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Monday, March 8, 2010

Does it Make a Difference?

As you all know by now, Julius Peppers is a Bear, along with Chester Taylor and Brandon Manumaleuna. The reactions to these events should range from the Redskin-fan like euphoria, where every fan feels like their team just won the offseason superbowl, to the bitter, jaded response that those moves didn't really address the biggest deficiencies on the team and that they're doomed anyways. Or, if you're completely retarded, you can argue that this team will never win anything because Jay Cutler blahblahblah.

The fact is, these were good moves. Do they smack of desperation? Of course they do. They should. The fact that Lovie and Jerry feel the heat is a good sign. It shakes up the view of complacency that so many of us were afraid of. In an uncapped year there's absolutely no reason for them Not to break the bank on the free agent market, and Peppers was unquestionably the best free agent out there. Peppers also, far more than Rod Marinelli's sage wisdom, has the chance of improving Tommie Harris, and, by extension, the entire Bears defense. They don't need to revert to 2006 form to be competitive, they simply need to be a top 16ish defense, keep the offense in the game, and avoid debacles like the games against the Bengals, Cardinals, or the game in Minnesota.

Taylor was a good move as well, assuming the team uses him in tandem with Forte and doesn't just give up on Matt. The offensive line was the problem with the run game this year, and it would be foolish to judge Forte based on his performance behind that line. It was thinking like that led to the team drafting Cedric Benson when Thomas Jones was already on the roster. The two quality backs are a must, however, as was obvious this season when Kevin Jones went down and Garrett Wolfe only managed to solidify his status as a wasted draft pick.

Manumeleuna was a good move as well, in the sense that he's a good blocker and he fits Martz' system. The rumors are that Greg Olsen wants out and the Patriots are offering a 2nd round pick for him. I don't like that Olsen has to leave just because he doesn't fit a system I don't like in the first place, but if they trade him for a second round pick that can be used on on a quality guard or tackle that can make an impact this year, well, that wouldn't be the worst thing that could happen.

These were good moves. If Jerry can turn Olsen into a 2nd round pick and have a quality draft, and they maybe find a serviceable veteran lineman or safety after cuts in the spring and summer, they might be able to patch together an offensive line or secondary that can get them through the year and get this team back into the playoffs.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Orlando Pace Released

Worthless Old Fatass.

Orlando Pace got cut the other day. I'm sure everyone's as relieved as I am about that. Chris Williams is more than capable of being a mediocre left tackle, so Pace is superfluous. No idea as to who they think they can get to start at right tackle, unless they're actually crazy enough to keep playing Omiyale or Shaffer regularly. That would be, as some might say, a really, really, poor decision.

This offseason is exceedingly frustrating. Every year for the last few years I've always felt like, with a competent front office, the Bears' problems were easily fixable in a few moves. After the 2004 season, I was confident the team could contend with a healthy Grossman and a quality tackle to pair with John Tait. It turned out they didn't even really need Rex in 2005, but Fred Miller was a big contributor in 2005 and 2006. After 2005, I was sure they were going to kick ass in 2006 no matter what, and that's what happened. After 2006, I thought the team would be fine if everyone stayed healthy and they picked up another starting safety. Everyone got hurt and they wound up with Archuleta, so the team sucked. After 2007, I thought some upgrades on the offensive line and a healthy defense would make the team a contender. The line was slightly better in 2008, but the defense still wasn't great and the team barely improved. Going into 2009, it was obvious that, with Cutler on the team, the defensive line and offensive line were the biggest areas of concern. Jerry Angelo agreed, he just felt the answer was to sign Pace and Omiyale and hire Rod Marinelli. That ended horribly and Marinelli got a promotion.

This offseason, however, it's hard to get excited over any single move. Cutting Pace isn't much of an addition by subtraction, as every spot on the line would benefit from an upgrade (although I'm willing to give Williams another year before I start hating him). The defensive line sucks on ice, and I'm not sure how much the rumored move to pick up Julius Peppers would help without a defensive tackle to keep him from getting double teamed on every single snap. The linebacking corps consists of Awesome, Old and Injured, and the Three-Headed Shitfest of Hillenmeyer, Williams, or Roach. Charles Tillman's a slightly above average corner, which is far more than can be said about any of his comrades, and the safety position is a pathetic mess (and of course they traded away their second round pick in a year where good safeties will actually be available in the 2nd round).

My point is, of course, is that you shouldn't take joy anything, because you're Bears fans.