144 Comments

Position-by-Position at the Bye: Running Back

| October 28th, 2014

Chicago Bears v Washington Redskins

The following is part of a series of position-by-position breakdowns at the halftime point of the 2014 season.

Matt Forte

If the Chicago Bears were 5-3 instead of 3-5 there would be pronounced, serious support for Matt Forte as the league’s most valuable player. He’s second in the league in receptions. He’s got over 1,000 yards from scrimmage. He’s got 6 touchdowns. Most importantly he has put the Bears offense on his back. They are the twentieth ranked scoring offense in the league. Without him they would probably be dead last…by a wide margin.

It was written at length when the Bears hired Trestman the players to benefit most would be the quarterback (whisssssper) and Forte, who is a far more talented version of Charlie Garner, a player who posted career years in the passing game under Trest. The former has yet to come fruition. The latter has exceeded fan expectations by a significant amount. One needed only to listen to Emery and Trest’s media session Monday to understand how the organization views Forte’s performance over the first eight games. They made it very clear featuring Forte would be the most important goal of the season’s second half.

One glitch? Forte’s fumble against Carolina was a nightmare moment for a player unused to such things. But it nailed the Bears coffin shut that afternoon. Other than this moment of fallibility, Forte has been the Bears best player through eight games.

Grade: A

(Note: I’ve liked what I’ve seen from Ka’Deem Carey but we don’t have enough information to evaluate his performance.)

Tagged: ,

  • Peanut FTW

    I love Matty

  • Note on your note: their refusal to use Carey is maddening. I hope we see more of him in the 2nd half of the season as well.

    • Cormonster

      Me too. First they have to actually run the ball more to give Carey some snaps. Only about 20 run plays called per game isn’t gonna get him many carries.

    • Gotta say, I hated Carey’s tape in college. He’s shown a little more burst in the NFL.
      Almost reminds me of Bell.
      Last year, Bell was just a plodder. Then, he got into NFL shape, and is tearing it up this year. Hopefully Carey follows the same path, but the jury is still out.

      • I really like Carey. Dunno if he’ll ever be a bell cow like Forte (or Bell), but at the very least a solid rotational guy IMO.

      • FantuzPhysics

        Not impressed with the nation’s leading rusher and a consensus two-time All-American? Of course none of that matters at this stage, but I think he has looked good in his limited time. I wish they ran more and also got Kadeem in the mix more.

  • DocNitty(BallsStillOrnamental)

    The fact that they waited til the second half, when they are basically out of the playoff picture, to feature Forte, speaks volumes about the ineptitude of this coaching staff. Had they done that from the beginning, I’m betting Marshall and Jeffery would also be having much better production.

    • This offense should be run heavy to set up play action. plays to all their strengths.

      • Been saying this since forever. Once I saw who they drafted and signed in the PS, I knew our 3rd downs were going to rely on the same cute/gadget stuff that is low percentage.
        Said it before the season even started.
        The cute/gadget crap doesn’t fly long in the NFL.

      • SC Dave

        Depends on whether you want to kill Matt to enable Brandon and Alshon. How mercenary are you?

        • MikeBrownhadaPosse

          He’s a running back – maybe he should run?

          • Cormonster

            Good point.

        • MikeBrownhadaPosse

          And honestly, Dave, what kind of question is that?!? He’s a professional athlete. He gets paid to play running back in the NFL. And it’s mercenary on the part of a FAN to suggest the Bears utilize him more? WTF? It’s not like any of us are going to get a bonus check in the mail if he breaks 2k rushing yards.

        • not just kill Matt. They have this 2nd running back who’s looked decent that they can use.

    • Cormonster

      Bears under Cutler have always played better on offense when they balance the runs and passes.

    • Trac

      I think if NE had wanted to run up the score in the 2nd half, the could have. Don’t think you can take away anything positive from that game.

  • There’s really no doubt that Forte is the 2nd best RB in the NFL right now. So much fun to watch.
    The big knock on him has always been that he doesn’t run with power, but he’s actually doing that pretty well the last 4-5 weeks.

  • For sure, an “A” for Forte.
    Forte the 2nd best HB though? Hmmm…
    I’m assuming the first is Murray.
    I’d say Jamaal Charles and Forte are tied at 2.

    Foster, Bell, and in my book, Bradshaw, have been huge for their teams too.

    • And out of all those teams, we suck the most.
      Tip-o-the-Hat, Tresty.

      • SC Dave

        Tip o the hat, Jay

    • TheBigCheesy

      Ryan Tannehill. 3 straight games with a 30+ yard gain on the ground.

    • obviously Murray. I just think Forte’s all-around game separates him from anybody else.

  • Has Cutler even bootlegged ONE time this year?
    I know the scheme is set up differently, but I’m guessing even Brees has bootlegged a few times to change things up.

    • Bernsy

      I think a bootleg has to be called for it to be run.

      • Bernsy

        can you guys see why i’m so confused about this offense? no crossing routes, no back shoulders, no bootlegs, no quick playaction right to the slant, etc.
        It’s madness that these plays aren’t run or called by the coaching staff.

        • CanadaBear

          What, you don’t like Cutler fading back, locking onto either Marshall or Jeffery the entire route, pat the ball a couple of times and then throw it up to a triple covered WR when there are other options? What’s the matter with you?

          • Actually, Canada, you are both right.
            Play calling is J.V.
            Cutler’s execution is J.V.
            = #20 offense.

