Tag Archives: Jerry Angelo

Bears In Hibernation

The names of many professional sports teams have often puzzled me.  Jazz in Utah?  The only Wizards I know of live in fiction books not Washington D.C  And, do to popular belief, Arenas was not petitioning for the team to change back to their old name.

Detroit Lions?  Kittens maybe but not Lions.  Wouldn’t the Lakers be better off as the Oceaners?  I mean there in LA, not Minnesota.

Well, in Chicago the NFL squads name fits them perfectly.  No, not because they are angry, ferocious woodland predators.  More so for what Bears do in late fall and into winter.  Let’s examine, shall we?

Definition per Wiki – Hibernation is a state of inactivity and metabolic depression in animals, characterized by lower body temperature, slower breathing, and lower metabolic rate. Hibernating animals conserve food, especially during winter when food is short, tapping energy reserves, body fat, at a slow rate. It is the animal’s slowed metabolic rate which leads to a reduction in body temperature and not the other way around.

Many Bears hibernate and most from late fall through the winter.  Food is scarce so they store up, find a comfy cave and pass out for several months.

Enter the Chicago Bears.  Some may argue they hibernate from the season opener on but that really isn’t the case.  They usually fall asleep in October sometime and rarely come out of their slumber.  This slumber, the one that causes them to miss the post-season more than make it, effects the staff upstairs as well.

You decide you need to make change so you fire a coordinator and some coaches.  You say how you are going to bring the best guys in to coach both the offense and defense and then ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

Jerry!  Lovie!  Wake up!  Oh crap, that’s right, it is very dangerous to wake up a sleeping bear.  Wait, have people seen these bears?  They don’t seem very dangerous.  Oh well.

In the meantime coaches are dissing the Bears.  They are going to other teams, not showing up for interviews and don’t want to play for a lame duck administration.  Can you blame them?

So, for now, we watch and wait and hope the big, bad Bear wakes up from its slumber.  After all the NFL Draft is in April and, oh, never mind.  I forgot we don’t have any picks in the first two rounds.  I guess they were planning on sleeping in this off-season.

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I’m Mad as Hell…

and I’m not going to take it any more!  I know that isn’t original but how many people dare take a line from Network and incorporate into a blog about Lovie Smith and the Bears.  Oh yes, I dare to walk that line.

Early in the 3rd quarter of yesterday’s Chicago Bears v. Green Bay Packers game I had hope.  Mind you it was a sliver of hope but any sort of hope involving this year’s Chicago Bears is a good thing.

Jay Cutler drove the offense right down the field and all of a sudden the Bears had a 1 point lead.  With the Bears playing very good defense I thought the Bears were in line for a victory over the Packers.  Well, soon after grabbing that lead my hopes were dashed.  I mean, what was I thinking?  Have hope in this team.

Lovie calls a time out and then throws a red flag for a review he wasn’t going to win.  The dynamic, young Johnny Knox not knowing where he is supposed to go…in Week 13!  The Bears collect over 100 yards in penalties.  WR Devin Aromashodu gets major PT and it pays off for the passing game.  What’s wrong with that you might ask?  Cutler said he had quite the connection with this young, big receiver.  When did he say that?  PRE-Frickin-SEASON!  Apparently the coaches don’t give a shit what their franchise QB has to say.  Instead we suffer through 13 weeks of Bennett drops, Knox running the wrong way and Hester’s lack of height.

I know I have been harping on this for weeks and weeks but the coaches have to go.  I might keep special team guru Dave Toub but they have to go.  I don’t care if the franchise has to pay them millions.  It was their mistake and they need to correct.  Lovie is a terrible head coach and should go back to being a defensive coordinator.  Ron Turner should go back to college.  But Ron, please leave Illinois out of it.  This state has had enough of your ineptness for one lifetime.

I won’t even name the rest of the coaches because they aren’t worth naming.  OK, I lied.  How can you not bring up QB “guru” Pep Hamilton.  Good ol’ Pep has not had a positive impact on the Chicago Bears team.  The only thing he has managed to do is watch Kyle Orton get better after he left.  Jay Cutler was awesome until he got here.  This guy is the angel of death to QBs.  Cut him loose.

