Audibles From the Turkey Snapper

David Haugh Argues With Himself
David Haugh's column in today's Trib is titled "Now is no time to extend Smith's contract".  Wow, Dave, really?  Now is also not the time to purchase property in the Gaza Strip or have relations with a Palin daughter.  This is one of those ESPNy type articles that I hate, hate, hate so much.  First of all, no one on earth is talking about extending Lovie Smith's contract.  Haugh basically invents the premise ONLY TO REFUTE IT.  (You know, like when ESPN's Mark Schlereth will come on the air and say Phil Rivers is overrated after ESPN's Trent Dilfer just called him the best player in the sport.)  The Bears are 7-3 but about to embark on their most difficult stretch of the season.  The playoffs are by no means a lock and reaching the playoffs does not guarantee Lovie's job.  Lovie Smith has had a terrific year to this point but nobody - especially in Chicago - is foolish enough to start talking extensions.  Except, of course, for Haugh.

Mike Mulligan Nails It
In his Sun-Times column, Mike Mulligan writes the following:

Now comes the moment of truth, a chance to prove contender status
Sunday against a Philadelphia Eagles team that has emerged as an ''it''
team after successive victories over the Indianapolis Colts, Washington
Redskins and New York Giants.
(Then later)
The national perspective might be that the Bears are closer to
second-rate than superb, but that hasn't stopped coach Lovie Smith and
his team from acting as if the Eagles game represents the culmination
of some master plan.

The Bears are playing their best football of the season, dominating on defense and protecting the ball better on sustained drives.  (The movement of Hester to kickoffs seems to have ignited the entire franchise.)  To this point the Bears have had to answer for their success.  Sunday, with a victory, the questions fade.  Sunday, with a victory, the Bears become a contender for the Super Bowl in the NFC,

Thanksgiving Picks Contest 
We'll be doing a special picks contest tomorrow.  If you pick all three games correctly against the spread, it'll count for two (2) perfect weeks.  That post will be on the site tonight at some point and you need to have your picks in by kickoff of the first game tomorrow.

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  • For the FIRST time ever, it all makes sense: http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2010/11/22/peter-principle-promotion/?icid=maing%7Cmain5%7C4%7Clink5%7C27647

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    I see how you did that.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    I re-watched the Dolphin's game. Cutler could have been picked 4 times. I think the D may be playing their best but not the O, or specifically Cutler. He needs to stop trying to throw across the field when he is being forced to his right. If he can learn to throw the ball away more I'll feel a lot better. If not he's going to, single-handedly, cost us at least one more game.

  • In reply to jdawg:

    That's where it pays to watch games sober. Seriously. I'm mystified every Monday morning reading people giving kudos to Cutler - they're drunk. Period. He does the same thing in *every* single game he's ever played for the Bears and I've been watching sober for two years. He could throw 4-5 picks every game. On top of that he's not accurate and underthrows the ball a lot for someone with a strong arm.
    Our deep game looks suspiciously like it did with Orton, except we have more interceptions now and don't audible as well and are less accurate on shorter to medium passes. (And two 1st rounders and a third rd pick lighter)

    Again, I love Cutler, but he's like the good-looking boyfriend that gets drunk and beats his girlfriend around now and then. He looks good, everyone loves him at your 21st birthday party, but at the end of the night he's got his hand on your mother's jaxie.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    I would like to submit a new haiku for '85's sign at the game:

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Deliver me Viva... deliver me.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    +1

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    The Chicago Bears haven't had every-season success in 50 years though.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    And if you compare any team in football to the Pats, they'll look awful. If Lovie and Jerry win the division this year, that'll give them 3 of the last 6 division titles. Nobody is arguing that their work is great but their work would then be clearly better than the rest of the division.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    I get that Jeff, really I do. I guess I'm not asking for Billicheat here, I'm asking for a half competent GM who will try and fix the issues we do have, not draft for ones we don

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Jerry Angelo is the fucking coolest

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    I said that too. If I sat my mother down and explained the basics of who's important on a football team and explained the Orton/Jason Campbell/whoever thing to her... gave her McTard's phone number ... she could have done that deal.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    visored vicious Pepp
    cold rain poopy footing field
    Goodell gives record fine

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    We haven't had any in 4 years a it's been 25 years - a quarter of a century ... a generation .. since our lastleague trophy. Not good enough. Pittsburgh - where does that rank on the list of great American cities? Chicago? Not. Good. Enough.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    Bears had a pretty good run from '84-'91... only 1 losing season, the other 7 years were playoffs, 6 division titles including 5 consecutive.