          • Bernsy

            it’s just weird because Trestman’s playcalling between the 20’s last year was pretty damn effective.

          • SC Dave

            KROMER IS THE FUCKING OC GODDAMNIT!

          • Scharfinator

            Whoa grumpy pants, take a chill pill. It could definitely be Kromer. It could be the league learning the offense.

            I agree with what you’re implying, though. Trestman’s time with the defense hasn’t done shit. Might as well get the O back to the top.

      • Well, yeah.
        Maybe Trestman is being a little TOO protective of Cutler.
        The bootleg would work well in zone-stretch with Forte who excels in stretch plays.

        • Bernsy

          watch the creativity of the Patriots playaction game. it’s not some long drawn out affair, it’s quick and over with. It doesn’t allow the corner on the other side of the field to read the quarterbacks eyes. They torched our D all day with that type of play.

        • Bernsy

          Trestman is killing this opportunity. And I don’t mean killing it in a good way.

        • SC Dave

          KROMER IS THE FUCKING OC, GODDAMNIT!

          • MikeBrownhadaPosse

            In name only, Caps-lock.

  • CanadaBear

    This is a reply to JW about PE. He likes him, I don’t.

    He started out as a S&C coach. Just grinding on him. I don’t see the love for the guy. Terrible choice for HC when the obvious answer was staring right at him (Arians). The biggest question for 1st time HC’s, is the job too big for him. Arians proved it wasn’t before he was up for the job.. Also, yeah he’s made some good picks and some good signings but leaves massive holes on the roster. He should have anticipated either Briggs or Williams going down. Same with Peanut. If they stay healthy, great. If not, you’re covered. LB and DB depth is non-existent and they were both positions that were totally fucked last year. No thought about ST’s other than a new punter. Just take the back end of the roster and throw them out there. Who could predict that would fail? Almost everyone.

    • I think people seriously underestimate just how shitty of a situation he inherited.
      Let’s look at the under 30 talent currently on the roster that was left for him 2 years ago: Matt Forte, Stephen Paea, Chris Conte.
      That’s it. One stud and two ok guys.
      The only guys to leave are guys like Corey Wootton, Major Wright, Lance Louis, J’Marcus Webb, Earl Bennett, Gabe Carimi, . Guys who are fringe starters at best.
      Chicago didn’t have one single good draft from 2007 until 2011. They didn’t even have one MEDIOCRE draft in that time span, unless you count 2008 as mediocre simply because Forte is that good.
      That left Chicago with a gaping hole in their roster from guys who are really old to guys who are really young that Emery has brought in. He’s filled that some with FA, but you don’t typically find studs to build your team around in FA. You have to draft those guys, and Chicago didn’t for too long.

      So you can’t look at it and say “the Bears are struggling, therefore Emery sucks.” I don’t know if he’s a beast, but he’s done at least a solid job so far, IMO. Though I do think he botched the coaching search, which is a problem (and I wanted Arians at the time for the exact same reason you mention-he had just proven he was a good HC).

      • BillW

        And yet with all the good work he did building the team back up, it’s underperforming. Due to the coach? I think that’s where the spotlight is on PE now. It will take a 5-3 finish at least to not have everyone screaming for Trestman to go. Anything worse than 4-4 at the end and I think he pulls the trigger despite the contract.

        • BillW

          In other words:
          8-8 or better, fans say he deserves another year due to second half improvement.
          7-9 – most fans conclude the team is regressing under him and he needs to go (but won’t).
          6-10 or worse – Emery realizes Trestman is making him look bad and at least puts him on notice publicly.

          And if the Cardinals make the playoffs with the Bears being 6-10 or worse, I can’t see how Emery keeps him.

          And yet, he still thinks Shea is a good player, so maybe he is too stubborn.

        • Everyone, including Packer fans, expected the Bears to be much more competitive.
          They looked at the roster, esp on O, and correctly concluded it had enough talent to make a serious play-off push.

          Heck, even a few picked Cutler to win MVP.

          The reality is much different, and it isn’t because of lack of talent. It’s coaching, on all sides.

          • SC Dave

            Cutler as MVP made me laugh from the instant I saw it, to be honest.

          • the Cutler/MVP stuff was always BS. And this team was never a SB contender.

            But yes, on paper I think they’re somewhere around the 10th or so most talented team in the NFL, which is a lower-tier playoff team. Which is why I picked them to be an NFC WC.

            But here’s what’s tricky about the NFL: paper doesn’t translate. Paper analysis usually translates in the NBA. More or less in baseball and hockey too, though less than basketball. But so much of the NFL is about coaching and cohesiveness. There are more moving parts, and a much smaller sample size, in football.

        • Trac

          When pigs fly. 6-10 is looking pretty good now.

      • CanadaBear

        Fair points JW but if he passes on the washed up hillbilly that would have left room for at least 2-3 signings of decent LB’s/DB’s. I’m not talking all pro but at least professional grade. I was leery of the Allen signing from the beginning but no way did I think he was an older version of CD. He has proven to be worse than Pep. Cutler had the good fortune to hit FA when there were almost no other options. Good for him, bad for us. If PE would have offered him a modest raise to $12 mil/yr in the new contract, it would have been interesting to say the least. Oh well. He hideously over paid for Houston. Young was a good signing but I’m guessing he only has another sack or two left in him for this year (O’s are actually looking at him instead of the hillbilly). Marshall was a good signing but things can still go very wrong there. Bennett is good on the field but a headcase. Jeffery was a good pick but it was the only one from that draft. Either we have shitty players or shitty coaches. Both are on Emery.