Finally I will go just a little bit higher and say Jerry Angelo should go too.  I’ve supported Jerry in the past for his ability to find those “diamonds in the rough” in the mid-rounds.  However, Jerry has been an absolute failure on Day 1 of the NFL Draft.  Day 1 is when you are supposed to find the future NFL studs.  It is one thing to find guys to fill roster spots in the middle rounds but you need to come up with difference makers on Day 1.  Jerry has failed to do that.

2003 – DE Michael Haynes (out of NFL), QB Rex Grossman (3rd string on Houston) and CB Charles Tillman (good pick).  LB Lance Briggs was selected in the next round which was great but the next 8 picks all washed out.

2004 – DTs Tommie Harris (constantly injured) and Tank Johnson (criminal now on Cincy).  In the following rounds Jerry found Nate Vasher (fading veteran) and Bernard Berrian (Minnesota Vikings star).

2005 – RB Cedric Benson (pain in the ass cancer on the Bears, top AFC rusher for Cincy) and WR Mark Bradley (rarely saw the field, play fairly well for KC).  Oh, 4th Rounder was Kyle Orton who will be leading the Broncos offensive attack in the 2010 playoffs.

2006 – DB Danieal Manning (small school find, fair player probably considered a bust) and WR/KR Devin Hester (good pick for what he accomplished on special teams).

2007 – TE Greg Olsen (so far this is a bust.  he should be putting up Dallas Clark numbers) and DE Dan Bazuin (terrible pick.  never played).  Beekman, Payne and Graham later on in the draft were fine.  But we know Jerry can draft in the middle rounds.

2008 – OT Chris Williams (suspect health questions and has not looked good early on) and RB Matt Forte (Good pick but we won’t know if Matt is more the player of 2008 or 2009 yet).  WR Earl Bennett is pick next and has potential.  Too many drops for my liking.

2009 – We didn’t have a Day 1 pick because of the Jay Cutler trade (not working so far).  3rd Round brought us DT/DE Jarron Gilbert (hasn’t seen the field with the Bears crappy line.  Speaks volumes) and WR Juaquin Iglesias (bad WR corps and he can’t see the field.).  WR Knox and DB Afalava are the only contributors from this group.

Here is another fun game to show people what a Day 1 disaster Angelo is.  Here are the players, year-by-year, that were taken shortly after the Bears picks.

2009 – After Bears take Gilbert…SF takes RB Glen Coffee (solid #2 behind Gore) and the pick right after Iglesias was by NYG and they took TE Travis Beckum.  4 picks later CLE takes LB Kaluka Maiva who has been solid.

2008 – After the Bears take OT Chris Williams the following players come off of the board.  DB Rodgers-Cromartie by Arizona, QB Joe Flacco by Baltimore and OT Jeff Otah by Carolina.  RB Matt Forte was an OK pick, so far, but WR DeSean Jackson did come off of the board 5 picks later and RB Ray Rice to Baltimore 11 picks later.

2007 – Bears take TE Greg Olsen who wasn’t a bad pick here but Indy did nab a quality #2 WR in Anthony Gonzalez with the next pick.  In the 2nd Round they take Bazuin and Green Bay a little bit later takes Brandon Jackson, a solid #2,#3 RB.

2006 – Finally we traded out of Round 1 and had 2 2nd Round picks.  We took Danieal Manning instead of a DB Roman Harper, RB LenDale White or WR Greg Jennings.  Hester was a pretty good pick with the 2nd one but one may argue Jacksonville got a better pick a few picks later with Maurice Jones-Drew.

What I am getting at is this Bears team looks vastly different If the Bears pick WR Greg Jennings, WR Anthony Gonzalez, QB Joe Flacco, TE Travis Beckum and RB Maurice Jones-Drew.  Sure that is a lot to expect that your GM picks perfectly every single time but you can’t miss on Day 1 and expect to remain competitive in the NFL.

