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

| July 26th, 2015

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

#4 Contract Years. 

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

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

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

#3 John Fox.

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

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

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

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  • The GP

    If Foxy can create chemistry in this locker room, after last year and having Cutler, then he – in my opinion – should get elevated to that Chuck Noll, Landry, Shula ring of honor.

    • Big Mike

      Wouldn’t that be the bomb. Take this team to the Superbowl. HOF lock in my book.

      • Scharfinator

        Jay Cutler is wearing an oversized shirt and hat that both proclaim the unlikely, but inspired victory of the Chicago Bears in the Super Bowl. His teammates are jovial, celebrating and hugging one another, smiling all the way. Only Jay holds his poise. When he is handed the Lombardi, he frowns, unsure of how to feel. Then he hands it back to the talking heads and sullenly walks from the stage. All are silent.

        ….”Don’t caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaare” echoes through the stadium.

        • The GP

          “Jay, how do you feel now? Do you feel vindicated?”

          “yeah… what-EVER”

        • “You’re going to Disneyland!”

          Jay, shrugs, lights up a smoke, “I guess.”

  • 505Bears

    Big payday for Forte? Not at his age and doubtful he gets the crazy amount of touches given Foxy likes to use multiple RBs….I do like me some Alshon, but not on the level of numbnut Bryant or Thomas….Reaching here, but at least it was a good read based on football and not about Foxy changing his socks or which way Baby Jay parts his hair.

    • I do wonder where Alshon will land contractually. He doesn’t SEEM like Bryant/Thomas/Greene/Julio…then again, Cutler threw a shit load to Bmarsh/Forte/Bennett.

      To me, it’s

      Megatron (his own tier)

      Julio Jones/Greene/

      Thomas, Bryant, and lots of others like GB WRs, ODB, Antonio Brown, etc

      Then, maybe Alshon.

      If Alshon blows up this year for 90 + catches/1,400 yds/10+ TDs, he’ll vault up to that Dez territory.

      But as the Scrooge Bengals Owner once remarked, keep their stats down and sign them for cheap!

  • Improving by 6 wins when you’re starting at 1 or 2 is a whole different ball game than when you’re starting at 5.

    I think a 2-3 win improvement is much more likely.

    • Aaron T. Starks

      I predict 8-8 is the floor for this team. This team should’ve had at least that record last year but was so poorly coached that 5 is all they could produce. The goal for Fox and Co. is to get 2 or more wins beyond the 8 they should have anyway.

      • I think 8-8 this year will be a tremendous accomplishment. It’s a tough schedule and they lack depth in many areas, and talent in a few.

  • The GP

    Today is a bad day to be a fan of the NFL. It’s one of those manifestly evil decisions that Roger makes that, frankly, has me teetering on a walk away. I don’t mean to keep harping on that, but this season I am really thinking of checking out.

    Why so glum?

    Roger has told Junior Seau’s family they cannot speak at his Canton induction. They are concerned that they will bring up their lawsuit against the NFL and bring up CTE, even if the speech is pre-approved, they are worried that his daughter Sydney, will just jump off script and start blasting the league’s handling of CTE. So, instead, he gets a video retrospective at the podium.

    Frankly, it would be nice to live in a world where former HOFs, guys like Namath and Singletary – spoke up at this stage – and came out against not allowing a family to speak at a deceased HOF inductee, no matter what the subject. But they won’t. They rather silence their critics or use intimidation tactics against doctors doing CTE research, as has been documented in the FRONTLINE documentary.

    So, it’s with that I may check out of the NFL. Why this is the straw I don’t know, certainly there has plenty of hay over the last two years piled on. I was hoping the NFL would start this season in a new way, but the idea that Goodell is there to promote transparency is a joke. He’s there to protect ownership. And that’s why he stays. It’s increasingly hard to abide a sport that actively destroys human lives this way.

    • BearDown100393

      The Goodell-bot only does what the owners programmed into it.

      • Trac

        But look at the Brady ruling. The NFL has to write a 400 page report to avoid losing a lawsuit filed by a prima Donna player that cheated.