        • Trac

          Two words Canada. Williams Wall! Someone forgot to mention that to Emery.

          • SC Dave

            Give Sutton and Ego a chance first, Trac. I think Ferguson was exactly that in their eyes. Whether it works is unclear, but at least they made the try.

          • Trac

            Yes, I feel ya but I’m just saying that most of Allens production was prolly due to them. This is the risk you take when you sign a FA from another team.

          • SC Dave

            Ah… sorry. Misinterpreted you.

        • oh, I’m not saying Emery has been faultless at all. I think he got too cute picking Trestman, and it doesn’t seem to be working. I also don’t like how he continues to shove Shea down our throats, and hope that doesn’t become a trend with “his” guys (players or coaches).

          I’m just saying that his job coming in was a lot more difficult than most people realize.

    • EnderWiggin

      I was worried about specials too. Why the lack of veteran guys: DJ Moore, Steltz Bomber, Graham type guys. But if you listen to Emery in the presser yesterday he addressed this. If we use younger/greener guys this gives them a much faster development curve so they can be more effective when their number is called. I know there is a lot of Emery/Trestman hate lately, but when I hear them talk for some reason -I’m all in.

      But what about “win now” philosophy?

      Emery and co. may say they are not giving up on the season, but I can’t help to think about what The Blogfather told us the last year and a half – Emery is setting this team up to be a contender in 2015.
      This explains the lack of LB depth, why we drafted a CB, why our ST guys are mostly greeners. Give them a year to develope, get the necessary vibe for Joe D, come out ready to ball next season.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m not giving up on this season. I think we finish 11-5.

      • CanadaBear

        But if he’s looking at 2015 why sign the washed up hillbilly?

        • Trac

          I really think we need to stay away from hired guns. If you’re gonna spend some money, buy a center or LT.

      • Barb UMihai Mar

        That’s insane.

        PS: Remember… in 2015 the Bears play NFC West (Seattle, 49ers, Arizona, Rams) and AFC West (Denver, Chargers, Chiefs, Raiders). best 2 divisions in the NFL now and probably next year too.

        • DocNitty(BallsStillOrnamental)

          After we go 1-3 vs the worst division: AFC East. Pathetic.

          • that division actually appears to have 3 competitive teams this year (not coincidentally the 3 that beat us).

        • Trac

          Oh yeah?

      • Trac

        I love you ender. Hahaha. You remind me of my son when I told him to pull my finger for the first time. Lol.

        • EnderWiggin

          Dude, I would have pulled it the second time too.

      • SC Dave

        Ha ha ha! Who was it asking for the Kool-Aid? You got it right there!

      • it’s not a lack of depth, per se, it’s a lack of proven depth. Look at the depth across the D:

        DE: only spot with proven depth (Young, Scott). Young developmental 2nd year player behind that in Washington.
        DT: backups are both rookies.
        LB: backups ( counting McClellin/Williams/Briggs/Bostic all as starters) are a rookie (Jones), a 2nd year player (Greene), and a veteran journeyman signed midseason only when the top 4 were all hurt at same time (Sharpton). Also had another rookie (DeDe Lattimore) on roster for ST for a few games.
        CB: Backups are 1st year player (Hurst), rookie (Louis-Jean), ST veteran (McManis)
        S: backups are 2 rookies (Vereen, Dixon) veteran STer (McCray)

        So the D backups consist of 5 veterans (2 of whom are for ST more than D, 1 of whom was signed midseason), 2 2nd year players, 1 1st year player, and 6 rookies (plus a 7th who has been on roster for ST). 9 of 14 backups are 1st or 2nd year players.

        This is intentional. Emery is trying out a lot of young guys, who all have excellent athleticism but are very short on experience. Make no mistake: the youth movement is in full effect on defense. And that will continue with what should be another defense-heavy draft this year.

        • CanadaBear

          I just wish the young guys were better.

          • I think some of them have the ability to develop but just aren’t ready. Guys like Louis-Jean and Christian Jones can both become solid starters, or at least high quality backups, but they’re still too raw. No guarantees they get there, but those are just the type of guys you want on the end of the roster. It just sucks when a ton of injuries force them into action. It sucks even worse when they outplay the starters (like Jones has with Shea). Hell, even Louis-Jean apparently jumped McManis on the depth chart.

            The ideal is that a year or two from now you have Louis-Jean with some experience as your 4th CB. Then the guy behind him on the depth chart can be the new Louis-Jean, and the cycle goes on.

  • CanadaBear

    “One needed only to listen to Emery and Trest’s media session Monday to understand how the organization views Forte’s performance over the first eight games. They made it very clear featuring Forte would be the most important goal of the season’s second half., ”

    They have been saying the same shit every time Cutler has a bad game. Ain’t buying it!

  • Bears-4-Ever

    Position-By-Position is a cool idea for our Offense. I’m enjoying the read so far. I don’t even think Jeff should do the defensive players unless the grades are Shitty, Shittier & Shittiest. One thing it will do however is frustrate me even more. QB, RB, TE, WR, etc. WE HAVE GREAT TALENT on the Offense. Again, we should score 30+ per game easy with our roster. Hell the defense could even improve with just a bit of rest if we could put some good time eating drives together. We aren’t and for some reason can’t. Forte can’t carry this team alone and shouldn’t have to. It’s really mind-boggling. Someone call Cower and offer him a Billion Dollars to coach the Bears for the remainder of the season. I bet he could do something with the talent we have without a playbook and just a sideline chalkboard.

