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Notes on GM Candidates: Chris Ballard, Lake Dawson & Brian Gaine

| January 6th, 2015

Kansas City Chiefs v Pittsburgh Steelers

CHRIS BALLARD, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

Sometimes other writers do your work for you. I was readying an email to former Bears scouting director Greg Gabriel to arrange a podcast re: Ballard when I came across a piece by Bucs blogger Sander Philipse. (To read the entire piece, and you should, CLICK HERE.) Here are some thoughts from Gabriel:

“Chris was a very strong defensive evaluator and he was excellent with defensive backs. And the whole time I was there, Chris cross-checked defensive backs. So he knew number one what we were looking for, number two he knew the personality of the coach, and knew if the coach could work with the kid and knew if the kid could prosper under the coach. There’s not a lot of scouts, who can do that who have that skill. That’s where he was very very strong.”

“[Charles] Tillman, that was Chris’ guy. [Cornerback] Nate Vasher we took in the fourth round from Texas. Now that’s a great example, because Chris had a very strong conviction on Nate Vasher. Nate at his pro day didn’t run very good. Now his agility drills and stuff were outstanding.”

Ballard wanted to really sell Vasher, though. He was convinced Vasher was going to be good. So he went back to Texas to time him again, and gets a tenth of a second off his time. Gabriel said “What did you do, strap jet engines to his ankles?” But Ballard really believed in Vasher, and just told Gabriel “Oh no man, he can do it. He can run real good!”

“But fact of the matter is Nate Vasher, he couldn’t run fast!” Gabriel says. “And I always harassed Ballard about that after, but he was so quick and so instinctive he became an All-Pro. Fourth-round pick and he went to the Pro Bowl!”

It wasn’t just defense, though that certainly is Ballard’s specialty. “[Running back] Matt Forte was another guy. Chris and I both had a strong conviction. Jerry (Angelo) wasn’t as sold on Forte as Chris and I were.” Forte has since made it to two Pro Bowls and has been a very large part of the Bears’ offense since being drafted.

Ballard is a former defensive coach and defensive back specialist interviewing for a job desperate for that expertise. It is one of many reasons I believe he will be the next GM of the Chicago Bears.

LAKE DAWSON, TENNESSEE TITANS

dawson_lake_ci

The top criticism of Dawson’s candidacy in Chicago has been his residing within the confines of the Tennessee Titans – a losing organization. But it has been, over the last few years, a home of his own choosing. Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean wrote about Dawson’s rejection of the Dolphins offer:

“Stephen (Ross) is a great owner, he’s passionate and he wants to win,’’ Dawson said. “But the details of the offer didn’t align with my vision. I turned it down because it wasn’t an ideal fit for my family and me.”

Dawson interviewed twice for the GM job before getting the offer. Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio also reportedly declined an offer to become the Dolphins G.M.

In addition to interviewing with the Dolphins, Dawson also interviewed for the same position with the Buccaneers earlier this month. Last offseason, he interviewed with the Rams.

Dawson is in his seventh season with the Titans, and his second as VP of player personnel. He has 19 years of NFL experience as a player and executive. With the Titans, he works with General Manager Ruston Webster on day-to-day football operations while focusing on pro and college players. He joined the Titans in 2007 as director of pro personnel and was promoted in 2011 to VP of football operations. He previously worked with the Seahawks.

Dawson went through two interviews in Miami. Two. And after putting himself through the rigors of what must be torture in front of Stephen Ross he said, “No thank you. This is not what I want.” There are two types of personnel men who impress the hell out of me in the league. Those who see a job they want and pursue it with vigor and those who reject one of the league’s thirty-two gigs because they know it’s the wrong situation. Both take balls because both involve putting oneself way out there.

Brian Gaine, Houston Texans

When Jeff Ireland was canned as GM of the Miami Dolphins, Gaine thought he had a legitimate chance to win the job.

gaine

He did not. From a Miami Herald piece:

Gaine shouldn’t be out of work long, however. One league source said that if he wanted, he could “have a job in two days max.” He might, however, wait until after the draft before signing on with another team.

Though Gaine has not spoken publicly throughout the team’s tumultuous search process, a source close to the situation said he would have stayed with the team in his current role, if asked, based on the respect and standing he had built up in the organization.

Hickey apparently didn’t see the benefit in keeping him. One theory is that Gaine had built up loyalties within the personnel department, and was seen as a leader in the organization, who was respected throughout the Davie facility. Hickey may have seen that as a negative.

Gaine is one of those interviews teams hold to pick the man’s brain, to learn his view of the organization and, yes, to steal as much information as possible.  He is a smart personnel man and a great administrator. He’ll be a GM soon enough.

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  • beninnorcal

    No one said new thread!

  • beninnorcal

    My vote is for Ballard if he’s bringing Toub with him. Not too sure about these other dudes.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Sounds like he has an eye for talent and that he’s a defensive guy in particular is very sexy.

  • TheBigCheesy

    Lake Dawson kinda looks like Doug Glanville

  • willbest

    I think I like Gaine the best. But unlike head coaching, I don’t see enough of GMing to have any sort of real opinion. With Head coaching, the HC is presumably watching the same game the rest of us are. The GM on the other hand has a whole host of information and limitations we aren’t aware of.

  • Bear Down in Tampa

    So basically he’ll be inept on offense? He better surround himself with guys that have an eye for offensive talent. We had some terrible offensive selections during the Angelo days.

  • John Doe

    Just saw this.

    Please, please, make a Jay Cutler trade happen…

    John Middlekauff‏@JohnMiddlekauff

    A source told me Mike Shanahan could take on a GM type role in Buffalo while Kyle became the head coach

    • Peanut FTW

      Orton is retiring there so that will become a real possibility.

  • AlbertInTucson

    Nothing ventured, nothing GAINEd…?

  • Peanut FTW

    The talk in a lot of the bars around Chitown for a while was all about Holmgren. Is he not even on the radar?

    • willbest

      That is an agenda being pushed by ESPN 1000

    • ErikGrogan

      He just recently decided to stay retired.

      • BillW

        Two SB appearances; one Lombardi; a street named after you in “Titletown”.

        A couple of high level jobs later with all stress and little to show for it.

        Possibly the same with any other team – and with the Bears add the stress of being compared to your own success.

        Probably a multi-millionaire. Staying retired sounds like a no-brainer.

  • BerwynBomber

    Boers and Bernstein claimed (via their sources) that Marshall will be gone regardless of the new GM/HC. Could be a matter of wishful thinking as neither is a fan of BM but Bernstein’s sources have been half-decent thus far.

    Conversely, they claimed that the Cutler decision will be left entirely up to the new GM/HC.

    • BillW

      I for one hope they are both gone. We are in rebuilding mode in all three phases anyway with a couple strong pieces on offense (Alshon, Black Uni, All-Pro Kyle) and a couple promising players on defense esp not yet All-Pro Kyle.

      A fresh start. I can live with 6-10 next year if the arrow is pointing up.

      And I’m OK with Del Rio as head coach as long as he leaves the “chopping wood” ax at home.

      • BerwynBomber

        I tend to agree that a huge purge might be the smartest move, long-term, for the franchise. Cut salary and accumulate as many draft picks as you can.

        The only reason to keep the expensive offense is if the Bears truly think they can be a contender the next year or two (and/or if they still truly believe in Cutler).

        P.S. Technically, Long is a Pro Bowler not an All-Pro. A small yet significant difference as the latter is a very select group.

        • TheBigCheesy

          yeah the difference between pro bowl and all-pro is not always huge but sometimes it’s enormous. All-pro selections are always deserving; pro bowl nods can be a joke at times.

          • BerwynBomber

            Plus, there are only (roughly) 22 guys named first-team NFL All-Pro each year whereas the Pro Bowl invitees number ~100.

            Btw, Long might have been named second team All-Pro, which is quite an achievement itself.

      • willbest

        They went 8-8 last year with the arrow pointing up. Why in Gods name would you think 6-10 with the arrow pointing up would be a good thing.

        No if they aren’t going to be pushing for a playoff bid in week 15-17 they best not win more than 2 games.

        • BillW

          Not sure I understood your point. It seems you’re saying that unless the playoffs are a real possibility, they should lose as many games as they can (“best not win more than 2”).

          I never played the game, but I suspect winning (and losing) is habitual.

          My point is if we take a calculated step back with a real plan in place, I’m OK with another losing season. Quick fixes or trying to maximize number of wins in one year doesn’t make much sense to me unless they feel they can be legit contenders.

          The Bears long term QB is not on the roster and probably won’t be next year either. Cap hit or not, Cutler is NOT the long term solution. And I personally feel his presence is more of a detriment than a asset.

          But I don’t want them to “tank”. I want them to be competitive (which would mean the arrow is pointing up) and would be OK if that doesn’t translate to a winning season next year.

          Again, my opinion only.

          • willbest

            That is my point. If you aren’t going to compete for the playoffs you shouldn’t even win. You can’t sit there and go well we are going to get 6-7 wins this year, but next year we will be a well oiled machine and expect to get 11-12 wins.

            You never know. 2015 could be the year the NFCW looks like the NFCS. Rodgers could miss 2 games to a concussion. If you aren’t in a position to get your 11 wins next year you wasted a golden opportunity. By 2016 the NFCE might be beasting.

          • BillW

            I’d defer to others on this issue, but I truly feel that a new HC needs to build up a winning attitude. Semi-intentionally losing “for the long term good” seems counter productive.

            I want them next year to win as many as they can, but I don’t want them to build a roster just to get as many wins in one year at the expense of the long term

          • willbest

            Well nobody saying cannibalize your future salary cap to go sign some overpriced free agents. But the Bears aren’t suffering from a lack of talent. Everything that is glaringly wrong with them can be fixed in one off-season. (OT, LBx2, FS, competent Def coaching). And if you get an OC that isn’t so bloody predictable, you have yourself a recipe for winning 9-10 games and competing in a couple others.

          • BillW

            I guess that’s where we disagree. I think your scenario is accurate but with Cutler /Marshall on the roster. I’d rather see them both gone. Again, my opinion. I understand your view as well.

          • BerwynBomber

            One OT spot will fix the offense?