    I think that probably rivals each of Halas's 4 stints. Halas's first 2 (in the 20s and 30s) were better, but that 80s stretch was better than Halas's 60s stretch.

  • In reply to 750mL:

    It was a terrible run when you consider that the McCaskeys dismantled our Super Bowl squad. That should have been a dynasty with the roster we had. That was abject failure not success. We were even blessed with a great replacement for Walter in Neal Anderson.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Success breeds success. The Pats are able to negotiate guys down to reasonable contracts, cut ties when their performance no longer matches the contract, and no other front office is better at getting values out of their draft picks when they do trade "name" guys that are no longer worth the contract. It also helps when you're not throwing high-round picks after quarterbacks and running backs year after year. And by all indications, they are a class organization that treats guys well while they are there.
    It sure helps to have Brady back there too. Payton made Indy's front office look good for a long time as well.
    So, I get what you're saying but other than the OL and to some degree, our receivers, it's hard to argue with the roster we have right now.

  • In reply to MikeBrownhadaPosse:

    MBP, I always like your posts and thoughts. Here, let me throw this at you:

    * Just the oline?
    * Just our receivers?
    * You feel confident in our defensive backfield for years to come?
    * How about our LBs? We saw what happened last year when lach and/or pisa go down
    * How do you feel about our overall depth? (we

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Almost mean to say... you are exactly right MBP.

    All of those things you posted... yes, THAT is EXACTLY what I want and expect from this team. And yes, it is nice to have a Tom Brady... but that's the job of a GM/HC right? To find those guys... instead of win a $50M bidding war with 10 other teams for a known entity

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Hah - yep, home watching the darling daughter while Mommy was defending democracy (at the gym).

    I think it's the right goal...no doubt about that.

  • In reply to MikeBrownhadaPosse:

    I actually meant all the people that I'm trying to contact to do business with today (no one's picking up the damn phone)

    But that was funny MBP. Very nice.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Thanks, MB30.
    I feel pretty good about our D-line, our linebackers, and we're starting to address the safety positions. I think that Jennings, Moore, Bowman, and Tillman are a pretty good set of cornerbacks, but it would be nice to spend a second or third rounder on a starter in the next year or two. As far as linebackers, there was a huge dropoff from Lach to Hillenmeyer, but Lach has a shot at Canton - that's tough for any front office to backfill.
    I look at it like this: I'm not arguing for Jerry to stay, but I think the roster looks reasonable this year and we're going to be much more active in the draft going forward. I wouldn't cry about dropping him either.

  • In reply to MikeBrownhadaPosse:

    Fill it we must. Most important position on any Bears team in a sense. We can put up with jizzum QBs, but wonky middle linebackers will not fly in Chi-town.

    And the roster has not yet been tested by injury ....

    Cutler. Urlacher. Peppers. May the Gods be with you.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    I'm with ya MB. Lovie, OK. JA, no way. His draft record is beyond bad. Always taking chances on guys with injury histories. Constant use of re-treads. etc. But if you need a TE or SS we have a pile of them.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    I really should read the blog from bottom up. I'm just your little shadow today MB.

    That mulligan article in Sun-Times was excellent. Some eyebrow-raisers :

    * Lovie's arrogance raises its ugly head again (re Vick). "We normally do what we do with our defense, not going to change what we do,'' Smith said of the cover-2 scheme he has run since coming to the Bears. ''We believe in our defense, and it's set up to play guys like him.''" WTF?? He just said "@#%! Michael Vick" - better back that up Lovie!

    * Our conference wins are lowest of all current contenders. We need four more wins regardless.

    * We only have the record we have because we're the healthiest team in the league. Normally they're the teams that win the Superbowl, but we have a long way to go. And J'Marcus Webb is our Right Tackle. He may be the worst pass-blocking RT in the league. His name is certainly in the hat.

    * The only time we've played a top-ten offense this year we got beaten.

    * I love that the following line is in a football article.

    "Everybody wants to picture a smooth ladder of progress from simians to sapiens with a happy advance from bent monkey to knuckle-dragging ape to proto-human to homo-sapiens.

  • In reply to MikeBrownhadaPosse:

    There it is Mike - other than the the foundation of our team ... the OL ... and the guys that catch the ball ... and as long as everybody stays healthy. We have depth at TE and that's it. Indy, the Pats, somebody goes down and they just slot in the next guy and don' miss a beat. Cutler or Urlacher goes down and we're screwed. We're *one* injury away from being a bad team again. I'd argue with the roster all right.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Ok, let

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    5 7 5

    Welcome to our den
    ***To us***, dog is man's best friend
    Flushed. Scramble. ***Fall.*** Die.

