Secondary Concerns From Abroad

I only have one rule about being a Chicago Bears fan.  If one of your best friends, who also happens to love the club, emails you from South Africa with concerns...there are concerns. (Even if this individual happens to always be concerned.)  His email subject line, "this is why i worry", made me laugh.  Why?  (1) Because it should be the title of the Reverend's autobiography.  (2) Because he really is in South Africa, worrying.

The quarterback is as good as advertised.  The running backs and tight ends are the team's strength.  The wide receivers have surprised even me.  Defensive line and linebackers?  Talented, inspired by new coaching and reportedly motivated.  This leaves the secondary - the subject of Reverend's email.  And we have a phrase in the theatre for what the Bears have done with the secondary (I'm sure it exists elsewhere too).  When the structure of a piece is off and you simply make small edits.  We call it rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. 

This is not a Doomsday report, announcing the demise of the Super Bowl hopes of our charter franchise.  After only a week of practice, nothing is as hopeful or dire as fans in the current NFL like to make them.  But one can't help but notice that almost all of the club's question marks are among a unit that ranked 30th in passing yards allowed, was brutal on third down conversions and became the object of opposing offensive coordinators' wet dreams down the stretch.

But the bigger question might be...
...does it matter?  Outside of
Peanut, have any of these players instilled the kind of confidence that
makes their presence in NFL action more important than the next guy? 
These guys failed in 2008 and failed often.  Yes, they found themselves
getting thrown on every down from about October on. (1st in attempts by 17 - almost a full game over the Chargers)  Yes, they lacked any form of substantial pass rush. (22nd in the league).
Yes, they picked off 22 passes, ranking them third in the NFL, but that
number must be qualified.  Of the five teams with 22 or more picks, the
Bears picked off the lowest percentage of total passes (3.53).  The
Ravens (4.92), Browns (5.15), Packers (4.25) and Bucs (4.63) each were
substantially more successful at turning the ball over in the air.

So
what's the verdict, you might ask?  Who the fuck knows.  What I do know
is this unit should not be expected to become Richardson, Frazier,
Duerson and Fencik.  They'll be serviceable at times, terrible at
others and - in those rarest of moments - capable of altering the
course of the game.  But it'll be up to the quarterback and offense to
compensate by putting more points on the board.  It'll be up to the
defensive line and their apparently God-like position coach to pressure
opposing quarterbacks into making bad decisions.  It's be up to Mr.
Smith to do his best impression of Mr. Bellichick and put these
underwhelming guys in position to make overwhelming plays.

Otherwise
it'll be Strawberry Fields for Aaron Rodgers, Big Ben, Matt Hasselbeck,
Matt Ryan, Carson Palmer and another hollow January. 

Filed under: Uncategorized

Tags: Chicago Bears, Secondary

Comments

Leave a comment
  • Bowman may be a star in the making...if he can stay healthy. But, you're overall point is a good one. What exactly are we worried about? How could whomever they throw back there be any worse than what they had last year?

  • Kudo's on another amazing post!

  • i seem to remember this same argument about the O-line last training camp. It's too early to say these guys will be bad. Nate Vasher and Tillman (who will be starting) were shut down corners in 2005, 2006, and parts of 2007. Payne is ok. The FS issue has been a problem for a long time, so who knows. IT doesn't really matter if our D-line isn't much improved. People passed all over us last year cause they couldn't run. Our run D was great. The problem with that god awful MUG D was it kept the linebackers way out of position for any short, quick routes... the same ones that KILLED us.

    Look on the bright side. At least we dont have to watch adam archuleta. Could it be much worse?

  • I don't care how good of a secondary you think you have, if you give the opposing QB over 5 seconds to throw the ball - he's going to find an open receiver. If this d-line can find a pass rush anywhere close to the one they had in '05 and '06, this Bears secondary is going to look a whole heck of a lot better this season.

    Who knows, maybe turnovers will actually mean something (like points) this year! I can't imagine how big of a buzz kill it must have been for the defense to come up with a huge stop or a big turnover, just to have to come trotting back on the field 5 minutes later because the offense couldn't muster a single 1st down. Pathetic. Like I said, this year (hopefully) turnovers will actually result in points, or at the very least an increase in time of possession. Da Bears.

  • It doesn't matter. Cutler will throw for 57 td's this year, and our

  • I hear you, Shady. If their QB can drop back 50-60 times in a game without so much as 1 sack, your secondary is going to get toasted.

    I am mightily concerned over Bowman.He had injury issue in college that seem to be dogging him into his 2nd NFL season.