    • BillW

      The McCaskeys have input on who is the head coach I believe. Not overt – but by some type of influence.

      That said, I seem to recall some writers suggesting they believed that Cowher would be acceptable to them. Can’t remember why.

      But would Cowher want GM-like power? If so, that’s a deal breaker.

    • SC Dave

      Most teams with good offenses are led by their QBs.

      Just sayin’

  • BillW

    I read somewhere this week that Arians was told he would need to keep certain assistants. He said “ain’t going to happen”. Can’t say it’s a true story but if so it sounded like he was turned off by the Bears. (Can’t imagine why.)

    Every time I interviewed outside of whatever company I was working for at the time, I never got an offer I declined. But I got several “parameter discussions” that led to them “no longer pursuing me”. Why? HR departments don’t want to explain why someone turned down their offer. They don’t make one unless they know it will be accepted.

    So MAYBE the Bears considered Arians but once the parameters were discussed, it fell apart.

    • Barb UMihai Mar

      So you’re saying that the Bears are a pathetic, losing franchise ?

      • johnnywad

        This statement begs the question . . . . . why are you here Barb? You seem to have nothing but disdain for the Bears. Are you a fan? I don’t get it. What is your connection/interest in this team?

        • SC Dave

          Seconded. Clue us in. Is it just that they are better than Ceausescu?

          • BillW

            Barb is my sock puppet account. (Did I say that right?})

            Ok that wasn’t funny.

          • MikeBrownhadaPosse

            Your hand isn’t very smart, BillW.

          • BillW

            Not to bring up old wounds but barb makes me sound cheerful and optimistic

          • Barb UMihai Mar

            So you posted the ‘story’ you heard that the Bears lost Arians (a big time winning HC), because they wanted him to be a puppet.

            Tell us… what did you want to say ?

          • BillW

            It was merely a piece of information – not intended as a commentary. It’s possible that they did in fact consider Arians but it didn’t work out.

            Myself – with the benefit of hindsight – I’d rather Arians. At the time I trusted that Emery made the right choice. I also trust he’ll make the right decision moving forward – I’m not down on him but do have doubts.

            I have no doubts about Trestman.

          • Barb UMihai Mar

            What I did was analyze the information. That’s what you do. Ask yourself what do they mean ? If you don’t do it you’ll always have ‘in hindsight I would have done it differently’. It’s how things happen.

        • MikeBrownhadaPosse

          Exactly. Dude is a non-stop troll.
          A nattering naboob of negativity.

          • SC Dave

            Did I ever say I like alliteration?

        • MikeBrownhadaPosse

          As soon as he gets back to the internet cafe in Ludus, you are going to get an earful in broken English. Prepare thyself.

        • Huge Bear’s Penis

          Give Barb a break… I am sure if you lived in Romania you would have a very negative outlook on everything too.

          • Barb UMihai Mar

            You live in the US of A so the Bears are a top club ? Holly shit !!! You realize they lost in historical manner 2 days ago. and

        • Barb UMihai Mar

          Ok… you have to use your brain, man. It’s difficult for me to argue on specifics if you don’t do that. There’s a big fucking difference between ‘team’ and ‘franchise’. I mean look at the Cubs fans. They are huge fans, but the franchise is a losing one.
          That begs the question… do you think they should never go on blogs and Cubs sites ?
          The concept that if you’re a fan you have to negate reality is mind blowing.

          • johnnywad

            You didn’t answer the question.

          • Barb UMihai Mar

            The question doesn’t deserve an answer to tell you the truth.
            What does being a fan, the connection/interest in the team have to do with the actual state of the club ?
            Until you understand that I have disdain for how the franchise in run and not for the management/team there’s nothing we can talk about.

      • MikeBrownhadaPosse

        You must be fun at the village festivals.

        • Barb UMihai Mar

          The festivals are only fun when your mother performs on the stage. He’s really skillful with the pole.

          • MikeBrownhadaPosse

            Hey everybody, Barb discovered “your mom” jokes!
            Let’s get him a cake.

          • Barb UMihai Mar

            It was really a father joke, but it demanded an average IQ and I guess you don’t qualify. I’ll be more low level next time. Not.

          • MikeBrownhadaPosse

            A “not” joke? Are you really Sasha Baron Cohen trolling DBB?

          • Barb UMihai Mar

            Ok… you really aren’t that bright are you ? The ‘not’ means that I’m not going to lower the level of my insults just because you can’t understand them.

          • MikeBrownhadaPosse

            I know what the “not” means…it’s the fact that your jokes are as fresh as your undergarments that is amusing.
            You fail.

    • what assistants? Trestman pretty much cleaned house.

      Unless this refers to them wanting to keep Marinelli (Bears/Trestman asked, he chose to take a temporary demotion and leave for Dallas). The only other Lovie-era coach left is Hoke, I believe.

  • Cormonster

    It’s a sad day in music for me. Tonight the Allman Brothers are playing their last show as a touring band after about 45 years. What a run! I first seen them live a little over 25 years ago and it was a mind blowing experience. They led me down a whole new musical path. Seen them many times since, last being at the Chicago Theater last fall. I figured they were about done, and had to see them one last time, and they put on an incredible show. Without a doubt one of the greatest live bands ever.