    Or...

    Dark Soldier ***Field*** night
    You cannot torture a bear
    Dog killers will pay

  • In reply to mikebdot:

    got me mike. Was still fired up... not counting correctly.

  • In reply to mikebdot:

    Actually, apparently syllables are counted all messed up, so I'm actually quite wrong. Whatever. Kudos to MB30SD cuz you're awesome. Incidentally, I'm thankful for people that are able to post on here all day long every day of the week. I just wish I had more time.

  • In reply to mikebdot:

    thats the beauty of sales bdot, the beauty of sales

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    Yup. Sales. I come in and work hard for an hour and then I'm basically done. Check out the blog and my nine FF teams until lunch. Go home, shower, kiss my babies. Come back to work, do a little downloading, check the blog again, do a little personal stuff, listen to radio from back in the auld sod, go home. Do a little downloading, check the blog ....

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    See that clip of Garret trying to get Suh called for tackling a player by his hair? If your HC doesn't know the basic rules of the game, you're in deeper trouble than you thought you were. If players have a problem with it then there's a real simple solution. Snip snip.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Man, I'm with you on all of that with bells on ! Getting Cutler and Peppers was hardly a psychic reach - Orton got us Cutler, not Angelo (and a very big sweetener in draft picks). Peppers cost us a huge amount of money for a 30 year old. Let's see how all of this pans out. Suppose we win the SB this year by some miracle ... I'll be saying thank you very much Jerry ... now what about in three years time? Whatcha got lined up for us then? Five years? What's your plan? How many more picks will you flush down the toilet you putz? Angelo didn't fucking draft anyone important to this team except Briggs. And don't mention Knox or I'll scream.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Sorry got so fired up, included my unfinished Haiku for '85's sign bymistake... it's still a work in progress

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Poor Detroit. The one little thing they have, and people want to take it from them.

    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/thehuddle/post/2010/11/with-thanksgiving-comes-calls-for-nfl-to-boot-lions-from-holiday-game/1

  • In reply to gpldan:

    I never got the Detroit Thanksgiving thing. Is it to make people who live in Detroit feel better about living in Detroit...?

  • PLAYOFFS!?!? PLAYOFFS!!!!! PLAYOFFS!?!?!?!?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zLlIdZikDk

  • Eagles... Dead!
    Vick... Dead!
    McCoy... Dead!
    Macklin... Dead!

    Bears hating media... DEAD!

    Neidermeyer...?

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdFLPn30dvQ&feature=related

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    I couldn't agree more that Haugh's article is totally irrelevant right now. But, you can't argue that his peice isn't controversial. Many Bears fans want him out no matter what, but others still hold on to the fact he got us to the promise land in 06 and has won some division titles. Thus, fans on both sides will be interested. I'd rather read a peice dissecting Philly's D or why the Bears have improved at the line, but the Trib needs readership right now, especially with Zell and the boys problems.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    vomiting, snowball/battery throwing Philly fans-DEAD!

  • In reply to jbenton:

    Promise?

  • In reply to jbenton:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PFERpWahZE

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Sandler was good in 'Funny people', anyone see that ? 'Wall Street - money never sleeps' was excellent, while I'm at it.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    I like the Turkey Day contest idea - mainly b/c I'm playing catchup.

    I agree on not resigning Lovie (yet). However no one can deny that the team is on the rails and gaining steam. This team is BUY and not SELL. That's not an accident. And if you're going to pass out credit for that, some love has to go Lovie's way. And Angelo's. And McCaskey's. And Phillips. Is our D successful without Peppers? Is Peppers here without those 4? And what about Cutler? Are we better with or without him? I argue we're better and have yet to realize our investment. (No I'm not a broker, this is just coming out sounding that way).

    Enough hypotheticals. This sunday we should play our standard D, regardless of the Giants's success with cover-zero, for which Jeff noted we don't have the personnel. Our D has succeeded thus far through solid fundamentals like swarming and good tackling. It has failed when safeties bite on fakes, when D-linemen crash down and lose contain - when we stray from the fundamentals.

    If we lose sunday with our standard D it doesn't mean Lovie stinks. His "stay the course" approach will be bashed but this sunday it's the right call. Same on offense. Let's continue:

    1. run/pass balance
    2. Cutler rollouts both designed and improvised
    3. Hester returning kicks
    4. o-line's continuing continuity
    5. okay one change - more Aroma and Dez!

