Big Game Causes Stripper Shortage and Other Points of View


  • Dan Pompei at the Chicago Tribune reviews his four most pressing needs for the Bears.  He emphasizes the largely under appreciated need for a good hard look at back up quarterback.
  • Bryan Dietzler at the Bleacher Report runs thorough five potential draftees for the Bears in the first round.  Not surprisingly three are offensive linemen.  He also mentions Justin Houston, a prospect we’re starting to hear a lot about.  Many think he’d be a good defensive end in a cover two type defense.
  • Drew Sharp at the Detroit Free Press makes the interesting point that those players criticizing Jay Cutler have no right to complain about the proposed 18 game seasaon.
  • Who says the Bears don’t have cheerleaders?   This video is wonderful.


What?  There’s something else going on?

Via Michael David Smith at

“Late in the third quarter against Green Bay, he watched from his private box as the Packers scored their scored fifth consecutive touchdown to take a 42-14 lead. Fans began to stream out of the Georgia Dome.

“’People said to me, ‘You must be upset about that,’’ Blank said. ‘I said no. I wasn’t upset that they were leaving, I was upset about the way we were playing. The fans were incredibly supportive all year. After that third quarter, it would’ve taken a miracle just to come back and make the game competitive. It was like the fans were getting hit on the head with a hammer, and it wouldn’t stop. The only way they could make it stop was by leaving. So they left.’”

“In that division, you have to build a team that can play in the elements and play outside.  I didn’t realize that right away. My first year there, we took Terrell Buckley in the first round. After seeing what it’s like in November and December in Green Bay, I figured out you need to get a bigger person. So we eliminated the smaller stature guys. It helps to get people from the Big Ten and that area that it doesn’t affect. You need bigger people.”

Anyone else wondering if Bears general manager Jerry Angelo still hasn’t learned this lesson?

“One of the reasons four teams have yet to name their defensive coordinator is the Packers still are playing.”

Too bad its only the assistants that look to be raided.  Let’s all hope the Tennessee Titans have their eye on Dom Capers.  He’s certainly deserving and he’d be out of the division.

  • Its Dan Pompei Day here on a slow time for NFL news.  Pompei’s long column at The National Football Post is well worth reading in its entirety and the good news is that we’ve got the time to do it.  Here he elaborates upon opinions that Jake Locker had a bad Senior Bowl week:

“The reason for so many different opinions on Jake Locker’s performance is the quarterback was very inconsistent. You could make a highlight reel of Locker’s best plays that would have been very impressive. And you could have made a lowlight reel of Locker’s worst plays that probably would result in him being undrafted. If a team is looking for a player with great athleticism and ability and the potential to wow you, they will be able to overlook some of Locker’s deficiencies. If a team is looking for a polished performer who gets the job done, it probably won’t be interested in the Washington QB.”

“What’s your favorite thing about Super Bowl week?

A) Hearing about all the times the Packers and Steelers have won.
B) Seeing what Joe Montana is promoting this year.
C) Stories about Jerry Jones and his big ol’ stadium.
D) The game’s on Fox, one of the few football networks that doesn’t employ Matt Millen.”

“Don’t dwell on the dead hooker incident at the team party

“Remember even though they’re mostly all mediocre alternates replacing good players who thought of excuses not to come, they still don’t completely suck.”

One Final Thought

One more Pompei item:

“Whether the meatball in us likes it or not, the game we love is changing, as this story eloquently points out.  We don’t like change—that’s in our DNA. And we like violence in football—that’s in our DNA too. But once we accept we can’t change what’s going to happen, we’ll all probably agree this is a good thing. With Super Bowl week kicking off Sunday, we can expect a lot more stories about head injuries.”

Bears Don’t Have The Pieces. Must Rebuild Offensive Line

Dan Pompei at the Chicago Tribune wrote a nice long column today about what the Bears need to do to compete in the already good and rapidly improving NFC North.  Not surprisingly, Pompei starts with the offensive line:

“If the team was starting to convince itself the starting five offensive linemen could continue to improve and become a solid unit next year, the Packers pass rush gave them some sobriety. The problem the Bears are facing is the three defensive lines in their division may be the best three in the NFL.”

Dead on.  But what should be done is another problem altogether.  Pompei has some specific solutions in mind:

1.  Move Chis Williams from guard to tackle

I hope things are not as bad here as Pompei thinks they are.  I didn’t think Williams did all that badly at guard.  If they move him back to tackle, they might as well just call him a bust and make him a back up.  I’m going to mildly disagree and say Williams should be left to further acclimate and compete at guard.

