Ben Roethlisberger Really Does Do All of HIs Thinking Below the Waist. And Other Points of View.


“Quality Fits:

“Chris Conte, Chicago Bears: Conte played cornerback for the first three years of his career at Cal, so when he made the switch to free safety as a senior, he flew a bit under the radar for most. However, while Moore earned most of the attention in the Pac-10, Conte was the more reliable tackler and coverage defender despite his limited experience. The Bears have experimented with undersized safeties for years under Lovie Smith, but in the 6-2, 197 pound Conte, they get a rangy center fielder with a legitimate combination of size and speed. The learning curve will be steep considering his lack of experience at the position, but Conte will prove a starting caliber free safety early in his NFL career.”

“I don’t understand why more kids don’t go to schools like Rice, Northwestern, Stanford and Vanderbilt.”

“Chicago (B-)
“Pro Bowlers: 5 (t-21st)
“Draftees Active in 2010: 38 (t-20th)
“Players with 50+ Career AV: 4 (t-6th)
“Players with 20+ Career AV: 21 (t-4th)
“Best Pick: LB Lance Briggs (3rd round, 2003)
“Worst Pick: WR David Terrell (No. 8 overall, 2001)

“Summary: The Bears have found a lot of later-round gems, but have really struggled to hit on their first-rounders. Only Tommie Harris was a true success, with Marc Colombo and Cedric Benson not finding their niches until the Bears gave up on them (apparently too early). The second round has been their forte (no pun intended), where they’ve gotten Matt Forte, Devin Hester, Charles Tillman, Tank Johnson and Danieal Manning.”

“A 4-3 one-gap team does not trade up, which the Bears did, for a nose tackle. It trades up for a three-technique.”

I’d agree and add that the Bears already have an adequate player that fits inside to sign and fill out the lineup in Adams. If not him , then there are a number of other options. But if they put Paea there, what will they do at the three technique? I think its obvious what the plan was when the drafted him.

“The father of Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers has lost his law enforcement job after being charged in North Carolina with felony possession of cocaine.”

George Thomas Kurney was a sheriff’s deputy.

“What are the chances of Andy Fantuz starting for the Bears at WR? Brandon, Wisconsin

“He has an excellent chance of starting — if Johnny Knox breaks his leg, Devin Hester retires, Earl Bennett blows out his knee, and whoever the Bears sign as a free agent breaks his arm. Otherwise, he doesn’t have much of a chance.”


“Last season, the NFC West became the first division in the modern era to send a losing team to the playoffs. The Seahawks made it at 7-9.

“So, Larry, seeing as three teams have uncertain quarterback situations, is the NFC West the league’s most fluid division?

“‘Yes,’ he said. ‘Fluidly bad.'”

  • For those who still listen to his blather, Mike Ditka basically tells the Detroit Free Press that he thinks referees should ignore the rules. On the positive side he also gives the Lions the kiss of death by joining the crowd of experts who love them this year.
  • The Lions haven’t won anything yet but head coach Jim Schwartz has already dubbed his defensive line the “Silver Crush”.
  • Pompei also answers your questions:

“What are the chances the Bears go after Nnamdi Asomugha? Mike, St. Charles

“If the Bears go after Asomugha, it will be completely out of character for them. Given the defensive scheme they run, they have not prioritized high-priced, shutdown cornerbacks. They need physical corners who can tackle and who have ball skills. I don’t see that changing now.”

The Bears are almost certainly not on the list of teams that are going to be on the phone to Asomugha. But it seem like they’re one of the few that aren’t. Asomugha is almost certainly the number one free agent this offseason. His telephone is going to be mighty busy about five seconds after free agency opens. Three teams in the NFC East, Washington, Philadelphia and Dallas, would seem to be right at the top of the list. It going to be fascinating to see where he goes and for how much.

“If Andy Reid thought Kevin Kolb was so good, why would he be trading him? He knows quarterbacks. Good quarterbacks don’t get traded when they are young by good coaches.”

“Bee Master: You are wrong. Next speller. Ben Roethlisberger?
“Roethlisberger: Hit me.
“Bee Master: Your word is ‘no’.
“Roethlisberger: No. Y-E-S. No.”

One Final Thought

The boys at The Onion take us through the ins and outs of player-led workouts. Here’s a typical drill for the Bears:

“Defensive players practiced their team fundamentals by having linebacker Lance Briggs hit the tackling dummies while linebacker Brian Urlacher got all the credit.”

Does Mike Martz Have Too Much Power? If So He’s Not Alone.

The world is full of compromise.  And no one apparently hates it any more than Timothy Miller of Endwell, N.Y.  Tim is apparently convinced that offensive coordinator Mike Martz is ruining the Bears franchise.  How else do you explain the fact that he emailed not one, but two NFL writers asking if Martz has cast a spell over the team that will lead to its ultimate demise.

First, let’s see what ESPN‘s NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert has to say:

“Tim of Endwell, New York, writes:  Do you think the Chicago Bears are giving Mike Martz too much power? With his influence on demanding a veteran quarterback last year, (Todd Collins) the miss-handling of playing time with Devin Aromashodu, and drafting quarterbacks in back to back years. With Martz’s track record with previous teams, it seems like he has a lot of influence even though he might not be here for too long.”

“Kevin Seifert:

“I tend to look at it from another perspective. Martz’s skill as an offensive mind and quarterback teacher has never really been questioned. His downfalls in St. Louis, Detroit and San Francisco can be attributed more to personality clashes and philosophical differences. If you hire a coach like Martz and plan for him to be with you for more than a year, it’s best to treat him like an asset and hope he can leave a lasting impact on your franchise in a way many other coordinators could not.