    • DocNitty(BallsStillOrnamental)

      That is sad. Any particular reason they’re hanging ’em up?

      • Cormonster

        Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks announced they were leaving the band last January. Both thought it was time and wanted to focus more on their main projects, Mule and Tedeschi Trucks Band. They wanted to go out on a high note while they were still kicking ass in live performances. They will probably play some tribute shows, but done as a touring band.

    • SC Dave

      The Allman Brothers were done in 1971 when Duane died, with the exclamation point of Barry Oakley barely more than a year later. At least in my eyes.

      • tobijohn

        I thought so too…

        • Cormonster

          They started kicking some ass again when Warren Haynes, Allen Woody, and Johnny Neal joined the band in 1989. That was my favorite lineup after the originals with Duane and Barry. Duane is a top 5 favorite guitarist. That said, they have had a lot of great years since then. Derek Trucks joined the band about 15 years ago and he rocks on guitar. Every lineup I’ve seen in the last 25 years been totally worth the money.

          • SC Dave

            It seems I should not have given up on them.

  • BerwynBomber

    Forte has been awesome. Right now he is the second best Offensive player (skills position-wise) in Bears post-60s history and he is building a near HoF resume. But the fact that he is relied on so heavily in the passing game is a small but meaningful indictment of Cutler, Trestman and the O.

  • BerwynBomber

    In terms of the PE discussion from earlier, he will ultimately be judged on two moves above all others: 1) the hiring of Trestman, and 2) the re-signing of Cutler. All others either good (Fuller, Long, Ratcliff, Young, Alshon) or bad (McClellin, Houston, Allen, no safety help) will take a backseat to Cutler and Trestman. Those two moves will, for now, determine the success or failure of PE’s tenure.

    • I really don’t think you can call Allen a bad signing. The run D has gone from the worst in the NFL in 40+ years (seriously) to average, and Houston has been one of the biggest parts of that.

      • MikeBrownhadaPosse

        I think you sign a premier pass rusher to improve your pass defense – open and shut, he hasn’t gotten it done at all this year. Hopefully, with the bye week, he’s eating his wheaties and pounding carbs.

        • what premier pass rushers were available last year?

          The top 2 were Jared Allen and DeMarcus Ware. He signed one of them, the one who actually looked less washed up.

          Also, I don’t think Allen’s been as bad this year as everybody thinks. He certainly hasn’t been as good as I’d hoped, but it’s not a coincidence that Chicago’s worst DL performance of the year came against GB when he wasn’t playing.

          • MikeBrownhadaPosse

            It’s not a bad signing because we could have signed Ware?
            That’s a reach, maing. He hasn’t produced – maybe he gets a partial pass because he was playing on one lung early in the year, but you can’t say he’s been worth it so far.

          • you said he should have signed a premier pass rusher. I’m saying he got the best one out there.

            Premier pass rushers very rarely hit the open market.

          • MikeBrownhadaPosse

            I’m saying you sign one to improve your pass rush; his impact on the run game would be a bonus, if it was there.
            He has not improved our pass rush, therefore it’s not a stretch to call it a bad signing.
            You said you wouldn’t call it a bad signing; I’m saying, so far, it has been.

          • I mis-typed. I was trying to say Houston, not Allen.

            We were both talking about completely different things, which was entirely my fault. Sorry.

          • CanadaBear

            Houston is over paid but he really does help against the run.

          • MikeBrownhadaPosse

            Well, he did.

          • and I’ve got the stats to prove it (coming next week).

            Sorry, shameless self promotion, but I’m super excited about the stuff I’ve got coming next week. 6 great articles:

            1) Film breakdown of Cutler’s INTs to figure out what went wrong and what’s needs to change
            2) Breakdown of how often and how effectively the Bears run the ball to different areas of field
            3) Breakdown of how often and how effectively Bears pass the ball to different areas of the field.
            4) Breakdown of how often and how effectively other teams run at the Bears in different areas of field (this is where Houston shows up)

            5) Breakdown of how often and how effectively other teams pass at the Bears in different areas of the field.
            6) Breakdown of down and distance tendencies for Trestman’s play calling (spoiler alert: the numbers suggest he’s not doing a very good job in some situations)

            Lots of good stuff.

      • BerwynBomber

        You might be right. To be honest I was playing loose and fast with good vs. bad. But I stand by my Cutler/Trestman ultimate judgment thing … however it works out.

    • Barb UMihai Mar

      That’s harsh. The ‘Houston, Allen and no safety help’ part. The DL is strong for a reason and I wouldn’t call Mundy and Vereen busts. They are solid players.

  • Trac

    What, we didn’t trade for a kick ass center today?

  • SC Dave

    You guys are fucking killing me, week after week. The primary changes on offense between 2013 and 2014 are:
    1) Aaron Kromer is now offensive coordinator
    2) Jay Cutler has a “franchise” contract.

    Yet the vast majority have nothing more to say about it than “Trestman sucks”.

    Really? Is that that ALL YOU GOT?

    • SC Dave

      Oh, and Matt Forte is the best offensive player on the Chicago Bears since Walter Payton. And if not for the latter, *at least* as far back as Gayle Sayers.

      • so we’re just going to ignore vincent tobias evans?

        • SC Dave

          Hopefully 🙂

    • kromer was OC last year, too, but trestman called the plays. where do you see that play calling is on kromer now? i searched but can’t find anything.

