The Saints Paradigm

Three years ago the Chicago Bears dominated the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship game 39-14.  (That season feels like it happened in 1942.)  Soon after both teams packed up their belongings and settled on Middle of the Road.  The Bears went 7-9 and 9-7 in 2007 and 2008.  The Saints went 7-9 and 8-8.  You could easily make the argument that the states of their current seasons serve as a further indictment of a Bears organization clearly headed in the wrong direction.  But I'll take a more optimistic track and argue that the 2009 Saints polish off the yellow bricks on the road to a quick turnaround.


How did the Saints do it?  First you have to take the face value facts.  The Saints have a terrific head coach and brilliant quarterback.  Those two things, when paired, are the cornerstones of prolonged organizational success.  The Bears have a terrifically talented quarterback and a head coach who likes to throw the challenge flag because he likes the pretty red color.


I break down building a team like this: draft talent and develop, trade for value and sign need. 


The Saints have drafted Robert Meachem, Sedrick Ellis and Malcolm Jenkins over the last three first rounds and each has turned into a productive, terrific player.  Meachem has struggled tremendously at times but the organization supported and developed him.  This is something we can't say about a single player during the Lovie Smith era.


The Saints have traded for tremendous value, grabbing Jon Vilma from the Jets and Jeremy Shockey from the Giants for mid-range picks.  Those two players not only have been productive on the field but they've instilled a sense of toughness that Sean Payton clearly believed was missing from the locker room. 


The Saints signed need.  When Darren Sharper was available this off-season, I wrote that the Bears would be foolish not to consider him.  They didn't.  Now he's in the conversation for Defensive Player of the Year.  Sharper has solidified a secondary that has been a laughing stock for half a decade.  As their corners have fallen to injury, the Saints added Mike McKenzie and Chris McAlister to the roster.  They had a need at corner and they filled that need without the words "Rod" or "Hood" being involved. 


The first part of the Bears re-build has to involve the hiring of a new head coach but we've been down that path.  Outside of that, the Bears should acknowledge that their club is worse defensively than New Orleans ever has been and target those same positions in the same way.  They should acknowledge that they are currently two or three years away from being a championship team and they should approach this off-season with that in mind.  No one should be kept on the roster that can't be helpful in two or three years.  That means cutting Olin Kreutz, Orlando Pace and Tommie Harris.  That means not re-signing Adewale Ogunleye.  That means only making trades when the value is right and only signing veteran players that fill a specific need.


While this may sound dire, it's not.  The Bears know who'll be lining up under center.  They know they have a potential franchise left tackle.  They have talent at all the skill positions, especially tight end and I think wide receiver.  I had hoped 2009 would be about 2010 but I think it's quickly becoming about beyond that.  That's okay only if the organization takes realistic stock of where it is now and stops believing in the quality of its players and coaches.  Give us a couple fiesty, young 8-8 teams that fight like hell for wins and we can take that if we know the endgame.  But that must start now.  Today.  And the Bears need look no further than last night's football game to understand how to proceed.


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  • 1st!

  • How much better would we be if we kept and developed Harris at safety? Instead, we wasted picks on Alfalfa and Steltz. Alfy looks salvageable, but Steltz won't be in the NFL next year.

    The Bears have an awful history of redrafting again and again for the same position, never getting it right. It's not as bad as Millen's obsession with the WR spot, spending 4 consecutive #1 picks at the spot - but we draft safeties and almost every year we hear about changes needed in the secondary.

    Benson proved also that our strength and conditioning program sucks, and our RB coach is not getting it done. Benson went from looking like a college player to looking like Ricky Williams. After he left the Bears. How does that happen? Juice? No. A real program.

    Trade Urlacher for a 2nd rounder in next year's draft. Also cut Gaines Adams, unless he got guarantees, and cut Mark Anderson. Hunter should be gone. We wasted a pick in the mid rounds for an OSU LB that didn't work out this year. Our scouting needs to get better.

    I thought the Saints got robbed when they took Shockey, because I thought Shockey was a cancer and maybe a bust. But again - good coaching - disciplined organization - and he's productive for them. We don't have that. We need that.

    We need a gutter like Brees, scrappy little 6 footer with a bit of Garcia in him - hard worker - and I think Cutler wants to be that. We need to build the team around him. Urlacher is the real pussy, he needs to hit the bricks. He made his baby mama child support on the contract renewal, he's done nothing since getting it except to extend and pretend.