    The Bear's secondary seems to be auditioning for guest spots on GREY'S ANATOMY.

    Would it be such a reach to go sign a Ty Law or Chris McCallister
    as a stop gap at the free safety spot? I can recall some top flight
    corners who successfully extended their careers by switching to free safety. Former Bear/Saint, Dave Whitsell, Cowboy /Giant, Everson Walls plus Steeler/49er/Raven/Raider and brand new Hall-Of-Famer, Rod Woodson, come to mind.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    Didn't you get the memo re: Bowman? He's our new Mike Brown.

  • Oh yeah, THIS will make the Bronco fans happy to see JC when he comes back to visit...

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story?id=09000d5d811b55a7&template=without-video-with-comments&confirm=true

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    Was Jay trying to make Bears fans happy or was he just trying to piss off Donkey fans?

  • In reply to Shady:

    I dunno, but if my Bronco/Bears tickets don't show up soon, I'm gonna lose my mind! Doubly so, now that JC (coincidence?) is talking smack about the brie-chewing, pinot grigio-swilling casual fans in Denver.

  • In reply to MikeBrownhadaPosse:

    I read some of those ass clowns are going to burn their Cutler jerseys during pre-game tailgating. How stupid can you be?

  • In reply to Shady:

    My assumption is pretty f-ing stupid - but I have some pity for them, because Josh McDaniels is in the process of imploding that franchise at a pretty good pace.

  • In reply to Shady:

    Jeff great stuff. I mirror what folks are talking about in terms of the D line. As we all know it starts there. They do well and the linebackers and secondary both vastly look better. I still think that the timeing of these hamstring injuries is good, as long as they fully recover from them and don't try to come back too soon from them. You could say that it extends their season playtime without the possibility of injury because they are shelfed. Then when the season rolls around they will be fresher. Maybe it's a stretch to say, but if they are shelfed now, then it makes the secondary deeper come the regular season. In the mean time lets keep rooting for Nathan to keep getting better.

    All I can say is this season so far has been so exciting. The D possibly underperformed the last couple seasons because they were facing mediocrity from the offense so they only played up to the competition which wasn't much. Now that the offense looks a lot better the defense is on fire and eager to compete with them in addtition to the added accessory to their shoulder pads "the chip-101". This is going to translate to some defensive dominance in the regular season. The D will provide the alleyoop and the offense will dunk it. If the D gets touchdowns they will be talking much smack to the offense on the way back to the sidelines to suck some oxygen prior to coming out and doing it again.

    I really can't recall this much excitement going into a regular season, ever. Not since the 85 season when they put JimmyMac in the game at the beginning of the second half against Minnesota and he got like three TD's in just a few minutes after the D got him the ball back again. Why they started Steve Fuller in the first place I cannot understand. I think Jimbo said that Ditka was punishing him for previous game stuff where he took matters in his own hands. Either way, when he came in and made like three pass attempts for three TD completions, One to Willie and two to Dennis, it was clear that it was going to be a special year. Not to mention that the D/Special teams got like 5 turnovers.

    My point to this flashback moment is that I can see something special brewing down the line in watching what is going on with the team right now. Maybe even more special than them 85 Bears (blasphemy!). We can only hope. Thayer said something like each team needs to pave their way to their own success. They had to hear about the 63 Bears, now our current guys will always be shadowed by our 85 guys until they do something about it. I would love nothing more than to have to give Cutler 120 million because of a SB win.

    Bear the F down! It's gameday in a week!

  • In reply to Shady:

    Rideau- I like this kid as the #3 WR. He has the size (6 ft 3). he's catching everything in sight (i.e. not like davis), and he's in his 3rd year now. I think he's ready for a roster spot at minimum. What else does this kid have to do to see the field?

  • In reply to Shady:

    No offense, Shonbear, but the reason Ditka started Fuller at Minnesota that Thursday night in September, 1985 was NOT as some half-assed punishment, but because Mac was JUST out of the hospital and hadn't taken a snap all week. In addition, McMahon had missed the last 6 games and playoffs of '84 with a lacerated kidney that damn near KILLED HIM and this only game 3 on the '85 schedule. Ditka was hoping he could get past the Vikes without exposing his recently-hospitalized-again starting QB and he knew it was important to have Jimmy Mac around for the post season. Fuller was 13 of 18 for 124 and a pick so he wasn't exactly stinking the joint out. Fuller also started 4 other games that year. The Vaunted defense, however, WAS NOT having a great night (3 TD passes and 400+ passing yards allowed that evening) or even a great season todat, having surrendered 28 points to TAMPA BAY in week 1. Also, after the adrenalin wore off, McMahon was something like 5 for 12. Plus, Vikes got back to within 6 in the 4th quarter and the Bears needed 3 more from "Butt-head" to seal the deal. McMahon only started 11 regular season games in '85 and one of the starts he didn't make was at Miami, though he did come off the bench there as well. The Key to the season was that he was able to start all 3 post-season games. Alas, the Mac Man was brittle. A QB version of Mike Brown. If it were not so, I think we'd have had at least 2 Super Bowl victories from the 80's to savor instead of just one.