          • BillW

            That and decent play calling. And better field position. But that assumes Cutler moves up to maybe number 12 QB in the league and Marshall behaves.

            Marshall worries me more than Cutler. I think we’re in for a real blowup with him next year.

          • willbest

            I guess he has been here 3 years without a major meltdown so he is due. But I honestly think he found a support system that works for him. I think 2014 was just about him being over stressed due to the decline in the offense, his production due to injury, a pregnant wife, and all his non-football commitments. I don’t expect him to ever be as dominant as he was, but I think 2015 will be a rebound year for him.

            They have Bellamy who is pretty fast. If they put him in the slot, Marshall is going to see a lot of single coverage with Jeffery on the field.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Nah, he was just frustrated with his ankle and his best bud playing like an ass. He’s a winner. He stood out like a sore thumb because he was the only one calling out his team for sucking. They should ALL be doing that. I’m glad he was the one showing some pride.

          • willbest

            Well I would like a FB, but those aren’t hard to come by. I was just listing positions that we need to find the right guys, not just a guy. But the offense moved the ball a lot better when they would run it on 2 & 7+ or 3 & 2-3.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Yes! Back to the I-formation. They have to bring guys up to the line to deal with it, and when they do you hit them with playaction. OCs over-analyse things too much now. Everything’s got to be new. What’s wrong with the I ?

          • Irish Sweetness

            I don’t think it would be intentional losing, Bill. If you strip your team and start re-building, the losing will happen naturally. Then one year you find yourself 10-6, and you win it the next.

          • Huge Bear’s Penis

            fans like you disgust me.

          • willbest

            That is okay, fans like you, who don’t want to compete for the playoffs every year disgust me.

          • BillW

            Well, trying to find common ground here. I’d rather build a team that is a perennial contender than trying to maximize wins in any given year. Doing that MIGHT mean a losing season or two while the pieces are being added.

          • willbest

            Look I don’t care if a team goes 6-10 next year. But if I look at the 2015 roster and the Bears traded Cutler/Marshall have a rookie QB under center, and haven’t won the Suh lottery and made a bunch of other moves to position themselves to field a top 10 D and ST, then I will determine they aren’t even trying to make the playoffs, and be thoroughly disgusted.

          • BillW

            Ditka came in 1982; Bears made the playoffs in 79 and looked like a team on the rise given the defense. Neill Armstrong was too soft. They fell apart. Ditka relaized he had to purge the soft losing attitude. he cut players that I thought were actually pretty good. He wasn’t trying to make the playoffs in 1982 – he was trying to build a winning culture based on hard work

          • Irish Sweetness

            Superbowls. The prize is a superbowl, not X playoff appearances.

      • Irish Sweetness

        I’ll take 2-14 the next three years, no probs. That’s why we need to relax on the QB issue. If we put a guy in place who can win games, that only hurts the drafts. Do we want to go 8-8 and have mediocre draft position, or get decent picks for a couple of years?

    • DaBearsBlog

      They can claim that all they want but where is he going? They are not eating his cap money next year unless they are insane.

      • BillW

        Well, this may be meaningless but George did say they have not “foreclosed” on the idea of letting him go.

        • TheBigCheesy

          george was foreclosing left and right

      • Irish Sweetness

        Titans, Jets, or a host of other teams. 17.5 a year for the next two years is not a lot for somebody to pay a QB. And if the Titans give us their top pick that gets us Leonard Williams. Every superbowl team must have a great DL first and foremost.

    • GPLDAN

      Call it the Chemo program.

    • Big Mike

      Why would you get rid of Marshall? Good chance he’s on IR anyhow. big problems cutting an injured player who is under contract. That injury he had could take 8-12 months to heal.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Given that we probably wouldn’t get much in the way of picks, I’d vote on letting him play out his contract. AJ is going to want a payday. Forte and Cutty are still worth something, Brandon not so much.

  • John Doe

    Just say no to this nepotism. He has been selling his son as HC and himself as foobtall czar in a package deal to 49ers, Raiders and Bills.

    Ian Rapoport @RapSheet · 2h2 hours ago

    Doesn’t sound like Mike Shanahan will stop at three interviews. The #Bears, when they hire a GM, are expected to interview for HC him, too

    • BerwynBomber

      Thinking Ballard is a fait accompli as the new Bears GM given the Jets news yesterday. One would also think that means Toub as HC, although Hub Arkash suggested the assistant coach that Ballard is really high on is Frank Reich.

      • BillW

        Bears have been very good about keeping things secret. No one at all reported the consultant concept, much less naming Accorsi. And from last week’s presser, it seemed Accorsi had been on board for several days. They may already have all the decisions made.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Jim Kelly’s backup?

  • BillW

    Jeff’s tweet about PFT not getting basic facts right: what is he referring to? Maybe an article where they say Ballard also turned down the Eagles interview (that part is true) after already interviewing with the Bears (that part is not, but they link to their own article saying he is set to interview Wed. So while it’s a careless mistake in tenses, it’s not out and out inaccurate.

    Sometimes I get upset at the number of mistakes on internet sites, but then I take my meds and realize it’s the sheer volume of content that makes it seem more prevalent. MSM probably always had the same ratio of errors

    • John Doe

      I blame Bears for the confusion. There were several reports that Ballard was set to interview last Friday or Saturday. He might have already interviewed. The Bears have not confirmed to the outside world.

      I have never heard candidate simply turning down interviews. He must already have a deal in place.

      Then, suddenly, there were reports Sunday night that Ballard is all set to interview on Wednesday. Bears do not look good as an organization jacking other candidates around when Ballard deal seems already done.

      • willbest

        1) It is not the Bears job or responsibility to police the media

        2) Its not like these candidates have a lot of other GM options available to them that they are going to lose out on.

        3) Even if its a long shot that is still better than zero and its good experience for next time.

        4) Unlike head coaches, GMs do not generally get second shots, meaning they can be more choosey particularly if they are some place they love

        • BerwynBomber

          I doubt Ballard loves the Bears enough that he would put all his chips in one basket when any of these 32 jobs is seen as the holy grail in his profession.

          Could happen but I would bet against it.

      • BerwynBomber

        Agreed. Semi-reminiscent of when Angelo burned the Ravens during the Carimi snafu on draft day. Not a way to build a good reputation across the league.

        If, indeed, Ballard is a done deal they should have told him to keep up appearances.

      • BillW

        I agree but I think the only other candidate is a sham Rooney rule obligation. If they are going to require a minority candidate be interviewed, then minority candidates are inevitably going to be jacked around. It’s a dumb rule and I’d be incredibly insulted and upset if I were Dawson. But not at the Bears – they don’t make the rules.

        • Barb UMihai Mar

          Yeah… they want to interview some black dude BEFORE they interview Ballard, so they can then chose the timing of the hire (hours or days later).

          • BillW

            Exactly. They may have talked to Ballard secretly; Dawson couldn’t come in until Tuesday. The league mandates that a “black dude” or some minority be interviewed. They want to announce Ballard Wed or Thurs so they finish the HC search by next week.

      • Barb UMihai Mar

        Why would a guy like DAWSON pimp himself if the Bears already have decided on their man ? The Bears look bad, but so does he. Or maybe he’ll get something out of it… he’s collecting favors with this ‘rooney rule’.
        I hope so. That’s actually pretty smart stuff, right there.

        • BerwynBomber

          Interview experience. Get your name out there. Increase your long-term chances via visibility.

          • BillW

            We essentially posted the same answer.

        • BillW

          You are missing a very important point. The league MANDATES a minority candidate be interviewed.

          Why would Dawson “pimp himself? Resume building; making himself look like a legit candidate the next time around. It makes sesne – the Rooney Rule gives him exposure that he might not have otherwise.

          • Doc Hamstring

            The Rooney Rule applies to GM candidates? I thought it was just HCs.

          • John Doe

            Applies to GM vacancies as well.

          • Doc Hamstring

            Learn something new every day.

          • BillW

            Given how it’s worked out for HCs they extended it to GMs. And despite my criticism of it, it does work. Lovie Smith was a Rooney Rule interviewee I think a year or two before the Bears hired him. Same with Les Frazier and I think Singeltary. Maybe Mike Tomlin? It’s doubtful they all would have the coaching experience they have now if not for the “mandate” they be considered.

            But one would like to think that would not be necessary.

          • Big Mike

            It’s also a notch on your belt to be asked to be interviewed for a GM job. You’ll note that it has been mentioned in building up the candidacy for various potential GMs. IE he interviewed for the XYZ job in 20XX. The experience is also probably educational. I would venture a guess that most GM candidates who get a job as a GM did not win on their first attempt.

  • Barb UMihai Mar

    If the Bears are/were set on Ballard to begin with why should we take interest on the likes of Brian Gaine, Lake Dawson ? It’s pointless.

    There are a lot of question marks about Ballard, different issues to debate about, but truth is nobody really knows anything about his potential as a GM, not even the Bears or their lobbyist, excuse me, consultant.

    I’m going to stop bashing the ‘process of doing business’ of the Bears, in this case ‘fake’ process.

    I do want to raise a problem, instead, with Ballard’s own process. I think he’s been ‘playing his cards’ in a very, very dubious manner. Word on the street is that he’s ‘all-in’, ‘set’, ‘passionate’, ‘decided’ on the Bears GM position. Also the Bears are infatuated with him for a period now, going into Emery’s last days.

    It’s basically a fucking orgy waiting to happen. The teasing and prelude are hard to handle at this point in time…it’s become the ‘worst kept secret in US sports’.

    The problem… what a hell is Ballard doing, man ? Why the fuck doesn’t he play this situation to his future advantage ? Why is he settling and plating the docile card ?

    If I’m Ballard I’d never refuse the interviews with the Jets and the Eagles (the 3rd and new GM opening). I would use those as leverage in my negotiations with the Bears. There really isn’t nothing to lose by doing the interviews. There are stuff you could gain, though. You have to milk that cow.. it’s in the job description of a competent GM.

    I don’t know…it doesn’t feel right… everything is very puffy…

    I know I’m going to get torched by for my post or ignored… but I aspect an answer to this question from those that do:

    Why isn’t Ballard leveraging the ‘high interest from 3rd parties’ to gain more power and responsibilities… especially and mainly in the context of ‘the HC hire will be a collaborative effort’ ?