Finally, those players need to go.  We have too many guys collecting a paycheck and not contributing.  Some of the guys that need to go are C Olin Kreutz, OT Orlando Pace, WR Earl Bennett, WR Rashied Davis, FB Jason McKie, RB Garrett Wolfe, RB Adrian Petersen, DE Mark Anderson, LB Brian Urlacher, LB Hunter Hillenmeyer, every safety on the roster except Al Afalava and CB Nate Vasher.  These guys are underperforming and/or just plain sucking.  I know including Urlacher may shock some but the only contribution he has made lately is with his mouth.  He needs to shut the hell up and take care of his own business and hopefully he’ll do that with a different team.

In conclusion Lovie, other coaches, some players and GM Angelo should be gone.  What is out there?  Maybe Cowher, Dungy, Billick or Shanahan.  Maybe an unknown talent from college.  All I know is the GM should be progressive and not have a Tampa Cover-2 hard on and the head coach should have head coaching experience.

The only positive we can take out of this season is that every day closer to the end of it is the beginning of a new one.

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Lovie’s Bears: Cute and Cuddly or Monsters of the Midway?

loviebear

The Chicago Bears have parted way with several defensive position coaches and the strength and conditioning coaches this week.  Sounding like a Barack Obama doll GM Jerry Angelo chants “Change, Change, Change” while Lovie says Orton is our QB.  Hmmmm?  Interesting.

The change Angelo is talking about includes bringing in Rod Marinelli.  Yeah, that guy.  The guy who coached the 0-16 Detoit Lions.  The guy who came from, wait for it…wait for it…the Tampa Bay Bucs.  The same place Angelo and Lovie came from.  Doesn’t sound like change.  It sounds like more of the same.

Ron Rivera was fired as the defensive coordinator 2 years ago because he didn’t “gel” with Lovie’s system.  The Chicago Bears had the #5 defense in the NFL and made it to the Superbowl.  Now the Bears have been in the bottom 1/3 in defense the past 2 seasons and haven’t made the playoffs either season.  Now common sense might say Lovie and/or Bob Babich might be on the chopping block.  That didn’t happen.

What happens is the PR men tell the Angelo to preach change.  This is what he does and to a lesser extent Lovie does the same.  They execute the foot soldiers and not the superior officers.  To me this seems ridiculous.  What is really going to change when the system remains the same?   The few stars they do have remaining on defense are now all another year older and certainly not wiser.

The Bears have become a soft team.  Cuddly in fact.  The defense doesn’t scare anyone.  Teams come in and rush for 100 yards almost every time.  The opposing team’s pass offense knows you can destroy the Bears bend don’t break philosophy with quick slants and receivers up the seam.  All teams need to do is run a slot receiver under the coverage and then an outside reciever on a hook and go.  Ask Donald Driver or Bernard Berrian how that worked out for them.

They are far from the Monsters of the Midway.  Even back in the 70s and 80s when they had some very mediocre teams the Bears managed to have a Top 10 defense.  They would slap you in the face and your team knew, and felt when they played the Chicago Bears.  Those days are long gone. 

Angelo needs to get kudos for finding guys like Forte, Corey Graham, Hester, Nick Roach, Beekman, Briggs and Alex Brown.  However, Angelo is terrible in Rounds 1 and 2 and that is where you need to find your NFL starters.  Forte,  Olsen, Peanut and  were good picks, no doubt.  However, Angelo has also had these dandies in Rounds 1 and 2; Michael Haynes, Rex Grossman, Tank Johnson, Cedric Benson, Mark Bradley, Danieal Manning, Dan Bazuin and Chris Williams.  Now Manning might be starting to come into his own but up until his recent special teams success, he’s been a brutal safety.  See what I’m getting at folks.  These problems are a little higher up the totem pole. 

Despite some of these blown 1st and 2nd Rounders we had enough talent to get to the Superbowl.  Then, like magic, we are mediocre again.  Most of that talent is still in place 2 consecutive BLAH seasons later. 

