Friday, July 31, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Chicago Bears' prospects this season? Questionable
What did coach Lovie Smith say to President Barack Obama upon meeting him last week in Chicago?
"Hey, do you ever get tired of people referring to you as 'a black president', rather than just a president, because that shit got on my nerves during the Superbowl."
"Can you play wide receiver?"
Oh. Right. Here we go.
Come on, is it really that bad?
No, it's not. Like I pointed out in my Cutler article, there are plenty of precedents for team's that can make the playoffs without great wide receivers, so long as there are options like tight ends or runningbacks.
It is. Besides Devin Hester, a No. 3 receiver with a No. 1 receiver's opinion of himself, the Bears will be hard pressed to feature a wide receiver anyone has heard of -- and that includes their mothers.
Devin Hester finished 49th in the NFL in receiving yards last year. There are 32 teams in the NFL, and if each one starts two wide receivers...that means Hester would have to rank at least 65th or worse to be more of a No.3 receiver than a No.2, and you'd have to be a total blockhead like Morrissey to assume those numbers Won't improve by at least a couple hundred yards with Jay Cutler back there. Also, is that some shot at Devin Hester's attitude? I've never heard anybody accuse Hester of having an inflated ego or attitude problem. Or is Morrissey referring to this article, where Hester states that his goal is to be the best receiver to ever play the game? Because God forbid we'd want a player that sets his sights on being great.
Oh, come on. You're saying the Bears gave up all those draft picks so that Jay Cutler would have no targets on the field? Does that make any sense?
Or its possible that the Bears, I don't know, have a developing Hester who has made big leaps (299 yds to 665) in his first two years and should continue to progress with a better quarterback under center, and a third round pick from last year entering his second year in the system in Earl Bennett, or that they, you know, Drafted three wide receivers. Also, screw the two quality tight ends and the runningback who led all runningbacks in receptions last year. He has NO TARGETS.
It is bizarre, like seeing construction on a house stop midway through the second-floor bathroom. But maybe the Bears are waiting to have all the pieces in place for the 2010 season. Wait, that's the Bulls.
Right, becuase the Bulls are the only team in professional sports that have a long term plan and may realize that there's only so many quality players one can acqure in one offseason and that sometimes it takes more than one?
I'm so confused.
That's a given. Now just throw away your laptop, curl up in the fetal position, and cry at the failure in life you've become.
So who are the receivers in camp?
Hester, Rashied Davis, Earl Bennett, Devin Aromashodu, John Broussard, Juaquin Iglesias and Brandon Rideau, among others.
Also Johnny Knox, the guy that ran a 4.34 40 at the combine. Its almost like they were forced to look for sleeper picks and actually picked guys with solid potential, all because they traded their first round pick to get a franchise quarterback.
Who among that group will be Cutler's favorite receiver?
Running back Matt Forte.
Or Greg Olsen, you pathetic little weasel. Have you ever even heard of Kellen Winslow, Ozzie Newsome, Shannon Sharpe, Tony Gonzalez, or Antonio Gates? You know, the guys that Olsen constantly draws comparison too (he's actually faster than all of them, with a 4.45 forty time on record), those tight ends that can actually be the best receivers on dynamic offenses, despite the fact that they are tight ends?
What kind of reception will Cutler receive from Broncos fans when he returns to Denver on Aug. 30 for an exhibition game?
About as warm of a welcome as Rick Morrissey should get whenever he walks into a room full of real, competent journalists.
Oh, man, it's going to be brutal. They're not going to remember his 2008 Pro Bowl season. They're going to remember his snit-fest with new Broncos coach Josh McDaniels. They're going to remind him what a sniveling baby he was. They're mostly going to be mad he's not with them anymore.
That's nice. Everyone can pen a bunch of dramatic storylines, people can boo, and, most importantly, its preseason and nobody actually gives a shit.
So he's the answer to all of the Bears' prayers?
I'm sorry, is there anyone out there thats seriously saying that, the meatheads aside? Angelo's done nothing but talk about tempering expectations for Cutler. Lovie and co. have done a decent job of advocating that its still about the run game and the defense. Watch out, Rick, your STRAW MAN is showing.
