Jerry Angelo Archives
Here we go:
**As always these picks are for information purposes only**
Pittsburgh -6 over Cleveland
Indianapolis - over Tennessee
Atlanta -14 over Carolina
Green Bay -10 over Bears
Kansas City -4 1/2 over Oakland
Today's slate of games have some very important battles that can decide playoff fates and home field advantage. The game at Soldier Field in Chicago between the Bears and the Jets is important to both teams so we should see a very intense battle.
I see several games that I find intriguing so let's get right to it with our picks for today.
**As always these selections are for entertainment purposes only**
Houston -3 over Denver
Tennessee/Kansas City OVER 42
San Diego/Cincinnati UNDER 44
Tampa Bay -6 over Seattle
Indianapolis -3 over Oakland
2 Team Teaser on New England (-8 1/2) and San Diego (-8)
Gallery sneak peek (2 images):View the gallery...
Here we go with today's picks....
**As always these selections are for entertainment purposes only**
Dallas -7 over Washington
New Orleans +1.5 over Baltimore
Miami -5.5 over Buffalo
Oakland -7.5 over Denver
Denver at Oakland OVER 42
(**As always these picks are for entertainment purposes only**)
Pittsburgh +3.5 over Baltimore
Miami -4 over Cleveland
Kansas City -8.5 over Denver
Tennessee -3.5 over Jacksonville
Bears -5 over Detroit
Here we go for Week 9 in the NFL....
(**As always these picks are for entertainment purposes only**)
New York Giants -7
San Diego Chargers -3
New Orleans Saints -6 1/2
Chicago Bears on the money line (I am not comfortable laying the 3 points)
So away we go....
(*As always these picks are for entertainment purposes only**)
Tampa Bay +3
San Diego -4
Before he makes a hire he had better look himself in the mirror and realize that the last two full time managers of this team were unwilling to hold players accountable despite coming in with reputations as locker room leaders. From the ridiculousness that derailed the 2004 Cubs to the antics of Carlos Zambrano this season no one has ever had the courage to lay down the law and be the tough guy that the Cubs have needed for far too long. That is squarely on the field manager and upper management who did absolutely nothing to control the players who let the broadcasters and the extraneous noise distract them in 2004 to Lou Piniella completely losing his team in 2010 as the season spiraled out of control. Set down a way to play and let no one operate outside the rules. Period, end of story. If a player misses a team flight because of his birthday then he doesn't pitch no matter who he is (think Big Z in 2009). If a player doesn't run hard out of the box then he is removed from the game and he sits. Whether he signed a 136 million dollar contract or is a minimum salaried rookie. Operate that way and you have a chance. Anything less and you will lose the respect of your team very quickly.
Here are my picks for the day games. I will have a pick on tonight's game later today.
**As always these picks are for entertainment purposes only**
Minnesota -1.5 over Dallas
Dallas at Minnesota OVER 44
Seattle at Bears OVER 37
Denver Broncos +3.5 over NY Jets
Play of the Day
Baltimore +3 over New England
Here are today's picks in the NFL: (As always these picks are for entertainment purposes only):
San Francisco - 3 at Seattle
Cincinnati +5 at New England
Houston + 2 1/2 vs Indianapolis
Bears vs Lions OVER 45
The Sunday night game will be up this afternoon and the Monday night game will be up tomorrow. The rest of the late games will be added if I find something I like during the early games.
Here is the latest on the happenings in the NFL from Pro Football Talk.
More to come....
Head coach Lovie Smith flew to Charlotte, NC on Thursday evening, and will fly back to Chicago with Peppers and his agent. According to Carl Carey, who represents Peppers, "the deal is the Bears to lose." And sources tell me that there is no way the Bears will fail to get this deal done.
Add in a solid running back in Chester Taylor, and a blocking TE, and you have a tremendous upgrade in talent for the Bears. Manumaleuna's addition could mean the end of Greg Olsen's time in the Windy City, but perhaps he could bring Anquan Boldin back in trade or a draft pick that could be used on an offensive lineman.
Give Lovie Smith and Jerry Angelo credit for their aggressiveness and their plan. Now they have to finish it off. Stay tuned.