  • In reply to Jokey:

    I'm with you on all points, Jokey. Still don't like Phillips, though.

    Your point about investing in players brings up a good point, especially when considering Cutler. If Lovie gets canned, what are the chances the next coach keeps Martz and Tice, two guys who have been charged with Cutler's development and protection? I think Martz can help Cutler reach his full potential, but we may not see that potential for another 1-2 years. Why would we wish for a regime change when we know it means that Cutler has to learn another offense? Look at Alex Smith in San Fran. I believe if we can keep this team and coaching crew intact for one more year, they can show us something special.

  • In reply to WeShallReturn:

    I agree with both of you.
    Stick with what's worked on D. The Bears are prone to give up an early score, but tighten up as the game goes along. If they really struggle early, then throw some wrinkles in on D.

  • In reply to WeShallReturn:

    Philips doesn't get enough bile from us. He's the arch-muppet who has overseen all of this poo and consistently allowed it to happen.

    I agree on Cutler not being properly cooked yet, one or two more seasons as a pro and he'll be a seasoned pro. But then it's too late, then we're starting a new team ... and judging by the McCaskeys choice in Presidents/GMs that does not bode well for the fans.

  • In reply to Jokey:

    Pretty much agree. I don't get the argument that when we lose it's all Lovie's fault and when we win it's because of the other coaches. Seems you can't have it both ways. I think Lovie's done a much better job this year because there is a sense of urgency. He hasn't let guys keep starting when they are under performing. Tommie is a good example. Also, hats off to Marinelli as DC but adding Pep, having #54 and Pisa healthy, finding a good spot for Manning (SS) and putting Tommie on the bench has made a huge difference. I give credit to everyone on the D side of the ball.

    Martz/Cutler is still a work in progress. So far, I think both of them are seriously under performing. No doubt the biggest issue is the OL but Martz/Cutler made a bad situation worse. If the OL keeps improving maybe Martz/Cutler can open up the O but I don't see any reason for that unless we're behind in the game and time is of the essence.

    ST's are always good/great.

  • In reply to CanadaBear:

    Lovie's still pissing on the seat. He's not getting as much on the carpet, but it's still not all going inside the bowl.

    * Dez Clark - career essentially over. We're not using him.

    * Kellen Davis - dude is fucking 6'7. Cannot be covered. Maybe throwing him more than 2 passes a season might be an idea - I don't know, it's just a crazy notion I'm throwing out there. Hester not grabbing those bombs? Can't throw him jump balls? I think there's a way around that ...

    * Manumaleuna - *anything* you can say about the guy in relation to the Chicago Bears is in the negative column. Lovie continues to start him in spite of being piss poor at everything he does. Davis/Clarke could block better than fatboy and catch the ball better too.

    * Shabba - mothballed. Invisible. Looked like a number one receiver last year on the outside. In Martz' shit house because he doesn't know the slot. So ...?? Let him play outside and give him more than three snaps a game you genius ....let's see ... Knox and Shabba split wide, Bennett in the slot ... let Hester - I don't know - return all the kicks and punts and use him as a fourth receiver in those sets?

    * Refusal to address the FB position. We need one. It's not even an opinion or an argument. Everyone else has a heavy guy to pound the rock. Ours are on IR. Never replaced. Fail.

    * Challenges. Enough said.

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    Irish, you keep harping on this notion that Shabba doesn't play. Are you really sure this is true? My understanding is Bennett has been playing mostly in the slot. If true that means someone else is platooning reps with Hester, not Bennett... particularly in 3 WR sets.

  • In reply to 750mL:

    I don't know how many snaps he's getting. It can't be many, if Rashied Davis is getting reps too, and Knox/Hester and Bennett are the starting receivers then I don't call that getting reps, whatever he's getting. He should be getting all of Hester's ...

  • In reply to Jokey:

    Two points:
    1) Lovie seems to have changed a little this season (he's still the worst head coach in the league on challenges). It is evident he's holding players accountable for their performance to a degree that he hadn't been the last two seasons.
    2) It seems to be the case that Lovie, not Martz, made the call to emphasize the run in the last few weeks. This has had the added bonus of not getting Jay killed.
    So, I'm willing to give at least some credit to Lovie for the 7-3 season, and as WSR says, the next HC that comes in is likely to replace the coordinators and most of the position coaches (unless it were, say, Toub).

