Audibles From the Long Snapper

There's a new debate in town regarding whether the Bears are a running or throwing team.  Well, they can throw it really well and they can't run it at all.  So what am I missing?  Where's the debate?  I've heard the argument for balance but it just doesn't hold water.  If you can move the ball, you can move the ball.  How you do it doesn't matter.  For those who suggest we'll need to run the ball in December, fine.  But it's not December.  So let's win some games in the meantime.

I find this headline funny: "Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith won't hit panic button".  Making changes to your starting roster should not be considered hitting the panic button.  Changing a weakness at left guard is not hitting the panic button.  It's being a good coach.

From that same article comes Lovie's disheartening rationalization of Lance Briggs not falling on the pivotal fumble:  "We're trying to score every play," Smith said. "Now if there's a lot
of traffic, we would like for him to fall on it. Lance had a clean
scoop of that. He was thinking the right way. Next time, he'll secure
it and go."
  No.  Just no.  Lance Briggs made a bad football play.  Plain and simple.  It's this logic that leads to players missing tackles while attempting to strip the ball. 

Call me crazy but did the Bears really need a press conference to introduce Gaines Adams today?  I think it was a solid acquisition but the fans don't care about what he thinks of Rod Marinelli or if he believes a change of scenery will be helpful.  They care about him getting on the field.  They care about him pressuring the quarterback.  Felt very strange for the Bears to be "celebrating" a move by management after a loss like Sunday night's.

Mike Imrem questions the combination of Jay Cutler, Lovie Smith and Ron Turner.  So do I.  I'm not a Lovie fan and never have been The ballsiest move in Bears history may have the acquisition of #6 this spring.  The ballsier move might be to dump a winning head coach this winter in favor of an offensive mind.  


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  • This post by Wale is a pretty good reason to love the guy.


  • I don't want anyone fired. I want these guys to be successful and win.

  • Turner can't be successful. Neither can Angelo or Smith. They have all pretty much proven that now. And Phillips overlooks the mess ? That kind of bullshit we saw on Sunday is not an accident. It happens just a bit too often. We need people who can analyse, draft and coach talent whilst also having a coach to orchestrate things during game time. We don't have any of that, just a promising QB.

  • It seems like bad karma to be addressing coaching issues in a still promising, still young season - but - I certainly agree with you Jeff! I think that we have the chance to be stuck with this coaching crew for some years to come - only because of the changes Jerry Angelo has brought with the personnel. And also because of two really good coaching sub-moves, with the addition of Marinelli and the subtraction of Babich (although it must be said that Marinelli's line managed to get through a big game without laying a finger on the opposing quarterback, very frustrating). So the success that comes with our new, great quarterback may ensure that we continue to have less than top flight coaching, which, let's all admit it, WE DO.

    I sure wish that one sub-move we would make right now is the FIRING OF HARRY HIESTAND. So now we're telegraphing our plays in critical goal line situations by our offensive splits? And this non-run blocking line can't find a place for Josh Beekman? Can't we get a new line coach????

    Regarding the game, if Dave Toub's unit doesn't have its worst game in quite a while, this one's a win. Yes, there were other critical blown plays in this game, but specials were the difference. And Dave Toub has earned a pass given his singular excellence on this coaching staff. Just hope he's disgusted and fixes that shit.

    Every offensive coordinator loves a throwing quarterback, and I think we're spending too much time on a supposed "who are we, running or throwing" debate. Matt Forte is good enough to want to get the ball to, and at the same time I saw Cutler throwing and throwing and throwing in that game. I'm not sure what the debate is - is it about handing the ball to Forte twice in a row? We can't be so single-play focused that we lose sight of the overall game and start making sweeping pronouncements (even if that's EXACTLY what we love to do). The Bears aren't running the ball too much.