    • BillW

      You raise a good point. And I can’t answer obviously but here is one possibility.

      Reality is that people talk (“network”) all the time. So that’s one aspect of this.

      (Aside: not critical, but you use “aspect” when you mean “expect”).

      The second is the possibility that Ballard is not the type to play one side against the other for personal gain. Which as a GM may in fact work in his favor – he’s not one to “screw” people – he wants to build a solid working relationship.

      Your main point though is this: none of us have any idea and have little to know qualifications to advance one. We’re fans hoping for the best. Some of us want to optimistic now (I do, believe it not).

      • Barb UMihai Mar

        yeah… the aspect/expect thing is a brain fart. I obviously know the correct word, but I keep making the error.

        I understand a GM that doesn’t screw people and all that… but a GM should have the balls -at least in negotiations stage- to demand a certain level of power, especially when it relates with important personnel decisions as is the Head Coach.

        Plus… this is the Bears we’re talking about… they have a tralets all decide togck record of forcing GMs into HCs that end up in disasters. That’s the ‘set up to fail’ speech you know I’ve been making.

        So, I feel a little shaky about this ‘yes man’, ‘I want the job so much I’ll start making concessions’ feel of it.

        • BillW

          Good point. That’s what Trestman and Emery seemed to do.

          • Barb UMihai Mar

            well… that’s what I’m saying.

            I don’t understand why Ballard deliberately ‘paints’ himself in this manner ? Fans are highly predisposed into hating such a stance.

    • Peanut FTW

      It could be very simple, he may not want to work in New York. I have lived in different parts of the US and I have my preferences and places I would not move back to. You think about where your kids would go to school, the amount of things to do there, any number of things depending on the person that have little to do with money. So hypothetically, if Chicago is a big location preference for him, why would he look anywhere else if that is an option.

      • willbest

        Don’t forget taxes (though they are just as criminal in IL as they are in NJ).

      • Barb UMihai Mar

        That basically throws away anything that has to do with the ‘general rules of negotiations’.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leverage_(negotiation)

        In a bottom line statement: I want my GM to be skillful in his own contract negotiation, so that I could trust him negotiating after he gets the job. It’s like part of the interview process.

        • BillW

          I see where you are going with this. A “people pleaser” doesn’t make a good GM.

          But someone dedicated to the Bears and not himself does make a good GM.

          So we’ll just have to wait and see…

          • Barb UMihai Mar

            So what are you saying ?

            Emery wasn’t someone dedicated to the Bears and not himself ?

            PS: I thought people were clamoring for guys that weren’t McCaskey ‘pleasers’ .

            Which I don’t know if Ballard is going to be… I’m just very confused on his decision making in this interview process. I find it questionable at this stage.

          • BillW

            I agree that Emery seemed to take the job with the conditions and that may have been an early warning (as you have said before)

          • BillW

            Well, you never said that was an early warning; you said he was set up to fail by forcing him to take conditions. But you could turn that around and say Emery should have refused those conditions but didn’t because he was too eager to be a GM.

          • Barb UMihai Mar

            Exactly.

            And I did say it…

            “Emery deserved to get canned. I really like his GM potential, but his biggest and only huge error was accepting Lovie. That’s always a recipe for disaster and a GM should know it. So at the end of the day… he did himself”

            This “too eager to be a GM” part is what my initial post and my debating is about…potentially “too eager to be a GM” moves… I don’t want to be labeled as a hater, I want a healthy discussion.

          • Barb UMihai Mar

            That’s why I blabbed for weeks about the ‘process’ and all that crap. So we can compare and judge the present.

            About Emery…. and he was dedicated to the Bears and not himself. He didn’t hire coaches he had previous relations with and didn’t want his own QB, the opposite of that… he went all in on ‘not his QB”.

            What do they say when a new GM comes in…he wants his own men, his own HC, his own QB. Emery promoted Ballard, went with Lovie for 1 year and re-signed Cutler.

            PS: Look Bill… I have an answer to my ‘why doesn’t he use the leverage he has?’, but it’s a pessimistic answer.

            Because he doesn’t have any leverage. Because the job is ‘you either accept the job without HC veto or you will not get it.’

            That’s the ‘set to fail’ portion of what/who the Bears keep doing their thing.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Given that the HC is probably the biggest hire he’ll ever make, then not having the say in who that HC is kind of make your job redundant. You may be the greatest GM in sports, but then Phillips tells you your HC is Peewee Herman.

          • Barb UMihai Mar

            That’s the idea…. Jeff, others, Bears track record tells you the GM doesn’t/will not have veto power on such choices.

            So the question is: Why doesn’t Ballard use his appeal to the Bears and other parties (refused interviews) to gain that power and status.

            I don’t have an answer at this point in time, if not the pessimistic answer above.

        • Peanut FTW

          In his mind, if the Chicago GM position is his holy grail of jobs; you wait to see if you get that job. If you don’t get your dream job, you move on and take your next choice, it has little to do with how he will behave at the rest of the job.

          • Barb UMihai Mar

            so you’re saying that his dream job is NOT having HC decision power ?

            I mean… that for me is a red flag… better said: a potential red flag, because we’re basing out discussion on rumors.

          • Peanut FTW

            I guess that’s may main point, everything in the media is some concoction based on rumors and speculation. There are relevant reasons for him to pass on other interviews until he knows the outcome of the Bears interview, why not assume it is one of those as opposed to believing the media hype and assuming it affects the entire way he would behave as a GM?

          • Barb UMihai Mar

            who’s believing the media hype ? I don’t understand that part.

            the media hype seems very likely to be Bears PR…which is the ‘official’ version.

          • Peanut FTW

            Unless you have direct first hand knowledge of the situation, you are believing the media hype. I haven’t seen an official post on chicagobears.com that states any specific reasons as to why he turned down the Jets interview.

          • Barb UMihai Mar

            No… you’re wrong here.

            Media reported ‘He isn’t interested in the Jets interview’. That’s a fact, not hype.

            Media hype used this fact to ‘portray’ Ballard as ‘all-in-, ‘set’, ‘passionate’, ‘100% focused’ on The Bears job. That’s Bears PR man. They’re hyping the candidate/future GM.

            I went the opposite direction and ‘contested’ his decision not to do interviews and paint himself as a ‘pleaser’.

          • Peanut FTW

            But everything taken off of “he isn’t interested in the Jets job”, is pure speculation. No one other than he himself knows why he chose not to do that interview.

          • Big Mike

            Who called Phil Emery the last time around? Exactly no one. Who called Trestman, same number.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Yeah, the ‘refusing interviews’ thing is weird. Leverage, if nothing else. Sounds like he already has the job, and the rest is for appearances only.

      • Barb UMihai Mar

        Which very well may be the truth. And it’s okay. But he’d better have control over HC decision cause if he doesn’t that means he has ‘jumped the gun’. And if he did that how can I really trust him ? If he’s ‘jumped the gun’ on his own hiring negotiation, how can you trust that he will not jump the gun on other key decisions.

  • GPLDAN

    Look at that crowd enthusiasm. I think I saw young Hub in the crowd.

    • BillW

      I saw the show live once. It was great. Don’t remember the year, but Jim “Robocop” Thorton was the guest Bear.

      • Irish Sweetness

        +10 for a Robocop Thornton ref.

  • GPLDAN

    BM tweeted that he was sad cat because Emery was the best GM he’s ever been around.

    Validation enough that the Bears did the right thing.

    • BillW

      Given the huge extension he gave him I can see why he’d say that.

  • ErikGrogan

    I’m quite interested in the future HC more than our future GM.

    Ballard seems to be the best one and I’m quite curious if he would hire Shanahan or someone else.

    • GPLDAN

      You shouldn’t be.

      The NFL is a GM’s league. The GM makes or breaks the club. See Kevin Costner in Draft Day. He knocks up Jennifer Garner and drafts the next CedBen.

      • TheBigCheesy

        cedric benson NO MATTER WHAT

        • BillW

          Speak of the devil! (see my post to a new blog participant)

      • ErikGrogan

        General Managers often swing and miss on draft picks. Hell, I would love a GM that can draft well but that’s just hard to find.

        Good coaching can do wonders. I get your point but I feel like the HC will matter more. I mean, isn’t that why Emery is gone?

        • CanadaBear

          Emery is gone because he was a failure. Two biggest decisions were total disasters (Nessman and Cutler contract). Also, his drafting was just so-so and his roster building was atrocious. Other than that, he was dynamite.

          • Big Mike

            Let’s just agree they were both failures. But I stand by the fact that Trestman and his scheme/ and his coaching staff and his leadership was a unparalleled disaster and did nothing, zero, nada, to make a single player better.

            A Head Coach is supposed to take what he has and get more out of it than what it looks like he has. Trestman took what he had and made it worse.

            That’s what Bellichik does, That’s what McCarthy in GB does, that’s what Harbaugh and Carrol have done. Every year there is somebody or multiple somebodies who come out of nowhere and make plays/contribute in a big way.

            Trestman did not do that, with the exception of McCown, and I’m beginning to think that was a fluke of the schedule and unfamiliarity with the Bears and McCown.

          • CanadaBear

            I was trying to think of someone that improved under his watch. I guess Alshon and Uni. Kyle Long for sure. Maybe Jones. Other than that, I’ve got nothing.

            After Cutler played well enough against the Fudgies to get the win last year, I thought he’d turned a corner. I was drinking the O kool-aid but knew the D was going to be a struggle. When Cutler threw the pick to the fat guy in Buffalo, I gave up on Cutler. Probably Nessman too but didn’t realize it at the time.

          • Big Mike

            Kyle Long improved because he was so raw. (4 games at D1?, cmon. Emery did well there), Jones, is all about Emery and Cliff Stein getting it done. Trestman kept Jones off the field until week 12. Alshon got better because of Marshall’s tutelage. Say what you will, but the offseason stuff Marshall does with the WR paid off.

            Cutler.. oh man.

          • CanadaBear

            Totally agree.

          • Bender McLugh

            What, you saying CONTE didn’t improve under Trest? He’s now a BEAST!

          • CanadaBear

            Conte’s knockout ratio improved. Unfortunately he was the one getting knocked out.

