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Sifting Through Bears Silliness

If all goes according to plan, this will be Lovie Smith's last training camp as Bears head coach. All you have to do is be bad Lovie, please don't mess it up.

Much to my surprise and delight this summer, Bears optimism has been contained to a moderate level. Unlike last year's hype fest that surrounded the arrival of Gay Butler(I'll start calling him Jay Cutler when he earns the name back), meatball nation seems much more cautious this August. I'm overly giddy at Bears fans realizing what this team is, and not making SuperBowl or NFC Championship proclamations. This is a positive step for some of the dumbest fans in the NFL, and for that I want to give them a golf clap.......There you go. I knew you weren't all football retarded. The thing that bothers me most is how some of the people that cover this team have such a slanted view. There are two Bears suck asses that continue to make fools of themselves. Zach Zaidman of WBBM 780 and The Score 670 wouldn't say a negative word about the Bears if a gun was pointed at him. He's not alone, however. Dan Pompei of The Chicago Tribune makes me want to get Vinny Chase drunk every single time he writes something about this team. Let me preface this by saying I'm not here to be overly negative. I just wish people who are paid to be objective, actually did their job and would stop waving their Bears flag all day long. At least Marc Silverman has toned down his Gay Butler love this year. Silvy saw the light through the red zone interceptions.

Quick Story: Zaidman and Pompei aren't the only two Chicago sports writers/reporters who draw my ire. David Haugh of the Tribune tweeted a couple weeks ago something along the lines of ripping the Cubs trade of Ted Lilly. Haugh, for reasons only known to him, wanted the Cubs to keep the 34 year old soft tossing-soon to be washed up Lilly and sign him to an extension. When I tweeted him back after the trade saying his idea of keeping Lilly was worse than him calling Andres Nocioni the next Dirk Nowitzki, he proceeded to block me. You can't handle the heat can you, Dave? It's understandable. If I compared a mediocre Nocioni to one of the best players of the past 10 years, I'd get pissed too. Yes, he made that claim in '06 and,yes, I remembered. Haugh and Scoop Jackson are in a tight race for most clueless Chicago sports writer of the year. Keep it going fellas, you are providing constant laughs for us all.

So far this summer, I've had to read Pompei write about Frank Omiyale being "back home" at right tackle. You know it's bad when my mild mannered younger brother looked at me and said "did you read this?" Yes, unfortunately, I did. Pompei's cheer leading has been only topped by Zach Zaidman tweeting his ass off about every positive play the Bears have run at camp. If you are on Twitter, please follow him for a day. The guy gets more excited about Greg Olsen's 7 on 7 touchdown catches than things that actually matter. Ya know, like how the Bears offense has looked great in 7 on 7(every team looks good in 7 on 7.....Yes, even the Raiders). The ginger haired genius somehow leaves out how the offense has looked in 11 on 11 work.......bad for the most part. He even defended Gay Butler throwing a ball at the hospitality tent in frustration. Hey, it was hot outside and it was a long practice. Those things happen. Getting Zaidman to say something bad about the Bears is harder than The Situation scoring anything other than a "grenade." So, as usual, it's up to Mr. Realism to sift through the silliness that too many die hard Bears fans have to read and listen to. Here, then, are my thoughts on the Bears so far as we approach the first exhibition game this weekend.

The Positives

Devin Aromashodu needs to be starting this season. He is the Bears best all around receiver, and a Gay Butler favorite.

Devin Aromashodu: The Bears best receiver has looked solid as he builds on a strong finish to the '09 season. The bad news? Mike Martz doesn't think much of him, apparently. Bears fans will grow to hate Martz, trust me. The Bears are starting Johnny Knox and Devin Hester as of now, and I don't know why. Aromashodu is the team's best all around receiver. Knox is a one trick pony who will get deep, but will always struggle getting off press coverage at the line. As for Hester, it's not his fault the Bears turned him into an average receiver after he was the greatest kick returner in NFL history. He's just not very bright, and the receiver position in Martz's offense is as important as the quarterback position. That spells doom for Hester, Earl Bennett, and any Bears fan with high blood pressure. Put Aromashodu on the field and let him build his rapport with Gay Butler. #6 likes him, and that should mean something to Martz and Lovie Smith.

Major Wright: The Bears top draft pick is back after missing time with a groin injury. If Dave Wannstedt was still the Bears coach he's say Wright "has a groin." The Bears need to get Wright up to speed quickly, so he can start the season as a starter. I know both safety spots in the Bears defense are tough to learn, but isn't Wright already better than Craig Steltz? I can't imagine that he isn't, so put him out there and let him grow into the really good player he should become.I have my concerns with Chris Harris as he battles injury and age. The Bears need youth and stability at that spot, and Wright should be starting there yesterday.

The Special Teams Unit: Does it get any better than the Bears special teams? Dave Toub has turned Tim Shaw into a meatball phenom. Brad Maynard is healthy and looking great, Robbie Gould is one of the best in the business, Daniel Manning is a beast returning kicks, Johnny Knox is a stud, and Pat Mannelly is a long snapping God. This is easily the Bears best part of their team.

Chris Williams: The young left tackle is the lone player on the o-line that aspires confidence. Going up against Julius Peppers everyday will only help aid the development of C-Will.

Matt Forte: Forte came into the season with a bum hamstring and quickly injured his knee. He suddenly morphed into Lewis "two yard" Tillman for the duration. Forte is back to form this year and should be the Bears featured back despite the signing of Chester Taylor. When healthy, Forte is the better player and should get the bulk of the carries in 2010.

Someone hide Pompei and Zaidman. I'm about to actually reveal some flaws on this Bears team. Zaidman may cry if he ever reads this.

