Bears and Dolphins Have Common Reason to Rejoice

Armando Salguero at the Miami Herald gives Miami fans an unusual reason to feel better about their team. And Bears fans should share the feeling:

“The reported departure of Dolphins linebacker coach George Edwards to Minnesota to become the Vikings defensive coordinator deserves congratulations for him. Dolphins fans should applaud that someone from the Dolphins coaching staff is moving on up, professionally and geographically. No, seriously, you should really be thrilled …

“Because in his last two seasons coaching the Dolphins linebackers — Edwards’s second stint with the team following a tenure that lasted 2005-2009 — the unit has mostly underperformed. Indeed, last season as the Miami defense fell to 24th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed, the worse ranking since 2007, it was clear that linebackers Dannell Ellerbe and Phillip Wheeler were at the core of the problems with the run defense.”

“But here’s the rub …

Ellerbe played quite well for Baltimore in 2012. Wheeler was outstanding in Oakland in 2012. And the two players the Dolphins jettisoned to upgrade to Wheeler and Ellerbe played better for their new teams. Karlos Dansby was a borderline Defensive Player of the Year candidate in Arizona and Kevin Burnett was a revelation in Oakland.”

“So to recap, the players the Dolphins added under Edwards played better elsewhere before arriving but took a step back in Miami. And the players who didn’t play well enough under Edwards the year before were released and had banner seasons elsewhere.

I don’t see this as a coincidence. And I see a good portion, if not the majority of the responsibility for this, falling on the position coach involved — Edwards

So congratulations to him for getting the promotion. Problem partially solved.”

Yes. Congratulations to all of the rest of us in the NFC North as well.

Reading Between the Lines

Steve Rosenbloom interprets what I thought were some fairly innocuous comments from former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher for the Chicago Tribune:

And he does hate the Bears, or at least the quarterback and general manager. We know this because he didn’t use the quarterback’s or general manager’s name when talking about Phil Emery’s decision to give Jay Cutler that seven-year, $126 million contract.

“The thinking is, if you have a franchise quarterback, you hold onto them’’ Urlacher said. “It’s hard to find them in the NFL, and I think the GM there thought he had one, so he paid him like one.’’

The only thing Urlacher missed was “Fredo, you’re nothing to me now.’’

If you’re keeping score at home, not only did Urlacher refuse to utter either person’s name, but he refused to say that Cutler is a franchise quarterback, just that the GM thought he had one.

That’s code for no, Urlacher does not believe The Quarterback Who Must Not Be Named is elite at that position.

That’s also code for no, the General Manager Who Must Not Be Named doesn’t know what he’s doing at that position.

Hard to believe that there’s someone out there reading more into these sorts of comments than I typically do. But I don’t think Rosenbloom is wrong nor am I surprised. Urlacher will likely hold a grudge against the organization for a long time even though it doesn’t appear to be justified.