This discussion would be more difficult if the Bears were using first and/or second-round draft picks to appease Martz. [Dan] LeFevour was drafted in the sixth round and [Nathan] Enderle in the fifth. I’m fine with the Bears using a late-round pick on the chance that Martz could accelerate development for a player at the most important position in the game. Even if [Jay] Cutler‘s presence means that Enderle will never start for the Bears, it’s not unheard of for NFL teams to develop and trade backup quarterbacks for draft picks far exceeding the value of where they were selected.”

Dan Pompei at the Chicago Tribune also answers Tim’s question:

“A team has to put a lot of faith in the person who is running the offense. The alternative is saddling that person with players he doesn’t believe in. You want the offensive coordinator to have ownership in the final product. How can the offensive coordinator buy in if management isn’t buying in to him? It’s especially important with a veteran coach who has had considerable success as Martz has. The Bears can’t concern themselves with how long Martz will or won’t be here. The future isn’t promised with any coach.”

Both explanations are true but in general terms I think Pompei gets closer to the heart of it.

The life of general manager Jerry Angelo isn’t an easy one.  The problem with Martz is no different than the problem with head coach Lovie Smith, defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, and to a lesser extent the rest of the coaches.  Angelo has the unenviable job of trying to please all of them because he knows full well that you can’t ask a coach to work with a guy he doesn’t believe in.  Not if you want to get optimal results.

Most fans would really like to see the personnel people have the strongest say about who is drafted.  Perhaps they do.  But there’s always going to be a question of who wanted which players because Angelo is constantly compromising.  In the end, Angelo’s fate relies not just on the ability of these men to coach but on their ability to evaluate talent and extrapolate what they see to what will happen on a professional football field.

The bottom line is that Martz does have too much power.  So does Smith and so do the rest of the coaches.  But that’s the way of the world if you want it to be peaceful and well-run.

Bears Wide Receiver Situation Makes for an Ironic Picture

There’s a lot of noise being made about Bears wide receiver Earl Bennett this offseason.  For instance, Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune addresses the plans that offensive coordinator Mike Martz has to increase Bennett’s role in the offense this season.

“’We didn’t throw it to him enough,’ Martz said on the [Bears] website. ‘That will be remedied. He will figure in a much larger role than he did last year. He came to us late. He was injured. I wasn’t really sure where he was with all the stuff. But he established himself as a guy who needs to get a lot more balls than he did.'”

“Martz referenced having Bennett play inside and outside and that’s something that has been missing —  a player with the skill set to handle both roles. That’s what many of the true No. 1 receivers in the NFL can do. Whether or not Bennett is cut out for a star role remains to be seen, but certainly he’s capable of bigger and better things than he was allowed to display this past season.”

ESPN‘s NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert comments further.

“That tells me Bennett is likely to start opposite [Johnny] Knox in Martz’s scheme, with Hester serving perhaps a less prominent role. That would jibe with what coach Lovie Smith said in March at the NFL owners meeting, where he suggested the Bears could be more efficient with [Devin] Hester‘s playing time on offense. Indeed, Smith said he would like to ‘take away some of his reps and get him involved in the ones where he’s out there.'”

I’m all for not trying to use Hester as a number one receiver.  Hester has plenty of talent but I think its become obvious even to the Bears coaching staff that wanted it for him so badly that he doesn’t have the instincts for the role.

But is Bennett really the guy you want to put out there in his place?  True, the two are almost polar opposites, and that’s what makes this situation so funny.  Bennett seems to have very good instincts and fits the role that the Bears have put him in to a ‘T’.  But if you are going to put him on the outside, he’s going to be matched up  with cover corners where he’s going to need speed to succeed.

This sounds to me like its going to be another disappointing development in the continued search to find the wide receiver that the Bears badly need.  Eventually they’re going to have to come to the realization that the solution lies outside the organization.

How Long Will Cutler’s Championship Game Performance Remain an Issue?

Dan Pompei at the Chicago Tribune answers your questions:

“I wanted to ask you if you thought it was fair of the media, current and past NFL players bashing Jay Cutler during the NFC Championship Game? How can anyone question this guy’s toughness when he battles with diabetes every single day? How about all those hits and sacks he has endured since coming to Chicago? I find it hard to believe Jay would tap out a game that significant. Michael Shahbaz, San Diego

“I thought some of the criticism of Cutler was uncalled for. It’s really difficult for me to ever question whether a player is hurt, because I’m not in his body. I don’t think it has anything to do with Cutler being a diabetic, but he has proven he is a very tough quarterback who can take a hit. It’s interesting that we’re still discussing this four months after the fact. I wonder how long this will continue to be an issue.”

Unless Cutler wins a Super Bowl, this will be an issue for as long as he plays.

Some believe, as Michael does above, that this is simply an issue of Cutler’s physical toughness.  Its not.   This story has legs in part because its got so many facets.  Why did so many players savage Cutler when they would hesitate to do so with most of their other peers?  Were they really questioning his physical toughness or was it the mental toughness, reflected in Cutler’s awful body language and poor leadership skills, that had them wondering?  And most important of all, let’s not forget that in the first half of possibly the most important game of his life, Cutler fell apart and played terribly.

Some people say that when considering the significance of an issue, you should think about whether it would be mentioned in a person’s obituary. Right now, this one would be the lead in Cutler’s.