The Case Against Jeremy Bates
David Haugh makes the case that the Bears can not afford to put someone as unproven as Jeremy Bates in charge of the offense. And while I understand it is a calculated risk, at some point every coach on earth becomes something for the first time. Referring to him as a "football Doogie Howser" - while obviously moronic - is also incorrect. Bates has done everything right, working his way up through the coaching ladder in a nearly decade-long career. His hiring would make Jay Cutler a more comfortable quarterback. That makes it a sound hire. (Side note: Using Mike Martz as an example of a stabilizing force is a sure fire way to drain all credibility from a football column, David.)
The Case for Perry Fewell
More important, Fewell coached the Bears' secondary when it was an elite unit. In 2005, the Bears led the NFC with 24 interceptions, and all four starting defensive backs had standout seasons, including cornerback Nathan Vasher.
That season, Vasher set career highs in interceptions (eight) and passes defended (eight). His play declined in 2006, and he has started only nine games in the last two seasons.
It is unclear if the Bears will keep Vasher, who is set to make nearly $3million and has a salary-cap number close to $5 million. It's not lost on the team's brass, though, that Vasher's best season was under Fewell's guidance.
I have followed his career in Buffalo pretty closely and he might just be the perfect combination for the Bears. He's a believer in the basic system while emphasizing pressure and aggressive corner play. He's also the antithesis of Lovie's calm sideline demeanor.
My Final Thoughts on Ron Turner
Most of you know that I always liked Ron Turner. A few things infuriated me. I hated the fullback dive. I hated the bubble screen. I hated the uninventive dive plays on second-and-long. But ultimately I think Ron Turner was a victim of circumstance. If Lovie's defense stops the Texans at the end of last year or doesn't allow the Falcons to win the most ludicrous game of all time, Turner is still employed here. If Jay Cutler doesn't throw terrible interceptions at San Francisco or Green Bay this year, Turner is still employed here. Turner didn't choose to enter this season without a proven commodity at wide receiver or a good offensive line. And even with those flaws, the quarterback threw for 3700 yards. Turner got fired because fans always know the name of the guy calling the plays. And when the plays don't work, it must be that guy's fault. In 2009, I just don't blame Ron Turner. And I hope he's successful in his next gig.