          • Irish Sweetness

            On fire C-Bear.

          • 100% agree, Canada. I too thought Cutler had turned a corner in that GB game last year, enough to warrant a new contract (though it was a bit too high, but that was the going rate for a non-Vick type QB).
            That killer INT to a fat dude deflated me, but I still wasn’t off the Cutler wagon. But after that GB game at home, I knew I was off. It wasn’t so much his turnovers (though there’s that too), but his decision making, inaccuracy and questionable intangibles.
            By the Panther’s game, I was totally out of the Cutler corner.
            If we can still get a 2nd for him, that contract won’t look as depressing as some view it since that other team will have to pay the difference. As for the guaranteed money, ain’t my $, so I couldn’t care less.

          • SC Dave

            A beast

          • BerwynBomber

            Technically, it is less the Cutler contract and more PE’s decision to build the franchise around Cutty. If the Bears trade Cutty this year then the contract will have been no worse than a one year franchise tag. The contract was part of it but there was a whole lot more to PE’s Grand Cutty Scheme than the contract.

          • CanadaBear

            Franchise tag was 16 we paid 22 last year. it will be an interesting off season for sure.

          • BerwynBomber

            Oh shit, was the tag that small? Then I stand corrected. Contract was indeed a huge mistake but I still contend the bigger overall mistake was to go all-in on the Cutty Plan. That was what led to the hiring of Trestman.

          • Huge Bear’s Penis

            his cap number was around 18 mill. not 22. because of bonuses we paid him 22 not against the cap. signing bonus is spread across the contract.

          • CanadaBear

            They did pay him 22 last year.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Can somebody explain to me how Suh is owed $26M in a franchise tag scenario?

  • ErikGrogan

    Interesting

    “@JasonLaCanfora: Have heard much about the candidacy of KC personnel exec Chris Ballard with the Bears, who would likely be pro-Mike Shanahan himself…”

    • John Doe

      Smells of bs put up by Shanny and his agent.

      Ballard has no connection to Shanny. Their paths have never crossed. Ballard got a break under Angelo/Lovie Smith regime. Bears job was his first NFL job.

      • GPLDAN

        Why do you think Shanny put that out there?

        • John Doe

          He is just looking for next gig making millions for himself and his son.

          • BillW

            as Daley the Elder once said: if a man can’t help his own son, who can he help? (when being accused of nepotism).

          • GPLDAN

            But what is he doing? Trying to make Ballard look inexperienced?

      • GPLDAN
  • ErikGrogan

    Getting hot in here yet?

    “@ProFootballTalk: Report: Bears to interview Mike Shanahan once they hire a general manager http://t.co/5IhNRNyOeY

    • Peanut FTW

      The end of that article almost makes the whole article stupid. Honestly, you think any part of a HC’s decision comes down to the perceived relationship between the fan base and the QB? I don’t recall who coined the phrase, but a very common HC mantra is “if you start listening to what the fans think, you will soon be sitting with them”.

      • Bears-4-Ever

        I wish we could just keep the Cutler thing out of this entirely. I don’t want to hire an HC just because he knows, likes, tweets, or can get along with Cutler…it should be IRRELEVANT in the decision process.

        • Peanut FTW

          I mean, the talent on the roster as a whole… will be part of the decision but I do agree that Cutler specifically should have little to do with the decision.

          • Big Mike

            Actually, I disagree. Not because it is Cutler. But the HC and QB need to have a strong working relationship. While respect is earned, you can’t bring in a guy from Canada who preaches kumba ya to a bunch of grown ass alpha males and expect anything but disaster.

          • Peanut FTW

            If you can’t figure out how to get a long with one person, you have no place in any kind of management role.

          • Big Mike

            One thing to get along, another thing to build a successful dynamic. Ditka/McMahon did not get along, but they each played their roles. More of a synergy thing, than a get along thing. I really thought Tice was going to be the one to straighten Cutler out. Old school line coach. I guess he got a 10-6 year as OC, without much talent.

          • Didn’t Marv Leavy go that route though?

          • Big Mike

            he is a good counterpoint. But not at allwhat this group needed. Levy never lost a team. Can you imagine keeping a team inspired , motivated and together through 4 super bowl losses. That took a leader

          • CanadaBear

            I was dubious from the start. Once everything went off the rails Nessman was just like any other coach, out for himself and fuck everybody else.

          • Big Mike

            I have to admit I was on the Trestman new age bandwagon for a while, but only because I’m just a sucker for the Bears. I want to give them every benefit of the doubt. Last year I had to try and learn how to watch the Bears all over again. Trying to outscore teams instead of just putting up a score and smashing them in the face saying go ahead, now you try. About 1/2 way through the season, I guess I adjusted my eyesight and was hopeful. But what I saw this year, made me ashamed. Losing is one thing, being laughed at and not responding was another. after the bye, this should have been a building season, with the rookies on the field in the right spots. The whole benching Cutler/Kromer thing was shameful. Lance Briggs opening a restaurant? Brandon Marshall on TV on Tuesday. WTF.

            This is the Chicago freakin Bears. The Head Coach and the GM are responsible for the BRAND. Forte, Long, Paea, Tilman, Bennet, Garza, Slauson, they look like the Brand. Intelligient, Tough, unapologetic, discrete (ok, black uni gets a pass on that). What Trestman did was piss on the Brand.

          • Peanut FTW

            I don’t think he actively did, but he certainly stood idly by and watched it happen. It was weird too because when he suspended Uni in camp for the excessive BS , I thought, holy crap he does have a spine, but then the Briggs and BM stuff really set the tone.

          • CanadaBear

            I thought it was PE that suspended Uni?

          • BillW

            It was; Trestman didn’t have the balls to do it

          • Big Mike

            I don’t think you would disagree that the HC is responsible for the setting the tone. By the final weeks of the season, I really despised the fact that Trestman was the head coach of the Chicago Bears.

          • CanadaBear

            THIS!!!!!!!!! I hated Wanny more because he was such a paranoid, ass kissing, jack ass (not to mention incompetent). I disliked Nessman because he was such a spineless weasel. I was more embarrassed about Nessman being the coach than anything else.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Absolutely. Your general should look more like Russell Crowe, less Woody Allen.

          • Peanut FTW

            Yes, I would agree with setting the tone and I was done with Trestman by then as well, and Tucker by halftime of the Patriots game.

          • Big Mike

            All in all a very poorly coached team in all three phases. Worse they lacked heart. People want to jump all over Emery and throw him out. I’m ok with that, because he picked Trestman. But Emery did not do nearly as bad a job at getting players as Trestman did at coaching them.

          • CanadaBear

            My biggest issue with PE regarding the roster was not the individual players that he signed (and most of them were either stiffs or overpaid) it was the players didn’t add up to a team. Keeping 17 rookies and sending all of our ST’ers out the door was very short sighted. I don’t think the camel is a bad ST’s coach (I think he’s an avg coach) but he had nothing to work with all year. How many penalties did ST’s commit? About a million? To me, that’s on the players.

          • Big Mike

            I agree there were plenty of issues. My point was he was less terrible than Trestman. I think that his drafts improved each year. The first year I believe was a function of not having his scouting system in place and the influence of Lovie Smith.

            His free agent picks on balance were effective. (Willie Young, balances out Jared Allen, Slauson and Bushrod are effective, he signed a lot of 1 year guys which was smart and so on).

            I believe we will see his last draft class, be a part of the foundation of the team for a while.

            I believe the class from 2 years ago has started to show its value (Long, Bostic, Greene, Mills, Washington and Wilson) Bostic needs to Will LB, Mills has been a bonus, Washington showed flashes and Wilson needs to stay healthy, but he’s shown he belongs.

            Some penalties belong to players, repeated penalties belong to the coaching staff.

          • MikeBrownhadaPosse

            I thought Emery actually suspended BU.

          • Irish Sweetness

            It was his flaccidness, as a wise man once said. Trestman is flaccid.

          • CanadaBear

            I never thought the Briggs thing was a big deal. It was a one hour meeting that he missed. After 12 years I’m pretty sure Lance wasn’t going to learn much in that 60 minutes. It looked bad because Nessman handled it in such a clumsy fashion. I get why other people were upset with Briggs but some guys earn a bit of leeway after all those years. BMarsh is just a case. I love the guy but he’s a handful. High maint for sure but he brings it on the field and he’s one of the best blocking WR’s in the league. I think a strong leader can connect with him and manage him. It will never be easy with BMarsh but he also did more to develop Alshon than all of the Bears brain trust (oxymoron alert).

            I was hopeful with Nessman and maybe he can be successful with that kumbaya BS if he grows a pair.

          • Big Mike

            No doubt Briggs earned it. Like you said
            ” It looked bad because Nessman handled it in such a clumsy fashion.”

            The way you handle it, is to announce it ahead of time “Lance Briggs will be given a veteran day off tending to personal business”. If you get questioned, you respond, “The definition of the word personal means go ask Lance, he has my full backing, and quite honestly Lance has earned my confidence and we’ll get back to it the next day”.

            But he didn’t. He let the media trolls act like they uncovered the watergate scandal and he was on his heels. all maybe all four I don’t know. but he made the Bears look bad

          • Professional Journal

            True, but how Martz had to interview with Cutler was over the top. Empowering your QB like that over a OC, was too much.

          • Big Mike

            I forgot about that. Bears hadn’t had a QB of any measure in 2 decades. They forgot how to act. 🙂

          • CanadaBear

            Martz paid him back by shipping Olsen out of town and continually calling for 7-step drops with the worst OL in the league.

          • Professional Journal

            And with all of that, he arguably played his best Bears football under Martz.

          • Big Mike

            Not even arguably. Bears were 18-8 with Martz/Cutler when Cutler went down and Caleb the asshat was brought in.

          • Professional Journal

            Cutler needs a system that is run heavy. He should only be throwing the ball 25x a game. He also need a couple of speed WR to add a different dimension. He has 3 tall WR already.

          • Big Mike

            Cutler gets no excuses on this blog. We spent 4 years doing that. Jay needed to step up this year, instead he shit his pants and quit. The consensus is that A) Jay is not the long term answer, B) He should have been franchised C) his contract isn’t as bad as it seems. (someone did the math, with the first year out of the way it becomes like a 3 year deal for less than $15 a year, which is in line with QBs ranked in the 10-20 slot) D) Keep him or trade him don’t really care, depends on what you can get.

