On Second Viewing

  • You'd be hard pressed to find a better-called game from Ron Turner during his tenure with the Chicago Bears.  He and Jay Cutler (the first time that relationship really feels like a unit) used short slants and flanker-type screens to try and keep the linebackers honest.  When it didn't work, it seems they decided to attack Tyrone Carter all over the field.  Carter made Olsen pay on the sidelines but Olsen returned the favor up the middle late and Johnny Knox handled him physically on the goal line for the second touchdown.  The screen pass to Forte (pre-fumble) on the game-winning drive was an absolute masterwork. 
  • Adrian Peterson, against the best defense in the league, should have put to rest the notion that he's not a capable backup.  As Forte struggled early, AP provided a burst to both the run and pass games.
  • Stat watch.  Jay Cutler is on pace for 4,000 yards passing and Johnny Knox for 1200 yards receiving.  Knox is currently fifteenth in the league in receiving.
  • The Bears' defensive end duo of Brown and Ogunleye totaled 11 sacks all of last season.  They've already got 4.  Wanna keep playing the "On Pace Game"?  I do.  32.
  • Phil from SATX is right on with his comments about Rick Morrissey's borderline embarrassing column in the Tribune.  As Phil wrote, "That article was all about Rick Morrissey trying to spin the story to absolve HIM of his overbearing negativity last week."  Dead on.  Morrissey will come to understand in the near-future that the era of negativity surrounding Chicago Bears football is dead.  It died the day Jay Cutler put on the cap.
  • The Fix List: (1) Drops. (2) Pass-blocking. (3) Interior run-blocking.  (4) The Bears seem to get very little pass rush on obvious, third-down passing situations.  When the Steelers had an extra man blocking, Big Ben had six days to throw the ball.  (5)  Do we run the Cover-2 or not?  Because I look up quite often and see receivers running downfield with corners and there's not a safety to be found in the shot.       

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  • Don't agree with Ron Turner. Let's have him shelf the delayed handoff forever.

  • In reply to thegooddoctor:

    Pretty sure that play (the draw) has been around the league for a long, long time and probably isn't going anywhere for a little while.

  • In reply to thegooddoctor:

    I agree with you Jeff.... Ron did a great job dealing with the Steelers aggressive D....

  • In reply to thegooddoctor:

    I've been far more impressed with Lovie's handling of the defense than anything Ron Turner has done. While Turner's play calling still does not impress, I will *certainly* agree that vs. Steelers it was much better than I'm used to seeing.

  • In reply to thegooddoctor:

    I'm a big fan of Adrian Peterson of the Bears, I'm glad they got him into the game, he looked real good and I think he is a great receiver out of the backfield, the Bears should have Forte and Peterson out on the field together at times. GO BEARS!

  • In reply to thegooddoctor:

    You can throw yourself in there with Morrisey, Jeff. You had us pegged as 20-9 losers, remember ?

  • In reply to thegooddoctor:

    I had us winning 20-19, Irish.

  • In reply to thegooddoctor:

    Ahhhh. Yes, that's an actual person. I'm hoping he'll write something every week, although it's going to be tricky this week to pick against us.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    How about we call 'The Voice of Reason' 'The Devil's Advocate'?

  • In reply to thegooddoctor:

    You know, I was wrong. I'll admit it. I said that yesterdays game was going to be a high scoring affair with the best running team having the edge. Well, obviously that wasn't the case.

    Both the Packers and the Steelers blitzed the heck out of the run to stop what they knew was the 2008 Bears offense. Yes Matt Forte was the entire 2008 Chicago Bears offense. This year? Not exactly the case.

    The acquisition of Jay Cutler has changed the Chicago Bears as we know them. Think about that for a second.

    Bear down Chicago Bears. We'll never forget the way you thrilled the nation, but we're moving on from that T-Formation (at least some of the time).

    Ron Turner can implement his version of the west coast offense with Cutler as his Knight. The Bears' most effective weapon against the blitz is a sharp pass in the belly of a zone blitz. Jay Cutler is going to make that a bit easier around here for once. Now teams can't account for Matt Forte and Matt Forte alone.

    I believe it was the Charger game against Ron Rivera's San Diego 3-4 defense. The o-line, the WRs and the QB were suspect. OK I'll be honest, some of those players shouldn't have been playing in the NFL. The Chargers exposed the Bears offense that day by absolutely blitzing the hell out of them and there was nothing the Bears could do. Rex Grossman typically had less than a couple seconds to get a pass off to somewhere he couldn't see. It was downright painful to watch.

