The NFL Off-Season Is Heating Up — But The Bears’ Chances Are Still Ice Cold

It’s probably going to surprise you — but as a Chicago Bears fan, I’m not at all happy about the way their off-season has gone.

"So we'll line Marshall up as a receiver, and put Holt and Bruce on the other side of the field for Warner. What's that? What do you mean it's not still 1999?"

First, there’s the fact that almost all of the people responsible for the debacle of the 2009 season — head coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jerry Angelo among them — are back in Chicago, making me less than optimistic that things are going to be any different in the Windy City for 2010.  Worse yet, the possibility that I talked about way back in November has unfortunately become a reality:  Mike Martz is the new offensive coordinator for the Bears.  On this, I can **barely** contain my enthusiasm.

I said then that hiring Martz was only going to compound the problems with the team’s direction, and I’ll predict it again now.  Jay Cutler, Johnny Knox, and Devin Hester/Devin Aromashodu are not Kurt Warner, Torry Holt, and Issac Bruce — a reality that the Bears “braintrust” seems all to eager to ignore.  And of course — the Bears best receiver (or certainly most talented one) is probably tight end Greg Olsen.  So it makes all the sense in the world that one of Martz’ first moves was to decide that Olsen is a bad fit for his almighty system.  The Bears are apparently shopping Olsen to the rest of the NFL, which means that Cutler will have one less quality target next year — at least one that’s actually wearing a Bears jersey – and Olsen, who’s shown signs of emerging as a valuable pass-catching tight end, will blossom with some other lucky team.  Oh, joy.

Pictured: Not Marshall Faulk

Granted, the Bears have shown a willingness to open up the checkbooks for a change this off-season — but what exactly have they been buying?  For starters, they got a running back in Chester Taylor who’s a decent enough back as a backup, but someone who already is 30 years old, has seen over 1000 carries in the NFL, and — and let’s face it — just isn’t all that good, having averaged 3.8 YPC over the last two seasons with a better line than the Bears have.  The word was that Martz viewed him as a poor man’s Marshall Faulk — I think he’ll be more along the lines of a poor man’s Kevin Faulk, at best.  They also acquired the 30 year-old Julius Peppers — signed to a huge multi-year contract, despite looking uninspired and erratic while in his last year in Carolina — and a pass-blocking tight end in Brandon Manumaleuna.

Add it all up, and the Bears are looking like the NFL North’s version of the Washington Redskins, minus the meddling owner.  At this rate, I’ll have to make sure to request a vomit bag along with my purchase of the Sunday Ticket to watch Bears games next fall.

On the other hand, at least I have the NFL draft to look forward to, and all of the picks in the first two rounds that the Bears … errr … never mind.  Let’s forget I even brought that up, shall we?

— The other big news of the last week involved Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who for the second time in less than a year, finds himself in the middle of allegations regarding his conduct with women.  After a civil suit was filed against him by former Harrah’s employee Andrea McNulty last July (a lawsuit which is still ongoing), the Pittsburgh quarterback now finds himself the target of accusations of sexual assault following a night out in the bars and nightspots of Milledgeville, Georgia.

Sometimes, throwing into double coverage looks good when compared to the other ways you can show bad judgement

I like to reserve judgement on these type of situations until all of the facts are in, but there’s one thing I’m pretty certain of already: once might be an aberration, but multiple times is a trend.  There’s no way to know for certain now what happened in either case — and we’ll probably never know 100% for certain no matter how much time passes — but it’s pretty obvious to me that Roethlisberger is guilty of putting himself into situations he shouldn’t be getting in, and if nothing else, he’s clearly exhibiting bad judgement.  If it turns out that Roethlisberger is guilty in either case, then I hope the judicial system tosses the book at him and that his NFL career comes to a richly deserved crashing halt.  Whether or not he is, however, should prove to be a drama that plays out in the news for the next several months — which if the news today that the quarterback has hired a prominent Atlanta attorney to represent him in the matter means anything, it’s that it won’t be pretty.

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8 Responses to “The NFL Off-Season Is Heating Up — But The Bears’ Chances Are Still Ice Cold”

  1. Hello interesting blog we are all following this story

  2. Very insightful i look forward to seeing more of your work.

  3. Very insightful i look forward to seeing more of your work. Could the offense hold up its end.

  4. thelasthonestman Says:

    Appreciate the comments. Can the Bears offense carry the team in 2010? If Cutler matured enough to stop trying to win the game on his own — maybe. But having Martz head the offense isn’t going to move the chains forward in that direction. The Bears desperately need a receiver threat — I like what Knox and Aromashodu showed at times last season, but neither is a true #1 receiver — nor is Hester.

    This is a team that, when it’s been successful over the years, has won by controlling the ball on the ground, controlling the clock, and playing superb defense. The Bears of the present do none of these things, and they won’t have an offense that can come close to outscoring the opposition on a regular basis. They’re getting old, they’re the 3rd-best team in the division even after these moves, and they’re looking at a 7-9 season at best in 2010. An ugly situation if you’re a Bears fan like me, for sure.

  5. I think there looking like a 12 game winner to me. The key word is control the offense must use its weapons hester should be used in spread formation.

  6. thelasthonestman Says:

    That seems extremely optimistic, given the relative strength of the division and the Bears’ issues — of course, as a Bears fan, I hope you’re right on target. 😀

  7. There are only three teams holding that division bears green bay, vikings. The bears made moves to lock up wins denfensively the vikings offenses sputtered at times so they need more weapons, green bay is just building on the bench and rookie class and have a few diamonds in the rough. It will be about defense this year holding leads and clock management.

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