      • Yes, Goddell is only the mirage in the Wizard of Oz. The 32 owners are the one’s behind the curtain pulling the lever.

        It’s an odd dupe on the general fan.

        Everyone universally hates the Commish, but love their owners.

        As a Bears fan, my question is – who in Halas hall approved the concussion cover-up?

        Was it Virginia? Was it George? Was it Sweaty Teddy?

        Someone had to OK it when the 32 owners got together like the 5 NY families.

        And look at the consequence of that decision. Seau – Duerson, McMahon – just to name a few.

        Soft hits.

    • I thought this take on that issue was phenomenal.

      http://grantland.com/the-triangle/silenced-the-nfl-hall-of-fames-junior-seau-bungle/

      Several poignant quotes in here.

      “The NFL manages to split the difference between being cruel and being inhumane by being both at the same time.”

      And then this gem of a final paragraph: “It is an offense against decency and against history to soft-peddle how that life ended, and to soft-peddle the “issues” that led Seau to kill himself. Let his daughter celebrate his life, but let her also acknowledge and mourn his death if she wishes to do so — because Junior Seau quite literally gave his life to football. His family knows it. The league knows it. Every football fan in America knows it. Every other Hall of Famer who will be on the dais knows it, and the ones still healthy know how lucky they have been so far and likely wonder how long their luck will hold out. Professional football has an ongoing existential crisis, and it has nothing to do with how much air there was in a football one cold night in January. Professional football still dares not look at this crisis squarely and honestly. It is blind to the circumstances of the dead and deaf to the pleas of the living. I do not suspect the NFL of wagging the dog, but, on this issue, it continues to screw the pooch rather spectacularly.”

      • The GP

        Great stuff, thanks Data.

      • Trac

        But wait, isn’t the family suing the NFL?

        • BearDown100393

          The Seau family rejected the class action settlement and continued their own. This was largely done as a matter of principle. The family was upset that the NFL negotiated its way out of having to disclose how these retired players are dying. The NFL does not want the truth told to you, me or anyone else.

          • Trac

            This is all about the money now, on both sides.

          • It sounds like the Seaus want disclosure more than $. If they did simply want to cash out, they would’ve joined the class action law suit and got bought out.

            But it seems like they want to expose the NFL more than $. If so, good on them. It’s not easy turning down millions in your back account no matter who you are.

          • SC Dave

            Not if they thought they could get more money later.

          • BearDown100393

            I won’t argue but I think we’ll have to agree to disagree. If it was only about money, the Seau family probably (not absolutely sure) would have cashed out on the settlement. It is an uphill battle for them to win this case after nearly everyone else bowed out on that deal. The NFL has money. A lot of it. And it doesn’t mind to spend billions to keep its dirt a secret. IMO this is about disclosure. As a football fan, I ask, “How bad is the real truth? What are they hiding?” More than we may all know.

    • Trac

      Sho me Da Monaaay!!!

    • Trac

      The game sucks today when compared to the glory days of the past, and is just a shadow of its former self.

      Most old timers keep hanging around out of habit and memories. Today would be a good time to walk away, to cut the cord.

      • That’s the thing Trac. in the “glory days” that’s when the NFL was suppressing info on concussions while passing out pain killers like candy on halloween – just ask Jim McMahon.

        It’s criminal really, not just on the NFL level, but at that time I was on pop warner and we viewed concussions as getting off lucky, as ‘ringers’. Some would just “walk it off’ ‘clear the cobwebs’ and get right back to practice.

        Or at a highschool level too. It was common to hit someone and feel a little woozy from time to time or see some stars or fade to white a bit, and we would just keep on practicing in that summer heat.

        Luckily, I never suffered a bad concussion, but I can’t imagine the millions affected from pop warner to college who were damaged by the NFL’s sinister cover-up to protect its profit.

      • BearDown100393

        The NFL is a mafia.

    • I read that, but I thought the issue was that they didn’t allow family to give speeches as a rule? Though I’m not entirely informed on that point.

