Good morning everyone. JD will be here in two minutes to gets things started.
Thanks everybody for checking in with your questions. Big game for the Bears this week. Can they stop Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald? Will Anquan Boldin play? Can the Bears protect Jay Cutler? Will the red zone efficiency improve? So many things to talk about.
How good is Arizona's pass rush, and do you think the Bears will be able to protect Cutler better?
Arizona runs a 3-4, so expect another round of exotic blitz packages this week. They get most of their pressure from DE Calais Campbell and outside linebackers Chike Okeafor and Bertrand Berry. I would expect the Cardinals to send constant pressure. Why not? Everybody else has this year against the Bears.
Was Beekman an improvement at all last Sunday?
Beekman had a difficult time with Shaun Rodgers...but who doesn't? Yes, I think Beekman did a much better job run blocking, even though he lacks size like Omiyale. In my opinion, Beekman has always been a better choice at LG. I still think Omiyale can be a very good tackle for the Bears in the future. I'm not ready to give up on the guy after just 6 starts.
Any chance of Chris Williams moving to LT? Wasn't he drafted as one any way?
My guess is that Orlando Pace is one and done here in Chicago, so the natural move would be to either move Williams, or try Omiyale at LT in 2010. That might be the route the Bears go, unless there is a star offensive tackle available in free agency.
If Cutler keeps getting hit, what do you think the Bear would look like with Hanie at QB?
I'd rather no think about it. Seriously, I like Hanie, but he's not on Cutler's level right now. If Caleb had to play, I guess we'd see even more failed run attempts and short passes to the tight ends. If the defense was great, the Bears would be okay with Hanie...but we all know this defense isn't great like in 2005 and 2006.
Where does Arizona's defense rank overall, particularly pass defense vs. run defense?
Arizona ranks 8th vs. the run (96.4 yds per game) and 20th vs. the pass (233.0).Overall the Cards are the 18th ranked overall defense in the NFL.
Is this a must win for the Bears? Will they rise to the occasion like they did against Pittsburgh?
It's pretty close to a must-win game.Let's see...they have to go to SF on a short week for a game next Thursday night. The Niners aren't very good, but it's tough for a team to travel accross the country in a short week.Then Philly at home and Minnesota on the road.Basically, this strecth could define their season, and it all starts Sunday. Yes, I think they have to win this game.
Who Will get the wild card in the NFC?
Right now, I'd have to look at Dallas, Atlanta, New York and maybe GB or Chicago. But I think it's safe to say at least one team from the NFC East will get one.
Do you think it might be time for Turner to consider a bit more misdirection in his play calling? I think many fans when they talk about how poor Turner is, are actually talking about his lack of any sort of misdirection in his play calling. We have an O line that's struggling, misdirection will buy them 1 or 2 seconds more for that play to develope.
I believe Turner is being so conservative because he has little faith in his offensive line...despite what he says publicly. I would love some misdirection. The Bears need to break out of his rut. They've been running the same plays for years. I feel they're extremely predictable.
How can the bears get multiple false start penalties at home?!? are they showing a lack of discipline and understanding? could we see a change with the offensive line coach? these guys don't seem to have any chemistry
That also drives me crazy. False starts are a basic mental mistake caused by a lack of concentration. I can live with physical mistakes, not mental ones. I think it's safe to say if the Bears decide to change coordinators after the season, the offensive line coach will also be shown the door.
Will Nathan Vasher get more playing time to help force more turnovers?
They've used Vasher at free safety in the nickel package the last two weeks. Although he struggled at corner the past few years, Vasher is a good centerfielder...so to speak. Plus, he's being paid a lot of money. So I would expect Vasher to keep getting more opportunities.
Since the Bears do not have a any early picks (1st or 2nd) in next year's draft, do you think they will be more prone to making big name free agent acquisitions, specifically on the o-line?
If you look at recent history, the Bears have spent money on free agent offensive linemen -- John Tait, Fred Miller, Omiyale, etc. I would expect that to be a major priority this offseason. There might not be a salary cap in 2010, so money should be no issue when it comes to repairing that line. If your line stinks, your team will not be very good.
What are the Bears best bet for slowing down Larry Fitzgerald? Im not that worried about Kurt anymore, but Larry can make any quarterback look better.
Considering Charles Tillman shadowed rookie Mohammad Massaquoi last week, he'll likely do the same with Fitzgerald on Sunday. Even if Boldin doesn't play, I'm still interested to see how Bowman holds up against Steve Breaston. Tough match up.
Will you say "Hi!" to Waddle for me?