    Today my friends, we have Jay Cutler. Maybe it was just me, but I caught myself during the game expecting the Bears to come out in a jumbo set and pound their franchise RB into the leagues most violent defense, and then what do I see? A singleback shotgun offense and with Matt Forte motioning out wide. With Jay Cutler at QB, Turner and the offense can now adjust tot he heavy blitzing they're accustomed to facing by taking advantage of battles they should win in the secondary.

    If these Chicago Bears WRs can win the 1-on-1 battles on the outside and find ANY kind of separation, Jay Cutler will get them the ball. Of course there IS the exception for when the Bears decide to audible to "Forte Knox" and Double Deuce tosses a pass to Jackass in the endzone and Robbie "good as" Gould is solid on the PAT. I apologize, I'm lost in a made of golden puns right now.

    But seriously, if the Bears take what the defense gives them they will be successful with Cutler. If it means not getting Forte his howevermany touches then fine, so be it, but make the defense pay in the secondary. When a player on offense the opponent chooses not to 'take out' on any given down (single coverage) can step up and make a big play, Jay Cutler has the physical, mental and natural ability to get that player the ball. You have to feel encouraged with how many playmakers the Bears have on offense.

    Go Bears!

  • The delayed handoff has been very successful for this team so I can't agree with that. Forte has scored three or four long touchdowns with it.

  • No issues with most of these points for me except,
    no offense, I'm NOT a big fan of "The Pace Game".

    Matt Forte is on a pace for 672 yards rushing this year. (Ew).

    Jay Cutler is on a pace for 32 interceptions this year. (Yikes)!

    Drew Brees is on a pace for 72 TD passes. Not bloody likely, mate.

    Just sayin'.

  • Kinda wish he's change his number to 83. I'm old school about this whole teen number thing.

  • One thing to add to fixes needed. I am sick and tired of being one of the most penalized teams in the league every year. I am sick and tired of three defensive offsides penalties per game. This shit has to stop. And Lovie has to stop it. It's always been on him.

  • In reply to mikebdot:

    Hey look who it is.

  • Thrilled with the win, but somewhat bemused by any support for Turner ...

    The man is incompetent. Now I'm thrilled with the win, and it's all moot at this point, but should Wrong Turner be given kudos for using screen plays and dump-offs to the backs? Aren't they *obvious* calls in the face of pressure ? Shouldn't they have been used more against Green Bay in that case ? Turner shouldn't be praised for doing the obvious in the second game when there was an obvious need for it in the first game, which we would have won if just a few more of those plays had been called. No way. Draw plays on 3rd and long against the top defense in the league ? Is it clever to plant a large sign that says "Okay, we're in field goal range now and we're going to run the ball up the middle for the next three plays. Don't worry, we won't be taking a shot at the endzone !". This dire need to move the ball one yard closer to the posts on three consecutive downs ... (a) doesn't show much confidence in Robbie Gould (b) will cost us dear some time soon ..... and how does an NFL team trade for a scrambling QB and then not put scrambling rules in place ? How is that allowed to happen ? That's not just bad coaching, it's pathetic and indefensible.

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    Hate Ron Turner much?

  • In reply to Shady:

    With all my heart. :)

  • In reply to Shady:

    First off this is my first time posting on this blog, but I have been reading it for a year or two now and have seen some pretty good discussions about the Bears.

    On the whole offensive play calling issue I think that managing the game is a good idea. However, I think that Lovie and Ron Turner can tend to manage their way right out of a game.

    How many games have the Bears lost because they were cautious and punted on 4th and 1 or kicked a field goal for easy points? We are not a defensive powerhouse anymore, Ron and Lovie can no longer count on the defense to hold on to a 1 point lead in the fourth quarter anymore. Touchdowns win football games, not because of the points, but because they are the overall result of an offence that is getting things done.

  • In reply to Shady:

    i tend to lean more towards the mikes sides of the two point conversion argument. being up by 2 isnt any better than being up by 1. but being up by three is a huge difference.

  • In reply to Shady:

    and of course if it was the preseason i would go for the conversion almost every single time

  • In reply to Shady:

    J.Jones busted one this year for 62 yrds so he'll need to watched. Carlson leads team with 12 catches followed by Burelson/TJ with 11&10 recpts. DE Lawrence Jackson leads def with 3 sacks and he's a backup. Bear down..