    HOWEVER, I still wonder about Matt Forte this year. What's going on with this kid this year? Is he hurt? Something going on in his personal life? My brother's comment after the game was that he looked "unfocused." And after watching the second half of the game again, I agree. Something in his body language isn't right. Maybe he was really attached to Kyle or something. Back to back fumbles, followed by a critical non-catch late in the game, even his good play looked like he could have made another move. Last year he was the most competent player on the team, this year he seems far from it. Just worried about him right now...

    But NOT WORRIED ABOUT DA BEARS. Tough loss against a tough team with some obvious easy fixes to work on.

    I WANT MY TEE!!!!

  • I agree with Jeff. We're a passing team because WE CAN'T RUN THE BALL AT ALL.

    There really isn't a debate. Noone is saying to NEVER run the ball. I'm simply saying that we should be coming out throwing from the very beginning. Doesn't matter if the other team knows it's coming. They won't be able to stop it and we may get some good runs out of pass formations.

  • The Bears haven't been a running team in years, I'm sick of the media bringing up that "get off the bus running" quote. Who cares?

    I think Briggs did what he was programmed to do, right or wrong. They Bears D has been counted on to score points since Chico was the defensive coordinator, I would have been surprised by him jumping on the ball.

    Oh and yes you're crazy for thinking the Bears shouldn't have a press conference for Gaines Adams. It's kind of a big move, second to Braylon Edwards to the Jets. I'm living in Tampa and people here are floored that the Bears gave up a 2nd rounder for this "bust". I hope Gaines Adams makes these Tampa douchebags look even douchier.

    Clean up the mistakes and this Bears team is for real fellas!

  • Did Forte get...slower this year? Does anyone have any opinions on this? Even with a worse run-blocking offensive line, one would usually think that there SHOULD be a ridiculous amount of more holes with opposing defenses focusing on our successful passing game. But na-da.

    (And i hope this isn't like Benson getting slower every additional year he was a Bear. Is our training staff turning fast runners into slower ones?)

  • i also pray for them, they should not be treated like this

  • If anyone gets fired, it had better be RT. It's been a long time coming. I used to be real passionate about him getting axed, but I'm just exhausted with it at this point. The guy is a 3 year old in a war running around with a rocket launcher. Tons of power and potential, but totally inept at using it.

    The best part of the offense is the passing game. I would assume that means we should pass more. I would assume that makes us a passing team. If we can deal with that, the doors will open for Forte.

    I'm happy about Gaines Adams. I think that in general, with some notable exceptions, we aren't great with first day draft picks. I think that the guy had 6 sacks a year his first two years. I think that he will hopefully end up as a solid starter for a long time. Good news yes, Press conference worthy? I'm thinking no.

    I don't write here much anymore. I check it daily as basically the best Bears info and opinion source on the net. I read Jeff like I would read a sportswriter, and I usually scan to see if Phil has posted anything. Not sure why the way I use the site changed for me. Basically I just think that the quality of Jeff's writing has turned it more into an info spot than a blog for me. Regardless, Bear down and sign me up for a shirt.

  • Hey you guys just aren't committed to the run anymore. Your offense looks awful. I mean you turned the ball over twice in the Red Zone (Cutler threw his 6th and 7th pick and Forte fumbled). You guys look a lot like the Broncos of last year because your allowing Jay Cutler to run your offense. He will continue to turn the ball over unlike me. Denver thanks you for Kyle Orton 6-0!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I wonder if Jay Cutler will have 10 times the number of picks as Kyle Orton. Can you hear the chants "Over rated... Over rated..."

    Love, Kyle Orton

  • No but really you guys better get your run game together as it gets colder in Chicago and trust that Jay Cutler will continue to throw picks. Thanks again for Kyle Orton. Hope you got to see him play last night on Monday Night Football and how he out played Tom Brady the week before. Nice trade Chicago.

  • In reply to bearfanindenver:

    Kyle deserves credit for playing well in Denver. If the draft picks pan out, they could be a good team for a number of years. That said, Cutler has a ceiling much, much, much higher than Orton...even if he always throws picks now and then. We are 6 games into the year...probably too soon to say this trade was a flop for Chicago.

