With the kickoff of the 2010-11 NFL season looming over next weekend, fans may be wondering what in the hell they have been watching for the past month. Well, my friends, that is preseason football in all of its painful glory.
As usual, this month of warming up has been unpredictably hard on Bears fans. While other teams seem to be merely tuning up for the regular season and working on polishing up little details here and there, the Bears have essentially run amuck on the field, sporadically crapping themselves en route to an 0-4 preseason performance.
I'm not one to harp on the importance of preseason football, but the Bears seem incapable of actually running an offense, or blocking, or calling plays in time. With a few extra weeks of running plays and attempting to play football, though, who knows? Perhaps the Bears will eventually click enough to stutter along and hover around .500, and if you believe in sports miracles than maybe they could even make the playoffs, but right now things certainly seem to be pointing down.
While a turnaround of some sorts is far from out of the question, fans generally like to leave the preseason with something specifically good to point to. That could be that the starters looked sharp while they played, or a certain group on the team- offense, defense, or even special teams- looked particularly good; anything that can be highlighted as an obvious strength exiting the preseason. The Bears have offered us nothing to cling to.
Cutler wasn't terrible, but he was far from impressive, and, much like last season, a majority of his time on the field was either spent on his back or running for his life. The offense, obviously then, was at best underwhelming. Likewise, the defense did little to alleviate this. Much like the last three seasons, anytime the Bears did something mildly productive,
something terrible was awaiting around the corner to negate it within an instant.
I am doing my best to remain optimistic, since I am excited for the arrival of fall and football.In the end, the preseason has and always will mean nothing. But the type of preseason the Bears had is sure to spread as much panic as the Cubs bullpen has this year.
The Bears may be able to string together some early success, and if they can truly grasp the Mike Martz system and pickup their defensive play at the same time, anything can happen. The problem is, the more you have to bet on, the more likely it is you're going to lose, and the Bears cannot afford to lose any of those bets if they hope to be a competitive team in 2010-11.