Gallery sneak peek (10 images):View the gallery...
Additionally, it appears that the Bears are going all in on free agent DE Julius Peppers and their contract offer could be the biggest contract in franchise history. Stay tuned!
I'm in San Antonio for the U.S. Army All-American game and Football Combine and have learned the Bears have interviewed University of Tennessee offensive coordinator Jim Chaney for their open offensive coordinator position, according to an excellent source.
Prior to becoming the Vols' offensive coordinator last season (he's also the tight ends coach), he spent the previous three seasons as assistant coach for the St. Louis Rams coaching the offensive line. He also coached the Rams' tight ends.
Chaney has also coached at Purdue (where he coached Saints quarterback Drew Brees and former Bears quarterback Kyle Orton) and Wyoming, schools with prolific offenses in that time.
According to his Tennessee bio, Purdue was ranked in the top 10 in the country in total offense six times under Chaney.
As the first decade in the 21st century comes to a close, let's take a moment to reminisce about the best and worst moments and athletes of the past ten years in Chicago Sports.
Best Team: 2005 Chicago White Sox
Only one Chicago team could call itself champions in the first decade of the 2000s, and that team plays at 35th and the Dan Ryan. The White Sox magical run to a world championship in 2005 erased an 88-year drought of glory on the south side. Everything went right for Ozzie Guillen's club that year, as his starting staff of Mark Buehrle, Jose Contreras, Jon Garland and Freddy Garcia each won 14 or more games in the regular season, leading the club to a 99 win campaign. Playing "Ozzie Ball", the Palehose used speed and timely hitting to scratch across runs with Scott Podsednik changing the team's offensive strategy. The White Sox stormed through the playoffs, going 11-1 in October, which included a sweep of the then-defending champion Red Sox, and the Astros in the World Series. Their bullpen was rock solid all year, as Bobby Jenks burst onto the scene as a bona fide closer, and earned the save on October 26, 2005 to earn the Sox a ring.
Worst Team: 2000-2001 Chicago Bulls
After a historic run of six world championships in the previous decade with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, things went very bad and very fast for the Bulls after the nucleus of the team left the Windy City. The team did have Elton Brand, who averaged 20 points per game, Ron Mercer, who could still contribute, and Ron Artest--who by his own admission--was drinking on the job. The team went 15-67, bad enough for a miserable .183 winning percentage, and ranked dead last in the NBA in points per game (87.6). Need any further proof this team was a disaster? This team only had three players average double-digit scoring, and Ron Artest barely qualified in double-digits with just over 11 points per game. Also, how about these names that contributed minutes to Tim Floyd's club that year: Dragan Tarlac, Khalid El-Amin, Dalibor Bagaric, A.J. Guyton, Jake Voskuhl. Need I say more?
Best Athlete: Brian Urlacher, Chicago Bears
Say what you want about Urlacher's attitude, or problematic character at times. It's no question this city could have embraced him far more than they did over this past decade. But when it comes to the best athlete in Chicago sports over the last ten years, Urlacher takes the cake. After being drafted in the first round out of New Mexico in 2000, Urlacher immediately emerged as a standout linebacker for the Bears and quickly vaulted to the top of the NFL. He had more than 800 tackles in the decade, 37.5 sacks, and 17 interceptions. He was one of the most feared defensive players in the league for the majority of the decade, and led his team to multiple playoff appearances including a Super Bowl berth in 2006. Note: Honorable Mention goes to White Sox ace Mark Buehrle, for a consistent and successful decade.
Worst Athlete: Corey Patterson, Chicago Cubs
Corey Patterson had a three good months as a Chicago Cub. That's it. Otherwise, his career as a Cub could really only be described as a debacle. The 3rd overall pick in the 1998 draft figured to solve the Cubs center field problem for the long haul. All we read and heard about him coming up was that he had great speed, great power, and could be a five-tool superstar type player to anchor the Cubs outfield. Instead, he was a free-swinging, undisciplined, stubborn liability for the Cubs for parts of five seasons. Other than the 83 games in 2003 in which he hit .298 with 13 homers and 55 RBIs, he was detracting from the team's success. (And funnily enough, when Patterson got hurt the Cubs acquired Kenny Lofton, who was a catalyst and a big reason why the Cubs nearly reached the world series that season.) In 2004, he was a microcosm of the team's shortcomings, and his 2005 season was one of the worst statistical seasons put forth by an everyday player in history. He's still toiling around baseball, last seen with the Brewers this past season. The Cubs traded him to Baltimore before the 2006 year, and the Cubs have still not found a long term solution for center field.