            With that said, I agree that the BEARS do need at least one speed threat. My opinion is that the Bears should go back to pounding the rock and playing smash mouth defense. At the peak of Lovie’s Smith reign, all we needed was a slight upgrade at QB. Instead we got the promise of a pro-bowler who so far has turned out to be a taller version of Rex Grossman.

            Welcome to the blog

          • CanadaBear

            The Sex Cannon was more likeable.

          • Big Mike

            He was. But he was a midget with small hands.

          • Professional Journal

            Trust me, I am no Cutler fan. I think he can be serviceable. Depending on him to be a Rodgers, Manning, Brees, or Brady is setting yourself up for failure. I think he can be ok and with a good defense and ST, that’s good enough. I would spend a 4th Rd pick on a speedster like Dorset from Miami and add another like Avery in FA.

            I would want the Bears to make the best of a bad situation.

          • Big Mike

            If your sticking around get yourself an avatar 🙂
            Agreed on all points, except who to draft, because I usually don’t start paying attention to the draft until a couple weeks before, and then only so I can participate in the discussion, because in hindsight, who you take and who you might have taken and who you should have taken doesn’t add up to squat until games get played.

            I think we are in for an off season where every crumb of information coming out of Halas Hall will be inspected at the microscopic level. Even more so than usual because fans are looking for identity defining moves. The draft along with free agency are by far the biggest tells.

          • Professional Journal

            Thanks for the avatar tip.

            I am with you about college players and not knowing them until around draft time. However when I saw Dorsey and the KR/PR for Oklahoma State, their speed jumped out at me. Knowing the Bears need speed, after spending my 1st three rounds on defense, I would want that speedster to compliment the big WR.

            This team needs an identity and with only around $30m to spend with at least 23 spots to fill, drastic changes can’t be made. What I mean is the core pieces we have currently are made for a 4-3 on defense and our offense lacks speed. Give a disciple from Seattle’s coaching tree as a DC and a disciple from Shanny’s coaching tree as OC with Toub as the HC and we can be competitive sooner rather than later.

          • Big Mike

            Your plan is solid. In my opinion, the Bears have more talent than they showed this year. The right combination of draft, free agent and coaching staff can make this a competitive team next year.

            Others on the blog, think 6-10 is in the cards. Can’t disagree too much, But worst case I hope we are a very tough out.

            The avatar’s help, because otherwise you look like a “guest” and “guests” are welcome, but not taken seriously.

          • Professional Journal

            Yes, depending on the coaches, the Bears could be 6-10 or 10-6. I know I’m stating the obvious. But the point I’m trying to make is that we are not that far off and with the right moves, we could be in really good shape. If Trestman has taught us anything, its that we do have the talent on offense to compete. Now get the right play caller on offense and get a solid MLB for defense with a couple other pieces.

            Also can somebody please convince the Jets to trade Coples for McClellan. 🙂

          • Big Mike

            Look what Arians had going in AZ, until he lost QB1, QB2 and RB1

            McClellin’s days are numbered. Maybe he’s a special teamer.

          • Professional Journal

            Maybe Shea would be best as an OLB in a 3-4. Playing DE for 2 yrs hurt his growth.

          • Big Mike

            Who knows. But this is the last year of his Rookie contract I think. He’s definitely not been helped by this staff. At the same time, I can’t think of more than a few times where he has made a play going forward, rather than chasing or hanging on.

          • Professional Journal

            He looks lost a lot. I think he can improve but as you mentioned, this coaching staff didn’t help anyone. The whole defense looked lost except for Ratliff and Paea.

          • Irish Sweetness

            We’ve had terrible LB coaching, it was plain to see.

          • Irish Sweetness

            That’s the shit I’m talking about! Get the ‘spine’ of the defense in there before we can start to walk. Top DT (and preferably a top DE), top MLB, top FS.

          • Irish Sweetness

            If we cut Allen, trade away Matt and Jay’s contracts, we have a lot of cap space. Throw BM on the heap and it’s christmas come early. Picks with cap space to boot.

          • If we would have drafted a real HB last time like I was advocating, maybe we could do that.
            But unless you want to roll with Carey, that’s a no-go.
            Plus, why would we dump Forte? To clear cap for what?
            We need ONE person in their who isn’t cray-cray (Bmarsh), sour-puss (Jay) AND productive.

          • BerwynBomber

            The key to Cutler’s success with Martz was that Martz removed Jay’s ability to audible. From everything the QB expert commentators have said — Gruden, Gannon, Jim Miller, etc — Jay has basic problems with reading defenses at the line of scrimmage and the two coaches that removed his ability to audible and demanded he run the play that was called — Martz and Shanahan — were the two coaches with whom he had the most success.

          • Professional Journal

            That explains everything.

          • Irish Sweetness

            That’s what all QBs need. It’s time to stop saying “Jay needs …”. Enough.

            I’ve seen the man stand in there with 5 seconds, great receivers/targets, and STILL throw a terrible pass.

            What Jay needs is accuracy, intelligence with humility, ability to read defenses and adjust accordingly. Hasn’t got ’em, never will.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Jay was the golden child then, though. Now he’s the golden shower, and we’re the ones that don’t care.

        • BerwynBomber

          Bears can justify hiring Shanny w/ or w/out Cutler.

        • Professional Journal

          I think Shanny is ok but his last year in Washington was ugly. And while you hope your HC can have a good relationship with your QB, it shouldn’t be necessary for them to be good friends.

        • huntinbare

          JC is not the future…at best we could call him a bridge but like any cable bridge he is missing a few planks and it is dangerous navigating it safely….JC = draft picks…let’s get the future drafted, get them in camp, and use the skillfully chosen assit. coaches scooling them to become the new monsters of the midway.

  • Professional Journal

    Ballard is not a bad choice. I am also intrigued about Taub. My main wish is that if Taub comes, he has some great coordinators with him. I get the impression that defense will be heavy. Need some balance for the offensive side too. The Bears need some speed at the WR and a FB.

    • BillW

      Welcome!

      • Professional Journal

        Thank you, sir! I hope this is a great place to talk Bears football.

        • GPLDAN

          I hope this is a great place to talk Bears football.

          It’s a great place to talk about many things. (smirks)

          • Professional Journal

            Cool, I look forward to discussing Bears football.

          • Bear Down in Tampa

            If MB would ever get back on here…

          • Irish Sweetness

            Pray tell, Gp, what couldst thou mean ?

        • BillW

          It gets rough sometimes but trust me, you will not find a better site all around, We even have a Packer fan who comes here for that reason.

          • Professional Journal

            I hope it’s better than PSD. That place is horrible.

        • name

          listen to that ‘barb’ character says… he really knows what he’s talking about.

          • Huge Bear’s Penis

            Barb is that you on a guest account?

          • Professional Journal

            Barb???

          • Johnnywad

            He even said it wrong. Classic. Just classic. This is my favorite post of all time.

            I want to put a smiley face emoticon here but Waffle would kick me in my virtual nuts. We don’t emoticon in public.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Oh, Mihai, that’s cute ….

  • CanadaBear

    The AZ Cardinals brought back bad memories of those Bears teams that couldn’t keep the QB healthy. Just keep getting more and more beat up as the season goes along. Limp into the playoffs with your second or third QB and unceremoniously get bounced in the first rd.

    • Peanut FTW

      Yah, they even had the added bonus of losing their starting RB in week 15 though, it was a tough spot for sure. I am hoping Dallas does well, not because I like them but they played Detroit, now GB and more than likely Seattle if they win in GB; those are probably my 3 least favorite teams in the NFL.

      • CanadaBear

        I had no problem rooting for the Cowgirls. I hate Detroit more than any other team due to their dirty play. Next week I will probably root for the Girls again just because they haven’t done anything in forever. However, rooting for Jerry Jones is like rooting for the geriatric version of El Diablo.

      • Big Mike

        Lions and Pack one and done would please me greatly.

      • SC Dave

        Dallas does not deserve to be playing any more this season, so fuck them.

        • Peanut FTW

          Detroit would have found a way to lose it anyway, it’s Detroit. Look at the final drive, the DE gifts you a first down with 2min left when he should have just gotten down immediately and you end up coughing it up again, to the same guy on the same drive… it was destiny.

        • Trac

          That loss belongs squarely on the lesbians shoulders.

          • Johnnywad

            How many lesbians were there? The placement of the apostrophe in this instance is key to how I’ll remember this game going forward.

  • GPLDAN

    Picks:

    Ravens upset Pats
    Seahawks dispatch Panthers

    Cowboys beat Pack
    Broncos dispatch Colts

    • CanadaBear

      Are you basing the Girls winning on Rodgers being slightly injured?

      • Big Mike

        or, because you cannot pick the Packers.

        • CanadaBear

          I actually don’t hate the Fudgies. I’m pissed because they beat us like a drum but that has more to do with Erin than anything. Most of the Fudgie fans I’ve known were like Cheesy. Misguided to be sure but not assholes. Kitties and BiQueens fans that I know are over bearing blowhards.

          • Big Mike

            There are two reasons I hate the Packers. 1) Charles Haley. skip to the :50 second mark https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wilIF30NLRU, still the most cowardly piece of shit to ever play in the NFL 2) The entire state of Wisconsin has about 5.5 million people in it. I would argue that 2 of every 3 Packer fans simply jumped on the bandwagon, or are simply contrarians from Chicago who like to be assholes.

          • CanadaBear

            No need to watch the clip. I’ve seen it way too many times. Actually meant Charles Martin. That guy was an idiot. In my lifetime the only time the Fudgies were dirty was under Forrest Gregg. No doubt there are a ton of bandwagon fans. There are still Bears bandwagon fans that dress like the Blues Bros and say DA Bears all the time. 99% of those douchebags couldn’t tell you the starting lineup of the Beloved on either side of the ball.

          • Big Mike

            I thought I typed Charles Martin. Going back to edit that. Charles Haley was a hell of a football player.

            By virtue of the size of the Green Bay metro area and the size of the Chicago metro area, the Bandwagoning (new word) is far greater. Bandwagon for the Bears is pretty empty these days.