I’ll tell you what gives.  We lost our defensive coordinator and Lovie has all his guys in place.  Well, at least he did until he let a bunch go.  Lovie is the problem.  His half time adjustments are horseshit and sticking to the script is not how you win a championship.  It is conservative, cuddly, fluffy football.  No one is scared of playing the Bears.  NO ONE!  His conservative approach has cost us games.  Most recently the Alanta and Tampa Bay games which, if won, would have put the Bears into the playoffs.  Playing not to lose versus playing to win sucks.  Not too mention you rarely seem him display any sort of emotion on the sidelines.  I’m sorry, I played a little football and it is a very emotional game.  There are times a coach needs to be reserved and a time he needs to kick you in the pants.  Lovis Bear just seems to be reserved. 

So the 2008 version was pretty cuddly.  Lovie Bear and Angelo still have jobs and will keep them for a while.  They fired the assistants and will appoint new guys to do the same thing.  Bears fans, get used to your kind and cuddly Chicago Teddy Bears.  They are here to stay.

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Shock and Awe

Those are the best words I can use to describe my experience watching last nights Chicago Bears v. Minnesota Vikings game.  The Bears are up 7-3 and on the door, First and Goal at the 1 yard line.  The Bears had been containing the Vikings fairly well up to this point and would have gone into the halftime with a 14-3 lead.  I think any Bears fan would have been happy with that.  The offense, while a bit sluggish, was getting the job done.  The defense looked like the defense of old.  But something happened.  You know, one of those unexplained things that kind of freeze you in your tracks and make you question what you just saw.  An event like a plane crashing in your backyard or your friend being suddenly mauled by a cougar.  HOW THE HELL DID BEARS 14-3 TURN INTO VIKINGS 17-7 IN A MATTER OF A COUPLE OF MINUTES?

It was kind of a perfect storm of sorts.  You have 4 tries at the one yard line and fail to score a touchdown, a cornerback breaks off his man-to-man coverage and then you let AP bounce outside for yet another 50+ yard run.  That was the Bears recipe for disaster last night.

But this shouldn’t be.  Every team suffers from lapses.  Every team blows a lead or lets a couple of mishaps get them in a hole.  But some teams, the good teams, don’t let that defeat them.  The coaches make the necessary adjustments.  The best players on the team will make good things happen and help change the momentum.  But just now, after 12 games, I realized they are not a good team.  Orton is serviceable, Forte is an above average back and a few decent pieces remain on the defense but let’s not kid ourselves, they are not that good.

The players are either overrated, like Tommie Harris, Mark Anderson, Peanut or Devin Hester, or they just aren’t that good, like Roach, St. Clair, Davis and Payne.  But even with this collection of stiffs the Bears should be better than any other team in the NFC WEAK Division.  Furthermore, how do the Bears let this MUST WIN game slip away?  

It was mostly the players.  I mean if I had a $1 for every dropped ball I’d be on my way to Sizzler.  However, the coaches had a major contribution as well.  You have to start with head coach Lovie Smith whose game plans, mid-game adjustments and motivation tactics leave a lot to be desired.  Lovie is a coordinator, not a head coach.  You can tell in his mannerisms and how he handles crisis situations.  He rarely comes off scripts and places players under the bus for losses way too much.  How dare he even criticize Turner’s BRAIN DEAD offensive game plans or Bob “Lovie’s Cabana Boy” Babich? 

To be a defensive coordinator in the NFL today you need to be fierce and aggressive.  You need to be a risk taker and motivator and I don’t see that in the Cabana Boy.  You need to have better game plans and be able to break off of them when things aren’t working.  You need to instruct your younger players how to play the game properly.  Watching Peanut break off of a man-to-man thinking it was the Cover 2 led me to believe the players are confused because the coaches are confused.  

The Bears Three Stooges don’t have the capability to lead, instruct or strategize.  They will make their montone statements to the press about what a tough loss it was and that they have to play better.   BLAH BLAH BLAH!!!  More f*cking excuses!