    Listening to Hampton on the Score, he's flabbergasted that the ONE THING the Bears were known for - D - was allowed to languish. The Bears may not have beaten every team they faced, but they beat them up. No more. The current players like Lovie because he gives them nice facilities and makes sure they have monogrammed hot tubs. They all go to the paper and sing his praises, because this is a fucking gravy train and they know it.

    We need change up and down. If Arkush is right, maybe the McCaskeys have some sense of urgency and are willing to do what it takes. It would be a first since Old Man Halas told a reporter "I ain't got a fucking ounce of senility in me." when the reporter asked if he ws senile for firing Armstrong and ushering in Ditka. The old coot should have lived to see the 85 Bears. Outside of Walter not getting his SB TD, something Iron Mike will never live down, that was a travesty.

  • Exactly.

    How many mediocre defensive seasons do the Bears have to have before Lovie and crew recognize that they are overmatched. Lovie had two (really 1.5) good defensive seasons. 2005 and the first half of 2006. That was a very long time ago in football years and still the same players and strategies are marched out there every sunday.

  • You know what has been very funny, watching us all, including Jeff's posts, have pretty much followed, to a T, the "5 phases"...


    At least it appears we are all in the acceptance phase at this point, trying to pick up the pieces and move on...

  • I think we need to address the Cutler situation asap. It looks to me like a lot of our problems scoring points are directly linked to him. RT is not the most creative guy, and obviously not the best oc in the world, but he was able to put up points with neck beard last year. Everyone keeps saying lets build the team around Cutler. The media and fans are giving him an unearned pass based on his raw talent. The guy reads opposing defenses worse than I read chinese brail yet every story I read about him centers on the line and the receivers and their shortcomings. Sure, our line sucks, or receivers are inexperienced and turner calls for too many screens. Check out of them dipshit, McMahan contstantly changed the calls that were sent in. Grow a sack Jay and stop being a yes man. I'm sick of the media rubbing Jay's balls while the fans massage his shaft and pretend he hasn't had one of the worst quarterbacking seasons this town has ever seen.

  • In reply to MASOCHR:

    Well said Coach. I saw Cutler go from over-confident to no confidence whatsoever at the speed of light this year. Somebody who know about such things needs to be in his head. He doesn't have McMahon's mind, which is probably what made up for Jimbo's lack of physical prowess. The small guys make up up for it : Montana, Brees, eh ... Flutie. He certainly gets another year or two to get into his flow and to the point where ball protection is second nature. He still has no go-to guy. He thinks his go-to guy is Olsen, but that ho don't show. I'd pee myself if we could get Marshall back with daddy, develop Kellen Davis more and get Rideau back. But it's definitely the muscle between the ears he needs to exercise most.

  • In reply to MASOCHR:

    What would it take to get a start Lance Louis Now campaign rolling?

  • In reply to MASOCHR:

    ground troops on lake shore

  • and comparing him to drew brees is laughable at this point.

  • I'm not ready to bash Cutler quite yet. I firmly believe if he had any pocket at all, and I do mean any - at all, he wouldn't feel so pressured to make plays before they develop. DaMustache is right though, he could change the play, but then everybody would hammer on him for that too. Right now he can't win. I am willing to give it more time and hope Santa Claus brings the Bears an offensive line for Christmas. Oh, and Hanukkah Harry can bring the new offensive coordinator. Happy New Year.

  • In case people haven't noticed, Cutler has changed plenty of plays at the LOS. Guess what, we suck so bad they don't work either. Cutler has cost us 2-4 games and won a couple for us. If we had KO our record would probably be worse.

    Every year I say I've never seen a QB have so little time, an OL that gets no push on 3rd and ones and opens no holes. Every year it gets worse. Forte has no place to run but he is not hitting the hole with any explosion and is breaking ZERO tackles. Our WR's get no separation and are still running the wrong routes. The only time Olsen blocks anyone is by accident. Yeah, we've got a lot of talent on offense!!

    On D, everyone should stop crying about #54. His comments totally pissed me off but he is light years ahead of HH or Roach at MLB. Our DL is avg at best, our LB's are slightly above avg (if we keep Pisa) and our secondary is pathetic.

    Our coaching has zero imagination and couldn't light a fire in a refinery. We suck from top to bottom. GM, coaches and players. Time for a do over.