    I'd like to see how well the Bears would be right now with Orton playing behind this line play and lack of running game.

  • In reply to bearfanindenver:

    Speaking of the Olympics, did you catch the latest: "21 killed in Rio gun battle. Police helicopter SHOT DOWN by drug gangsters".
    No worries though, the action took place 5 miles away from planned Olympic venues. Way to go, IOC.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    LOL! Gunfire isn't funny, nor is people getting killed...but what timing.

  • In reply to bearfanindenver:

    I don't care if the media or anyone else says we are a run first team or pass first team. Whatever it takes to win. I'll give you that the balanced attack argument can be overrated and with Jay we are probably a pass first team. However, I don't think we win many more games this year without the O-line and running game improving. Defensive sets and schemes change during a game when an offense is moving the ball on the ground versus in the air. You can't argue that if you are running effectively, it can open up more opportunities to make big plays in the air versus one-on-one coverage. Yes, Jay has the ability to throw 50 plus times and win games for us, but I would rather take some of that pressure off him and getting the running game going. I'm not going to accept this early in the year that we have to primarily rely on the pass. I'm not going to accept that we can't get better with our ground attack. Teams evolve and the season takes a life of its own during the season. I have accepted that Omiyale is not a starter and I'd like to see Beekman in there. Lots of games left, we will be in everyone of them. Still lots of hope for this year.

  • In reply to bearfanindenver:


    Why not just yell

    This season is all of 6 weeks old. The history of the NFL would be markedly different if only the season weren't so much longer than 6 games. Ask the Jets, Cowboys or Bucs about last season when they all looked, early, like locks for the post season and would up as spectators.

    "Fire the coaches" ?

    I am on record as laying the blame for the Super Bowl loss squarely at the feet of Ron Turner. I mean, what part of "Even Peyton Manning stopped throwing it deep in the driving rainstorm " didn't you understand, Ron?

    I applauded the reassignment / demotion of Dave "I replaced Ron Rivera because I'm Lovie's pal" Babich.

    However, I see no good coming from mid-season coaching changes.
    IMO they are the football eqivalent of running up the white flag as the teams that fired their offensive coordinators just before the start of the season have discovered.

    I can't think of a mid-season coaching change that did an NFL team much good. There IS probably an example or 2 out there, but you really have to hunt to find them.

    And, if I may harken back to yesterday's thread, let's throw in another MYTH: You cannot pass the ball regularly or efficiently when the weather gets bad.

    That, as General Patton would say, "is a lot of horse dung!"

    Narcissus made his rep in the cold.

    Of the 5 TDs in THE ICE BOWL, 3 came via the pass and Bart Starr
    passed the Packers down the field to get into position to win it.

    Tom Brady just tossed 6 TD passes in the snow in Foxboro because his receivers knew where they were going and the defenders were busy just trying to keep their feet under themselves.

    Save the changes for where you can do some good.

    From where I sit, that screams "offensive line" and

    "We get off the bus throwing".

    PS: As big a Ron Rivera proponent as I have been, I feel compelled to point out that his Charger defense is having problems because they can't rush the passer. Kyle Orton had time to make a sandwich on several passing attempots last night. Some of that has to be due to the fact that All-Pro Steroid boy, Shawne Merriman hasn't been the same since they took away his test tubes. But some of that blame has to fall upon our man, Rivera.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    You just can't take anyone seriously that wants to fire a coach mid-season on a team that has a winning record. The Internet is dangrous because people make off the cuff comments that they don't really mean. I saw some guy saying the Bears should bench Matt Forte next game because of his fumbles, and that's obviously not going to happen.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    Everyone needs to seriously relax. I recall a great deal of screaming and yelling after the GB loss and the team picked itself up and went on a three game streak. The ATL loss was a clunker -- incredibly frustrating to lose when the game was there for the taking. But, think about it. Two giveaways inside the 10-yard line, two picks from the QB who had been near flawless for three games, two fumbles from the RB who fumbled ONCE all of last year and a false start on fourth and one from a Hall of Famer. All that and we still ALMOST WON! The coaches are doing a pretty good job, I'd say. Lovie's defensive scheme, while it didn't result in any sacks, kept the Falcons mostly under wraps (under 300 yards total offense). RT's play calling had the Bears inside the 20 yard line with a chance to tie in the closing seconds. Listen folks, the team made a few mistakes at critical times and the players know that they can't do that. But, I'm seeing a lot of good from this team and I think they'll clean up the mistakes as the season progresses. Is this a Super Bowl team? That's hard to say and I'm leaning towards no. But, I do think this is a solid Wild Card team that can win a game or two in the playoffs. Please, stop panicking and realize that we're actually witnessing a pretty good football team starting to develop their identity.