No, that would be Rod Marinelli.Oh, right. This is where Rick flies in the face of dozens of former and current players, coaches, and professional football experts who've all praised the Marinelli hiring and pisses all over it.
The defensive line coach?
Oh, he's not just a defensive line coach. He's a savior. He might have been the Lions' head coach last season when they went 0-16, but the Bears are selling him as the man who will turn underachieving defensive linemen into Pro Bowl players.
Right. Because no person who was once acknowledged as one of the best position coaches or coordinators in the game could fail as a head coach and then go back to the job he was great at in the first place. I forgot that Dick LeBeau's 12-33 stint as head coach of the Bengals actually ruined his abilities as a defensive coordinator forever. I must have just imagined the fact that he went back to Pittsburgh and helped craft one of the league's best defenses, one thats won 2 of the last 4 Superbowls.
If you say so, but what can he do about a defense that finished 21st in the league in total yards allowed, 30th against the pass and 22nd in sacks?
Well, he could enforce discipline and fundamentals and overhaul a unit that not that long ago was one of the league's best defensive lines, and given that the entire Tampa 2 scheme revolves around getting pressure from the front four, that could improve the unit rankings in every possible category. That would be a start.
Well, the idea is that he will heal Tommie Harris' knee, remind Adewale Ogunleye how to rush the passer and catch a few passes in his spare time.Or by many accounts Harris' knee is feeling much better and the fact that he's one of the league's most destructive defensive tackles when he's at his best, not to mention a healthy tackle rotation behind him with Anthony Adams, Dustin Dvoracek, Marcus Harrison, and rookie Jarron Gilbert, means that the tackles will draw enough double teams that Ogunleye's numbers will improve simply because he'll face better match ups.
Seriously, why does no one seem to be overly concerned about the defense?
The hope is that Lance Briggs will be what he has been the past few years and that Brian Urlacher will be what he used to be. And the Bears did finish fifth against the run last season.
Well, there's nothing ridiculous about hoping Lance Briggs will continue to play well in the prime of his career, and Urlacher did have a monster second half in 2007, and considering Ray Lewis' stellar play last year, its not unreasonable to assume that a better pass rush will allow Urlacher to make more plays, as an upgraded pass rush in Baltimore led to Lewis' revival.
Let's get back to Cutler. Is it true that no one will care what he's like as a person if he wins games?
Let's put it this way: As long as he throws lots of touchdown passes, he could publicly tell Virginia McCaskey she needs to update her wardrobe, and no one would blink.
Yes because Old Vag' McCaskey is such a beloved figure that we'd all be appalled if someone dared insult her. I'd rather Cutler ask her if she's going to pry a few dollars out of her dusty old ass to get him a contract extension.
But you believe he's a pouting episode waiting to happen, don't you?
Yeah, because that's the only thing that would allow Morrissey to justify his ludicrous idea that Cutler doesn't improve the Bears.
When one of his receivers, What's His Name, drops an easy pass for the fifth straight game, yeah, I think there's a possibility Cutler will wonder why he left Eddie Royal and Brandon Marshall for this. And the chances of some sort of meltdown will increase exponentially.
You f*&king moron. Brandon Marshall was third in the league with Twelve dropped passes last year, and Cutler certainly never "melted down." Also, I'm sure Cutler has no experience dealing with adversity or poor play by his surrounding cast. It's not like went to Vanderbilt or something.
If you're so down on the Bears, why are you picking them to go 10-6?
Because he can't express a coherent thought without contradicting his own stupidity?
The division isn't very good, and if Cutler's physical abilities aren't enough to get them one more victory than last season, God help them.
Actually, with Aaron Rodgers leading Green Bay's offense and the Vikings having Adrian Peterson and their overrated but still good defense, and Detroit having to at least be better than last year, the division's stronger than it has been in quite some time.
OK, what are you excited about?
Rick Morrissey's death. Oh, you're asking him.