  • In reply to Shady:

    I agree, Julius Jones is no Adrian Peterson but he's no slouch either. We'll have to cover him. But did I hear this morning that something like 9 starters have gone down for the Seahawks? Without counting any chickens, it sure seems to be set up nicely for us. And (not that we want this) - watch Sauron's Great Eye of the Media swing upon us after we take care of the Seahawks next week - the word will be out on Jay Cutler's Bears (The NEW AND IMPROVED!! Bears).

    MikeB, great to have you back man! I love your 2 point argument - the statistical average is so close (assuming you buy in to the 45% success rate) - and that 2 point average has a MUCH wider standard deviation than the extra point, so if you're a good red zone team, your average could probably beat the statistical average by a lot - maybe upwards to 55-60%, making it a much better deal. Best point being about messing with the other team. (All that said, I have always been on the side of take the guaranteed point until it's late in the game - but I like the unconventional argument from Mikeb).

    My belief is if this line can come together like I think they can, and with JayC back there, we are on our way to becoming an EXCELLENT red zone team. Who do you cover?

    Albert, you did it to me again, I'm laughing.

  • In reply to PhilfromSATX:

    Hawks will be missing four starters (if Hasselbeck doesn't play).

  • In reply to Shady:

    According to the twitter sidebar the bears are 8-28 when trailing after the 3rd quarter, under Lovie Smith.

    That's a pretty awful ability to come back in games, which I think has alot to do with our previous "game manager" QB's. The old game plan used to be 1) get ahead early, 2) hope the D can hold.

    Its nice to see we finally have a QB that can lead a comeback drive. Actually, two weeks in a row now Jay has got us back into games. If we can just tighten up on D a little, and click more at the beginning of games on O... this can be a pretty great team.

  • In reply to JimmyNewport:

    I should note that in 2005 and 2006 we had the type of D that could completely shut a team down. Obviously in 2007 and, especially last season when we blew tons of second half leads... we don't anymore.

    Things are changing in Chi Town.

  • In reply to JimmyNewport:

    Thanks, Phil, always nice to hear.

    I find it a lot easier to find humor after a win like that. Not sure I've felt so good since Mike Brown's back to back overtime pick sixes.

    If they can just stay healthy, I think the best is yet to come.
    In reality, the offense is STILL getting aquainted. QB & receivers, offensive linemen. Practice, practice, practice or not you still need to get real live competition under your belt to become a cohesive unit. I think we have a V-8 engine that's only running on 4 or 5 cylinders right now. 4 games and then the bye. I would hope coming out of that week off the engine will begin firing on all cylinders and it will be SHOWTIME!

    And remember, I'm a confirmed pessimist!

  • In reply to JimmyNewport:

    Tuner called a decent game (the type of gameplan he probably should have had for Green Bay).

    Cutler was 100% the face of calm all game against the defending champs, even with our receivers dropping balls, and even with the team not gaining a single 1st down in the entire first quarter.

    I read somewhere that Jackass is having success his rookie year because they focused on him being the slot receiver only, instead of all three types of receiver positions...which overwhelmed Bennett last year because it was too much to remember for most rookies (hence the coaches didn't trust him to be in position).

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    All that stuff at the end is on Lovie Smith, Irish. Ron ain't making the decision whether to run or throw there.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    You sure about that, Jeff?

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    Yep, I'm still on this today. Sorry.

    Charles Tillman deserves some love for that interception that changed the momentum of the game. The Bears weren't looking so hot until that point and Peanut's big play lit that all important spark.

    Charles 'Peanut' Tillman: Thank you.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    I like debating about two point conversions. I think we should have gone for two. First reason is similar in reasoning to what Albert said is the reason NOT to go for it. Firstly, we hadn't been moving the ball for crap. Finally you get a score and you have a chance to tie the game and start fresh. When you decide NOT to go for two you are telling your offense that they are not up for the challenge. If you can't get three yards on more than half your plays you deserve to lose football games.

    And yes using this reasoning I really think teams should go for two points every single time. It allows the offense to get better at banging the ball into the endzone. It also has the added benefit of fucking with the other coaches head. Also, that 45% rate takes into account all the piss poor teams trying to get the game within 16 or 8 points at the ends of games who are obviously crappy football teams to begin with.

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    Absolutely...I think and believe the Turner era is over...I want him replaced but who can do it? He still made bone head plays and the draw play on 3rd and 11 is just stupid vs. Pitt. There were other dumb calls as well. Look, offensive play calling is like a WWII dogfight. If you become predictable you become dead. Turner is WAY TOO predictable.