Finally GM Angelo is also to blame.  Sure I have lauded him for his mid and late round finds but he has been just as much of a hinder as a help.  This is Jerry’s second head coach so he can’t blast him too harshly.  Not many GM’s (unless you’re Matt Millen) survive multiple coach firings.  Jerry continues to support Lovie and doesn’t apply needed pressure.  And why would he?  The Bears aren’t firing anyone.  They don’t dismiss people with multiple years on a contract.  They will run this course until everyone’s deals are done.  

Jerry Angelo CAN’T DRAFT in the 1st and 2nd Rounds.  Most, if not all, under his leadership haven’t panned out and these are the picks that build franchises.  This is where you find the superstars.  Up until Matt Forte of this year most of them are bench warmers, on other teams or out of the league.  He also can’t evaluate talent already on the team.  WR Mike Haas sit on and off our development squad because he can catch the ball?  That is all that kid does.  He isn’t blazing fast but either is Camarillo (Mia), Welker (NE) or Curtis (Phi).  Teams want guys that can run routes, get open and catch.  No matter what “experts” or combine freaks tell you, FOOTBALL IS A 10-YARD GAME!  You take time off of the clock, move the ball, get first downs and score. 

It is obvious the Bears, from the players to the coaches to management, have no idea how to win.  I didn’t say ‘play the game of football’, I said win.  Their is a big difference and we are looking at several more years of mediocrity in the space dish that used to be Soldier Field.  I suppose the most frustrating thing is in 2005 and 2006 it looked as if this franchise understood what it took to win.  The players made the right moves and the coaches made the right decisions and the Bears were playoff bound.  But to keep most of the same cast of characters and de-evolve into this mess is majorly disappointing.

I guess the best way to describe this de-evolution is by using an old saying.  “I’D RATHER BE LUCKY THAN GOOD!”  And, unfortunately for the Bears, it appears their luck has run out.

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Cedric Was No Entertainer

Ced fall down go boom.  Does anyone other than his momma care?  Nope.

Cedric the Entertainer?  Not so much.  Cedric the Under Achiever?  Maybe  Cedric the Selfish?  Probably  Cedric the Asshole?  Definitely

With absolutely no trade value and a closet full of crap the Bears unload Cedric the Asshole.

What will I miss most?  I suppose it is him hanging out with the kickers his rookie year because no one else on the team liked him.  Perhaps it is his pussy performance in Superbowl XLI.  It could also be the dozens of fans screaming for Cedric and saying Thomas Jones is a hack and should step aside.  It might also be his string of alcohol related incidents with the Bears.  Either way he has provided me with a hard drive filled with memories.  

Now, THANK GOD, the Chicago Bears have said, “ENOUGH!”  Was it the problem on the boat?  Maybe  Was it the follow up DUI?  Probably  Was it the 3.4 yards per carry, 10 career TDs and dozens of missed blocking assignments?  YES YES YES

But now I am listening at the water cooler and on the radio and fans are wondering “WHAT NOW?”  You know what?  It doesn’t matter what now because what now is still better than life with Cedric the Asshole. 

What now might be as simple as two words like SHAUN ALEXANDER!!!! 

No one can’t tell me he doesn’t have a couple of more years in the tank.  He is only 31 years of age and has averaged more yards per carry with a hairline fracture in his foot than C the A did when he was healthy.  Shaun is also involved in the community, is a family man and devout Christian.  He sounds like a winner to me. 

What now might be as easy as a phone call to KEVIN JONES! 

He is often injured but better than C the A when healthy.  After all, Jones did rush for over 1,000 yards as a rookie on the Lions.  Yes, the Lions, the crappy team with a crappy line.  He is said to be healthy now and is probably worth a gamble.  The Patriots are looking at him…how bad can he be? 

There are excellent short-term solutions while Forte learns the NFL.  Either of these two backs combined with Matt Forte would make a solid running attack.

So, here’s to Angelo and Phillips who had the balls to cut Cedric the Asshole.  Trust me folks, better days are ahead.

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