Cutler vs. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in Green Bay for the opener. It will give us an idea of what the Bears will be this year. I'm excited to see what Forte can do with one season under his belt. I'm excited to see what kind of year tight end Greg Olsen will have when every defense pays close attention to him while ignoring the Bears' receivers.
You see that folks? Wisdom from Rick Morrissey. If you wait until the team plays this year, you might be able to get an idea of how well they're going to play this year. And let team's double and triple cover Olsen all they want. I'll take any man's bet that Cutler and Hester will make them pay for that.
What are the best names on the training camp roster?
Linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa and cornerback Woodny Turenne.
I hate you so much.
Does tackle Orlando Pace have anything left in his tank?
That's not the question. The question is whether the 33-year-old can stay healthy for an entire season. He was injured much of 2006 and 2007 before starting most of last season for the Rams.
....Then he would seemed to have answered that question last year, eh Rick?
What about last year's first-round pick, Chris Williams?
Back surgery as a rookie tackle? Very, very not good.
Back surgery apparently minor enough that he recovered in time to play last season and is now being counted on as a starter at right tackle? Very very unimportant.
Is Smith really only the 20th best coach in the NFL, as the Sporting News ranked him?
That was a complete injustice. He's definitely in the top 17.
Since Smith took over in 2004 the Bears are 7th in the NFL in wins. They're one of only four NFC teams to win two division titles in that span. He's one of only six active coaches that have taken teams to the Superbowl in the span. Say what you will, there's no justification for him being more than Slightly out of the top ten.
Isn't Bourbonnais something a drunk puts on a turkey sandwich at 2 a.m.?
Yes. Yes, it is.Is Rick Morrissey a complete hack?
Yes. Yes, he is.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
While at Vanderbilt, Cutler “never whined or never whimpered,” Johnson said.
“He got hit a bunch,” he said. “We didn’t have the greatest people around him at that time to allow him to demonstrate his talents until maybe his senior year. He was a trooper for us. He rallied the troops.”The summer prior to his senior year at Vanderbilt, Cutler had an apartment that he allowed other players to stay at so they could all work out together.
“He just did everything we could ask him to do,” Johnson said. “To see him labeled like he was was really disappointing to me.”
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Mike Vick is due to be released from federal custody on Monday, and the NFL news-and-rumor mill is slow right now, so it makes sense to focus again on the man who has experienced the kind of personal collapse that only Maximus Decimus Meridius could truly appreciate.
The difference, of course, between Vick and the character played by Russell Crowe in Gladiator is that Vick is solely responsible for his dramatic fall from grace. But like the general-turned-slave-turned-gladiator-turned-martyr-turned-Oscar winner, Vick will at some point receive a shot at redemption.
I'll stop here for a second just to state that I Do hope Vick gets a second chance. I do. I find what he did to be unforgiveably reprehensible, but if the law has decided hes' done his time I feel the NFL should allow him to work again.
It's a risky proposition, to be sure. He has speed and agility that no other quarterback ever has displayed, but his throwing skills are suspect. Vick has generated a full-season passer rating above 80 only once in his career (81.6 in 2002), and his 75.7 rating from 2006 would have placed him behind players like Tyler Thigpen (76.0) and JaMarcus Russell (77.1) and Kyle Orton (79.6) in 2008.
Then again, the next guy on the list last year was Ben Roethlisberger (80.1), and he only won the Super Bowl.
Exactly. So not only should Vick demand a starting job or bust, he should also demand one on a team with the league's best defense, so he can ride their coattails to a championship.