      But yes, obviously, NFL is protecting their own ass.

      Also, Will Smith is starring in an upcoming movie entitled “Concussion” exploring that very issue, and the NFL can’t control that “liberal engineering machine” Hollywood, perhaps the only other industry as powerful. Word is, the NFL think tank is already strategiszing ways to damage control that movie.

      I think ultimately the NFL will cave in to public pressure to let her speak. A lot of talking heads and journalists and even former players are already publicly flogging the NFL for that decision, and they’ll cave, imo.

      Still doesn’t make their stand right, but you gotta view the NFL as billionaire beast. It only cares about survival and profit, nothing more. Every november it puts on pink to pretend to be more feminine and altruistic.

      • BearDown100393

        Will Smith already ruined Ali’s legacy (face it that movie was equal parts boring and stupid). His cross dressing kid ruined karate. And now he is going to ruin football. What’s next?

        • Waffle

          You can bash Cutty all you want but when you start bashing the master,

          Mr. Michael Mann then you’ve crossed the line my friend.

      • The GP

        I read that, but I thought the issue was that they didn’t allow family to give speeches as a rule?

        I’m not sure what you are saying: Walter Payton had his son give his induction speech, so it happens all the time.

        • Yeah, I remembered that as I was typing, but I thought that was an exception cuz it was sweetness.

          Either way, the NFL doesn’t want her up their tearing up, personalizing the concussion issue. Right now to the avg fan it’s mostly abstract – legal minutia and newspaper clippings, but if she gets up there and starts bawling while the video montage of Seau is playing in the background, I think that might be the beginning of the end. I think that’s what the NFL fears.

          It’s sorta like that pic of the monk setting himself on fire. Sometimes it takes a face to end injustice.

          (and on that analogy, the NFL would be the Vietnam’s tone deaf callus Madame Nhu)

      • Huge Bear’s Penis

        as far as family giving speeches that is not the rule. I am pretty sure that a lot of players had their kids give their introductions. didn’t sweetness’s son give his introduction?

  • Trac

    Just saw a weird lawsuit commercial. What the heck would classify someone as suffering from a transgenic mesh product?

    • Sactowns#1

      They can cause reoccurring infections.

      • Trac

        Trans vaginal mesh?

        • Sactowns#1

          “Women were told it would be a quick and easy fix for pelvic organ prolapse or incontinence. A simple, hammock-like piece of mesh would be implanted through the vagina to support pelvic organs. What they weren’t told was about all of the complications that can arise after surgery — problems that are both painful and difficult to fix.” infections, the mesh tearing through the walls and exposing organs, causing nerve damage, bleeding etc.
          It’s pretty gnarly and those ladies that underwent that should be PAID!!

    • EnderWiggin

      Most hernia patients from about 5-15 years ago had a fakeish skin/muscle
      that was a mesh placed over the hernia during surgery – just to hold
      the insides in. The product was shit and tons of folks who got the
      old-type mesh are having problems.
      The last few years they are using a new mesh to hold the insides, supposedly will last forever.

      • Yikes!
        I recently feared I got a slight hernia, but maybe my balls are just getting old! Hard to tell, really.
        I wish I could smelt them in gold to preserve them forever…

      • AlbertInTucson

        “,,,a new mesh to hold the insides, supposedly will last forever.”

        Or until the next round of lawsuits.

    • BearDown100393

      Ever try microwaving yourself with one of those inside you?

  • Sactowns#1
  • I think with Alshon we have to face a bigger philosophical issue:

    Do we want to allocate our resources to TWO stud WRs?

    Can you think of the last team that won a SB with even ONE big time WR?

    I know we can get away with 3-4 years of White on his rookie contract, and by then maybe we let go of Alshon and pay White, but it’s something we should think about esp if Wilson/Royal emerge as viable options (assuming naturally White pans out).

    Also, think about this. That major cash that will go to Alshon can buy a quality defensive stud in FA next year (maybe Mo Wilkerson), while we ride with White/Royal/Wilson.

