Audibles From the Long Snapper

David Haugh is preaching Lovie Smith's job safety in the Tribune.  He argues that Lovie has earned patience due to a successful win-loss record while also using the McCaskey family's unwillingness to buy out his contract as the principal reason for his security.  The only real way Lovie can earn the faith of the fans is for his team to beat up Cleveland Sunday and beat Arizona next week - a team that poses a legitimate threat to a fragile defense.  Results.  That's it.  Missing the playoffs three second consecutive years after a Super Bowl appearance can not be excused.

Tommie Harris did not practice last week and thus did not play, according to the Trib.  And Brad Biggs runs his synopsis of the Harris ordeal over in the Sun-Times.  Can I make one impassioned plea to both of the major Chicago newspapers?  Stop writing about Tommie Harris.  Tommie Harris doesn't matter.  He hasn't mattered in an awful long time.  The Bears didn't fail defensively on Sunday because of a lack of Tommie Harris anymore than they made a Super Bowl run because of a lack of Tommie Harris.  He was a supremely talented player once who has displayed an amazing emotional instability, couple with a lack of physical durability.  He's an afterthought.

When I wrote, oh I don't know, all summer, that the Bears did not have two viable safeties on the roster...some people snickered.  Well Nathan Vasher is now getting looks at safety.  I don't know everything about football but I know this.  When you're turning to a guy who struggles in coverage and can't tackle to fix your secondary, it's not a good sign.

Read this article and you'll understand why losing to the Browns, at home, could lead to riots.

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  • First!

  • Ah, the 'ol quarterback controversy. I'm glad we passed that buck.

  • Ah, er, ahem....uhm, where's the t-shirts?

    And if we find some way to lose to the Browns....I just am not sure what I'll think about the Bears at that point. They are awful.

  • I've never had such a lack of faith in Lovie Smith than right now. I have questioned him many many times in the past, but have always backed him. I usually watch post-game shows after the game which is sometimes longer than the actual game. I even watch it during most losses. But, I was so disgusted with the last game that I didn't watch any of it. However, yesterday I watched the Lovie press conference. I thought that maybe he would take some accountability finally. Not "we" accountability but "I" accountability. I thought after the worst loss of his tenure that he would take a bullet for the team. Instead of we messed up, he should have said I messed up for the first time. But, he didn't. A lot of ums, we will work on it, we will learn from our mistakes and move on. He took no individual responsibility. For once, I would have liked to known what the head coach personally would have done differently, and how the head coach could have done better himself. I would have respected Smith a lot more if he put himself out on the line on Sunday for once, but he didn't do that.

  • And why the hell are we still trying to find a spot for Vasher at safety? This guy has lost three steps and can't cover shit! I would really like to see what Graham can do. He seemed to be around the ball at all times last year. I don't get it.

  • NFL players are rewarded for talent, toughness and dedication. NFL Owners, on the other hand, are rewarded for mediocrity. Having bought their way into the league, lackadaisical owners like the McCaskeys can extort hundreds of millions of dollars from Chicago for new stadiums, charge insane ticket prices, threaten to move the team. They can let the Bears sit at 8-8 year after year, and pocket the NFL's revenue-sharing money rather than invest in talent or create a produce or die culture. Those are expensive.

    When Virginia is ready, she knows a bevy of millionaires will come together and offer her enough money to retire on (that's a joke, btw, I know she's ancient).

    The NFL is an Oligopoly. MLB even has an explicit antitrust exemption.

    Answer? Simple. Make teams compete for a spot in the major leagues. England has the Premier league, Spain has La Liga. End of each year, the bottom teams are replaced. Make the barrier to entry for new football teams low. Expand the market. Chicago could have 2 or even three teams.

    It will never happen in America, I know. But if anyone thinks there is any incentive at all to dump Lovie, those articles above should put that to rest. Nobody is going to buy him out. Nobody cares about winning THAT much. You guys are still here, still claiming you bleed orange and blue. One guy here paid $500 to get into the Cincy game and left before it was over. That's all they need to stay exactly the way they are.

    Enjoy these Bears for awhile. We're stuck with them, with no draft picks for 2 years. Hell, let's try Urlacher at safety when he comes back, that's what he was in college.