The Negatives

The Offensive Line: Sans Chris Williams, this group is very likely to be abysmal this season. Lance Louis may start at right guard. Louis was a 7th round draft choice of the Bears in '09. That would be fine except the Bears drafted Louis as a tight end and moved him to tackle. It would be a great story, but he is a question mark at best right now. Olin Kreutz was tougher on Fred Miller at the gun shooting range than he was on opposing lineman last year. He has lost a step that he won't get back this late in his career. Roberto Garza is moving to left guard. He is solid, if unspectacular. That brings us to Frank Omiyale or Kevin Schaffer at right tackle. Now I know why #6 likes to drink. If I had that those two protecting me, I'd hit the bottle pretty hard too. No matter who "wins" that battle, it will be a weak spot all season.

The Secondary: Charles Tillman looks to be in great shape, but age and injury are on Bears fans minds. Training camp "superstar" Zack Bowman is nicked up again, and you don't know how Corey Graham will play after spending last year in Lovie's doghouse. The NFC North is loaded with good receivers.... Charles Johnson, Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, and Sidney Rice. All of whom over match the Bears DB's. The Bears have some potential in the last line of defense, but serious questions remain unanswered.Did I mention that they face Brett Favre(yes, he's coming back), Matthew Stafford, and Aaron Rodgers all twice this year? Ouch. Did I also mention Lovie still plans to use Josh Bullocks this year? My head hurts.

Quick Zaidman Rant: The Bears bandwagon driver also has been blowing Craig Steltz as if he was Rod Woodson. He tweeted this after a recent PRACTICE play......."Leaping grab by Johnny Knox of Jay Cutler fastball in 2 minute drill followed by Craig Steltz pick. Big time defense from the LSU product." I wish Zach would realize Steltz isn't good at football and Wright was drafted for a reason.

54's Health: Brian Urlacher will never regain his '05 form, but can he come back and be a stud player again? I wouldn't doubt him, but the wear and tear of a long career are taking their toll on former franchise player.

Of course Greg Olsen didn't come down with this ball in traffic. When does he ever make a tough grab with defenders on him? Mike Martz will soon have little use for G-Reg.

Greg Olsen's Massive Skill Set: The tight end position in Martz's offense gets used less than deodorant does by Packers fans. Pay no attention to what Martz says about Olsen. He said the same things about Vernon Davis when he was the offensive coordinator in San Francisco in '08. Davis was coming off 52 catches in '07 despite injuries and Trent Dilfer throwing to him. With Martz at the helm in '08? Davis dipped to 31 catches. Last year with Martz gone Davis became the best tight end in the league with 78 catches, 965 yards, and 13 touchdowns. Martz doesn't use a tight end like Olsen. As much as Zaidman blows Olsen and his skill set, there is a reason the Bears tried trading him this off-season. His value? Nothing more than a 6th round pick.

No Alex Brown: Julius Peppers has been a beast so far in camp. With what he's getting paid, I would hope so. It still burns me that the Bears signed Peppers and cut Alex Brown. All Brown did was start 127 out of 128 possible games in his Bears career. I mean anytime you can get rid of a quality player who doesn't miss games, you have to do it. It's why I say this team is constantly running in circles. Brown and Peppers teamed with a semi healthy Tommie Harris could have given the Bears one of the best front fours in football. Instead we have to wonder if Mark Anderson is anything more than a situational pass rusher. I highly doubt it. I do like Corey Wootton out of Northwestern. He may not get a lot of time as a rookie, but he was a beast his junior year, and has good potential.

I've already written what I think Bears fans should want in 2010. I feel it's imperative that the team 6-10's their way to ensure a house cleaning of the 3 stooges. There are positives, however, and as we start the preseason Bears fans should focus on the young players(Wright, Wootton, and Aromashodu,) and hope that Gay Butler plays well enough to regain his name--just don't hope for too much success because none of us need Lovie, Angelo, and Phillips back in 2011. Just make sure to not tell Pompei and Zaidman that. They don't like living in reality like most of us.


  1. While I do grow tired of always hearing the good and not the bad. I have to disagree with some of the points that you are trying to make.

    Knox was a rookie last year and most players get better with experience. Press coverage may be a a problem, but it's fixable.

    While I see your point about Olsen, comparing him to Davis doesn't make sense. It's a qb league and SF didn't have one.

    You will be eating crow when Urlacher gets back on the field. I don't doubt this guy at all. Like all LB's when you have a good line in front of you, it's easier to make plays.

    To assume that a 7th round pick can't play is crazy as well. Between Jeff Saturday, Marques Colston, Cortland's about how you play, not where you're drafted.

  2. I regularly read most of the bear's news, including the "chalk talk" and I agree with your sober assessment, for the most part. The fact that a 7th round draft pick is going to start in an already questionable line, raises eyebrows. Wright and Harris should be Starting, allowing Manning to move back to nickle, which I would be a lot more comfortable with paired up with Tillman and Bowman (if they ever remain healthy).

    Three areas that they NEED to excel in, in order of importance:

    #1 OLINE: without this, the run game will again avg 3yd/carry and I don't even want to think about what it would mean to Cutler in a 7step drop happy scheme.

    #2 Reduced red-zone int: This is related to Oline, because if Cutler has less pressure, he might stop throwing picks when they count.

    #3 DLine: The d-line has to live up to expectations, it's that simple. If Harris gets injured again, and Peppers doesn't have a 10sack season, and if Anderson is only a 3rd down specialist, that mediocre secondary is going to get burned by Favre, Rodgers, and even Stafford.

    They can't just play "ok" in these areas to win, they must EXCEL in them, or we're in for another 7-9ish season, and Bill Cowher will hear the collective serenade of millions of bear's fans...