      • SC Dave

        Perhaps I’m that senile (seriously, quite a possibility!), but was not Kromer offensive line coach last season?

        • he’s been OL coach/OC since signing in CHI, but he’s assumed more traditional OC responsibilities this year as Trestman has spent more time focusing on the defense.

          I’d like to see Trestman go back to being the de facto OC like last year and let the D coaches run the D.

    • MikeBrownhadaPosse

      Kromer was named OC/Offensive line coach, but Trestman had play calling responsibility last year.
      Per news stories, Kromer is more involved in the passing aspect of game planning, but Trestman still has the head set.
      So, net-net, I think it’s still on Trestman.

  • As long as we’re talking about Emery, here’s one thing I’ve been thinking about a lot lately:

    His moves last offseason didn’t make a ton of sense to me. You don’t give a 31 year old Cutler a huge contract and pay big $$ to bring in Allen unless you think you can compete now.

    But most of his moves have been more about building for the future, including spending his top 3 picks on players he hoped would be backups this year and consistently choosing to keep young players with upside over more proven backups and STers who can help more now.

    Make up your mind. If you’re gonna build for the future, he should have traded Cutler, re-signed McCown, and told Trestman to pick his favorite QB in the draft. If you’re gonna win now, you should have kept a few more experienced backups and STers on defense for when injuries hit.

    • BillW

      Excellent post.

    • BerwynBomber

      But didn’t Cutler’s salary and the D FA money (Allen/Houston/Young) limit their ability to sign back-ups and STers. I assumed, financially, that was the case. There is only so much scratch to go around.

      • Huge Bear’s Penis

        no the $16M in dead money, mostly from Angelo’s awful contracts, limited what they could do. you got to realize even though they cut Peppers he still counted over $8M against the cap, and Michael Bush counted $2M against the cap.

        While this year the cap hits are as follows for Allen $3M, Houston $5M, Young$2.6M

        Also, Cutler restructured his contract to open up money for Allen. If there were other players out there that we had a chance with they would have found a way to sign them.

        • johnnywad

          Indeed. If there’s one constant amongst Bears front office folk, its Cliff.

    • Barb UMihai Mar

      Emery built to win now and in the future. He signed Allen because he didn’t have a true leader in the D room, DC included. He wanted to add some ‘weight’.
      I think he should have just brought in a DC with real leadership traits, but I can’t fault him for not dropping Tucker as a scape goat for last season.

  • BillW

    Mulligan has an article in the trib saying also that arians was asked to keep an assistant namely rod. Mully said arians wasn’t against it but couldn’t see him staying after lovie was fired.

    Also said arians was miffed about being asked to do a mock press conference. Insulting since he did many during his coach of the year run.

    Mully concludes the Bears were more concerned about image than winning (I would say AS concerned) but more telling that they were out of touch with their staff given marinelli left despite the Bears wanting him to stay.

    Reminiscent somewhat of the Dave McGinnis fiasco.

    This is a storied franchise but none of the heirs to Papa Bear have enough football knowledge to be successful. I thought George would be our Rocky Wirtz

    • BillW

      It just feels like the Bears picked Trestman because they knew arians would turn them down.

  • TheBigCheesy

    Jeff, your Around the League Tweets are a great. You should keep them up.

    Dudes, Phil Emery is a clown. I’m not talking about his draft resume here, I’m just talking about the shit he spews from his mouth. A few examples:

    1. That whole “dust on the highway” gibberish he choked down last year at his press conference. Anybody have a clip of it? Seriously, what the fuck was that? Awkwarrrrd.

    2. Defining an “Elite Quarterback” as a player with a winning record. Sweet jesus. Of all the stupid shit said during the infinitely stupid and endless debate about who is “elite,” that turd of a statement takes the cake. I understand that he needs to defend his Quarterback, but that’s not helping anyone’s cause.

    3. Using the Chicago Bears .625 home winning percentage over the last few years in support of the Soldier Field turf. First of all Phil, you fucknut, home field advantage comes from several factors such as: familiarity, the crowd, pressure on the referees…not the fucking turf. Second of all, people aren’t complaining about the turf because they think it’s costing the Bears wins, they’re complaining because it’s a fucking embarrassment you putz. Third, and most importantly, .625 is a shitty home winning % even for an average team like the Bears YOU FUCKING MORON. You know how many teams had a .600+ winning % at home last year? EIGHTEEN. Seriously, the worst part about this was he actually typed this out on his little chat thingy. He actually had time to reread what he had just spewed out before pressing “submit”. Derp.

    4. Phil’s “research project” — his words, not mine. What the fuck was that? Why would you look up the Bears record when Jay Cutler and Brian Urlacher are both on the field and compare it to the records of the team when one of them is injured? What the fuck is the point of that? More importantly, how the FUCK is that an appropriate response to a question about Urlacher’s comments last week? What are you doing?

    Is that what it takes to get a GM gig these days? Can I just log on to pro football reference, cherry pick some neat statistical trends using a small sample size, and get out Virginia McCaskey’s checkbook?

    • TheBigCheesy

      With that said, Ted Thompson doesn’t do himself any favors when he gets in front of a microphone either, and lord knows that creep can roll on draft day. I dunno, maybe brains get in the way sometimes….DITKA!