Only if I can get past his security guards. "The King" usually rolls with a crew of about five deep.
When is Gaines Adams gong to see more playing time?
I just think it's tough to have a four man rotation at defensive end. Not enough snaps to go around. The Bears talk about giving Adams more playing time...but we'll see when it actually happens.
So much credit was given to Rod Marinelli and the revamped D-line in the first couple games. What do you credit the falloff to in the past few weeks? Isn't getting to Warner our only hope of slowing down this offense...??
Throw away the Browns game (they're not a real NFL team), and it was alarming to watch the Bears not sack Matt Ryan or Carson Palmer. They have to pressure Kurt Warner Sunday. He's too good and too smart to be given time to survey the field. Maybe Tommie Harris decides to record a sack this Sunday. Wouldn't that be nice.
Is Josh Beekman still better than me, I mean you saw Cutler on his back all game. Don't you think I should be starting again?
Jeff, Matt Williamson here to take over if you are ready...
What kind of game do you think we will see out of Cutler Sunday? Do you think he needs a bounce back game not only for the Bears to win but for himself personally?
I've said it since training camp. Frank, you have a chance to be a very good tackle in this league.
I think Cutler plays well. Arizona has talented defensive backs, but if the Bears move the pocket and give Cutler some time, I believe he'll do some damage.
First off, good to be here. Should be fun. As for Cutler, he is incredibly confident-as he should be-in his immense abilities. I don't think needs a bounce back game for his own personal reasons. He is going to sling it-no matter what. Gotta love that about him. As for what kind of game I expect from him on Sunday, it has a ton to do with the run game. If the Bears can generate at least an average rushing attack, Cutler could flourish.
Do you think the offensive line is the reason Matt Forte is having a sub-par year?
Thanks everybody again for all the questions. Next up is Matt Williamson of Scouts, Inc. Talk to you next week.
For the most part. There is no doubt in my mind that the Bears' top off season priorities will be at OL-most specificly OT. O Pace is done. But, Forte is not without blame either. I don't think he has run as hard as he did as a rookie. Also-and this will always be an issue for Forte-is that he is not an elite physical talent in any specific aspect. He was great last year, but he is a volume runner who needs those around him to help his cause more than some of the elite guys like Peterson or S-Jax. He also caught a ton of passes last year.
Do you think we'll ever see the tommie harris that made the superbowl D look so good or will he underachieve the rest of his time with the bears
Tend to doubt that we see that T Harris again. It has been quite a while since that player has been evident. Rarely do NFL players rebound so incredibly strong. But-unlike Forte-Harris is a magnificent physical speciman. If he can ever get 100% healthy (if that is even possible anymore), then maybe-just maybe-he completely resurrects his career.
Do the Bears have the 2nd worst offensive line in the NFL (after GB)?
Quite possibly and I conted that GBay's OL is a better run blocking group that Chicago's. Still, KC's is just awful. Oak's is pretty terrible as well. But...bottom five.
Was the defense last week a mirage because we were playing the Browns or will that intensity they played with last Sunday carry into the Arizona game?
Hard to guess those things from where I sit, but I do think Chicago played an inspired game last week defensively. But-that is easy to do when DA is the opposing quarterback and the offense is without playmakers of any sort. That won't be the case this week....
I was happy when Schaffer was brought in in the offseason And I thought Omiyale was brought in specifically to handle gaurd duity (A skill he hasn't mastered yet) Wouldn't the bears be way better off with schaffer and beekman on the leftside?
I think Shaffer is awful. But I feel the same about Pace. Actually, Williams isn't really a power mauling type and was drafted to play LT. So, the answer (which is easier) would be to acquire a big bruising RT type and move Williams to LT. I do prefer Beekman at LG to Omiyale though-but Beekman is pretty limited with his movement skills.
When will the Bears finally realize they need a playmaker on offense (wide reciever). We need a big time reciever! I am done with the the Bennett and Hester project. BEAR DOWN!!!!
Honestly, I can live with their pass catchers as a group. They are all very young and will only get better. Hester in particular has a chance to be very good. Same with Olsen really. What you have to remember here is that Cutler is capable of great things. It hasnt happened yet to a degree, but he will make all these guys better. The problem is up front. Without a run game, Cutler inherently tries to take the game over. That is when problems arise.
Do you think Nick Roach is good enough to be a starting LB from here out or will he always be a utility LB?
He's good enough. Chicago's LB depth has really responded well.
Do you think the Bears will make the playoffs?