    Go Bears!


  • Love the "flag" comment, Jeff.

    I am not here to trash Cutler.
    MY 5-headed set of goat horns goes to the offensive line.

    However, Aaron Rodgers has been sacked almost TWICE as much to date (44 to 24), the Packers' running game has been pretty spotty for much of the season and yet, Rodgers has a mere 5 INTs to Jay's 20. I find that cause for concern. I am even willing to give the benefit of the doubt on 6 or 7 picks due to poor play on the receiver's part, bad luck and some absolutely blind man "it's OK for defenders to play THRU Bear receivers" officiating. That still leaves 13 or 14 INTs which is more than 1 per game and that is too many for a good QB.

    I don't think it's unrealistic to say that if the Bears come away with 3 points instead of a Redzone (or DEADzone in the case of the Bears) turnover, even half as much as they have, that 4-7 record could be reversed or at least at 6-5 at this juncture.

    That said, so what?
    Management would then be totally and blissfully ignorant and believing that they are on the right path with the right coaches, yada, yada, yada. 4-7. 7-4, 6-5. No matter. This squad STILL gets whacked in Minnesota and could not compete with the Saints in the post season. Hell, they wouldn't last long enough in the playoffs to even see the Saints.

    If finishing far back in the field triggers the kind of sweeping changes that are needed then I will gladly trade away a "One and done" post season appearance.

    Unfotunately, that is one large "IF" with the McASSkeys.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    but look at his receivers. donald driver & greg jennings....them boys are ridiculous.


  • In reply to MASOCHR:

    thats mr. douche to you sir. and if they would have called and ask me i'dv told them cutler is to inmature and to inconsitant. i mean the qb coach from n.e. didn't want him whats that tell ya

  • In reply to MASOCHR:

    Chris Williams is heading to left tackle. Two weeks too late.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    It's about time. Now for Lovie to put the rest of the OL in their respective spots. I'd be perfectly happy with Omiyale at RT...if he doesn't pan out there, cut him in the offseason. We should be getting Beekman snaps at Center to see if he's going to be the long-term replacement there, and whether we're drafting to fill his spot or Kreutz next year.

  • sorry did't realize caps were locked. just say'in seems like everybody says we have average talent so with the coaching changes can't that talent be made better

  • Interesting thought from Andrew Perloff over at SI:

    "1. Brett Favre's success and Jay Cutler's struggles are two of the top stories of the year. What if you put Cutler in Minnesota and Favre in Chicago? The Vikings have so much talent across the board, they could hide Cutler's flaws and would probably still be atop the NFC North. And Favre wouldn't have a chance with the Bears' terrible defense, disappointing running game and not-ready-for-the-NFL receiving corps. Both teams have had way too much focus on the quarterback."

    Also, I was completely drooling watching that saints team last night. Man that team is just stacked top to bottom with talented players and coaches. Those fans are very lucky this year. I know they're the Ain'ts and we're the Bears, but man a season this bad makes you envious of success burning that bright. Good for them though. Peyton, Brees, and that D are seriously very impressive. They deserve the success and I

  • hey guys..the reason the Saints have what they have is attitude. I really beleive this.yes they are good players but they have a coach who is "IN THE GAME" not looking up at the damn Jumbotron to see if he could get ask for "call a friend" from a game show. Again if you remember seeing our players on the sideleine all having "L's" on thier foreheads..they beleive they are losers.. Even when.. I hate to say it "FUCKING URLACHER" makes those kind of comments...Oh they beleive it's just they beleive the dipshit "lovie" and the minions around them. WHy was BU not at the game? Is this normal not to be with your teamates in battle. Home spanking your monkey? He should be on the sidelines and helping coach the other players. Again BU attitude comes from "uptop". As long as we have this COMA attitude this is what we will have.

  • In reply to nicholsra:

    Goo point. All that cash he gets paid and he doesn't show for the game ? No coaching up the 'backers ? That sucks. Goodbye Brian, hope we get our draft pick back for you.

  • O.K. I know this maybe out there but how about Steve Mariucci.. I believe he may be able to help JC and he seems to have the passion. I am not sure? I know some of you may rip into me about it. What do you think?

  • Another interesting Perloff thought (sorry for the SI blowjob today):

  • If this whole trainwreck of a football season wasn't so sad this would be really funny...