          • GPLDAN

            Haley was a sort of poor man’s Dent that played for the Niners.

          • BearDown100393

            Geez the media caught Dent also?

          • CanadaBear

            No doubt. If they ever get really good again those same dubious fans will come out of the woodwork.

          • CanadaBear

            Haley was so crazy that the media caught him masturbating in the locker room on more than one occasion.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Hey C-Bear, when a man’s go to rub one out ….. I mean, have people forgotten to knock?

          • That’s how he got strong hands.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Charles Haley. 5 rings? Yes?

          • Big Mike

            Indeed.

          • Irish Sweetness

            1) Is the reason I still hate the Packers. Mac said his shoulder wasn’t right again until …. he was on their roster. Pfft.

          • Big Mike

            In today’s league Martin would have been suspended for a few games.

          • BerwynBomber

            I have a grudging admiration/respect for a rival’s greatness even more than I do for players on non-rival teams. Rodgers and (until this year) AP fit that bill. For better or worse, there is a personal connection with, say, Rodgers as opposed to a Peyton or Brady. You know a kinda “Hey, we made that motherfucking guy,” perverse pride.

            That said, I find these Cheese less objectionable than the Favre-era Chesse. Favre, Chumura, Winters, Reggie White, Holmgren, etc. … I disdained those guys

          • CanadaBear

            Don’t get me wrong, I hate the fact that they own us (back then and now). I never liked Favre because I always thought he was a big phony. Gotta give him credit, he always sucked up to the refs and it paid off. Erin learned that lesson well. But I never really had any personal animosity towards those guys or the fans.

            I got hammered a long time ago up in Dupere, WI. when the Bears/Fudgies were playing an exhibition game. I was openly rooting for the Bears and everyone in the bar was on my ass. It was all in good fun. Also, my best friend growing up was a Fudgie fan and he never rode me about the Beloved so I just don’t hate their fan base the way I do the Kitties and BiQueens.

          • BerwynBomber

            Yep, Favre was a hillbilly diva but he was tough as nails as a competitor. I was actually glad to see him keep his consecutive game streak record when P. Manning had the neck surgeries a few years back. Not that I was happy to see another guy need surgery (or be injured) but Favre truly took some huge hits and played through a ton of stuff, albeit stuffed to the gills on painkillers.

            But I am also glad he has kept his all-time INT record too. That thing might never be broken.

          • Irish Sweetness

            In fairness, we kicked the shit out of the Packers, the Bucs, the queens, the kitties … for a looong time. We were the packers.

        • GPLDAN

          This.

      • SC Dave

        Perhaps banking on Jerry’s relationship with the officiating crew?

        • CanadaBear

          They’re just a party bus ride or two away from the SB!

    • BerwynBomber

      My same picks too, though admittedly I’m not putting money behind my mouth. But yes, the Ravens might be on a little post-season roll and I can see Murray having a huge day against that Packer run D and DAL winning a close one.

      • GPLDAN

        I’d like to see an ice bowl. reminiscent of that Starr era Cowboys-Pack ice bowl in the 60s. That would favor the big hosses the Cowboys have.

        If today’s weather is Sunday’s weather in Green Bay, we will have it.

        Tonight the wind chill will be -30.

        • Big Mike

          I’d like to see the Packers get their asses whooped.

        • BearDown100393

          Yeah it would be a real shame if the Packers and Cowboys collectively froze with their fans at Lambeau.

        • Irish Sweetness

          Nippy. Brisk.

      • Irish Sweetness

        The Pats spread looks too close to call, but taking a head start in the other three games is a fair bet. Value for money.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Spreads? Can Seattle get 12 points ahead of CAR and stay there? That front 7 will cause SEA fits, and vice versa.

      Oddshark computer picks :

      NE (-7)
      CAR (+11)
      DAL (+6)
      IND (+7)

      Public consensus picks:

      BAL (+7) 58%
      CAR (+11) 58%
      GB (-6) 56%
      IND (+7) 57%

  • I respect Dawson for turning down a bad situation, but that doesn’t mean I think he’ll be good. I fail to see many moves Tennessee has made since 2007 in draft or FA that make me think anybody in that front office knows what they’re doing.

    • Big Mike

      Perpetually below average.

    • Professional Journal

      My same thoughts.

  • GPLDAN

    The 67 Ice Bowl, down the line to the less memorable ones:

    http://tinyurl.com/kqxmqpf

  • BerwynBomber

    Score mentioned a couple of these a little earlier. Career post-season passer ratings for the QBs involved this weekend:

    Rodgers 103.1
    R. Wilson 102
    P. Manning 89.2
    Flacco 88.2
    Brady 87.5
    Romo 87
    Newton 81.2
    Luck 78.1

    • Peanut FTW

      W-L and Superbowls
      Rodgers 5-4 1
      R. Wilson 4-1 1
      P. Manning 11-12 1
      Flacco 10-4 1
      Brady 18-8 3
      Romo 2-3 0
      Newton 1-1 0
      Luck 2-2 0

      • Big Mike

        Look at that Passer rating has a strong coorelation with playoff w/l and sb wins. Where was cutler? High 80s, right aroudn Flacco?

        • Peanut FTW

          I don’t know why but I hate Flacco. Everytime I watch him he is barely average and yet he just wins games. Probably has to due with my dislike of the Ravens on the whole.

          • Big Mike

            Check his stats. He’s a gamer. Plays better in the playoffs. Lifted his team up over Pittsburgh.

          • John Doe

            Wait till some Anonymous Yahoo tells you how bad Flacco is and how generous you are with your praise of Flacco.

          • Big Mike

            Not generous. Don’t even like him. But looked at his numbers. He’s a good fit for his team. Or his team was built to fit him, whatever. But John Harbaugh knows how to get the most out of the players he has. Flacco has made enough plays to be 10-4 in the playoffs and win one SB. After he got a big contract, how did he change? He didn’t. He was Joe Flacco all over again. Not in the same vicinity of Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning or Tom Brady. Might not even be as good as Romo overall. But in the Playoffs he plays bigger.

            Since 2010
            Joe Flacco: 168-282, 2,271 yards, 20 TD, 2 INT
            Postseason rating: 105.9
            Regular season rating: 84.8
            Differential: +21.1
            W/L: 8-3

          • BerwynBomber

            Flacco’s passing style is akin to the straight ahead runner and it translates well to cold weather. Also — though not nimbler or quick, Flacco has surprising speed when he breaks the pocket. Can pick up ten yards when the occasion warrants.

          • Big Mike

            And they play outside in Baltimore.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Cometh the hour cometh the man.

          • SC Dave

            Flacco is like Jim McMahon. Never looks all that great – simply wins games.

          • Irish Sweetness

            IMO he sucks during the regular season and then seems to excel during the Post-season. He’s like the Anti-Peyton.

    • but Brady is clutch and Peyton’s a choker!

      • BerwynBomber

        Interesting that both their numbers have dropped in the post-season. But I imagine that is true the majority of the time for most QBs with a large enough sample size. Also, I always thought Brady was a glorified game manager that first SB of the Pats. If you recall, it was Bledsoe who led them to that huge road victory in the AFC championship vs. PITT. Not to mention the fact that the Pats were a team that was defined by its Belichick defense.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Manning is due his perennial chokefest ….. Murray should keep Vadgers off the field …. CAR should slow down SEA. The value ladies bet?

      CAR (+11)
      DAL (+6)
      IND (+7)

  • Scharfinator
    • GPLDAN

      Das HubbyBubby sayz:

      Overthecap.com is one of several reputable websites that track NFL player contracts, and it describes Marshall’s extension he received from general manager Phil Emery in April as a $30 million deal with a $7.5 million signing bonus and the 2014 and 2015 base salaries guaranteed at $7.3 million and $7.5 million.

      But it says Marshall’s 2015 salary is only guaranteed if he’s still on the roster March 13.

      Should the Bears release Marshall before March 13, they will owe him nothing, but they will take a $5.6 million cap hit.

      Certainly the Bears could try to trade Marshall, but what they’ll find is a bare market not at all to their liking.

      Yeah. Ok.

      Cut his ass. The Raiders will pick him up, and the cap hit – while not ideal – is not anything like Jay.

      • MikeBrownhadaPosse

        What does that do for us next year?

        • GPLDAN

          Cuts the cancer out so the new coach can build something.

          • CanadaBear

            I just don’t see him being that much of a problem. More of a nuisance than anything. If a coach can’t handle that then we got Nessman 2.0.

          • GPLDAN

            If you put him in his place, he’ll give you nothing on the field. He’ll shut down.

            It’s like Rich Cohen’s story in his book about when Ditka came in. James Scott was essentially the BM of his day. He was a distraction, wasn’t buying in, and was a pain. He didn’t expect to get cut due to talent.

            Ditka cut him. Send a clear message. It was his locker room. End of story.

          • CanadaBear

            James Scott was not exactly all world. He was never more than just a guy on any other WR corp.

          • GPLDAN

            Also, BM and Jay are no longer in love.

          • MikeBrownhadaPosse

            That bromance will never die. They just need to hug it out.

          • Peanut FTW

            Yah, Im sure by OTAs there will be talk about how all this drama made them even closer.
            *vomit

          • All the more reason to trade Jay for a 2nd and a club sammich.

          • MikeBrownhadaPosse

            All I saw this year was him busting his butt and playing through injury. The guy may be a motormouth but he was one of the few guys that still showed some guts while they were playing out the string.

          • GPLDAN

            Ask Lance Briggs if they should cut him.

          • MikeBrownhadaPosse

            Cut BM? If we’re going to play the “who’s a clubhouse cancer game”, I can theorize about what impact he had on the culture as well.

          • FantuzPhysics

            I think Briggs and the old guard were the cancer…not BMarsh or Bennett..they were the new “weird” guys.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Brandon’s no cancer, he was the only one to stand up and say I’m as mad as hell (about losing) and I’m not going to take it anymore. He had the balls and the pride, something which Kyle Long et al lack.

        • Peanut FTW

          Exactly. Why take a salary hit and get absolutely nothing out of it?
          Hire a coach with a pair, he puts an end to all the tv shows and non football drama, end of story.