Gallery sneak peek (35 images):View the gallery...
Not only has the team regressed over the past three seasons, but it's painfully obvious that the Bears are being out coached. Smith is the same man who asked all of us to "trust me to do what is best for our football team", when he fired Ron Rivera as defensive coordinator following the 2006 season, the year the Bears appeared in the Super Bowl.
Then, Smith hand picked linebackers coach Bob Babich for the defensive coordinator role, which failed miserably. Consequently, Smith took over defensive play calling responsibilities before the 2009 season. The result? You have a Bears defense that ranks 12th out of 16 teams in the NFC with only Seattle, St. Louis, Detroit, and Tampa behind.
Let's go to Sunday's loss to the arch-rival Green Bay Packers. The Bears are trying to drive for the tying touchdown, and Jay Cutler throws a pass to Greg Olsen. He initially grabs it, but does not control the ball all the way to the ground and it's ruled incomplete. Smith takes his first charged timeout of the 2nd half. After the timeout, and just as the Bears are set to run the next play, he decides to challenge the Olsen incompletion. He threw the red flag, risking a failed challenge, and potentially costing them two timeouts in the same play before another second runs off the clock.
Well, that is exactly what happened. Referee Mike Carey deemed the play stood as called, the drive stalled, and the Bears never scored again, losing to Green Bay 21-14. Who knows if they would have scored if they had an extra timeout? Common sense tells me no, but you can't dispute the fact that they would have run their final drive differently if they would have had another timeout to work with.
Furthermore, Lovie Smith told the media after the game the reason they called the first timeout on that play was because they had "some things going on" that necessitated using it. Just what those "things" were? He didn't say. But offensive coordinator Ron Turner said there was nothing going on that would have warranted using another timeout.
Whatever the case, this team is in disarray and a major house cleaning has to take place to give the team a chance for improvement in the near future. And if Smith is fired, General Manager Jerry Angelo also has to go, because he has done a poor job of assembling the roster. This team is out manned in terms of talent nearly every week.
I keep hearing that because both men are owed significant dollars no changes will take place. The Bears are a franchise valued at over a billion dollars. To keep them both says very simply to a tremendously loyal fan base that winning just isn't that important. Please, members of the McCaskey family, tell us that isn't true.
Gallery sneak peek (12 images):View the gallery...
**As always these selections are for entertainment purposes only**
Green Bay - 3 vs Baltimore
Best of the Rest
New England -4 over Miami
Seattle +1 over San Francisco
Pittsburgh -15 over Oakland
NY Giants +1 over Dallas
St. Louis/Bears over 40
Then you have our Chicago Bears, who were so completely dominated in every facet of yesterday's 36-10 loss to the Minnesota Vikings that it is now painfully obvious that the entire front office of the team has to be cleaned out and overhauled. The same goes for the coaching staff, which has seen a Super Bowl team in 2006 slide into oblivion at astonishing speed.
Finally, the weekend's most bizarre story comes courtesy of Tiger Woods, who was involved in a one car accident as he was leaving his home in Florida. First reports indicated that his wife, Elin, had rescued him from the wreck by taking a golf club and smashing out the windows in Tiger's 2009 Cadillac Escalade. Then, we started to hear that perhaps his facial lacerations were not from the accident, but from the wrath of his wife after she reportedly found out about another woman in his life.
Here is the latest on the Woods story courtesy of the fine folks at TMZ.com. which just seems to keep getting stranger every day. Tiger reportedly told a friend that he needs a "Kobe Special", which refers to the enormous ring that Kobe Bryant bought his wife Vanessa after his episode in Colorado a few years ago.
Gallery sneak peek (23 images):View the gallery...