  • In reply to Shady:

    Albert, no offense taken, I was reaching a bit, I was 18 and fresh out of Navy boot camp at the time. Just seems that I remember it that way, it was magical. Since Jimbo played the previous two games and had rushed for two touchdowns in game one getting about 250 yards passing in both games I didn't think he was hurt, even though I remember well that he was hurt in the previous season as you stated. I'm pretty sure I had heard McMahon himself state during an interview that the reason he didnt start that game is because of what I stated, but it could have been same conflict, but different time during their time together. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Those Bears were so much more interesting than our current era Bears are with their baby making, lamborgini car crashing stumbling drunk getting beat down by park ranger, gun toting/slinging crap today.

    Al you are awesome, would love to hear more of your insight because you bring the details brother.

    Go Bears!

  • In reply to Shady:

    just got back from bar hopping all down san diego i ran into a falcons fan and we eventually started fightine ecuz of our teams, LOL I WOOP SOME FALCONS ASS WITH MY FORTE JERSEY ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • In reply to Shady:

    Thanks Jeff. Just to specify, while I would have worried about the Titanic anyway, what really has me sweating is the frequency with which we seem to be rearranging the deck chairs. Given certain players past difficulties in adjusting to one position switch (see Manning, D.) its hard not to be worried that this feng shui run amok nonsense is gonna result in continual confusion and remove any chance of instinctive play from our secondary.

  • In reply to Shady:

    Thanks guys. I'm an opinionated old S.O.B. and the memory's still pretty good, but not THAT good. Whenever possible, I do like back up my babbling with some pertinent facts. The statistical details are researched. You should all bookmark nflreference.com. Excellent site. FYI,I did not recall that Mac DID NOT START the Miami game until I did the research! NFL Network recently showed the hour-long 1985 BEARS piece and Mac is talking about lobbying Ditka on the sidelines to get in the game and being rebuffed because he hadn't taken a snap all week, which was what provoked my response.

  • In reply to Shady:

    They're handing out the gold jackets tonight. Richard Dent should be up on that stage.

  • In reply to TheGhostofHalas:

    Ya Damn Right SUPER BOWL MVP!!

  • In reply to TheGhostofHalas:

    CORRECTION: The excellent reference site I frequent for NFL stats is

    http://www.pro-football-reference.com

    NOT NFLreference.com

    Sorry for the brain cramp.

  • In reply to TheGhostofHalas:

    Trib reports Zach Bowman returned to to practice on a limited basis Saturday.

  • In reply to TheGhostofHalas:

    I'm hearing lots of chatter about DA and Rideau from Cutler's mouth and nothing about Rash which makes me happy. You can't tell me that Rideau is less of a receiver than Rash. Give this tall lanky target with great hands a damn chance already. I find it funny that Cutler is almost solely creating the buzz about the receivers that he wants out there. The media picks up on it and all of a sudden Rideau and even DA are making headlines or at least bloglines...similar to when Cutler suggested that Eddie Royal be made a regular part of the reveiving corps in Denver. Cutler knows who he likes to throw to and it looks like he knows who should be out there on Sundays...but will the coaching staff admit that the Rash experiment has come to an end?

  • In reply to Shady:

    2 notes
    first Jeff Great Post! Also to your notes about the secondary Im with ya vasher is doing his best Peanut ALA the 05 steve smith show being burned by all the receving staff we have to offer at camp and it would be a fucking shame to have a high powered O and no Defense kinda like the early days Chargers with Dan Fouts!I belive we need to go out and sign so free agent help at CB!Also I received my Tickets For Our beloved team against Atlanta on Sunday Night Football in october already so if any one is having problems with Tix research your source.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    Kyle is a class act. He ducked that question better than he avoided Jared Allen.

  • thats probably the best players blog ive seen. certainly more poetic than greg olsens. my favorite line "Got to get ready for practice... A championship is on the line"

  • Thanks, BDG - good stuff by one of the class acts in the NFL

Leave a comment