  • In reply to MikePhipps:

    Mike. I agree with you, but keep last year in mind. We left too many potential wins on the table. Tampa Bay, Atlanta, and Carolina. Same comments were made back then. This team is better than last year, for sure... but good teams (aka playoff teams) don't lose these kind of games.

    This bears team has moments in every game this season where execution has been awful, just bone headed stuff. The Atl game was one of the worst. I mean 12 men on the field on 4th and 4 in the 4th quarter?? just CANT happen, ever, period.

    We have the talent to win every game this year... and make a deep playoff run, but not if we keep giving up a handful of huge plays/dumb penalties every game.

    lock it up bears.

  • In reply to JimmyNewport:

    But we won two games this year we definitely would've lost last year. And even in the Packers game, Jay came back and took the lead.

  • In reply to JimmyNewport:

    Reading these posts about firing this coach or that coach are getting old fast. What kind of argument are you trying to build without some suggestion for improvement? I'd like to see you guys call some plays for RT with an offensive line that can't run OR pass block. Or try stopping the Falcons offense with a linebacking core down to it's 4th stringer. The coaches weren't the main reason the Bears lost Sunday, it was the players. Unless you have something more constructive to say about why a coach is disappointing you other than "I wish they'd call that play, you know, the TD play, the winning play" then just step the hell back away from the keyboard.

  • In reply to Shady:

    Ron Turner is not a professional quality offense coordinator. Nor a major college head coach. Just the simple facts, dude.

    The suggestion for improvement is obvious - get rid of him.

  • In reply to Mastodon:

    Turner's in the last year of his contract right now. Let's hope it's his last year for the BEars and he moves on to Minnesota or Green Bay ...

  • In reply to Shady:

    That implies that Turner sucks because his OL sucks, which is not true. He sucks naturally because he's doing a job that is way above his head and he is not competent doing it. Teams with no pass protection should operate from the shotgun and run a lot of screens. The only good coaching we have is on ST and DL.....

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    So who would you hire to replace him then?

    Who's out there you want the Bears to sign?

    Offer a suggestion, tell me who out there is more qualified than Turner to coordinate the offense?

    What play didn't you like from the last game?

    What play would you have called instead?

    Everyone loves to bash the coaches, but in my opinion that's a cop out and an easy excuse not to do any real thinking or analysis on what's actually going on.

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    Ok we are not a running team, problem is if we try to run even less than we are right now, then Jay's int count might get higher than it already is.

    Jeff, you make a great point about the possibility that Jay is improving all the "good stuff". It brings into question about what Ron is doing and furthermore, what are Jay's feelings about Ron's ability when he has the experience of working for a guy that knew what he was doing on offense.

    Is the stage being set to move a whole coaching staff out of town to be replaced by a well rested Shanahan?

    I dont know what we should do, right now though I just want to beat the Bengals, crush Benson and then go from there. I am happy to see Benson doing well just because I like the cinderella story, rags to riches etc..., but I want the Bears to crush him to make him pay for not caring enough to put in the same effort while he was with us. Then again I am at a quandry in that I wonder if it is just the fact that Turner doesnt know how to create a blocking scheme that enabled him to be successful.