  • Nice man. Hope the Bears get off to a fast start and take the crowd out of it early - that place can get LOUD.

    Have fun and represent for Da Bears fans!

  • thank you sir... represent us proud!

  • I for one refuse to jump on the "I hate Ron Turner" bandwagon, which Irish is trying so hard to promote.

    Irish, it is not always important to gain significant yardage or even first downs. A really great way to produce a turnover is to try and force a first down conversion on 3rd and long. Often times the safe and conservative route is the best. Handing the ball to Forte in an obvious pass situation might have worked, but because it didn't you are chewing Turner out. There is plenty to criticize Ron Turner about, that Week 2 of 2009 is NOT one of those things.

    You don't need to be afraid of punting.

  • In reply to TheGhostofHalas:

    It's not important to get first downs ? Really ? I thought that was how you moved down the field and kept the ball out of the opponent's hands. I don't "hate" Turner, he just sucks at his job and I can't understand why he and Jerry Angelo are employed. It's the persistent presence of Turner that grates, not just week 2. Hell, we won ! It's his predictability and conservatism that's just stifling. Look at the Dolphins/Colts game. With Miami's play-calling (granted they lost the game even after holding the ball for 45+ minutes) you just didn't know where the hell the ball was going. The misdirections were excellent. I know Chad Pennington is statistically the most accurate QB in NFL history ... but stats don't make a QB. If you stick a real QB like Cutler into an inventive, fresh offense then the sky's the limit. The point is, we have the team to get to the Bowl, but Turner will sink us like he sunk us in the last one. He stinks the joint out like a dead rat - why do people accept his presence ?

    Analysis of the Hawks game is pointless. We rip their feathers off and throw them in the toilet. Next.

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    Miami lost.

  • Hey, here's one I MISSED for the "On Pace Game":
    The Bears are "On Pace" to go 8-8. Yuck!

    In other news...

    Any regular vistors to this blog know that MY attitude towards Ron Turner, ever since the Super Bowl loss, could best be summed up in these words:

    "Bring me the head of Ron Turner".

    That being said, in my misspent youth, my best friends and I played a lot of Strat-O-Matic Pro Football. While playing that board game we developed/learned a few football "commandments", if you will. They are as follows:

    1) Though Shalt not turn the ball over.
    If you turn the ball over more than your opponent does,
    you are going to lose games at rate that would force you
    to change your name to GIBRON. The NFL statistics on this
    are overwhelming and irrefrutable.

    2) Run it until they stop it.
    If they can't stop the end run, run it until they can.
    If they can't recognize a screen pass from from your Aunt
    Fanny, then screen 'em to death.

    3) Take what you're given.
    If it's 4th goal at the one, and it's not the 4th quarter,
    swallow your ego and KICK THE DAMN FIELD GOAL! In most cases,
    those points are gonna be important so take 'em and don't act
    like you're not going to have a chance to score again.
    This is the same reason you never "go for 2" until you
    absolutely. HAVE to. Lovie was DEAD RIGHT against the Pack when
    he did NOT go for 2 in a 10-9 game in the 3rd quarter.

    On Sunday, Ron Turner saw what the Steelers were giving and took it. And took it. And took it...

    So, grudgingly, and because I don't think Jay Cutler audibled on every play , I hereby "give credit where credit is due":
    Kudos to Ron Turner for Sunday's play calling.

    Besides, unless you weren't watching the Bears during John Shoop's "Reign of Error" as offensive coordinator, we all know things COULD be worse!

  • So now we see what Seneca Wallace can do.
    My prediction - Bears 31 - Seahawks 24.
    Seneca will be pressured into a) making some truly awful throws outside the pocket, and b) running for some first downs that make Seattle fans wonder who the emergency QB on their roster is.
    I think they'll put up more rushing yards on us than Pitt or GB, but we're going to see a repeat of Wale turned loose on Wallace.

    That, and Carol Slezak is an idiot -
    exhibit A: http://www.suntimes.com/sports/slezak/1782949,CST-SPT-carol22.article

    You play to win the game, not to show off your shiny new toy. The reason you run it once you're in field goal range is: burn remaining clock as much as possible, put you in the best position to win or go to OT, and prevent a turnover that gives Pitt a short field with time to score in a tie ball game.
    She's a sports writer??

  • In reply to MikeBrownhadaPosse:

    No...she's a quota.