Leaning towards No. Gotta think that Minny has the division pretty close to wrapped up. NOrls is going. Zona or SF will go in the West. NYG, Phil or Dallas in the East. ATL could factor in as a wild card. Same with GBay. Gotta say that I like all those team's chances a little better than Chicago's right now.
Do you see any legitamat Pro-Bowlers with the Bears this year besides Briggs?
Hmmm...having a tough time coming up with someone. Folks, who might I be missing?
Where is the deep pass, not just running a guy deep, actually throwing it? Even if you don't complete it there would be something for the opposing DB's to think about.
This O HAS to do that. Expecially with guys like Knox and Hester-both of whom have rare speed. Plus, Cutler has a cannon for a right arm. Protection is an issue however.
Gould has been hitting some pretty nice field goals... :/
Thought about him. He has gone before hasn't he? Does that even count though? lol
What do you think the reason is that Olsen has been somewhat disappointing this year? He was supposed to be a break out tight end this year, a top 10 guy in the league? Do he and Cutler just need more time to understand each other's tendencies, or is someone specifically at fault, especially in the redzone?
That one has baffled me. I think much of it has to do with getting both players on the same page. Some of it has to do with the OT problems, which makes Olsen block more than Chicago probably envisioned. But-I also think Olsen deserves some heat here. I want to see him make more plays. Act like a 1st round TE. Play with more aggression. Seems a bit too passive for me this year.
possible pro bowlers: Tillman, Daniel Manning, Hester(if he keeps this pace up and a couple more TD's)... but i feel these are stretches
Thought of all those and yeah I agree...stretches. Cutler has a chance as well if he picks it up.
any chance pace gets benched?
Perhaps. Would you rather have Williams at LT and Shaffer at RT? Maybe. Not saying that is a bad idea, but it also isn't real encouraging right now.
How much better do you think the Bears defense would be if Urlacher was still playing?
Honestly, better, but not by leaps and bounds. He isn't what he used to be and overall, I don't have a lot of problems with the LB play. Of course you would love to have him, but the loss isn't catostrophic.
Living up here in the twin cities I am really dreading watching Jared Allen against our O line. Do you think we have any chance of beating the vikings when we play them
Always have a chance, but I see Minny as the clearly superior team in just about all regards. Protecting Cutler will be very difficult against them.
what do you think the outcome will be for this weeks game vs the Cardinals?
I wrote this game up for Scouts Inc and I took Arizona. Was a huge believer in the Cards...before last week. Going to write that Zona loss off as a fluke to some degree and will stick with them. I think their D is vastly improved and they are more balanced now on O than ever. But, I also think that Chicago can get to Warner and that he can self destruct if hit enough.
Who is a big time O-lineman I could go after this off-season?
I don't have the free agent list handy-plus a lot of those top guys will never end up hitting the market. But, the draft could be a great path here. Use the first two picks on OL, with that first rounder as a OT. Give yourself more options and create more competition at many spots. I don't think this line is un-fixable. Pace needs to hang it up. Shaffer can't be a starter. Williams hopefully will improve with game action.
Folks, this was fun and I am also filling in again next week. Stop back and see me. But I gotta run for now. Adios.
Hey guys, I'm here to answer questions about the Bears, the Chicago Maroons and the team that jacked the Maroons' unis back in 1904, the Arizona Cardinals.
With a combined 11 sacks from our "marinelli led" d-line (which is only .5 more than jared allen) why havent we seen more shake ups (i.e. Anderson, Idonije, Gilbert, Adams)
Steven, another writer, can't remember who, talked to Ogunleye after the last game and he said the d-line is seeing a lot of max protect and tight ends staying home to block. Bears might need to start a blocking tight end over Olsen soon.
Do you think the Bears will beable to stop Kurt Warner and the Cardinals' pass attack?
Cardinals haven't been as high-flying as you think. Football Outsiders ranks their passing attack as 16th best in league. Warner's got about 200 more yards than Cutler, middle of the road numbers. That being said, they're nothing to sneeze at.
No Pro-Bowl love for me?
You're a punter and it's the Pro Bowl. Maynard's been very important to this team _ special teams are the only unit that's above average statistically this season _ and if being in the Pro Bowl makes him happy, so be it. Vote him in folks!
How do you not see the bears as a playoff team with the only for sure loss @Minn. Other than that, they have 1 more tough road game @Balt, but they have shown they are beatable at home this year. Plus, i think Da Bears beat Minn at home this year bc Farve can't throw it in Chi late in the year. (see last game 07')
It'll be interesting dennis, and that's all we can ask for, right?The Bears have two surefire wins on their sked, against St. Louis and at Detroit. Every other game should be competitive.
