- Not much interesting in the Sun-Times today. Or so I thought. Walter Payton? Ancient history. Cam Newton? Enough already. Hellooooo strippers.
- Glad to see that Marion Barber will be back tomorrow. He should look like a freight train to the Carolina defense after Matt Forte floats around in front of them for awhile.
- Perhaps someone could explain to me why this nugget was relevant to Sean Jensen’s report in the Chicago Sun-Times:
“Rookie right tackle Gabe Carimi went to a 10 a.m. service Thursday for Rosh Hashanah.”
A lot was made about the fact that Carimi was jewish when he was drafted and fair enough. But now that the season has started I think such things should fall by the wayside unless he misses practice. I’m sure many players will go to mass on Sunday and hold days of obligation. No one reports on it nor should they.
- Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune on 2011 second round pick, Stephen Paea:
“Second-round pick Stephen Paea has yet to be in uniform for a game, and the team made the curious decision to dress third quarterback Nathan Enderle last week over the defensive tackle from Oregon State.”
“’He’s right in there,’ defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said. ‘I think he is really gonna be a heck of a player. He’s got all the stuff we want. We’re just a little deep at that tackle position. To me it’s a great to bring him in the right way, earn your stripes, come in and work your way up. I feel really good.’”
Marinelli’s comment aside, Paea was getting well handled by third string offensive linemen in the preseason. He looks like he’s got a long way to go before he’s going to be of any help.
- Dan Pompei at the Chicago Tribune answers your questions:
“Even when [offensive coordinator Mike] Martz looks like he is going to start off the game with some running plays, he uses a delayed handoff, I’m assuming so that he could try and fool the defense. Why doesn’t he just call normal running plays? Sounds like a simple enough question, but apparently it isn’t. — Pete Hasa, Monterey, Calif.”
“I agree the Bears should call for more downhill running plays. The slow developing plays that have been called have a greater chance of turning into losses of yards.”
The delayed handoff is designed to cause linebackers to hesitate and allow pulling linemen to get across to where they are supposed to be to block them. The problem with the Packers game was that the linebackers didn’t hesitate. They crashed the line and got into the backfield too early. I’m pretty sure that one of the reasons Martz stopped calling runs was because these delayed runs were a major part of the game plan and they had no hope of working. I agree with both the emailer and Pompei that this has to be fixed.
- A little advice for those of you headed out to the Bear game:
Be sure to adjust so that everything goes with the color of the uniform they’re wearing that day. Wow, what nonsense!
- Steve Dahl argues that he’s not a jinx in this episode of “Angelo’s Ashes”:
- Jimmy Plocharczyk thinks he’s Walter Payton in this cute little video:
You forgot the Vicodin and Tylenol at the end, Jimmy.
- Are there really people out there who care that one of Mike Ditka’s sons got a DUI?
- Biggs writes that Erik Walden got fined for a blow to Jay Cutler’s head last week. A penalty was called and Walden doesn’t think he should have been further punished. I’m all in favor of protecting the quarterback but I think he has a case. Personally I’d rather have seen the Saints’ Roman Harper fined for sticking his helmet into Earl Bennet’s ribs the week before.
- Congress wants to talk to the NFL and the NFLPA about why HGH testing hasn’t been implemented. The NFLPA has agreed to testing in principal but they
are stalling to give the players time to find a way to beat the testquestion the safety and reliability of the test.
- Paul Kenyon at the Providence Journal quotes current Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on his 1998 interview with Oakland owner Al Davis to become the Raiders head coach:
“‘He was asking a lot of questions about what we did defensively,’ said Belichick, who then was the Jets’ defensive coordinator.
“‘You kind of don’t want to give too much information because, you know, he’s running the defense. He wasn’t really too interested in talking about offensive football.’”
“‘It really seemed like a waste of time, because I felt pretty certain that he wouldn’t hire a defensive coach, because he hasn’t since Eddie Erdelatz in ,’ Belichick pointed out. ‘It’s a parade of offensive coaches out there. He’s really a defensive coordinator and has been. You know.’”
- Michael David Smith at profootballtalk.com on former Bear and all around softie Bernard Berrian after his statement that he’s been getting open. He’s got one catch so far.
“Let’s see. If Berrian has been doing all the same things as usual, and he’s getting open, what could the problem be? Could it be new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave or new quarterback Donovan McNabb? Berrian didn’t mention their names, but if Berrian is getting open and still isn’t getting the ball, it would seem to be an issue with the play calling or the quarterback.
Berrian has been on the field for 132 snaps, or 74.2 percent of the Vikings’ offensive plays. A receiver who’s on the field that much and has just one catch is basically a waste of space on offense, but he says he’s not stressing about everyone pointing out that he’s not much of a contributor.”
- The San Franscisco 49ers’offensive line has adopted this inspirational slogan: “We don’t suck.” Via Gregg Rosenthal at profootballtalk.com.
- Here’s an interesting Audible from Pro Football Weekly:
“The fans are revolting in Kansas City. They don’t have a head coach or a quarterback that can take them anywhere. I’m sure (GM) Scott Pioli had a plan, but what you find out once you start wearing the big-boy pants, sometimes you don’t get the time you need to carry it through. This is a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately league. They gave Matt Cassel a big contract. The one thing he needed was talent around him. (Tony) Moeaki and (Jamaal) Charles went out with ACLs. They have caught some bad breaks, no doubt, but look at how many injuries the Packers had last year. The Patriots got hammered by injuries when they were going to those Super Bowls. How many guys did the Saints have on I.R. when they won it? The good ones adapt. You look for excuses in this league, and you’re done.”
In fairness, all of those teams had years to build their roster. A good part of Kansas City’s problems are probably associated with head coach Todd Haley. Haley is extremely tough and there’s only so much of that you can take before it beats you down. There’s a good chance he’s already lost the team.
One Final Thought
Pompei answers another question:
“Recently, Jerry Angelo blamed the Bear’s losses to poor execution and inconsistency on the part of the players. That may be partially true, however, perhaps a greater portion of the blame may revert to draft day and not drafting a player who could develop into a speedy go to receiver for Cutler and not drafting a bevy of potentially talented, offensive linemen with the rest of the picks. In addition, I sincerely feel the Bears played two of the top four teams in the NFL and they had a lot to do with the Bears’ losses. What do you think? — Gerald Healy, Rugby, N.D.”
“The Bears have been underdogs in all three of their games this year, so actually, they have done better than they were supposed to do. Their two losses may have come to the two best teams in the NFL. That being said, the nature of the losses has been disturbing. It’s safe to say we still don’t know who this team is. I’m not ready to write off the receivers or offensive line yet, either. Remember, Earl Bennett and Roy Williams have missed time at receiver, and Gabe Carimi and Lance Louis have missed time on the line. The offense needs some time to come together.”
I spent most of my week trying to talk Bear fans off the ledge and convince them that it would be OK. A big part of the Bears offensive problems in the Packer game were drops and penalties. Judging from what we’ve seen from this team in recent years, these mistakes are not typical. The Bears don’t usually beat themselves with these kinds of mistakes, at least not to that extent.
For the record, I had the Bears going 11-5 this season and that was accounting for losses to both the Saints and Packers and the upcoming Lions game in week 5. People who read this blog or know me personally know that I’m not the wildly optimistic type. I stand by that prediction.
I’m not saying there isn’t cause for concern but as Pompei says in answer to another question later in the article, “Deep breath, everybody.”