    So, should we ride with White/Royal/Wilson (draft pick) + Mo Wilkerson (theoretically) and let Alshon walk? No doubt he’ll start somewhere, and the Bears can get an additional compensatory 3rd on top of using that $ to upgrade the D.

    I know it’s difficult to let homegrown talent walk (and a lil cold hearted also), but the new regime has to at least think about where it wants to go as a team – what sort of identity they want to forge – what sorta team will it take to win a SB and not just get wins during the regular season.

    • you only get comp. picks if what you lose is greater than what you bring in. Seeing as they’ll have tons of $$ to spend next year and no homegrown talent except Alshon to spend it on, they won’t get comp. picks if he walks.

      If Alshon’s not part of the future, that’s ok. Trade him NOW. He’d bring back a 2nd, maybe even a 1st. The closer he gets to FA, the less his value is for the Bears. They either pay more to re-sign him or lose him for less compensation.

      • or better yet, don’t waste a top 10 pick on White and grab another stud there instead. But it’s too late, and I look forward to watching Vic Beasley become a stud in ATL and getting pissed he’s not a Bear.

      • ah, I think you’re right. We would have to abstain from signing a big FA next off-season. For some reason I thought that simply allowing a big time player go would automatically reap a compensatory pick.

        I think you’re right with trading Alshon. Between now and last preseason game would be ideal time to do it. It’s a new regime, so they have the perfect excuse to do it (but only for a 2nd or better, what we invested in him).

        Off the top of my head, maybe the 9ers who are always competing with Hawks in FA and desperately need a big WR.

        The other point to ponder is that WRs are rolling off the College assembly line ready made (and cheap). Was last year a fluke or a trend?

        If it was a trend we can probably find a gem WR in later rounds. Or 2nd tier WRs are always cheap and available in FA.

        • there’s no evidence yet it was a trend. Nothing building up to it from previous years. I say fluke.

  • In other NFL news… Brady appeal denied. Suspended 4 games.

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/07/28/beady-makes-bad-situation-worse-by-admitting-to-destroying-phone/

    Turns out Brady also destroyed his cell instead of handing it over.
    He should’ve been suspended the entire year just for that alone.

    I’m sure barb is weeping in his Ciucas muttering something about “if you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying”…

    And the winner of the interwebs today goes to…

    gabrosin:

    “Everyone, relax. Brady only destroyed the phone because he was trying to lose weight.”

    Zing!

    • BerwynBomber

      The first Goodell decision I have agreed with in years.

      • BearDown100393

        Goodell or the owners who told him what to do?

      • SC Dave

        Far too light a penalty for a career of cheating.

    • AlbertInTucson

      Is this the “The dog ate my cellphone” defense?

      Absolutely idiotic move on Brady’s part.

      He made the decision EASY for Goodell.

      Now it’s no longer about whether he ordered the balls deflated or not.

      Now it’s ALL about destroying evidence.

      So, you want to go to court now, Tommy?

      Fine.

      I believe there’s a legal term about “unclean hands” or such that the phone destruction now qualifies you for.

      • BerwynBomber

        The court threats are pure bluff. The moment sworn testimony is about to happen they will pull the plug. No way Team Brady wants those equipment manager dudes taking the stand and raising their right hands …

        • AlbertInTucson

          Brady might as well have said “Yeah, I did it.”

    • BearDown100393

      People intentionally break their cell phones all the time. I’m sure Brady’s was under warranty. He just wanted to get a free upgrade.

      • Huge Bear’s Penis

        pretty sure Brady found an old Spygate memo between Goodell and the Pats on how to destroy evidence.

  • AlbertInTucson

    “DaBearsBlog @dabearsblog
    Tom Brady launched a hundred dollar cover-up for a ten cent crime.”

    And as we all KNOW..

    “The cover-up is always worse than the crime.”

    • BearDown100393

      Jake would never care enough to cheat like a real champion such as Tom….

      • AlbertInTucson

        That SLACKER!

