DaPicks Contest Updated!
We have our final four. This weekend it'll be Shady v. Ufficio and TracDaddy v. tobijohn. I'll post the Weekend Show first thing Friday morning and all picks must be made prior to kickoff of the Christmas Eve slate Saturday. Good luck. (And for those of you who picked the Bears this week, I applaud your loyalty. But I thought the Bears would lose by two touchdowns and didn't write a game preview to avoid having to make that prediction.)
Lovie Smith on Caleb Hanie
Say what you want but I like Lovie Smith's comments on Hanie's struggles and how they relate to the organization:
"You have to have the right player in that (No. 2) position as much as anything," Smith said. "But as far as preparing him, you prepare the No. 1 guy and you do what you can with the No. 2 guy. It's hard to give the backup quarterback or the third quarterback a lot of work, you just hope you have the right guy in that position."
Do I think the Bears organization made an evaluation error when it came to Caleb Hanie? Yes. But we don't have access to Hanie on the practice field, Hanie in the meeting rooms...etc. And Hanie's performance in the NFC title game last year led many - myself included - to believe he was more than able to step onto the field and manage outcomes. We were all wrong. Hanie is a complete disaster. The sad truth is the Bears were not able to find out until it was too late.
But I will be fair. If you turn to me and shout, "Jerry Angelo is paid to evaluate personnel and he failed miserably with the backup quarterback" I will not argue with you. Though I do believe there will be little-to-no turnover in the front office or on the coaching staff for 2012.
What Can the Bears Accomplish Sunday Night in Green Bay?
Very little. But I'd like to see them come out and play angry on the defensive side of the ball. I understand the Packers are overwhelming favorites to win the game but the Bears should make Aaron Rodgers pay for every completion in the pocket. The Bears should make Finley regret ever entering the middle of the field. Julius Peppers should torment the Packers tackles. They better play with maximum aggression because if they give Rodgers time to throw, Meriweather and Steltz will have no chance.
Notes on a Pair of Kids
Gabe Carimi is going to have a second procedure on his knee but is expected to be ready when football activities begin in 2012. If I were the Bears I'd strongly consider moving Carimi to the left side and using J'Marcus Webb as my flex option.
Chris Conte is on IR. Impressive kid and certainly should be the starting free safety next season. The question the Bears must answer is whether they can continue to count on injury-prone Major Wright to cover the other deep half of the field.
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