    Our Oline sucks?
    Our Blocking Scheme is lame?
    Our coaches don't put the right players in the right places?
    Our players are undisciplined at the worst possible times?
    Our bend don't break Defensive scheme is easy to beat?
    Our running back may not be the real deal?
    Our receivers don't really get real seperation?
    Greg Olsen isn't as good as I thought he was?
    When we win are we lucky?
    When we lose, should we have won?

    These questions and many like them are in my head often.

    This keeps me up at night. I really feel like our talent is better than what it demonstrates each week (except for in flashes), yet here we are.

    That post game post you made about this being the same scenario as 2008, the "could have" won games. I am dying to have this team get to the next level. It is similar to the same thing they needed in getting past that first playoff game or winning enough to get home field advantage.


    Again I digress, beat Cincy, also there is major potential to win every game prior to the Minnesota game, we could be 8-2 going into that game. In addition, I predict an 8-2 Bears team faces an 8-2 Vikings team on November 29th. I also predict we will lose because they will switch the game to Sunday night because of ratings for two 8-2 teams.

    Anyways, hopefully all the hype will be about JC never wins on Sunday night and he can't handle the pressure of the game, then he and the Bears prove everybody wrong and we win big in Minnesota.

    Did I mention Argh!

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    what would be so wrong with reuniting cutler and coach shanahan(as head coach)next year???????????????????

  • In reply to MikePhipps:

    BillW, I belive Lovie actually had a good record coming off the bye weeks.

  • In reply to MikePhipps:

    BTW, folks, the NFL trade dealdine came and went at 4p EDT with little activity of note.

  • In reply to MikePhipps:

    To "Kyle Orton":

    Do you really have nothing better to do with your life then to come here and gloat? See the thing is, we wish Orton well, I had no beef with that guy, we had a very solid record when he started. Unlike you, which is the equivelent of a bitter ex boyfriend. Now move along son, we enjoy talking about actual football...not making ridiculous comments like Orton is better than Cutler.

    Thanks for playing, Sally.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    Don't know their record after a bye but I seem to remember this happening before under Lovie. They were not mentally prepared to play. The Cinci game will be a big test for them.

    RT has to go if Cutler gets worse - as Imrem article states. I dont' think Angelo will stand for Cutler to finish the season as demonstrably worse than Orton. Records and QB ratings are one thing - often they are based on team concepts that can't be compared. But if in general Orton looks good and Cutler looks bad, Jerry will be made fun of nationally and he will assure an offensive minded coordinator is hired.

    I still can't remember the O-line coaches name (HH) and I hope he's gone before I end up learning it.

  • In reply to BillW:

    Bill, I think I read somewhere the Bears are 3-3 after the bye with Lovie.

  • In reply to BillW:

    Before Atlanta, I thought going 1-1 on this road trip would be good enough. Hopefully they beat Cincy and go on another 3 game win streak. It's beating a dead horse, but the Bears have to eliminate turnovers and other mistakes. Too many missed opportunities. The Bears are a playoff caliber team, but not if they continue beating themselves. These games could come back to haunt them like last year.

  • In reply to BillW:

    This is my question to all the Bears Fans Out there?

    Do you believe in Cutler enough to let him call his own plays?

    And my question to Cutler would be..... Can you handle that responsibility and what are your thoughts on this run pass debate....

    I say let Cutler call all the plays. Pass when he needs to pass and run the ball when the defense isn't expecting it! I'm sure with this coaching staff we are along way off from seeing that happen, but who knows maybe someone is watching... Give it a try you have nothing to lose... we might even win a few more games with this strategy.

  • In reply to BEARSFAN78:

    You're fired.

  • In reply to BEARSFAN78:

    Breaking News...Jay Cutler signs 2 yr extension with Bears, under contract until 2013.

  • In reply to SpawnOfDitka:

    Damn, you beat me :-)

    Good news.

  • In reply to SpawnOfDitka:

    Relatively cheap compared to the most recent deals of Manning and Rivers.

