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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Opinionating: Ten Thoughts on the Bears and Beyond

1) I'm not really disappointed that the Bears sit at 3-2. I have the same amount of confidence that, with their schedule, they can make the playoffs that I had before the losing streak. Even if they should fall short of that goal, to me the clock was somewhat reset once Lovie was fired. Lovie had run out of time, but Trestman has not. He was handed the job of fixing the offense, and so far the results are promising. Have they looked out of sync at times? Absolutely, but they're 4th in the NFL in scoring, 11th in yards, and Cutler, Forte, Marshall, and Jeffery are all on pace for phenomenal seasons. The amount of progress they've made from an utterly inept unit last year to a legitimate NFL offense in just five games should be praised, not criticized for being too slow. If the defensive collapse continues, and I see no reason to think it won't, sadly, that's hardly to be pinned on Trestman or even Emery. Give them a year to spend some time fixing that side of the ball (as they've largely fixed the offense in just one offseason) and then adjust your expectations accordingly.

2)Alshon Jeffery's development is the biggest positive for me this year, even including my happiness over Cutler finally putting up legit franchise QB numbers. To see the Bears identify and draft a talent at that position and have him actually develop the way a legit prospect should is comforting. After Jeffery's rookie campaign kind of hit a wall due to injuries after a promising start I have to admit I had horrifying Mark Bradley flashbacks.

3)Before this season I laughed at people suggesting the 3-4 defense was in the Bears future,  but with Henry Melton and others who were integral parts of the 4-3 approach suddenly regressing and having cloudy futures with the team, and with the abundance of talent at linebacker (including a possible position switch for Shea McClellin) and dearth of it elsewhere, I actually wouldn't be shocked to see the team move that direction next year.

4)It hasn't really been noticed much because of the attention paid to raw sack totals, but the tackle play for the Bears hasn't been great lately. Bushrod's struggled a lot of this year, as has Mills since week two. Hopefully that trend reverses before the Bears face another talented 3-4 defense that will really bring pressure off the edge.

5)It failed miserably, but I was really pleased to see the Bears use a package play in the red zone on Sunday. Cutler held the ball too long, causing the illegal downfield penalty on Long, but it's nice to see the Bears with an offensive coaching staff that's at least trying to embrace the newest innovation in football. Outside of all of the damn times Mike Martz attempted a bizarro version of the Wildcat, that is.

6)I love Drew Brees. Always have, always will. If the Bears are out of it eventually he will definitely have my backing in the NFC playoff field.

7) Matt Schaub is one of three QBs I can think of in recent memory who have rapidly and nigh inexplicably gone from perfectly adequate to bafflingly terrible overnight. The other two were Jake Delhomme starting with the 2008 Playoffs and Jake Plummer starting with the 2005 AFC Title game. Neither ever seemed to recover from letting their team down in a huge spot.

8) I hope Jadaveon Clowney keeps pissing all over his draft stock. I'll spread rumors of substance abuse issues myself if it drops him  somewhere into the back half of the draft where the Bears might have a shot at him. Anyone who overrates his struggles this year and passes on him will live to regret it.

9)Speaking of the draft, I wholeheartedly admire Gus Bradley's determination to tank with Blaine Gabbert, and I'm sad Gabbert's repeated injuries keep derailing the effort. That man knows what his best play is, and also knows that Gabbert's historically awful play is literally the only interesting thing about the Jags this year.

10)I won't say this often, but my God do I feel bad for Tony Romo.

1 comment:

Erik said...

I still think it's stupid that you can get a penalty for being a hulking, man-crushing motherfucker and pushing your man 5 yards backwards.