Yes. He must refuse any team that doesn't make the flawed decision to make him one of the league's richest players and build an entire team around his incomplete skill set, one that makes his team entirely one dimensional and vulnerable to any defense with fast enough linebackers to effectively pull off a quarterback spy.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Bears fans have seen some pretty idiotic offensive coordinators over the last decade. Matt Cavanaugh replaced Ron Turner in 1997 and while its not completely fair to blame him for the Rick Mirer-Steve Stenstrom-Moses Moreno debacles of the 8-24 1997 and 1998 seasons, most of us don't have a kind word to say about him. Gary Crowton came in with Jauron in 1999, acted like he'd invented the spread offense, called it "the razzle dazzle," introduced the wide receiver screen (worked for about half a season, then failed miserably for Crowton, Shoop, and Shea from 1999-2004), racked up a ton of yards at first before getting stuffed the next year, failed to score very often at all, forgot that the run game existed, and exposed Cade McNown for the fraud he was before heading off to fail miserably as head coach at BYU. Terry Shea asked for a shit ton of money, then brought a massive and ineffective playbook with him, but perhaps no mistake of his is greater than inisting that Jonathan Quinn could be an effective back-up. But only one moron rouses the ire of Bears fans to nearly Wannstedtian levels of rage. That man is John Shoop.
Shoop, the former offensive quality control assistant and quarterbacks coach under Crowton, was promoted upon Crowton's resignation in 2000. Shoop called the plays for the last three games of the season, with a 24-17 win over the Patriots, a 17-0 loss to the 49ers, and a 23-20 win over the Lions. Shoop called for a balanced offense, something lacking under Crowton, as he had a 50.6/49.4 Pass-Run ratio. His offensive was cheered by fans tired of Crowtons wide receiver screens and idiotic pass plays, and it was nicknamed the "Run'n'Shoop." Head coach Dick Jauron then decided to name Shoop the offensive coordinator on a permanent basis, and the reign of stupidity began in earnest, with the continued use of the wide receiver screen and other pass plays designed to get 4-5 yards on 3rd and 10, short dives up on the middle on nearly every run play, play action quarterback draws for Kordell Stewart, and declining offensive numbers across the board. Shoop was heckled so vociferously that Jauron was Forced to move him up into the booth, and many feel Jauron's loyalty to Shoop cost him his job.
In 2007, and at various stretches last year when the Bears offense struggled, I heard several fans derisively call Ron Turner "worse than John Shoop." While they were surely exaggerating, a thorough comparison of the two should eliminate the possibility of future comparisons outright.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
2009 will certainly be a make or break year for Turner (and perhaps Lovie Smith as well, although I doubt it), as he'll finally have the right quarterback in Jay Cutler, a healthier Kevin Jones to keep Matt Forte fresh, and a retooled offensive line to keep said franchise quarterback (hopefully) upright. I myself have no doubt that the 2009 season will be the best yet for Ron Turner as offense coordinator for the Chicago Bears.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
Kordell Stewart, Steelers
Honest to God before last night I can't even remember the last time I'd heard the name of this journeyman quarterback who spent two years starting for the Giants in 1997 and 1998 before disappearing into obscurity. He didn't place very well.
Kerry Collins, Panthers
Gus Frerotte, Redskins
Frerotte was about to enter his last season with the Redskins, leading to the journeyman career he's had since then (he's been on 7 different teams). He didn't perform very well.
Steve Young, 49ers
Trent Dilfer, Buccaneers
Scott Mitchell, Lions
Remember Mitchell? The former back up to Dan Marino who tantalized Lions fans with a 4,338 yd, 32 td 1995 season and actually led them to the playoffs in the 1995 and 1997? That seems so long ago. Mitchell never really sustained the success of his 1995 season and ended up benched just a few months after this competition in favor of rookie Charlie Batch (WHO THE LIONS NEVER SHOULD HAVE GIVEN UP ON!)
Brett Favre, Packers
Drew Bledsoe, Patriots
Elvis Grbac, Chiefs
Jim Harbaugh, Ravens
Steve McNair, Oilers
And then, of course, the funniest one of all...
Ryan Leaf, Chargers
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Northwestern 8-4 (4-4)
Michigan State 7-5 (4-4)
Minnesota 7-5 (4-4)
4. USC- God damnit Pete Carroll.
5. Ole Miss- I don't know why, I just like Jevan Snead and Houston Nutt and I hate Nick Saban and Alabama, so they're in my top 5.
6. Ohio State-Here we go again.