2.  Move J’Marcus Webb to left tackle

I wouldn’t do this either.  Webb does seem to have a lot of talent but moving him to left tackle where he’d have to more consistently take on the best pass rush in the league seems to be stretching it.  He needs to pass protect, of course, but I see no reason to take him out of his comfort zone by moving him to the left.

I realize that I’m being a nay-sayer here and its always easiest to say “no”.   But I’ll say this.  The only thing worse than doing the wrong thing would be to do nothing at all.  The Bears need an influx of talent on the offensive line to compete.  Many Bear fans like to criticize Mike Martz but he did a good job of getting some favorable match ups on the field last Sunday.  Jay Cutler left at least four touchdowns on the field with bad passes.  Not all of that was the line’s fault.  But all three quarterbacks were under pressure all game.  Asking anyone to run or perform in an offense without the big boys up front is asking the impossible.

Olin Kreutz is a warrior and a leader but they need a succession plan for him.  Frank Omiyale isn’t a left tackle.  Williams may not be a guard.  There isn’t a single elite lineman on the roster to stabilize the unit.  The Bears need a complete overhaul from top to bottom, attacking the problem aggressively in free agency and the draft or the next season may be as bad as this one was good.

Only Guarantee in CBA Battle is That Everyone Loses

Dan Pompei once again comes through with a nice article as things slowly shift into the offseason.  This time he addresses what teams can and can’t do during a lockout, which will likely start when the current CBA expires March 3.

Pompei ends his piece with this thought:

“The best guess is there will be a lockout, and many harsh words. But eventually, maybe in August, the players will buckle at the thought of losing $4.4 billion in salary and benefits. A new CBA will be agreed upon, and the NFL will have a very short period to sign free agents and get teams prepared for a season that could be shorter than usual.”

Don’t count on it.  The degree of stupidity which men in these situations can exhibit is awesome in its scope.  One only need look at baseball in the early nineties to know how stubborn people who are full of pride can ruin a good thing.  The players may well hold out longer than people think.  If the lockout lasts through August, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to see regular season games lost.

The best hope for the fans, who are, of course, paying the bills for both sides, is the scenario which Mike Florio at has repeatedly emphasized as a possibility.  The union has prepared to de-certify and if they do that, the owners will be forced to impose common work rules.  An anti-trust suit filed by the union would follow and we’d have football in 2011.

But absent that, everyone from the fans who lose games to the owners and players who will lose billions of dollars, comes out the worse.  Lets hope it doesn’t’ come to that.

Aaron Rogers Creates an Unnecessary Distraction, Needs to Watch Comments

One of the things about the Bears that you have to like is that they stick together as a unit.  For instance, you know there are guys on that team who don’t 100% approve of Jay Cutler and the way he choses to conduct himself.  But they’d never dream of commenting on it publicly because nothing good can come from it.  We therefore hear about nothing but the good things from Cutler’s teammates.

Contrast with Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rogers.  Last week, Nick Barnett and Jermichael Finley expressed some hurt feelings over the plan to leave them out of the team’s Super Bowl photo.  The team re-scheduled the date of the photo – partly at Rogers’ request – and we all thought the issue was over.

But apparently not.  Rogers couldn’t help himself as he commented further yesterday via Pete Dougherty at the Green Bay Press Gazette:

“Rodgers suggested that players shouldn’t complain about not being in the photo if they conducted most of their rehabilitation away from the team.

“’I’ll say this, I was on IR back in 2006, and I chose to stick around and finish out the season with my guys and be here every game,’ Rodgers said. ‘Some of those guys didn’t.

“’So we love ’em, we care about ’em, we don’t wish injury on anybody. But this is a group of guys that’s really come together, and it’s been great to work with the guys we brought in, midseason some of them, and the young guys. Some of the guys who were injured, they’re still a part of this team, but some of them didn’t choose to stick around.’”

Not surprisingly, Barnett and Finley took exception via Twitter.  Barnett started the ball rolling by this amongst other things:

“Doubt you get the full attention needed.. It’s easy to speak about others when you are not in their position.. Talk about ‘union’ ha.”

Finely responded to Barnett:


Before Barnett deleted his comments, he finally tweeted this:

“Before I delete this page just wanted to say I was never trying to be a distration”

Too late.

Once the genie is out of the bottle, you can’t put it back in.  It’s lesson that the veteran Rogers needs to learn fast as he enters the spotlight on the big stage.