan Wood

        where does the pass rush come from in your scenario? You need two good OLBs, at least one who is a stud pass rusher.

        They have none in that instance. If they go solely 3-4, they need a stud OLB in FA or round 1 of the draft. Somebody who can step in and be a 10 sack guy from day 1.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Who else do we have? We can’t afford to draft linebackers …. we need those picks elsewhere. He is a tweener though, looking at his weight – he either needs to hit the weights or slim down …..

        • Johnathan Wood

          I’m just saying he has failed miserably in a 3-4 before, so you can’t pencil him in now and expect different.

  • NewBearInTown

    I usually stay away from politics on the site, but this guy ticks me off.

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/01/10/kluwe-thinks-he-and-tebow-are-in-the-same-boat/

    First of all, Kluwe and Tebow are not in the same boat. Tebow is a problem because there is too much fan pressure for him to start when he’s more of a backup. Kluwe is a guy who wears his controversial views on his shoulder. People watch football to escape from that stuff.

    And don’t tell me the NFL is homophobic. They don’t want this stuff happening on either side of the debate. Chris Culiver (San Fran player) had to take sensitivity training the week of the Superbowl because he said that he wasn’t open to having a gay teammate. The NFL doesn’t want people talking about the issue period because its too polarizing.

    No matter what you say about gay marriage, you will probably alienate a fan. You can say you support it and you alienate the South. You can’t say you’re against it and you alienate Jeff. There’s no way to win.

    So what do you do? You understand that you are an ambassador for the NFL and for the team (meaning you’re the guy that gets fans to buy stuff). Kluwe thinks the NFL doesn’t want players to do non-football stuff? I see Roberto Garza’s face on the side of a bus every time I go to work because he’s with United Way. I still hear about #CuttyDoesIt now and then for juvenile diabetes. Those players are taking up issues that unite people.

    Maybe Kluwe thinks gay marriage should unite people. But it doesn’t The NFL is about making money. You don’t make money dividing your customer base. That’s just a fact.

    • Trac

      Thank you!

    • IBNO

      The NFL DOES want Kluwe talking about it.

      “There is no such thing as bad press.”

      Sure, there are people who disagree with Kluwe, but disagree with him or not, Kluwe’s mouth–even though he’s not in the NFL anymore–keeps him & the NFL in conversations.

      Kluwe is dead wrong about Tebow, though; sure, some teams might be gunshy about Tebow because of his beliefs and his insistence on talking about them, but they’re more gunshy about his poor QB play and his fanbase who want him to start no matter what.

    • Irish Sweetness

      TheBigCheesy : We have enough kikes and niggers in the NFL without letting the fags in too, NBIT. Let’s keep it white, Catholic and racist like God intended ….

      Blog: Uhhhhhh ……..

      TheBigCheesy : Wait, I’m not finished … and no more cripples in the friggin draft already…. they should be executed there instead of wasting my tax dollars and oxygen ……

      Jefe : Whoa, you can’t say that ….

      North Wisconsin White Affirmative Action Group : Yes he can, what’s wrong with that …?

      TheBigCheesy : ‘zactly … fuck you you Irish mick – love it or leave it baby, love it or leave it – and in times of recession we should use our pets for food … especially cats ….. they’re useless … and another thing ….. hey where’s my cheese hat gone ….?

      etc.

      • tobijohn

        In all fairness, I don’t ever recall Cheesy going off on politics. And even though he does sometimes revert to trollisms, for the most part he comes across as a pretty decent sort…

        • AlbertInTucson

          A troll is a troll is a troll. Please don’t feed them.

          • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

            Is reasonable troll a paradoxical term like “immortal man”?

            Honestly, I think Cheesy is more reasonable than some, ahem, Bear fans (ducks, esp the Lovie-ites.

          • AlbertInTucson

            It’s a thin pretense. Please, do not feed.

            Exhibit “A”:
            “It” and the rest of the trolls were complete “no-shows” here Sunday (and that’s ALWAYS a GOOD thing) while the 49ers were sending Green Bay Packing.

            Case closed.

        • Irish Sweetness

          Oh I was having fun at Wisconsin’s’ expense, not Cheesy’s !

