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Third and one: Bears

12/21/2009

After Chicago’s 31-7 loss at Baltimore, here are three (mostly) indisputable facts I feel relatively sure about:

  1. The popular reaction to general manager Jerry Angelo’s pregame interview was that he wouldn’t guarantee coach Lovie Smith’s return in 2010. But how do we know that the decision will be Angelo’s to make? Isn’t it possible that he’s is also under heavy scrutiny by the McCaskey family for his role in the Bears’ failure to reach the playoffs in the past three seasons? And if the McCaskeys decide to fire Smith, would they let Angelo pick the new coach? The only thing I can really take from Angelo’s statements is that the Bears’ leadership structure could be a fluid situation when the season ends.

  2. The hits keep coming for quarterback Jay Cutler. His trio of interceptions gives him 25 on the season, which -- according to the Elias Sports Bureau -- is the highest total by a non-rookie in his first season with a new team since Ken Stabler threw 28 interceptions for Houston in 1980. And Cutler is only seven interceptions away from setting a new Bears record for most in a season, currently held by Sid Luckman (31 in 1947). Cutler is truly getting worse with every passing game in 2009. (Pun intended.)

  3. It’s pretty obvious that receiver Devin Aromashodu is starting to rival tight end Greg Olsen as Cutler’s favorite receiver. Cutler targeted Aromashodu on 10 throws, twice as many as the next most-targeted receiver. When a quarterback starts forcing the ball to a receiver who only ascended to a regular role two weeks ago, it speaks to his satisfaction with the rest of the group. And, while we’re at it, did anyone NOT predict Cutler would throw to Olsen on the failed fourth-down in the second quarter?

And here is one question I’m still asking:

Have we seen defensive end Adewale Ogunleye in a Bears uniform for the last time? Ogunleye fractured his left foot Sunday and would seem to be out for the season. With his contract set to expire this offseason, will the Bears re-sign him? He’ll be 33 next August and hasn’t had a double-digit sack season since 2005. Ogunleye’s departure has seemed likely ever since the Bears sent a second-round draft pick to Tampa Bay for defensive end Gaines Adams. Perhaps Ogunleye injury will speed up the transition.