  • In reply to MikeBrownhadaPosse:

    A serious argument could be made that with better coaching we should be 9-1 having lost to two .500 teams. At home.

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    Without Smith as Head Coach, there is NO WAY Marinelli is DC... That means you can't really say anything how any of those 10 games would have gone, let alone say another HC would have gotten the Bears to 9-1.

    You can't cherry-pick what to pick on and what to take for granted when talking counter-factuals...

  • In reply to 750mL:

    How does better coaching translate to 'without Smith as HC' ? I didn't say that. We lost one of those games from the non-challenge on Cutler's 'fumble' on the goal-line.

  • In reply to Jokey:

    I smell an Angelo defense?

    We don't really know if we're better off with Cutler and Peppers yet. The season is still going on. What did Cutler do for us last year again? Did he lead us past the Giants who were just begging us to beat them? The Redskins ? The Seahawks? How good are those two teams? We couldn't beat those two sets of bums at home?!! Are you kidding me?!!

    Fact - None of us know what kind of a team we'd have if we had the chips back on what Cutler and Peppers cost us - that's just a lot of guess work. Orton is ripping up the passing table now, throw in two firsts and a third .... who would we have gotten with those picks? No one knows. We know this - we'd have Orton and a good shot at another three good players. Right now, we've just got a cocky cannon-armed QB who's risk-taking has yet to generate any rewards for his teams in his career thus far.

    Which other free agents would we have on the team if Peppers was a Raider? Peppers is getting on - he's not going to be dominant for very long. Lot of dough to cough up for a short term answer, Angelo was going all-in with Peppers, but with a poor O-line and no dominant receivers, it's a pretty skinny bet. The core of this team is getting old, we're short on time here folks. We're not re-building. We're on a big push for the super bowl and the window is about 2 years max. Then it's re-building. Look at the best players on your champ defense in two years ... gone. Done. Garza/Kreutz/Taylor. Gone. Done. Then it's down to doing the opposite of what Angelo has done - ever since he got here. He's done a piss poor job REGARDLESS of what happens this year. We haven't made the playoffs yet, and playoffs don't mean shit anyway. Lombardis are the only thing that counts. Let's hold back on the BJs for Angelo ...

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    Love Jules, don't get me wrong, but anything other than a serious SB run is a fail.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    FUCKING MUERTE!!!!!

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    Excellent. I will step over them as I sport my BEARS clothing all over this Commonwealth this holiday weekend.

  • I agree with you, Jeff, on both articles. I thought the Mulligan piece was well done. As for the Haugh article . . . even Lovie apologists, like myself, aren't thinking about extending his contract. If the Bears collapse - shit, if anything falls apart that shouldn't, wins or not - all of us apologists will be gone, along with Lovie and JA. And hopefully Phillips as well (he's the only one I can't stand the sight of).

    It's been a fun season with plenty to talk about - both negative and positive - but I think contract discussions for this group should be left until this season is over.

    Bear down! I can't wait for Sunday when the Bears prove to the league and every motherfucking douche-bag ex-'pro'-athlete meathead 'expert' that they are a team to be reckoned with.

  • http://tinyurl.com/2b2u7d2

  • In reply to WeShallReturn:

    I remember that hit well. Lach absolutely hammered him just as Vick was about to slide. Here's to 54's re-emergence this year and to his animalistic shadowing of #7 on Sunday.

  • I still want Lovie and JA gone!

    Dont be fooled. Its Martz, Tice, and Marinelli that are making this team good.

  • Suddenly Marinelli takes our D and we look good.

  • In reply to Grizzly559:

    The Peppers factor can't be ignored here. Without the front four creating pressure and not having to blitz every play we can put more into coverage and protect our corners more thus eliminating the wide open receivers so much. I agree Marinelli has brought something but I have to wonder where we would be without Peppers.

    Angelo has to be the first to go. I think Lovie is awful but he is less to blame here than the lack of talent he has been given unto this point. Unless we find out Lovie was in charge of some of these awful drafts the buck stops with Angelo. Lovie still has another year on his contract and I believe Angelo is signed through 2012, if they make the playoffs neither him or Angelo is being canned. It's an uneasy feeling as a Bears fan hating your coach/GM but loving a team so much you in no way can root against them in any situation.

  • In reply to jbenton:

    Let's not forget Brian. No coincidence that we absolutely sucked as a defense with Hillenmeyer in the Mike. Worst ever.

  • In reply to Grizzly559:

    Marinelli has been doing a great job.

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