          In the little neighborhood I’m in there’s an English guy, an old German, a Wisconsinite (of Irish extraction as it happens)… and me. The German guy doesn’t speak any English, so he just sits outside his house, while yards away, there’ll be the three of us like Hank of the hill sharing a smoke of an occasional 5 o clock. I didn’t realize until the other day that the was the most unashamedly racist person I’d met in …. well .. a long time. He was saying he was going to back to America next year with his thai wife and kids – he has twins too, must be the water. I asked him where he was going to liveand he said North Wisconsin so his kids could go to school. I looked surprised as if to say, why would you go back to the phrozen tundra ? “No blacks or Mexicans in the schools there – NONE! – don’t want my kids growing up with ’em …. it’s MY country dammit!”. It wasn’t his country about two generations ago, but there you have it.

          • tobijohn

            Another big plus is no homos up there either. At least none that would admit it lest they be turned into some kind of funky sausage. They stay in the closet, the way the Good Lord intended them to.

            Ask your neighbor if by chance he’ll be anywhere near Mellen, WI. That’s where my paternal grandfather was from. It’s a bit south of Lake Superior and half way between MN and the northern peninsula of MI.

            I know, having Wisconsin roots is a shameful thing to admit to but I feel that I’m among friends here and will not be judged for the sins of the grandfather…

          • Irish Sweetness

            They have to live somewhere !

    • Still a Doug Plank Fan

      PFT and Michael David Smith absolutely, positively suck. And I mean that figuratively, but hell who knows, maybe literally too.

      I quit on that site a year ago, when Smith went off on Tebow for his beliefs. Jeff had highly recommended PFT at one time (his exact words, “PFT…which is the only site you all should be reading”) and that’s how I found it in the first place.

      They are bigots in every possible definition of the word over there. They are guilty as hell of igniting/inflaming hate-speech (they just target the other side), and Florio is Al Sharpton with a different venue, and that’s it.
      Can’t stand any of ’em. They do nothing but promote hate and prejudice. I would relish the opportunity to debate Mike Florio (Smith isn’t worth my time – he doesn’t have the mental muscles) on the merits of Tim Tebow’s faith vs. the promotion of gay athletes in the NFL. And for the record, though I don’t agree with homosexuality, I think it’s none of my business if someone is, and I sure as HELL don’t think they should suffer discrimination issues. I may not like it one wit, but it is their choice to live with, not mine.

      To vilify Tebow and lionize Kluwe is MSNBC and their various foot soldiers’ Mein Kampf.

      • tobijohn

        Kluwe’s entitled to his opinion and I certainly don’t agree with Tim Tebow’s evangelism but FWIW, of the two, I’d rather have Tim Tebow as my next door neighbor…

        • Still a Doug Plank Fan

          +1 on that. If nothing else, I think Tebow would be a quieter neighbor. All that punting footballs at 2:00 a.m. (think Napolean Dynamite) to prove he’s still got it would get tiring with Kluwe next door…

          I respect Kluwe for taking a stand, and I respect his absolute right to express it. What I do not, cannot, will not understand is why this same respect can’t be extended to the Tim Tebows of the world. Tebow can preach what he chooses, so long as it doesn’t do harm. I don’t think Kluwe OR Tebow are guilty of harming others with their beliefs, but that’s just me.

          It’s sad, in my opinion, that this enmity even exists. PFT is guilty as hell of driving it.

          • NewBearInTown

            Kluwe, if I’m not mistaken, also has a rock band.

            I would love to watch football with Tim Tebow. I think he could be a lot of fun as a color guy talking SEC football. I have no interest watching Trent Dilfer coach him up on how to play quarterback better – and that’s not just because Dilfer was a lousy quarterback.

          • Irish Sweetness

            I can’t believe Tebow isn’t in the NFL, even as some kind of back or tight end who would have the ability to throw now and again. He’s fit, strong, doesn’t drink or do drugs, has a good attitude and seems to be a born winner. I don’t pay attention to college ball so I never had an opinion on him pre-NFL days .. .but he seemed liked he belonged in the NFL in some capacity … unlike say a Rex Grossman who just looked like an impostor when he went up to Matt Leinart after THAT game.

          • Still a Doug Plank Fan

            +150 blog points for the reminder of Grossman / Leinert.

      • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

        I read PFT, and they never do smear campaigns on Tebow. In fact, they often write articles on him, and about the only thing they consistently make fun of him about is his mechanics and his refusal to play another position.

