I have to say that I am not surprised that the Chicago Bears decided to fire Lovie Smith after the second late-season collapse by the team that lead the division the first half of the year. I also agree with the decision, mostly. During the entire tenure of Lovie Smith, the Bears' offense has been incompetant. Lovie is a great defensive mind, but I'm just not sold on his ability as a head coach. And judging by the fact that no other teams hired him, I guess I'm not the only one who had doubts.
The Bears went through several offensive coordinators during Smith's time, including the revolutionary mind of Mike Martz, but the team's offense remained abysmal throughout. They changed quarterbacks, changed offensive linemen, changed running backs, and rotated through a number of receivers. They even changed stadiums. The only constant was Smith.
The firing of Lovie Smith just further expands my concerns with the Bears' defense. I've already expressed fear that the defense is getting old and that veterans like Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, and Charles Tillman just might not have much left in their tanks. The window is definitely closing for these players, and they can't afford to wait around for several "rebuilding" years in order to become championship contenders again. I want to see Brian Urlacher win a SuperBowl with the Chicago Bears, but if the team's new coaching staff isn't able to fix Chicago's offensive woes, while maintaining strength on defense, then it doesn't look like Urlacher will get that ring. At least, not with the Bears.
New Chicago Bears head coach, Marc Trestman.
Matt Forte (and fans) should be smiling after he signed a 4-year deal.
Bears players left and right are stating in interviews that they think this year's Bears team is going to be great. Recently, receiver Earl Bennett said in an interview that he thinks the Bears are the best team in the NFC North. Other players have expressed similar thoughts over the summer. Pro Bowl linebackers Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher have both stated in interviews this year that the 2012 Bears team is the best team they've been on, and that includes the Bears' 2006 SuperBowl run!
So are these sentiments even remotely accurate? Or are the players just a bit overconfident?
Well, in my humble opinion (as a Bears' fan), these players have every right to be excited about their team this year! [More]
The Chicago Bears played a pretty impressive all-around game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night, winning 30-24 after their bye.
Jeremy Maclin catches a fourth down pass, but trips before reaching first down yardage, cementing the Bears' victory.
It's really hard for me to give MVP credit to any single player or unit on the Bears. The defense did a fantastic job of containing Mike Vick, limiting him to just a few dozen rushing yards, picking him off once, and never letting him throw it into the endzone. But the defense alone doesn't deserve all the credit, as Vick made some bad throws and his receivers dropped some wide open passes, D.J. Moore dropped two gimme interceptions, and DeSean Jackson tripped and fell short of converting a last-minute fourth down to keep the Eagles in the game. And the only reason that LeSean McCoy didn't torch the Bears for triple-digit rushing yards was because the Eagles were playing from behind for most of the game... [More]
Monday, August 15, 2011 10:44 AM
In Thursday's preseason opener against the Buffalo Bills, the Chicago Bears decided to ignore a newly-passed NFL rule change that moved kickoffs from the 30 yard line to the 35 yard line.
Special teams coordinator Dave Toub had been given permission from the officiating staff prior to the game, since apparently, the rule is vague enough that it does not completely clarify that the ball has to be kicked off from the new location. However, after kicking from the 30 twice in the game, the league told the Bears, "No, you can't do that anymore."
Despite a rule change moving the kickoff to the 35 yard line, the Bears kicked off from the 30 yard line in Thursday's preseason game.
The Bears had supposedly elected to kick from the old distance so as to give their special teams unit some live practice at covering kicks.
I think this rule change passed by a margin of 26-6 in the off-season. The argument in support of the change is that by moving the kickoffs up five yards, there will be more touchbacks, fewer returns, and therefore fewer injuries. A majority of injuries in NFL games happen on kick return plays - although the exact percentage escapes me at the moment. Although the real reason for this rule change might just be that the other teams in the league are terrified of players like Devin Hester, Josh Cribbs, and DeSean Jackson. [More]
I managed to watch the Chicago Bears' first preseason game when it was re-aired on NFL Network on Sunday afternoon. The game did not look very promising.
Chicago had to skip its planned pre-season opening against the St. Louis Rams in the Hall of Fame game because it was canceled due to the labor dispute that plagued the spring and summer, so the game against the Buffalo Bills was the first chance to see the 2011 Bears team in action.
And it did not look good.
Last year's offensive line was a disaster for the first half of the season. The team gave up a league-leading 56 sacks, including about 10 in one game against the Giants on a Monday night. The line did significantly improve following the week-eight bye, but Cutler was still sacked more often that I'd like to have seen, and the line still had trouble opening holes for the running backs in many situations. [More]