  • In reply to MikeBrownhadaPosse:

    Hey Deep Dish (can I call you deep dish?)you can thank Alex Brown for that interception. I think Tillman may have actually been beat on that play until AB put a hit on Big Ben and his pass came up woefully short. But yes, the first turnover of the year was certainly a big play for the Bears last Sunday.

  • In reply to MikeBrownhadaPosse:

    Seneca Wallace to start for Seabirds. That should help Alex get back from ankle sprain pretty fast. Bears/Lovie will put Spy on Wallace so he can't run around after plays breakdown. Running backs are Julius Jones/Edgerrin James. No big scare there. TJ Whatshisname is WR along with Nate Burleson. Stack the box and make Wallace heave it out there for anyone to grab/pickoff. John Owens, ex-Bear is backup TE to 2yr pro John Carlson. Bears will need to play solid football and 2-1 is in sight. Really like our chances to win this one going away. Oh, if 5ft11 Wallace gets dinged up, Jersey Rutgers grad Mike Teel is ready to come in. Birds are in big trouble anyway you look at this game. Final score. Bears 31 Seabirds 13.

  • In reply to MikeBrownhadaPosse:

    Mike Brown's Posse- Carol Slezak is horribly inept at football writing. I assume that also carries to baseball, basketball, hockey, and whatever else she puts pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) to opine on, but I do not know for certain. I refuse to read her writing and apply any amount of seriousness to her judgement.

    I'm not saying women aren't good sports writers, but when it comes to reporting the NFL, I think a background in football would be ideal. Since a woman cannot have such a background (except in mediocre Ice-Cube pictures) it makes for poor football analysis.

  • In reply to MikeBrownhadaPosse:

    No fair! The "Mikes" are double-teaming me!

    "AND THEY'RE HOLDIN' ME ON EVERY PLAY, REF!"

    I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on the 2 pointers because I can't buy either of Mikebdots go-for-two rationalizations before the 4th quarter, either.

    Carol Slezak, Posse? Why would you even click to look upon her inane scribblings? You must have caught it while lining the bottom of the bird cage.

    Her blather is no surprise since I am sure she learned everything she knows about sports from that PILLAR of sports journalism, Christine Brennan.

    'Nuff said.

  • In reply to MikeBrownhadaPosse:

    I would be so quick to dismiss Julius Jones.
    I recall a big game on Thanksgiving day against The Bears a few years back.

    Anyone hear whether the NFL has dropped a well-deserved discipline bomb on the Steelers' Tyrone Carter?

  • In reply to MikeBrownhadaPosse:

    I would NOT be so quick...

    Duh.

  • "You don't need to be afraid of punting." ????
    Damn right, Ghost! Especially when you have a damn good punter.

    On the broadcast, Phil Simms immediately defended up for Turner's draw call on 4th and 13 and chastised the boo birds saying something along the lines of "Ron Turner's managing the game." Translation: Live to fight another day.

  • Whoops. THIRD and 13.

  • Albert, I still disagree with you about the 10-8 PAT choice against GB. That close of a game, it takes two more TDs and several more FGs for the missing 2-pt conversion to have a net negative impact, especially since you can count on a succesful conversion is somewhere around 45%.
    It turned out to be a non-factor given the other weirdness in that game.

  • WGN reports Alex Brown has a "mild ankle sprain and should be fine for Seattle".

  • If there was ever a penalty that was worth it, it's the one called on Zack Bowman after Charles Tillman intercepts the pass down at the 5 yard line. Check out who he's hitting hard from behind!

    http://www.nfl.com/videos/chicago-bears/09000d5d812cb9c5/Bears-Defense-Highlight-WK-02-vs-Steelers-2009

  • With all due respect, Mike, I couldn't disagree with you more strongly. I see coaches looking at that damn "when to go for 2 chart" before the 4th quarter and I just cringe. You go for 2 at that point you're saying "We don't think we'll score another TD tonight." There are too many potential scoring permutations to chase 1 point that early. If you miss that one, then you almost HAVE to go for 2 the next time. I keep it an "option" for as long as possible. Besides, a 45% success rate hardly means "you can count on it".

  • Hey Doc, I'll be there representing as well. My family is flying up for the game and I'm driving up from Oregon. Yeah, stoked doesn't hardly describe it. Stop by at halftime, I'll buy you a beer. We'll be in sect. 111, row D, seats 12-15. Shouldn't be too hard to find. Look for four folks in blue and burnt. Damn I'm excited.

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