Arkush, citing unnamed sources, said on WSCR Radio the Bears have begun the process of looking at coaching candidates. "Inquiries have been made, feelers have been put out," Arkush said. He specifically mentioned three names the Bears are interested in as potential candidates, listing Super Bowl winning coaches Bill Cowher, Mike Shanahan, and Jon Gruden.
Tonight, a Bears source told Chicago Tribune columnist David Haugh that there is absolutely no truth to the report. Now, does that mean that the Bears won't change coaches after the season ends? Absolutely not. It simply means that no official search is underway and with 6 games still to be played in the 2009 season, it would do the Bears no good to undercut Lovie Smith and his staff as they try salvage a very disappointing year.
Should the Bears fire Smith and his staff at the end of the season? Absolutely. This will be the third consecutive season that the Bears will miss the playoffs, and the future looks anything but bright with question marks all over the roster. The team hasn't quit on Smith but it is becoming painfully obvious that the team is woefully inadequate to compete for a championship.
The latest I am hearing has the Cubs and the Rangers seriously discussing a trade that would send the disgruntled outfielder back to the the team that he starred for before signing with the Cubs last winter. However, read this nugget in Rangers' beat writer Evan Grant's blog regarding a possible Bradley return to Texas, and you'll see just how tough it may be for the Cubs to move him.
As for the Tigers willingness to trade center fielder Curtis Granderson, things are starting to heat up, as they explore several different options in both the AL and NL. The Cubs are definitely on the Tigers radar, since they fit several of the requirements Detroit has in any Granderson deal. First, they have a handful of excellent prospects that are nearly major league ready and they would be the key to any deal. Also, the Cubs don't play in the AL and definitely don't play in the AL Central. That could make this deal more likely, since Detroit is very reluctant to trade him within their league and even more so in their division. If you were Jim Hendry, would you trade rising shortstop prospect Starlin Castro in a package to land Granderson?
However, from the Cardinals first possession, it was obvious that the defense had no chance at slowing down Warner and Co. and that was without All-Pro wide receiver Anquan Boldin, who was sidelined with an injury. The Cardinals ground game came into the contest averaging an embarrassing 65 yards per game, and ripped the Bears apart for 182 yards. In fact, the Cardinals set their season high in yards on the ground in the first half.
It was a thorough butt-kicking and one that proved the Bears are a lousy football team. In fact, if Jeff Reed and Olindo Mare make a couple of field goals, the Bears could be sitting here today as a 2-6 team, with their only wins over Detroit and Cleveland. The Bears are nowhere close to being a contending team, and they need to spend the rest of the 2009 season evaluating which players should stay and go as they attempt to build toward the future.
That starts with the head coach, who is so out of touch with reality that it's laughable. I have never been a fan of Lovie Smith, because of his inability to display any sense of honesty in his dealing with the fans and media. When his team plays poorly he refuses to ever call out a player or unit for poor performance. I am not asking him to be Mike Ditka, because he doesn't have that type of personality. But his failure to hold people accountable and his willingness to give out jobs to players before training camp and before they have earned is one of the reasons the Bears are where they are now.
So how do you fix it? You start by firing the head coach and hiring a no-nonsense guy who has a proven reputation as a winner. He must possess an ability to connect with the fan base and the media, and a willingness to roll up his sleeves and contribute years of expertise in personnel matters. Furthermore, he must be able to evaluate personnel well enough to take some of the responsibilities away from current GM Jerry Angelo. I'm not asking for the new coach to necessarily be the "architect" of this team, but Angelo has done a very poor job during his 8+ seasons in Lake Forest.
Angelo is under contract through 2013, so the thought that the Bears would pay both he and Smith is probably fantasy. So here's what I would do: fire Smith the day the season ends so I could have all available coach options available to me right away. I would also call Jerry Angelo into a meeting where he will be offered the chance to stay as GM, but he will also be asked to relinquish some of his power to the new Head Coach/Football Operations boss. Should he balk then he can quit. However, with a ton of money owed to him for four more seasons, I would be surprised if he walked away.
