Wednesday, September 16, 2009

From Here on Out...

No more predictions. No more "woo, SI, Football Outsiders, etc. picked the Bears to go to the Superbowl!" The regular season started and a lot of things went very, very wrong. Pisa's out for a month. Urlacher's gone for the year. Cutler....uggh. I'm not going to bemoan that it "looks like we've been fooled again!" because we haven't. Jay Cutler's going to be the best damn quarterback that's ever put on a Bears uniform. It may take more time than the optimist in me projected, but he'll get there. Hell, the transformation between his first half and second half on Sunday was night and day. He will play better against Pittsburgh, I guarantee it. I won't make excuses for him. The offensive line was bad and Knox's stopping had more to do with that last interception than Jay did, but that happened to Rex and Kyle often enough and I'm just done with it. Jay's the guy, he's going to be the guy, and by the end of this season that game will be the distant memory its supposed to be. Hell, hopefully by Sunday night it's the distant memory its supposed to be.

As for the defense, well, I could rain doom upon them too, but there's reason to hope. The performance they put up on Sunday was outstanding beyond one blown coverage by Nathan Vasher (and who didn't see that coming with the way he'd tread on thin ice all night?), and there's every reason to believe that once Bowman's 100%, he's out there instead of Vasher. Even after Urlacher and Tinoisamoa were long gone, the defense was pretty stout. The best news is that the defensive line is perfectly intact and they looked bloodthirsty. If this team holds out long enough for Pisa to return, and Hillenmeyer performs adequately in the middle (which he will do given that it's his natural position), and the defensive line can give that kind of performance week in and week out, they'll keep this team in ball games. Would I be more confident with Urlacher back there? Hell yes, and if you don't agree, and I know some people who won't, you probably need to stop watching football. Urlacher's lost a step, no doubt, but any team in the NFL that doesn't have Ray Lewis, Antonio Pierce, Patrick Willis, or Lofa Tatapu would probably kill to have him in the lineup.

On Sunday, Pittsburgh comes to town, running a 3-4 defense just like Green Bay, and the approach needs to be different. The inside run needs to be featured prominently, rather than the idiocy of running sweeps to the outside and expecting Roberto Garza or Frank Omiyale to pull and consistently beat a linebacker or a safety to the point of attack. That can work, occasionally, if you catch the defense off guard. Not if it's your only running play. The run needs to work so the play action pass can keep Cutler upright and in the pocket without a blitzer in his face every damn down. The defensive line needs to take advantage of Pittsburgh's weak o-line and Ben Roethlisberger's tendency to hold the ball like he's Gollum and its his "Precious." Finally, and it goes mostly without saying, Cutler needs to not chuck it up like he's playing 500. If they make those adjustments, they'll win that ball game.

And I know right now the Morrissey's of the world are having a field day. The Cutler they hoped would flop, did...for one game. But I'll tell you one thing, I'll tell you one fuckin' thing, I hope they get fuckin' hotter than shit, just to stuff it up them 50 fuckin' journalists that show up every fuckin' day, because if they're the real Chicago fuckin' media, they can kiss my fuckin' ass right downtown and PRINT IT.

I tell you, it'll take more than a 0 and 1 or 1 and 2 start to destroy the makeup of this club. I guarantee you that. There's some fuckin' pros out there that wanna win. But you're stuck in a fuckin' stigma of the fuckin' Patriots and the Colts and the Giants and all that cheap shit. It's unbelievable. It really is. It's a disheartening fuckin' situation that we're in right now. Anybody who was associated with the Bear organization the last two decades that came back and sees the multitude of progress that's been made will understand that if they're football people, that 0 and 1 doesn't negate all that work. We got 15 fuckin' games left.