  • In reply to DrinkBurpRepeat:

    That cartoon is fucking funny! The conga line for the interceptions brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for posting it. If you can't laugh about it once in a while this shitty season will affect your health.

    Go Bears!

  • In reply to CanadaBear:

    Just a couple month ago some poster - forgot who it was, sorry - on this very blog (actually the old version) came up with this link:

    Man how fired up we all were those days...i just hope over the long run we can look back and say that it worked out in the end...

    By the way it's worth bookmarking the site and check it out once in a while. Great stuff (see the archived files)!

  • In reply to CanadaBear:

    Not a season ending injury to Briggs according to Da site... thank Jebus:

  • In reply to CanadaBear:

    Great. Another undersized linebacker.

  • In reply to GuidedbyDitka:

    irrelevant sarcastic comment

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    irrelevant reply to an irrelevant sarcastic comment

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    DF..right on target

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    can I ask, Does Lovie and Angelo constantly go the "TAMPA FUCK TRUCK" or the "RAMS DOUCHE BIN". If they are not even worthy on being on two of the worst teams this year in the NFL. Why the fuck do we get them? I guess this is as the saying goes "STUPID AS STUPID DOES"

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    whoops.. Stupid is as Stupid does. I guess I follow that saying too. Shit cannot even get a one liner right, DUH!!!

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    I think LDL has no choice but to place CW there. It seems the only time LDL makes changes are when he is forced to and backed into a corner. Nice bit of coaching.Lovie you sad sack!

  • This post will be directed at the piece of shit with the handle of MB30SD & MB30SD only...

    The Packers are currently top 10 on both sides of the ball statistically while the bears are in the bottom half of both in the league.

    ...The Packers are hardly " much worse " than the bears & thats putting it nicely to say the least.

    Another stat that I found interesting was that.. currently Aaron Rodgers has the best passer rating in NFL history. Imagine what he would be doing behind a good line...

  • In reply to MadMaxRockatansky:


    Oh, hi again Fuck-O.

    That weak shit is what you come back with asshat? Dude, might I suggest that you simply go away? Honestly, now you're just embarrassing yourself and your douchy brethren, and your douchy team. Do you really think your post adds any value whatsoever to our discussions about the CHICAGO BEARS? Do you really think a single soul on this here blog gives a monkey

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    TY for proving what a piece of shit you are with your stupid ass response to my FACTUAL points. You know if you weren't such a piece of shit, know nothing, loud mouth tool then I probably would leave you alone.

    You're only embarrassing yourself when I present FACTs to the table & you only bring worthless insults in response. You just keep on proving that you know little about football & that you are COMPLETELY out of touch with reality.

    .. And actually my last post brings a WHOLE HELL OF A LOT more value to the statement by you in regards to the Packer/bear game...

    " we beat ourselves against a MUCH WORSE team that got lucky. Congrats. "

    .. I'm still waiting for you to prove how the Packers are a " much worse " team than the bears. Is 7-4 " much worse " than 4-7? All you have to do is prove that they are " much worse " than the bears, and then I will leave your sorry miserable ass alone. Its that simple...

    You're crying because like tons of other bear fans... Once you got Cutler you proclaimed you were Super Bowl bound & now that it has backfired drastically.. you are up shit's creek without a paddle, so the only thing you can do is lash out like a piece of shit.

    You always find out what type of character a person has when they are on tough times, & lets just say you passed the low life test with flying colors.

  • In reply to MadMaxRockatansky:

    You know, I avoid your blog on ChicagoNow for a reason. Can you keep your personal issues with MB30SD out of here? If I wanted to read your observations, I'd go visit your site, but I don't.

  • In reply to MikeBrownhadaPosse:

    ROFL I just realized that I confused one douche (you) with another (ChicagoNow's own Rock Mamola guys aren't related by chance, are you? 'Cause I think you're probably the Larry the Cable Guy version of the same dude.

  • In reply to MadMaxRockatansky:

    Dont feed the troll

  • In reply to MadMaxRockatansky:

    Lovie Smith - 3 losing seasons in six years

    Bill Cowher - 3 losing seasons in fifteen years

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    Thanks to our Boy Roy for this slogan:

    "Bring In
    Da Chin"

  • In reply to MadMaxRockatansky:

    Ok, ok Max.


  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Too funny...

    condescending much?

    I'll leave you guys alone until Packer/bear week.

