Olsen, Pace, Payne Must Improve

No matter what you're told, Sunday is not a must-win ballgame for the Chicago Bears.  Falling to 0-2 puts the shovel to dirt but it does not even dig the hole, let alone bury the club.  What's most important for this team is marked improvement on a week-to-week basis through the first six games of this season.  Get better each week and be ready for the final ten games, featuring an absurd number of winnable ones.

In that vein, I'm keeping my eyes on the following players:

Greg Olsen
Whether Ron Turner is responsible or not, Jersey Greg must become the go-to target Jay Cutler needs him to become.  With the Steelers committing so many linebackers to pressuring the quarterback and the best safety around on the shelf, Olsen should open multiple times over the middle of the field.

Orlando Pace
The worst mistake the Bears can make this season is sticking with Pace at left tackle after the born-on date.  Just because Jay Cutler possesses scrambling ability doesn't mean he should have to utilize it every time he drops back to pass.  Pace must improve now because 34 year-old offensive linemen don't gain steam as the season goes on.

Kevin Payne
Danieal Manning is sliding to nickel on obvious passing downs, giving Kevin Payne a chance to redeem himself at free safety (though he strikes me as much more a strong safety).  If Payne is more disciplined with his tackling and less gullible to obvious play fakes, he has a chance to be a terrific player in this system.  The system will still be garbage but the player can be good in it.


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  • haha, classic Jeff! "The system will still be garbage but the player can be good in it."

  • Have to admit, I AM concerned about Orlando "currently, way off the" Pace.

    I don't care for our "starting" free safety sliding to nickel on passing downs, either. Correct me if I am wrong, Ghost, but as I recall, then Bears' Defensive (and eventually Head) Coach, Jim Dooley pioneered the "Nickel" in the mid-60s, tho' back in the those days they called it the "Dooley Defense". Well, I never saw Rosey Taylor slide from Free Safety to Nickel. Or Mark Carrier for that matter. As far as I'm concerned it's like QB. If you have no clear choice between 2 guys, you don't really have one. I've been a Payne fan, but if he does he assignment, Rogers has no place to go with that winning throw. We've also seen the Daniel manning "He's a safety, no he's a corner, no he's a safety" show and the reviews were bad. Safety figured to be an issue and so far it is.

  • After further review. Omiyale was the worst player on the field Sunday night (apart from Barbre the GB RT). He sucked the whole night long, whilst the others at least picked it up a bit in the second half. He must sit. Payne has already lost his job to Manning which is good news. That takes care of him until the nickel back is called. Olsen isn't the only player that lacks toughness, Bennett and Knox are guilty too. Olsen cannot block. Unfortunately our toughest receiver, Rideau, is no longer a Chicago Bear. Amazingly, the Bears did not prepare their receivers for the eventuality of Cutler's roll-outs during training camp. Completely unacceptable, in fact down right insane. He's a rollout QB and we have no plan to give the receivers for when he rolls-out. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Best player on offense last Sunday ? Cutler. "Ortman" would have been sacked 7/8 times in that game, Cutler extended the plays again and again, but had poor blocking and the receivers didn't know what to do.

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    I could have told you that upon initial review. :)

    Frank really was awful and should yield to Beekman immediately. So far as "we have no plan to give the receivers for when he rolls-out", you really did not expect that from Ron Turner, did you?

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    OK, I don't know, perhaps I'm jumping the gun. But if we go 0-3 I promise I will bring it up again.

  • It appears that the Packers were very smart and did everything they could to prevent Olsen from getting open. It will be interesting to see how the Bears adjust, because we need Olsen to be a major part of what we do in the pass game. If it is that easy to take him out of the game, it may not be a good sign.
    Yeah, I want to oline to do a better job and give Jay some time this week. However, I'd also like it if Jay decided to stop throwing very high risk passes across his body deep down the field when he scrambles out of the pocket. As talented as he is, that throw has a very, very low success rate even if your receivers are where you expect them to be.
    I kind of wish they would just leave Manning at free safety...he doesn't seem like the kind of guy you want to move all over the place, but we'll see. Payne got beat multiple times last week (including the TD)...if it wasn't for the DLine getting in Rodgers face, some of those bombs could have been TDs. I agree, he is a more natural strong safety, so we will see if he can grasp the free on passing downs, but I'm skeptical.
    So will Manning still return kicks this week then if not him, who? I doubt they put Hester back there. Jackass? That makes me a bit nervous though...first big shot he takes, it would be a fumble, mark my words.