  • AlbertInTucson

    “DaBearsBlog @dabearsblog
    I wonder how many people could have been fed or clothed or housed with the money NFL & Brady have paid lawyers over this absolute bullshit.”

    Apparently not as many as one would think if you are former Cleveland Cavalier, J.R.Smith, who recently said his family would struggle on $6M+ annually.

  • Waffle

    Jeff, every 6.50 you spend on Guinness at the bar could be used to feed a kid that doesn’t have anything to eat.

  • AlbertInTucson

    The 4-Letter’s legal eagle, Roger Cossack, said tonight on PTI that he would have advised Brady that he does NOT have a much of a chance of winning his lawsuit OR getting an injunction and that the NFL beat him to the punch by filing a request for the courts to affirm their action. The NFL filed in New York, establishing jurisdiction for the case and pre-empting Brady from filing his injunction with a Patriot-Friendly judge in Boston or Massachusetts.

    I, for one, hope Mr. Cossack is correct.

    • Also, taking it to federal court will mean Brady and his two stooges might have to testify under oath, and that his electronic records (texts that didn’t get destroyed with his cell) might be hunted down.

      I for one WANT Brady to take it to court. See what happens, Tom.

      My guess. He’s bluffing and will ultimately make some BS excuse to cave in like his owner did.

      Like someone else said, there’s a reason Kraft folded faster than a greased accordion, but hey, obviously Tommy isn’t as savvy, though I’m sure Bill and Kraft will put the smack down on their golden boy lest they risk THEM going down with Tommy boy.

      • AlbertInTucson

        Can you say “Discovery” boys and girls?

        I don’t think Tommy wants to go THERE, either.

  • AlbertInTucson

    Riddle me this.

    Wouldn’t the two mopes Brady was texting have his texts in THEIR phone records?

  • AlbertInTucson

    Show of hands.

    How many think Brady would have probably just gotten off with a slap-on-the-wrist fine and a “Now, don’t do THAT any more, Tommy” if right from the get-go he’d just said “Sure, I had the adjust the footballs for my grip. I didn’t honestly didn’t think it was a big deal.”

    • BerwynBomber

      The irony is if he had confessed initially there is a good chance we would not have found out they were doing this since at least last October; i.e., Pats fans could still have fallen back on the “it didn’t affect the (Colts) outcome” argument.

      But once we found out how long it has been going on that argument no longer flies.

      Puts as asterisk next to their last championship, IMO.

  • AlbertInTucson

    Bottom Line; None of this happens if, as it should , the NFL maintained complete control of the game balls and only allowed ONE style of football for passing, punting or place kicking. Period.

    For me, the whole concept of allowing special placekicking footballs is ludicrous,

    Said it before and i say it again.

    THIS is the NFL Football. Learn to hold it, throw it, kick it or punt it as it IS or pack your gear.

  • BerwynBomber

    Don’t tell me the Sox aren’t selling because of this Boston series. Note to Kenny and Jerry: Boston pretty much sucks this year. Don’t read too much into it.

    Sox are now the worst-run franchise in the city. Decidedly so.

    • AlbertInTucson

      The White Sox caught two sinking teams to reel off 7 straight. This weekend they get the Yankees who laid 3 TDs on the Rangers in Texas tonight. Let’s see where the White Sox stand after the weekend.

    • AlbertInTucson

      Except for KC and the Sox for the last week, the rest of the A.L.Central is in retreat.

      The Tigers fell to 4th in the division tonight.

      There’s only what? A half a dozen A.L. teams over .500…?

  • Man, I have a midnight confession. I don’t think my fav player is even a Bear.
    I think it’s JJ Watt. Dude is a true manimal. He perhaps had the most dominating defensive season last year since Lawrence Taylor.
    And oh yeah, he scored some as a TE too!

    Mancrush!

    Fav Bear? I want to say Long, but then he says stupid stuff on twitter.

    To be determined…

    • Scharfinator

      Forte is mine. Marshall was. He was a distraction in terms of football, but only because he realized providing out reach to people with mental illness was more important. A realization that football wasn’t the end all, be all and so he would try to leave something better.

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