        PFT is far from perfect, but what news site is these day? I think the most ‘leftist’ issue they try to promote is banning the “Redskins” as a name.

        Then again, I know many conservatives who don’t like that nickname, but they do lay it on a little thick.

        • Still a Doug Plank Fan

          Them you missed the blatant hit pieces they were doing on him last spring and summer, man. They were brutal, and Smith in particular was smearing as loud as he could. Check their archives.

      • Irish Sweetness

        I find it most curious that Tebow polarized a nation almost. He’s just a nice young man, that believes whatever he believes and is trying to do his best instead of slowly drinking himself to death or losing himself in the pipe. He has a few quid in tha bank now … good for him.

        • Still a Doug Plank Fan

          Yeah, it’s really sad. He never did anything to anyone. Vilified just for being him.

          On the other hand, it at least made it clear who not to read in the press.

    • Johnathan Wood

      Kluwe’s point is that he believes he and Tebow have both been ostracized because they bring more media attention (and possible distraction) than they’re worth.

      What he fails to mention is that the distractions involving Tebow are media-driven and not really his fault, while Kluwe’s media attention is because he won’t keep his mouth shut. But still.

      • Still a Doug Plank Fan

        You’re dead right about Tebow. Media driven from the jump.

        Kluwe is a tougher call, don’t you think? I mean, he speaks his mind about issues, albeit volatile and polarizing ones, and so is then cast by the media and fans as a trouble maker. Not just controversial, but divisive.

        I’m not sure where I fall on the Kluwe debate in terms of what he should be allowed/not allowed to say when he’s employed by an NFL team. For me, it’s more complicated than just deciding he should always defer to the PR department.

        • MikeBrownhadaPosse

          I’ll always like the guy for punting right at Devin in the Ice Bowl at TCF Stadium. What a doofus of a punter.
          His views on gay marriage are pretty irrelevant to me. If it bugs people, so what.

          • Irish Sweetness

            As long as he’s not speaking directly on be half of the Vikings (within limits) , then he can say what he wants … and as long as he can accept the consequences.

        • Johnathan Wood

          I have no issue with him sharing his opinion on things. But he invites the media attention that way, and has to know that a lot of teams don’t want to put up with that for a punter.

  • gpldan

    Speaking of Kluwe, a guy was trying to take a picture of Adam Vinateri in the locker room with his Instagram account and accidentally got a picture of a naked Andrew Luck walking past.

    So Instagram had a Luck Junk shot after the game.

  • gpldan

    Shouldn’t we have gotten a decision on Tucker by now?

    Are they waiting until after the Senior Bowl?

    • AlbertInTucson

      I think we have. I’d call it “Tacit Renewal”.

    • Johnathan Wood

      I may be reading this wrong, but Emery’s comment in his Thursday presser last week was telling to me: They haven’t made a decision on Tucker yet, and they have no set timeline. He even specifically added it could take until February (which happens to be when the playoffs end. Hmm…).

      This suggests to me they have a guy (or two) in mind from one of the playoff teams who they would like to get, but they will keep Tucker if they can’t get him. The two teams that make sense to me are SEA and SF. Both are good defenses that run an aggressive 4-3/3-4 hybrid, which is what Chicago seems to want to become.

      One specific name I’ve heard people speculate about is San Francisco secondary coach Ed Donatell, who has ties to Emery from when they were both in Atlanta together a decade or so ago. Donatell has also been a DC in the past in both ATL and GB, so he would be an experienced play caller.

      • gpldan

        OK, thanks for that info… good stuff

    • Irish Sweetness
      • gpldan

        Awesome. Maybe he could retire from acting.

  • gpldan

    Rodger walks into the room, slams his fist on the table:

    “We need to get these fucking players off the TELEVISION, people! Do you NOT KNOW we have a massive PR problem? I can’t have doctors on the sidelines looking like they are going to put these players back in the game! We have too appear like we care about our sheep… err… workers… err… players!”

    http://tracking.si.com/2014/01/10/nfl-two-players-violated-concussion-protocol/

  • gpldan

    Did you guys see the Pro Bowl changes, where they turn it into Fantasy Football this year and ditch the NFC/AFC split?

    Jerry Rice and Neon Deion are the “owners” and they are going to have a tv show where they draft. There will be cameos from the actors from “the League”.

    This should move the bar for stupid.