      Wearing glasses doesn’t make Phil Emery “cerebral”, and neither does his regurgitation of Pro Football Focus grades. All of that just makes him a fucking nerd. Marc Trestman talks in circles (“I didn’t hear that, I heard bout it, I didn’t hear all of it, but from what I did hear, I didn’t hear any of that”) but at least you can tell he’s an intelligent guy most of the time. He seems to be out of place as the patriarch of an NFL locker room, but he’s definitely got a lot going on upstairs. Maybe too much.

      • BerwynBomber

        So Cheesy, any unrest up there with Capers? Your run D is worst-in-the-league atrocious.

        • TheBigCheesy

          A lot of people are tired of him. I’ll probably always like him. Run defense was pretty fucked when Raji went down. Our defense has been fine this year. We just struggle with great QBs, but we always have. Most teams do

      • Barb UMihai Mar

        Maybe Ted Thompson should have regurgitated some Pro Football Focus grades before they offered BJ Raji $ 8M/year. Luckily that moron turned down the offer.
        Truth is when you’re good, you’re also lucky. So there’s that.

        That being said not all GMs are blessed with having Farve as their QB when named the GM. Some would say Ted Thompson did a rather poor job until now as a GM. Only 1 SuperBowl in 10 years with big time QBs at the helm isn’t mind blowing. What saves him is the Rodgers pick and rightfully so.

        These are Ted Thompson’s first 2 years record as a Packer GM… 4-12 and 8-8. What ? With Farve as a QB ? Coming after 3 seasons of division wins ?

        If you take the roster Emery constructed in his first 2 years and give it to a Farve or a Rodgers they’ll win 2 SB in the next 3 years.

        • TheBigCheesy

          First of all, I said I wasn’t speaking about his draft resume.

          Second of all, Jerry Angelo won a Superbowl?

          The Rodgers pick “saves him”? No, no, no.. Rodgers MAKES him. Do you have any idea how huge that draft pick was? Do you have any idea the guts it took to choose Rodgers as his 1st pick ever as a GM, with Favre on his roster? Do you understand how hard it was to send Favre packing in 2008 with Rodgers never having started a game? Rodgers is statistically the greatest QB to every play the game in terms of efficiency… and it’s not even close.

          Ted Thompson also won a Superbowl with 18 players on Injured reserve. The Packers lead the league in injuries over the last 4-5 years by a wide margin and it’s his depth that keeps them on top of the division. Is he the best GM in the league? Probably not, although I used to think he might be.

          More importantly though, did you seriously just use the first two years of a General Manager’s tenure to evaluate him? Did you seriously just do that? Do you understand how football works?

          • Barb UMihai Mar

            I’ve never said Angelo won a SuperBowl. I said he had 1 SuperBowl appearance and 2 NFC Championship appearances in his first 9 years as a Bears GM. Exactly like Thompson. While starting with a much worst roster and without a Top 10 QB in NFL history.
            It makes no difference if you win that Superbowl or not…that’s out of the hands of the GM. His job is to get you there.

            I get all the love for the Rodgers pick. But you’re exaggerating the brilliance of the pick. The risk was minimal, he could sit him behind Farve and he had the power to take such a ‘risk’.

            Other GMs don’t have that luxury. Have Farve, pick a 1st round Qb, sit him for 3 years. So, while it’s a bonus for Thompson it’s not a negative on other GMs.

            About the records in the first 2 years of the GMs. Well Emery is in his 3rd year as a GM. He had an 18-14 record in his first 2 years. Without having Farve at the helm. Thompson’s record was 12-20 with Farve. It’s difficult to call Emery a clown and Thompson as one of the best based on these facts. You can’t compare 9 years of Thompson against 2 of Emery. It has to be 2 and 2.

            You’re so Rodgers star struck you’re going to exaggerate stuff. Like Thompson the best GM in the NFL. That’s highly insane. He’s the GM for 9 years now. In that time frame the
            – Steelers GM Kevin Colbert has 2 SB wins and 3 AFC Championship appearances with a worst QB
            -Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome has 1 SB and 3 AFC Championship appearances with a worst QB
            – Giants GM Jerry Reese has 2 SB and 2 NFC Championship appearances with a worst QB.

            PS: Patriots Bill Belichick has 5 SB and 8 AFC appearances in the last 13 years with an equal QB.

            Think about it… the more you’re loving Rodgers as a historically great QB the more you’re digging Thompson as a GM. Based on how football works. Superbowls.

          • TheBigCheesy

            You’re not very bright.

    • BerwynBomber

      Yeah, the whole Cutler/Urlacher played well together answer was part-stretching/part-dissembling. (One could have said the same thing about Orton/Urlacher or Grossman/Urlacher.) PE should have said that the organization respects Brian’s opinion as one of the best Bears ever and values his continued interest in the franchise but in this case we disagree with him. Mind, I think Urlacher was more right than PE but there was way to stick to your guns without managing to look even sillier.

  • Barb UMihai Mar

    Lot’s of ‘naive’ users on this blog really have a problem with me throwing the bullshit out of the way and saying the things as I really see them about the Bears. And about what’s really wrong with the Bears. The problem is obvious and it start from the very top. The Bears are a dysfunctional franchise and it’s because the owners are pathetic. Stop negating the facts because it’s unproductive. It’s what fans must do. Talk about it. Also…fuck you !!!

    Here’s an exchange that took place Monday 10/27/14 on Carmen and Jurko on ESPN 1000. I’ll transcribe the words of Jeff Dickerson who covering the Bears for 10 years now and seems like a good one, as a professional and a fan. He’s good, really good. He’s an Bears expert and he depends on them in doing his job. Not a smart play in alienating the hierarchy.