  • In reply to SpawnOfDitka:

    Here's an article breaking down the financial implications of the Gaines Adams trade and the impact it has on Bears players and the CBA:

    Sounds like the Bears, at the very least, got some value in terms of player salary for the defensive end.

    "Adams will be paid the balance of his 2009 salary ($635,000) by the Bears this year. They also assume the remaining salaries of $1.08M in 2010, $1.1M in 2011, and $1.15M in 2012. The salaries for this year, 2010 and 2011 are guaranteed for injury only. These are extremely reasonable numbers for even a mediocre defensive end."

    "From a value standpoint, giving up a second-round draft choice is a truly valuable asset to give up, and personnel people can debate the value of Adams against a 2010 second-round pick. The financial terms, however, skew toward Chicago, which acquired an extremely reasonable contract -- the bulk of the money having been paid by the Bucs -- for a prime position on the team and hedging against paying their existing defensive ends a high market value.

    The Bears will need their money. If Jay Cutler progresses as expected, they

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    This is a winning football whose two losses came in mistake laden performances. We clean up the mistakes, we win those games. I'm confident the coaches will get that fixed. The only thing this Bears team needs to change is its identity. I agree, we are no longer a run first team. We moved the ball up and down the field on Sunday night with no help from the run game. Hell, we've moved the ball all season long with no help from the run game. The fact is, this team is good and is only going to get better. The Bears don't need to do anything, but eliminate mistakes. That's it. New coaches might help, they might not. Big time players might help, they might not. We can theorize and speculate about what we could have with better coaches and players, but we don't need them. All the Bears need to do is clean up their game and their golden.

  • In reply to bearfanindenver:

    Great reference, Doc!

  • In reply to bearfanindenver:

    Of course, what would DON SHULA know about such things?

  • In reply to bearfanindenver:

    Albert, there's no reason to fire anyone but you can't tell some fans that. I'll be very interested to see,though, if this offensive staff can learn to call plays for this offensive talent. I re-watched Sunday night's game and most of the big plays seemed like improvisational gems from Cutler.

  • Hey Kyle, the season is young buddy. Can't count your chickens after only 6 games. You may revert to sucking like you did down the stretch last year. Oh, and go fuck yourself.

  • In reply to MASOCHR:

    Good one Coach.

  • Doubt we'd want Orton back anytime soon. But that leads to the thought of how do our cast offs seem to get better so quickly on other teams? We must lead the NFL in players we dump who end up helping teams that pick them up. Aware that this site has no love for GWolfe. But he got a few looks Sunday night an appeared energized. Point is that Bears seem to have little confidence in the players on team that don't start. Unless injury hits, bench guys sit mostly. I hardly knew anyone on Falcons D. Yet they completely shut down our run game. Comment above that Orton learned more in 3 months with Josh McDaniels than the 3 years with Turner is TELLING. Bitter Kyle? Yes. But Denver looks pretty damn smart right now. Bear coaches will be closely looked at after season is over. Let's hope they can fix what's broken quickly... before it's too late. Benching Ohmyack is a good place to start.

  • Ironically, what the Bears need is for Virginia McCaskey to call Daley up and tell him that now that the Olympics are toast - use some money to put a lid on the ashtray.

    It's statistically proven that indoor speed teams kick ass. I submit as evidence the Vikings, Saints and Falcons.

    Here is the article backing me up:

    We somehow have built an offense meant for indoor turf. We have a defense meant for December in Chicago. the offense is much better than the defense, so let's get a "greatest show on turf" part II going

  • Jerry Angelo,

    If you plan on trading for another player or two please for the love of the team don't fuck it up! The O line needs serious help. Frank is getting his ass kicked on every play! Beekman may or may not be the answer. So I ask. If you do make a trade today get us a left guard. Please!

  • Exactly! it's obvious Lovie and Ron are stubbornly trying to stick with the "we're a running team" meme when it's obvious the Bears are passing team.

  • You hit my two buttons there - precisely. Ron Turner is the core offensive problem off the field and Omiyale is on the field.

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