    I’m sure no white guy wanted anything to do with ownership, as it’s a minefield for being labelled a racist.

    • Still a Doug Plank Fan

      Saw all that, and lost the no-interest I had to less than no interest in the PB. I think it was someone here, when all the talk about reworking the PB began, that recommended it become a mere awards ceremony with charities somehow tangentially involved. I thought that was a great idea.

      I’m a hypocrite in the extreme though, in that Alshon sliding into Johnson’s spot was very cool. Man, Marshall has done wonders with him, in one season after a camp in Florida.

      What a very, very cool development.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Why can’t they just select the team? There’s no need to get them to play. I’ve never even seen a pro bowl. Saying X, Y and Z are the best players at their position is enough – they don’t have to go out and prove it to us.

        • Still a Doug Plank Fan

          Yep. What you said.

    • Irish Sweetness

      So what will the record books look like? What are the winners of the 2014 pro bowl called?

      Jerry’s team 31 28 Deion’s team

      ???

  • George Hernandez

    I saw a couple of comments on the football clinic thing, is Marty B going down there with Cutty and the homies? Also, can you imagine what they’re going to do with Marquess? Injuries and the Soldier Field mud are going to be the only things that can limit our O next season.

    • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

      If Marquis progresses as much as Alshon, we’ll be unstopple on O (barring catastrophic inj, but hopefully we paid our dues this year).

      Wilson is going to have to play some specials though. I know we kept him around this year without much specials – it was effectively an Angelo redshirt year without the ‘injury’ – but I think he’s going to have to play some SP, which means bulking up.

      That, or Bennett and Hester are gone, which is a strong possibility too.

      We might even carry a bunch of defensive sp teamers as opposed to WR special teamers.

      I read 3-4 LBs are awesome in Specials (how we got Costanzo I think), and that SP team coaches prefer them. Bostic/Greene would be prime candidates esp if we keep DJ, Anderson and Briggs.

    • Still a Doug Plank Fan

      Considering what Marshall did with Alshon, Marquess has one hell of an opportunity here.

      And yeah, Martellius B. is on for it.

  • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

    I posted on a dead thread but wanna see what you guys think.

    Hearing the Score. Only 8 teams
    qualify for Hard Knocks next year (who don’t volunteer). Guess which
    team qualifies? Yup. Da Bears. Giants and Steelers are the other “Top
    3”.

    Could you imagine some Cutty, Cavalri, BMarsh, Orange Dino, Long on Hard Knock? (Trestman Daughters!)

    Raiders, Cards, Jags, Rams and one other team round it out.

    What say ye – yah, or nah?

  • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

    Red Hot Chilli Peppers now in SB.

    This might be the first year I actually enjoy the half time shoe. Heard Peppers a few times live. They’re awesome.

    Bruno Mars is talented too.

    I think Prince so far was my fav half time show so far. He obviously had a gigantic phallic symbol behind the screen in the SB (masquerading as his guitar). I thought that was a big “FU” to the NFL lol

    And he was good.

    I’m still waiting for Metallica for SB Half time cuz I think they were made for each other, but perhaps they’re not “safe” enough.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Metallica should be the official band of the NFL to go along with their general owning of the Military and prison industries. I can’t think of any other band who have played a prison.

      • bearsfantillend

        Johnny Cash did several prison shows.

  • Still a Doug Plank Fan

    With apologies to Jeff for my post below regarding PFT.

    After rereading that, it looked very much as though I was casting the same bad light on Jeff that I was PFT, and that was not my intent, nor do I think Jeff is like that pond scum over there at all.

    However, that’s exactly how what I had written sounded like. Sorry, Jeff. That wasn’t my intent. Yer not those guys on any level.

    I edited the post below for that reason, and removed the misleadingly offending sentence.

  • AlbertInTucson

    OK. Apparently it IS time for Dan Diefdorf to retire if he thinks that the New England Punter falling on the ball at his own 1 is better than taking asafety.

    That’s just IGNORANT.

    Basically HAND the opponent a free TD?

    A safety was the best possible outcome for the Patriots on that horrendous snap.

    Maybe your Defense holds after the free kick or at least limits the Colts to a FG and if so, that’s STILL less than a gift 7.

    Have a nice retirement, Dan..

    • Guest

      Intercepted. The prosecution rests.

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