  • gpldaan - I never really looked into how those European soccer leagues work. Applying that to the NFL wouldnt' work I dont' think. After all, there will always be a "bottom half". That's just nature - 16 teams will finish in the top half and 16 in the bottom, year after year. The league does things like salary caps and drafts and free agency to give every team a chance to at least spark interest. Else how are you going to get 32 teams fans to pay crazy money for tickets year after year? Everyone wants to win a Super Bowl, but even if all teams took turns it woudl take 32 years before every team won one. There have to be losers in the league.

    The point is - punishing a team for losing is not a good idea. In my mind, the best way to deal with truly bad management and coachign is through the press. National as well as local. Snyder in Washington is getting freid everyday all over the country. Dick Jauron in Buffalo is called clueless nationally. If this keeps up with the Bears, it will be Lovie's turn. And if the offense doesn't pick it up fast, the Orton/Cutler stories will go into overdrive - saying that Angelo was fleeced. These guys are egotists - that's the motivation.

    Based on that, I suspect RT will be fired unless Cutler and the O do much better. If Lovie won't do it, then he will be fired too.

  • Johnny W., nice to see some abject positivity out there, no matter how unfounded in reality unfortunately. Well done lad. Can

  • Whats going to be very interesting regarding the ownership...when the NFL goes uncapped, you are going to see a very similar situation as the MLB. Teams in big markets, (i.e. New England, New York, Chicago, etc.) will be able to outbid virtually every small market team for Free Agents. Then you will see how interested the Bears ownership is in winning.

    Now I believe strongly that money doesnt equal championships in most sports, but there is a reason why the Yankees are always at least in the conversation.

  • I see you've finally got the shirts up Jeff.

    Interesting model you've got there.

    Anything on the back?

  • Not to belabor the point but I keep getting this eerie (not the lake)vision that Lovehammer really thinks he's the Father of all his Bear players. Can just about hear him say "No No Danieal, you back peddle this way Son"! "Now Tommie, what did I tell you about using cuss words while we're at practice"(note: TH is sitting on the sideline because he NEVER practices)Lovie looks more like he should be a preacher in some dust covered white shack in Texas. Why not hook up with The Dungemeister and tour the land as a gospel dude. He certainly fails put the FEAR OF GOD in players. They get over on him all the time. He's an EASY TOUCH as we say out East. Can anyone really think when Lovester screams like he did in Cincy locker room at halftime that his players get motivated? Yo Loveball, try grabbing a facemask once in a while. Sorry for the rant posters, needed to get it out...

  • Why aren't we making pickups like this damn it!

    3. Will Witherspoon, Eagles LB: The Eagles' new middle linebacker played for the Rams at FedEx Field earlier this season. He played like a man who's just been granted a pardon from the Rams, because that's pretty much what's happened.

    Witherspoon was remarkably active Monday in his first action with the Redskins. He said the linebackers had talked about stripping the ball.

    Well, Witherspoon came through with a forced fumble Monday night. Signing Witherspoon might end up being one of the best pickups in recent memory. The Eagles desperately needed a linebacker -- and it appears that Witherspoon will be a good fit.

    (from the espn site)

  • Ever since we got Cutler, I've felt that his picture reminded me of someone but I couldn't place it. This morning I just figured it out as my wife was watching that old 8 Seconds movie while I checked my fantasy updates. Stephen Baldwin! I feel so much better now. I think it is odd that we seem to be experiencing a level of semi-insane ribaldry on the site. Nice timing on the shirts Jeff, that has helped. Either that or we simply have gone the way of deranged mental inmates awaiting execution. Laughing and joking because we know we're screwed and there's nothing we can do about it.

  • I miss Mike Brown. Having a good safety for half the season is better than having none.

  • Guys,
    What will be the formula to get our asses to the playoffs? The way I see it we will have to wait till 2010?

  • Well, Al Davis is a moron. Everyone knows that.

    The salary cap is all well and good, but it's the shared TV revenues that make the coin. Losing teams should get booted off tv then and their share reduced, there should be some FINANCIAL penalty to owners for fielding crap teams. Then, you will get the coaching changes you crave.

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