  • In reply to MadMaxRockatansky:

    I think anyone who bashes Cutler (read Brain Urlacher), they need to take a step back and realize the reality of what we already knew about the Jay Cutler trade. Everyone knew Jay tried the force throws when down by 30 points. When THE trade happened in the offseason it was highly talked about. Denver had a bad defense in Jays 2 years there. They put him in situations where he felt he needed to force throws to win games. I mean he is still green, but you still can

  • In reply to MadMaxRockatansky:

    holy shit we have breaking news from Halas hall Cato June is a bear 1 year deal

  • In reply to MadMaxRockatansky:

    And Chad Pennington is the most accurate passer in NFL history ... and ... ? What's funny about the Packers is that they have the most sacked QB in the NFL and are the most penalised team in the NFL. Go figure.

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    Kind of proves my point on how good he really is/can be.. in that he puts up GREAT numbers in spite of terrible Olines.

    I know it really doesn't mean shit in the greater scheme of things, but it what it is. You can't dispute that. The guy is the real deal. I only hope that the Packers won't waste it by letting him get killed by opposing teams Ds.

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    please don't feed the trolls

  • Go look back on Philly thread at my first post. If that constitutes talking shit, then I'm guilty. I don't think it was, and actually I thought it was to the point without sugar coating it. I was then blasted, and that before I even identified myself as a Packer fan.

    I honestly didn't even really plan on talking shit like I have been, but the responses I got from telling it like it is.. were ridiculous... So I felt/feel some of you bear fans needed to be be put in your place.

    So basically if someone from another team's fanbase wonders on to a an opposing teams blog & doesn't sugar coat his thoughts... then that constitutes lashing out at that said person?

    Anyways my 2nd post in the link below is basically what started the lashing out. Not sure it really was considered talking shit.. Everything after pretty much is thought.

  • Cato might actually work out pretty well if he stays healthy. I really don't want to see Briggs out of the lineup though.

  • Honestly I think this season is a wash. Beyond that 2 things are going to happen either Lovie stays (which with each week seems less likely) or he goes.

    If Lovie goes, so goes the Tampa 2 style of defense he runs. With that said it means rebuilding. I think the best thing the Bears can do is to evaluate the talent they have.

    Either Fire Lovie now and just play everyone and see what you have talent wise. Or keep him but that presents a quandary, we don't have the talent to run Lovie's D anymore.

    Lovie coaches turnovers over yards allowed and stopping people. Guys like Tillman NEED solid tacklers like Urlacher in the middle to be able to be able to strip balls. The Bears have lost the people we relied on to tackle well, mostly on the Defensive line.

    I agree with some of the others on here, we need to trade maybe Hester or someone. Someone we can at least have enough leverage to get a better Offensive line and shore up our secondary. We need to stop drafting defensive backs though, trade for guys we know at least have something.

  • In reply to Turgul:

    Bears Paradigm to Come:

    2009: Bears finish 5-11. The lost season is blamed on injuries and Smith lives to coach another year.

    2010: The Bears finish 3-12. After another lost season the Bears front office tearfully releases Lovie from his responsibilities as Bears Head Coach. Unfortunately Cowher and Shanahan are no longer available and the Bears scramble to hire a replacement and announce Mike Martz as the next Head Coach for the Chicago Bears and announce Rod Marinelli is being promoted to Defensive Co-odinator and that Jerry Angelo will remain the G.M.

    The first thing Rod does is shitcan the cover 2. The first think Martz does is sign Kurt Warner after he is cut from the Cardinals.

    2011: The Bears trade down their first two picks and draft a top notch tight end in the 2nd round after Desmond Clark retires. The offensive line is finally addressed in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th rounds, however, when the season starts, none of these picks even make the practice squad. The Bears finish the season 6-10.

    2012: The World ends and we no longer have to endure any more of this drama.

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    Does the Ashtray fall spectacularly into Lake Michigan?

  • Hey CAK,

    I have some kneepads. Might make it easier for you...

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Hey gpldan,

    Take a page from CAK's book & learn some class. Living your life out of spite can't be healthy for you...

  • In reply to MadMaxRockatansky:

    Max, I thought we had a deal amigo? Common man, you seem like a man of your word.

    I'm sure we'll have plenty to talk about in a week. Right?

    CAK, are you still sore at me over that comment about your username? I really didn't know if the "A" was long or short, I swear man.

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