  • I think you should add Omiyale to the watch list.

  • If I'm RT I have Davis chip Harrison on EVERY DOWN.

  • I was very critical of Omiyale in the preseason and the beat writers disagreed. Now he struggles and they dump on him. Josh Beekman earned that job and didn't get it because of cash.

  • Harrison will be over by Pace entire game. He's outside right backer and Keisel is right end. Pace must be doing footwork drills at home to get ready. Only way to negate this is to power run that side all game. Power sweeps & off tackle plays should make them respect run. Omiyale gets another shot at left guard and he better be blowing up anything that moves on that side. Failure will send him to bench next to Vasher and Payne. Olsen is a Jersey kid who lacks toughness. Sorry to say that but if he pulls another disappearing act at TE, maybe he should line up as wideout. Can't hurt because he has speed. But why am I saying this and not Bears offensive coordinator. Preparing for another frustrating afternoon watching Bears under-preform. Love-ster, you're soon going on hot seat if you mess this one up. Point to ponder. How long before Boo Birds come out if Bears start slow? I say 6 min mark first Q...Bear Down and HIT SOMEONE!!!!

  • Expect Pace to have help this week. Kellen Davis. Chips from McKie/Forte. They won't leave him alone.

  • I don't think you run sweeps at a 4/3 D. The power idea is correct, but running off-tackle plays into their strength -- speed. Unfortunately they have a monster at NG.

  • Some things never change.

    The money dictating Bear personnel moves is still a given.

    Defense Exhibit A:
    Omiyale plays over Beekman, on-field performance be damned.

    Defense Exhibit B:
    Higher draft choices stay on the roster longer than warranted, on-field performance be damned.

    Given the above evidence, I would again suggest that those of you thinking about the next potential head coach of the Bears can stop dreaming that whomever it might be will have a resume approaching the pedigree of a Shanahan, Cowher or Holmgren as the Money will dictate THAT choice as well.

    Can you say "Some coordinator with no previous head-coaching experince"?

  • I gave up on Payne

  • In reply to souleater7:

    Payne can lay down some serious hits. He just needs to learn some discipline on passing plays and wrap up on every tackle. I expect that he gets better throughout the year. He isn

  • In reply to souleater7:

    Jeff and Albert, you two have me all pumped up. If we blow this weekend and next weekend(at Seahawks) then i'd be all for dumping Lovie after 3. I know that would kill our chances this year, but it would be good for Rivera to get his feet wet and ready to go for next year.Hopefully though, we come out 2-1 after week 3.

  • In reply to souleater7:

    I'm watching the 1995 game against the Steelers on NFL network ......our team was pretty good in 95. And our offense was moving with Kramer and friends wow....memories

  • In reply to souleater7:

    Looking for Olin to fire up linemen for tomorrow's game. He loves a challenge and Hampton is damn good. Very hard to move. They'll need to double him. Out quick Hampton and I think we have
    a decent chance. Especially at Home. Beat Steelers and we'll all forget Packer game quick. Fun Fact Time: Cutler played well against Pitt(2007)at Denver. He tossed 3 TD's. He moved it around by going to WR Brandon Stokley, FB Cecil Sapp and TE Tony Scheffler. His scores all came inside 15yrd line so he showed good Red Zone capabilities. Time to break down Packer film. Go Bears!

  • In reply to souleater7:

    Forgot to give ya the 2007 game final. Bronco's 31-Steelers 28. Bear Down.

  • In reply to souleater7:


    how did the steelers become a throw-first team?

  • In reply to souleater7:

    Relax, enderwiggin. Bears' management is no more likely to fire Lovie during the season than they are to hire any of the coaches I mentioned above so there's nothing to get pumped up about on that front at this time.

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