          • MikeBrownhadaPosse

            And the ONLY thing that matters to me in all this contract crap are the cap numbers. If it doesn’t translate to the cap, I. Do. Not. Care.
            The Bears are practically printing money, so other than the specific impact a contract has, due to salary cap reasons, on the clubs ability to sign other players, I don’t give a shit about who’s getting paid what.

          • Irish Sweetness

            BM is a premier, top tier wide receiver. No Question.

      • CanadaBear

        The cap hit doesn’t transfer. They will have $5.6 mil in dead money in 2015 if they get rid of him. I just don’t think he’s that much trouble if you have strong leadership.

        • BearDown100393

          Sure but where is that strong leadership going to originate? Jay Cutler?

          • MikeBrownhadaPosse

            Was he lacking in effort on the field and I just missed it?

          • CanadaBear

            Perhaps a coach with a pair.

    • CanadaBear

      I think BMarsh has value and a strong leader can work with him. He’s always going to be a handful because he’s so high maint but Jeffery by himself doesn’t scare anyone. Nessman was such a wuss he was begging to get walked on.

      • BearDown100393

        I thought the same about his leadership and now second guess his motives completely. For me, it is now hard to take anything he says with an ounce of credibility. Didn’t care for his locker room outburst. Was that sincere or simply attention seeking? Why did he degrade Gould’s role with the team? Was he really all in for the Chicago Bears this season when jetting out of town every week to tape Inside the NFL? Add in the twitter nonsense. If management cuts him, I won’t complain.

        • CanadaBear

          All of that is more a nuisance than anything. Do you really care that he and Robbie got into a pissing match? He’s a loose cannon for sure but he’s a premier WR and one of the top blocking WR’s in the league. Let the new coach decide if he can handle him.

          • BearDown100393

            He was a premier WR who produced numbers. Now he is past 30 with injury issues with a chronic habit of being a blabbermouth. Does he produce enough in the asset column to outweigh the liabilities? I honestly do not know. I do not believe anyone can truthfully know. Is it better to cut him (or any player) a year too season vs a year too late? I agree, management/coaching staff’s call. Simply stating, if the Bears dump him, I wouldn’t bitch about it.

          • CanadaBear

            Once he went down, Alshon disappeared. I’m afraid that will be the case again next year if we cut him. Nothing against Alshon but he’s not going to do much if he’s double teamed all the time.

          • Big Mike

            To be fair to Alshon, the offense was a pile of crap the whole year. But if you take the top receiver off any team, all of the receivers become easier to defend. I’m squarely in the keep Brandon Marshall camp. He’s an emotional guy and I’m sure the Bears being a laughingstock hit some triggers. I know it did for me. 🙁

          • Johnnywad

            Getting rid of Marshall would be pretty crazy. Getting rid of him AND eating cap $ in so doing would be criminal.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Yeah, look at Houston and Arizona. Fitzy and AJ get no numbers these days, it’s the number two guy that eats everything up – but take away AJ or Fitzy and they’d get shut down.

          • Big Mike

            Can’t agree more. One of the things that puzzles me, and most of us lost track of it in the excitement over fixing the wreck of an offense Angelo left us with is the lack of a speed threat. Just like a #1 receiver, needs a #2, if both of those guys are the same type of receiver, you need to have the speedy #3 to take the top off the defense. It’s just basic football.

      • Professional Journal

        Marshall’s outburst was needed. Trestman should have had some outbursts. The team played with no passion and looked lost. Maybe the fact that we had 17 rookies on the team had something to do with looking lost. However, this team has lacked true leadership since Urlacher left. You can say Garza provided some leadership for the O line but no one showed a lot of overall team leadership. Trestman deciding to have different captains every week hurt more than it helped.

        • Big Mike

          Should have maybe designated team captains, like they big boys do instead of this rotating pansy ass youth football league non-sense that he pulled.

          Kyle Long, you’re my captain on offense. Briggs you’re my captain on Defense, (act like it).

          • Professional Journal

            Xactly!

            Maybe Ratliff instead of Briggs. Briggs was never a leader, IMO.

            I think the value of leadership was underestimated by both Trestman and Emery.

          • CanadaBear

            It’s hard to value something when you have no clue about it.

          • Professional Journal

            They were clueless in a lot of areas. I’m glad the McCaskeys didn’t take too long to recognize their mistake and try to correct it.

          • CanadaBear

            I didn’t think they were going to shit can anyone until the beatings and the chaos went nuclear. Once Nessman benched Cutler I was sure he was gone. I was hoping PE was getting the boot but wasn’t sure. George M. being an actual fan of the team certainly helped.

          • SC Dave

            “Be careful what you wish for…”

          • CanadaBear

            I said that repeatedly about Lovie. I don’t feel that way about PE or Nessman. The last few weeks we were probably the worst team in the league. It reminded me of the team when Ditka said they probably wouldn’t win another game back in the day. He was right and it cost him his job. It was the same deal. The team had checked out on both of them.

          • Irish Sweetness

            I’d wager Phillips is the mistake and they’ve done nothing to rectify that. The whole ‘stepping aside from football’ line is BS.

          • Professional Journal

            Phillips must do a great job for them in the financial side, so they’re reluctant to cut ties with that. So, they’re trying to save face and rid him of his responsibilities smoothly on the football side. Just an opinion.

          • FantuzPhysics

            Completely disagree. No one wanted to lead.

          • SC Dave

            Not sure I agree. Perhaps they understood that the real leadership takes place on the field. Once the education is done, coaches are as much cheerleaders as anything else.

          • Professional Journal

            Sadly the Bears lacked leadership on and off the field.

          • FantuzPhysics

            I believe Trestman did this as a way to see who would step up into that role. It had worked previously for him and honestly do these adults in the NFL really need to know who their captain is? He wanted them all to be leaders…no one stepped up.

          • Big Mike

            I know what he was trying to do. But he had a divide in his locker room a mile wide. He had a bunch of rookies, UDFAs, one year veterans and a core of leftovers from Lovie Smith. If anything ever called for assertive leadership, this situation was it. Those groups had no reason to come together.

            His approach worked in the CFL, where they have a whopping 8 teams and every player in that league wasn’t good enough to play in the NFL.

          • CanadaBear

            Gotta call BS on that last sentence. Guys go from CFL rosters to NFL rosters all the time. AND there are 9 teams now. Last year they added the Ottawa Red Blacks with none other than Happy Henry Burris behind center.

          • Big Mike

            Yeah, you’re right. The point I was trying to make is that the CFL guys are hungrier. 8 is the number I was thinking of, because Trestman only had to beat 7 teams to win his Grey Cups

          • SC Dave

            On many teams, it’s the QB that steps up. Perhaps it’s not fair to expect them to do so, but nevertheless the expectation remains. Maybe it goes with being paid the most.

          • Big Mike

            Agreed, but our guy leans closer to needing to be led, than to being s leader. Cutler has had flashes of string leadership, but just like his game seems very inconsistent.

            It’s no coincidence that the Bears played their best when Cutler took a big hit and shook it off. He showed character and leadership

          • Johnnywad

            Long is already heading there. Briggs would have made a miserable captain this year.

          • Big Mike

            Question is had he been made Captain would he have performed or behaved differently.

            A top notch coach would have gotten more leadership out of Briggs.

      • Irish Sweetness

        This. With no BM on the field, Alshon disappeared.

  • John Doe

    Picks: Team that will provide best bus full of hoes to Dean Blandino will find a way to win.

    Ravens vs. Pats
    Seahawks vs. Panthers

    Cowboys vs. Pack
    Broncos vs. Colts

  • GPLDAN

    Hey Al,

    Your guy Ed Hochuli, blew the Panthers coin toss, gave the decision to the wrong team, and then called his replay man in the booth Jungle Boy on an open stadium mic. The guy was white otherwise Ed would be gone.

    Ed is losing it.

    • BillW

      You’re right that it was a good thing he was white. I read he was called Jungle Boy because he vacationed I think in Hawaii and hiked through a jungle and bored everyone with his stories about it.

      It is a shame though that a natural environment like a jungle can be considered a racial slur.

  • Big Mike

    Spent some time on the blog today going back and forth with guys. @professionaljournal:disqus mentioned the draft. Pissed me off that on January 6, 2015 the off season will be more interesting than the last season and probably more enjoyable than next season.

    Does anyone else wish the draft was not in Chicago and our miserable state of affairs was not front and Center. Sheesh..

    • CanadaBear

      A few guys were talking about getting together in Chicago for the draft. That would be fun. Other than that, yeah pretty depressing.

    • BerwynBomber

      C’mon, have some fun it with Big Mike. We will supplant the Jets fans as the guys in the audience who scream “No!” or look on with mouths agape as Goodell announces our first pick.

      • Big Mike

        On the heals of the most disappointing Bears season, the draft is in our backyard. The shame.. 🙂 Look away, nothing to see.

    • I am definitely going to the draft. Can’t wait

      • Big Mike

        In disguise? I suppose I would go to if I was in town. But you get my point. How much more fun, if we had made the playoffs and were a contender.

        • GPLDAN

          Get a t-shirt that says “I am not a Bears fan.”

          • SC Dave

            Perhaps “No longer a Bears fan” would fit more people’s moods.

          • Big Mike

            That’s funny. But I couldn’t do it.

    • Professional Journal

      With the right GM and HC, who state their plans for the team, the draft could be exciting. Knowing what direction the team plans to take the team, builds excitement as you see them gather the pieces.

  • John Doe

    Ballard not a sure thing??

    Adam Jahns @adamjahns · 3m3 minutes ago

    League source suggests that Brian Gaine could be Ernie Accorsi’s top recommendation for #Bears, especially with Parcells connections.

    • BillW

      Well then, this could be fun! No matter who they pick the press will say they did it wrong.

      • BearDown100393

        Change the candidate’s first name to “Theo” before introducing to the media. Guaranteed immunity.

        • CanadaBear

          If Theo’s picks don’t pan out his immunity will be rescinded.

    • BillW

      I think I read Gaine is interviewing today along with Lake Dawson. (I think I fished on Lake Dawson once near Montreal. But maybe it was Lake Cromartie or Lake Raines.)

      I think the GM will get wrapped up by Friday.