    The exchange starts at 00.17.45 and you can find it here http://espn.go.com/espnradio/chicago/podcast/archive?id=3095452

    ” JD: Guys, let’s cut to the chase. This loss was… you saw this coming a mile away… how could you not ? Guys, people wonder…

    Carmen: I didn’t think it was going to be 51-23…

    JD: Guys, guys… I know the initial reaction is shock and all, I understand that, because it’s such a horrible loss, but LET’S REALLY THINK ABOUT IT for a second here. THE PATRIOTS ARE A DIFFERENT LEVEL FRANCHISE THAN THE BEARS. That’s a hard thing for people, in this market to hear, the second largest market in the NFL, the charter franchise of the League. Guys… the Bears have made the playoffs 5 times since 1994. They’ve won 4 playoff games since 1994. Four !

    Carmen: That’s 20 years.

    JD: Tom Brady has won 18 playoff games himself.

    Carmen: So you’re saying he’s better ?

    JD: And… Belichick… I’m sorry Parcells had the patriots in the 90s and they went to the SB lost against the Packers, so these are NOT SAME LEVEL FRANCHISES and you could point to injuries, but the Patriots didn’t have Jones, Mayo, Ridley, but it doesn’t matter for them because they have the most important pieces to the puzzle.They’ve got great ownership in Robert Kraft, a great HC in Belichick and a great QB in Tom Brady. End of story. SO PEOPLE GO “WHY ARE THE BEARS ALWAYS RUNNING IN PLACE?” Well is it really all that of a surprise when you’re going on the 30 year anniversary next year of winning a SB and you’ve made the playoffs 5 times in 20 years ?

    Carmen: No ! And people are still celebrate that victory like, you know, like it just happened. It’s sickening, I mean… That’s all we have, so…

    JD: I don’t mind those guys, you know, it’s something that a market this size, it’s not like in Nashville where no one cares, Jacksonville where no one cares, you know, Oakland is just an abyss, I mean they were great back in the day, but now it’s a different story

    Carmen: You talk about ownership. I mean, maybe we, maybe we don’t talk about it enough, we talk about the coach and you know…ownership does have something to do with it. I’ll just never understand how, as you put it JD, this market, this charted franchise, how is such a, I mean it really is a mom and pop organization, it’s so small minded and when you start thinking about the historic franchises of this League, the Packers who constantly win, the Steelers who’ve won 6 SB, even the Giants, when you talk about the historical franchises, they all succeed… and we -as Bears fans- are stuck with this, we’re stuck with SMALL MINDEDNESS AND BOTTOM LINE THINKING, NO RISK TAKING WHATSOEVER, IT’S SO RISK DIVERSION… instead of hiring a guy like Arians who is a red ass risk taker that’s winning in the desert… instead of doing that we’re left as Bears fans with this.

    Jurko: They’re doing everything they can to avoid Ditka 2

    Carmen: It’s so disgusting
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    JD: The Bears are in the same spot, they’re not going anywhere. They’re just stuck

    Jurko: Most people don’t have to hire a firm to consult who should you hire as an HC, because you have solid football people within your organization that can point you in the right direction

    Carmen: They didn’t do that this time, did they. They did that when they hired Lovie

    JD: They did it to hire Angelo

    Jurko: The Bears owners are members of the lucky sperm club…

    Carmen: Its a mom and pop club, small minded…

    Jurko: They’re just lucky to be the offspring of somebody that was interested in football. They were the offspring of Papa Bear Halas. These members of the lucky sperm club have no idea about anything when it comes to football, except they know at the end of the year there are big checks coming down the pipeline that the hole family can go ahead and share it.

    So, all you lot can go and fuck yourself if you don’t understand that the Bears aren’t winning when they restrict their GM (even a very competent one in Emery) in what kind of team and stile of football he can use – because that’s what a land of shit called field does, restricts- and in what kind of coach he can bring in. That thing engulfs every aspect of the organization. Bear fans should meet in thousands before Hallas Hall or the Mayors Office and DEMAND field turf and changes in general. They pay the most expensive prices in order to see a finesse team play in a land of crap. That’s bad. That’s the Bears franchise.

    PS: For all you hillbillies talking about me being from Romania a 3rd world country (true), a big village (true) let me show you what fan power really means around these parts.
    The local soccer team had some dispute with the league. The fans took over the cities main plaza (little history… here’s where the ’89 Revolution against Ceausescu basically started, dead bodies and all that).
    You can see here a little video of the fans… Newsflash: the FUTURE mayor showed up.

    • Bears-4-Ever

      Ok so I read your whole triad and what I can gather in a nut shell is you think the biggest problem the Bears Franchise has is the current Ownership. I totally agree with that and if you look back in some of my posts here over the years I’ve basically said the same thing. However, I did not need a 1000 word dissertation in which I call the bloggers here names and insult everyone. you start doing that and no matter how good your point is, you fail, because you come off as a total ass.

      salutări

      • Barb UMihai Mar

        I’m glad you read it and understood my points.
        The insults were for a bunch of wankers on the blog that don’t want to read, understand, but instead talk smack about me as a fan and as an individual. You can find their responses below. So, you bet I’m going to call them that. It’s who they are.

        Ciao.

    • MikeBrownhadaPosse

      Getting you wound up is way too easy.

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