- Mark Potash at the Chicago Sun-Times writes about the improvement in the offensive line. Respected veteran Olin Kreutz‘s opinion caries a lot of weight:
“‘You know what we have? We have the best offensive line coach in the league, period,’ said Olin Kreutz, a 13-year veteran who was a third-round pick by the Bears in 1998.”
The Bears offensive line coach is former Vikings head coach Mike Tice.
“[Offensive coordinator Mike] Martz is one of the best in the world at what he does.”
Jensen also mentions in passing that Martz will be calling the game from the press box. That would be a change from the regular season where he stayed on the sideline. I’m not sure what the reason for the change is but ti would seem odd to be changing a formula for success right as the post season begins.
“The biggest thing for them, when Jay [Cutler] tries to make things happen, is in the red zone,” [former Ram quarterback Kurt] Warner said. “You can’t have turnovers. You have to score points when you have opportunities.”
I have quoted someone or said this in some form every single day. The surest path to disaster for the Bears is for the Bears quarterback to try to do too much.
- The writers at the Chicago Tribune did a series of four round table discussion videos comparing the 2010 Bears to the 2006 Bears. This one compares the coaches:
“The good thing is the Bears won the division and earned the bye.“The bad thing is the void of fresh, local football analysis. I’m pointing the thumb as much as the finger because I have participated in the blather.“‘The quarterback doesn’t smile.’ … ‘A contract extension is due Lovie Smith.’ … ‘ ”Enlightened’ Greg Olsen finally realizes he should contribute more.’“I feel shame.”
- Nice to see Tribune legend Don Pierson back writing, this time about the 2010 Bears from a historical perspective. He compares the 2010 Bears to the ’85 team:
“The remarkable array of NFL coaches spawned by the 1985 team — [Leslie] Frazier, Ron Rivera, Jeff Fisher, [Mike] Singletary, plus ballboys Rex and Rob Ryan, not to mention [Jim] McMahon successor Jim Harbaugh — help keep the Bears of the ’80s on the front page.
“Standing ovations get tiresome after 25 years, but don’t sit down yet.”
- Biggs interviews former NFL safety Matt Bowen for the Tribune. Not surprisingly, they focus on the Bears-Seahawks matchup. Bowen comments on Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch in this little nugget:
“The one thing Seattle is doing, what they did a lot against the Saints, is they ran the ball on the slot side. What that does for a running back is it gives him more room to choose. He gets the ball deep in the backfield and he has the ability to cut back, take the first hole or stretch it all the way to the edge. Marshawn Lynch is an excellent cutback runner.”
Though it hasn’t been as evident this season, speed teams like the Bears can be beaten by cutback runners as they flow rapidly to the ball.
- I couldn’t find the video but former NFL quarterback Ron Jaworski broke down the Bears-Seahawks matchup on ESPN‘s Pardon the Interruption. When Bears fan Mike Wilbon asked him why he should be worried about the Bears chances, Jaworski pointed out the the Bears led the league in negative plays.
- Profootballtalk.com‘s Mike Florio picks the Seahawks to win:
“Sometimes, football makes no sense. Last week, a clearly superior Saints team went to Seattle and lost. This week, the Seahawks return to Soldier Field with plenty of confidence and a lot of momentum, against a Bears team that isn’t as good as the Saints team that the Seahawks beat last weekend.”
“Besides, the Bears could be tight and the Seahawks could catch them flat-footed and Seattle could do that which no one — including the Bears — expects them to do.”
Reserve your spots on the roofs of the best buildings now Bear fans.
- The Count at the Wall Street Journal did a study of the number of words per minute NFL announcing teams generate. Generally speaking those that were considered the best by most fans were the least chatty.
- In the shocker of the century future ex-Heisman trophy winner Cam Newton will be entering the NFL draft. ESPN’s Todd McShay expresses doubt about Newton’s chances of succeeding in the NFL:
- The Browns hired Rams offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur as their new head coach:
- And the Broncos hired John Fox:
- Gregg Rosenthal at profootballtalk.com highlights ten foot metaphors from Wes Welker recent press conference.
- The Sports Pickle tells you what coaches would really say if they expressed what was on really their minds like Rex Ryan does. Here’s a sample:
One Final Thought
Kyle Koster at the Chicago Sun-Times provides a day-by-day look at how the Bears good fortune could continue to a historic Super Bowl run. Here’s a sample:
“Wednesday, Jan. 19: [NFL commissioner] Roger Godell unilaterally abolishes instant replay. Despite the outcry, Bears fans take to the streets celebrating the end of [Bears head coach Lovie] Smith’s long red-flag follies. [Packers head coach Mike] McCarthy appears on “SportsCenter” and calls for Goodell’s ouster. The emboldened commissioner bans the Packers coach for life.”