    • GPLDAN

      That may be feeder chum to make it seem like they deliberated.

    • Johnnywad

      Maybe you should just wait until they hire a guy instead of trying to decide who it is before they do. You’ll probably sleep better. For now……..

  • Big Mike

    From the land of teams are actually playing football…
    “In 2014 the Seahawks ranked first in passing defense, third in
    rushing defense, and first in points allowed: a potent combination.
    Owing to a clock-control offense that ranked third in time of
    possession, Seattle had to defend only 924 snaps, fewest faced by any
    NFL team. This keeps defenders fresh, creating a feedback loop that
    leads to more defensive success.”

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/page/TMQWildCard150106/the-advantage-home-tuesday-morning-quarterback

    • Peanut FTW

      Good read. Little self defeating in that he uses defending the least amount of snaps in praise for Seattle but then reasons Denver’s run D down for the same reason later in the same article but pretty good over all. I think Denver is going to make Indy look really bad. Denver has a great run d and can get after the QB w/o blitzing. Indy should be one dimensional early but we will see.

    • Trac

      Can we hire Seattle’s DC as HC?

      • Big Mike

        I think he’s on the interview list. I’m curious about Toub as HC. He’s never been a DC. He coached dline for a bit if I recall. He’d need a DC and an OC with experience, since he’s been neither? What flavor of team would we be, that concerns me greatly about his candidacy.

        • Professional Journal

          Toub has a defensive back ground. What would you think of Schwartz as a DC?

          • CanadaBear

            It will be interesting to see what happens to Gym Shorts now that Marrone has left. That D was tremendous. Crazy amount of talent on D.

          • Professional Journal

            I like Seattle’s defense style over Swartz’s style, although Swartz is my 3rd favorite.

          • Bear Down in Tampa

            He played OL in college and coached DL at Mizzou and is arguably one of the best ST coordinators in the game, the man is versatile, i’ll say that much. In terms of an OC, I like Rob Chudzinski, and DC I like Wade Phillips, he has a great track record as a D coordinator.

          • Professional Journal

            Yes, I forgot about Chud. Does Toub have any ties to him? I really like Wade as well and you can’t argue with his success, but personally I prefer the 4-3 over the 3-4. Wade’s one gap system is great!

          • Big Mike

            He built a bad culture in Detroit. Depends on how strong of a HC we ended up with. His defenses were tough, but dirty. might be a good candidate

      • Professional Journal

        John Harbaugh was a ST coach who has done great as a HC.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Vegas has Quinn and Bowles as co-favorites. I’m pulling for my namesake. I know he wouldn’t be the DC for us, but we’d at least have one in the house.

    • SC Dave

      That formula is exactly what made the ’85 Bears what they were. The offense of that team never gets enough credit IMO.

      • Big Mike

        That offense was perfectly complimentary to the defense. I think the offense gets the right amount of credit.

      • Irish Sweetness

        They carried the D on occasion.

  • GPLDAN

    Ballard’s picture makes him look like a Ken doll your kid left in the snow.

    • BerwynBomber

      He looks like a cross between Glen Campbell and Sam Neill and one or two other guys whose names escape me.

    • Bears-4-Ever

      No Way..you throw a scar on his cheek and you got the 1970s GI-Joe with Kung-fu grip!

  • GPLDAN

    We stand breathless on the clean edge of change.

    • BerwynBomber

      Bears

    • Trac

      We stand on the precipice of History, with baited breath.

  • Bear Down in Tampa

    I wonder why Tom Gamble isn’t being mentioned (by someone other than Barb) as a candidate, or Trent Kirchner (SEA) for that matter. I know that success doesn’t always breed success but geez, can we at least look at these successful organizations for some front office talent?

    • Barb UMihai Mar

      John Doe talks about Gamble also. I was interested in him because he could have hired as HC Rex Ryan or Vic Fangio (including maybe Greg Roman).

      The pairing of Vic Fangio – Greg Roman are 4-0 against Rodgers. With 2 different average diverse skill set QBs.

    • I like Gamble too, namely because he doesn’t have Angelo stink.

  • John Doe

    Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter · 38m38 minutes ago
    Former Bears HC Marc Trestman expected to visit Jacksonville to interview for Jaguars OC job, per source. Already has interviewed with Bucs.

    • Professional Journal

      Trestman should do very well in Tampa as an OC. Lovie’s defense will keep them in games. McCown and Mariota/Winston shouldcflourish with Jackson, Evans, and ASJ.

  • John Doe

    Already 10 teams interested in Suh.

    Suh will easily be the top guy in free agency. Nick Fairley will also get a lot of interest and top $$.

    I don’t think Paea will get top dollars. He is much, much below Suh and Fairley level.

    Still hope Bears let Paea walk. the best would be if some how Leonard Willams falls to Bears at #7.

    Or if they trade down there are some good options in late first or second round… Malcom Brown, DT Texas, Eddie Goldman, DT FSU and mammoth Oklahoma DT Jordan Phillips 6’6″, 334 pounds.

    Also, they would be better off letting Lamarr Houston go. Look what happened to Geno Atkins after ACL.

    Bengals DC Paul Guenther acknowledged DT Geno Atkins wasn’t the same player in 2014.

    Atkins tore his ACL in Week 9 of 2013. He returned to play every game this season, but was a shell of himself. “We need to get him back to where he was when he was one of the best three techniques in the game,” said Guenther. “This year he was just three technique No. 20. He was just a guy out there.” Atkins recorded just 34 tackles and a career-low three sacks. He turns 27 in March and has four years left on his $56.4 million contract.

    • Professional Journal

      I would like to keep Paea on the cheap around $3m per. Leonard Williams would great. I am of the opinion that we should carry 5 DT. Ratliff is in the last year of his contract, This was the 1st year Paea has stayed healthy, and Ego and Will were underwhelming.

      They say it normally takes 2 yrs for a full recovery of an ACL tear, especially for bigger guys.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Yes! I like you. Williams looks like a future game-changer. Ratliff and Paea are solid. We’ll see about the other two kids … but that’s a roster. That’s a rotation. If we got Williams with a Cutty pick, then we could draft a pass-rusher at 7. I’ll be banging the D-Line drum until the draft. Build that properly and I could care less what happens anywhere else. The pressure comes off your LBs and DBs a little bit then. What defined the 85 Bears was the fact that two seconds after the ball was snapped, the opposing QB was on his back.

        • Professional Journal

          A strong line can mask a lot of things. A few years ago when our line was good with Rod Marinelli running it, Wright and Conte were looking good.

    • BerwynBomber

      Will be tough for the Kittens to let both Suh and Fairley go but things are looking that way. Some speculation as to it being another reason Suh got choked up in his post-DAL presser: he knows it is the last time he will wear a DET uni.

    • Irish Sweetness

      We ship Cutty to Tennessee and we don’t need williams to fall to 7, we take him at 2. Grab Gregory at 7.

      How ’bout them apples? HOOO-AH!

  • Jack Lacan

    “What do you get when you cross an insomaniac, an unwilling agnostic , and a dyslexic?
    “You get somebody who stays up all night torturing himself mentally over the question of whether there’s a dog.”
    David Foster Wallace
    and Suh…

  • Barb UMihai Mar

    Jeff says Ballard might be an in-demand potential star. Sorry, but if that’s true he has to have the cards to gain total power over the next Head Coach decision.

    He can’t be a potential star and accept ‘collaborative effort’ in choosing the next HC.

  • BerwynBomber

    Hub’s take on Ballard? Likes him but wouldn’t hire him. Of his fourteen years in the NFL, twelve have been spent, as Hub put it, in “Bears dysfunction”.

    • John Doe

      Makes sense. Hiring Ballard does not represent change. You don’t fire Emery and hire a guy who was with Bears for a dozen years up until not too long ago.

      • Barb UMihai Mar

        it’s not about Ballard. It’s about the Bears… what would change mean ? Hiring guys with previous experience or a football mind to assist the ‘rookies’.

      • Professional Journal

        I would argue that except for a few offensive pieces, from ’04-’12, the Bears were close to title contention. With the offense we have now, a competent play caller and defenses like we had from ’04-’12, we would be title contenders again.

        I will take Ballard for a dollar! 🙂

    • Barb UMihai Mar

      nobody knows who the fuck these guys are until their names comes up…
      you can’t say “I wouldn’t hire him” about any of them.

      • BerwynBomber

        I would bet someone like Arkash knew who Ballard was well before the last couple of weeks.

        • Johnnywad

          He did. Referred to him as a friend today.

  • Cormonster

    NFL admits to another blown call in the Lions – Cowboys game. Apparently Suh was held on a 4th down Dallas conversion on their last drive.

    http://www.prideofdetroit.com/2015/1/6/7504689/nfl-officials-lions-cowboys

    • Big Mike

      The more pain the Lions fans have the better

      • Cormonster

        My buddy who sent me the link is really bummed out right now. Tough to swallow if your a Lions fan.

        • Big Mike

          I can imagine. Funny being a fan. It’s fun to push the other guys buttons, but after a loss like that a friend knows to back off.

    • Barb UMihai Mar

      Suh was held on every other play.

  • My NFL suggestion? Have perspective GMs do a combine.
    All kinds of formats can be submitted. Pyramid, Hollywood Squares, Jeopardy, Heck, even a combine. Make them race Rich Eisen.

  • CanadaBear

    New thread (poll).

  • MichaelSheas

    For a GM, I’d like to see someone who was responsible for rebuilding the 49ers or Seahawks, or perhaps a leading scout from organizations like the Packers, Bengals or Patriots organizations. Those who have proof in th pudding of actually accumulating talent. What the hell are the Bears doing building candidate pools from the likes of the Titans, Chiefs, Texans or Dolphins? Really? Is continued futility your goal? As for coaching candidates, Please say no to Mike Shannahan. He’s 20 years past his prime and is best off now in patriachal role, sitting upstairs quietly in quaterly board meetings, worrying about his retirement package. A 62 year old man with a blank stare on his face just doesn’t garner the respect of young men like somebody who is younger, shaper in focus, and still has the vigor in his personality to command a room. I don’t want to see fossils from NFL films of the 20th Century leading the Bears 15-20 years into the 21st Century.

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