Then, I would offer Bill Cowher whatever it took to land him, and I would make it clear that Chicago Bears football is back and is changing its image, effective immediately. Cowher is a proven winner, he would energize the fan base, and he is a tremendous motivator. With the right moves next spring, the Bears could put some of the necessary pieces in place around standout quarterback Jay Cutler. And they could start to rebuild a team that is obviously not responding to Lovie Smith.
More to come as we get the Pittsburgh point of view on Cowher next. Have a great day! Kap
The offensive line continues to look suspect. If the Bears aren't careful, they won't have Cutler as their QB too much longer, because the beating he's taking will eventually lead to serious injury. Today, Cutler was sacked 4 times and hit 7 times with many of those hits being very physical plays. Say what you want about him, but Cutler is showing tremendous toughness as he takes a beating each and every week and keeps on playing hard.
I also loved the exchange between Cutler and Browns defensive coordinator Rob Ryan that was captured on the broadcast. Both men were screaming at each other, and it is that passion that we have not seen in a long time from a Bears QB. After the game the two men hugged as they walked off of the field and shook hands, and Cutler talked about his respect for Ryan in the post game press conference.
Now, with the Browns out of the way, the Bears will have to step up their performance a notch as the Arizona Cardinals will come to town next Sunday afternoon. While the Cardinals looked awful today against the Panthers, the fact is they have a handful of road wins on their resume and they should be a formidable foe for the Bears.
Did You Know Dept.?
The victory before a Soldier Field crowd of 59,493, ended a two-game losing streak, no insignificant achievement since only one team (1979) in franchise history had lost three straight and reached the postseason.
Post game Grades:
Jay Cutler took another beating but he had only one turnover and that came on a tipped ball and he did throw for 225 yards on a 17-30 performance. His QB rating was mediocre at 66.7 but let's not forget he has a brutal offensive line and a suspect set of skill position players around him.
Matt Forte ran for 90 yards on 26 carries and while he only averaged 3.5 yards per carry he did take care of the ball and help the Bears keep the clock moving en route to a time of possession victory of 37:25 to 22:35. He also found the end zone twice.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
While nobody caught a TD pass and no one had a 100 yard day they did do some good things to keep drives alive and they contributed by blocking in the running game.
Just 1 sack is unacceptable and if that trend continues the Bears have no chance at making the playoffs and doing damage once they get there. In addition to the one sack, there was only 1 tackle for loss. There were only three QB hits, and while that may work against a team like Cleveland, it will not work against any of the good QB's left on the Bears schedule. The D-Line was okay against the run as the Browns ran for 117 total yards.
Solid performance from Nick Roach, Hunter Hillenmeyer and Lance Briggs, who were solid in coverage and against the run. This group is doing all they can with both Brian Urlacher and Pisa Tinoisamoa out for the season.
Picked off 2 passes and forced 2 fumbles. In addition, Tillman took his pick back for a touchdown. They covered well and they gave good support against the run.
Robbie Gould was 3-3 on field goal attempts and Brad Maynard stuck three punts inside the 20 yard line. He did shank one kick but otherwise he had a solid performance. Add in no special teams turnovers and the unit did a pretty fair job.
Lovie Smith had his guys ready to play and they were able to put the memory of last week's 45-10 blowout at Cincinnati in their rear view mirrors fairly quickly. However, Rod Marinelli's D-Line has to pick it up as does Harry Hiestand's offensive line. Ron Turner takes a ton of heat for his play calling, but it is hard to take a ton of chances down the field when your offensive line can't give the quarterback much time to throw.
Add in a terrible night for the special teams and a rough night for the offensive line, and it spelled defeat in an extremely winnable football game in the Georgia Dome. How does the special teams have 12 men on the field late in the game when the Falcons had just been forced to punt? That cannot happen, but fortunately for the Bears they were bailed out one play later when Matt Ryan threw his 2nd interception of the game.
Still, the Bears could not drive down and tie the game in the final moments, due to their inability to score when they were in the red zone. Cutler threw for 300 yards, but he and the offense generated only 7 points on three trips inside the 15 yard line. That is completely unacceptable, as is Orlando Pace's false start penalty on 4th and 1 with 34 seconds left in the game.