Will we see Devin Armashado get a look in the WR rotation. He was a favorite target of Cutler in preseason, and with his size and speed he could be a nice compliment to the smaller Hester/Knox
Steven, I respect your attempt to spell Aromashodu's name. If he were the answer, he'd be out there. There were no favorites in this receiving corps, aside from maybe Hester, so it was truly a best players play scenario. Although the Bears' evaluations haven't always been solid (Omiyale, Pace, Williams, etc). Bears need a "go up and get it" receiver, especially with their pitiful red zone efficiency, and that should be their No. 1 free agent/draft target. You can find O-line talent easier, I think.
Did Brady Quinn look good in his brief appearance in last week's game?
He dazzled the crowd with all three of his throws.
Lets say the spread in said game was Bears (-3.5). Would you a) take the Bears, give the points b) take the Cards and the points c) pass on this game, and look for a lead pipe lock d) invest funds in 12 month CD
This seems like a trap game to me. But I think the hook is your best friend here. Take the points and still look for your lead pipe lock. Invest winnings in CD and you're on easy street. Stay away from the Cooler though.
Don't you think its time to fire Ron Turner and bring in a guy like Mike Shanahan! Our offense is going nowhere!
As OC to Lovie or head coach? Shanahan, the Chicago native, would fit in perfectly as HC, but I don't see them firing Lovie without a complete meltdown.Players love Lovie and they play for him. Turner actually has a lot of respect too, I think, just not from Bears fans. Or Illinois fans.
What about utilizing more of a spread formation in the red zone to creat space and open up some running lanes, either for the QB or the receivers / running backs?
Great idea. They need something. Cutler has terrible red zone numbers, this year and last, but I'll be writing for tomorrow about that.They need to figure out what suits their personnel, not vice versa.This is a problem that needs corrected now, and I'd imagine that's what they're doing. Problem is they have no tall receivers to catch jump balls, fades, etc. Olsen maybe.
I think they really need to concentrate on establishing the run. We know Cutler can throw but the cold months are ahead and I know that O-line can get a 2-3 yard push. Forte start making some cutbacks!!!!
Disagree. They should set up the run through the pass. Cutler can dink and dunk all day with his trio of quick receivers, all of whom have pretty good hands.
I'm looking for something to do on Saturday. What would you recommend? Heading out to the United Center to see if I can name one person on the Bobcats, or trying out this hot new bar on North Ave. called the Old Town Social?
I'd say check out OTS, where I'll be hosting my birthday party, sponsored by Video Schmideo and the 2010 Sports Sponsor FactBook.
Earlier, Matt Williamson (12:13 PM) said "I think Shaffer is awful." Please explain what make Shaffer awful and why he wouldn't improve upon the existing rubbish on that side.
DSS, I'll be honest with you. I have no idea how Shaffer plays. We might find out soon enough.
Do you agree that the keys to bears victory is, Pressure, Pressure, Pressure. If we can get to Warner we will win, if he has all day, I look for a similar performence to that of the cincinatti game.
Yeah, I agree. If Warner gets in rhythm, Bears are in trouble. He can move them down the field like a 7 on 7 drill.
Do you think the Bears regret letting go of Coach Wannstedt, now that PITT is a force to be reckoned with???
Wanny should go into business as a multimedia star. Could you imagine him recording your voicemail messages. 'This is Jon's phone. He's gotta an ankle. He'll call yinz back.'Go Panthers.
Greetings from the D.R. I wasn't in the country when tickets went on sale for Cubs Convention this year. I heard they sold out fast! Will you be there? And if so, what style Cubs muumuu will you be wearing?
Dear lord, I hope not. Check that, I hope I'm there to write sarcastic negative stuff that draws the ire of Cubs fans. I feel like one of the Ricketts siblings will be media gold. Won't say which one.Oh, and I'm wearing my Scott Bullett jersey.
I really like Tommie Harris and he can be quite dominating. His situation is a bit of a puzzle. How much of the Tommie Harris situation is injury? Attitude? Head case?
Harris is a stew of injuries, head casedness, etc. I like a guy with personality though. Hope he fully comes back on the field.
Why don't you think the Bears try to run with a spread formation? It seems like a lot of teams are trending this way (All 4 of Chris Johnson/MJD long TD runs were from the spread formation) and at least you don't have the D stacking the box against that O-line and a nervous Forte!
Not sure how much they've practiced it, or if it's part of the Turner repetoire, or if the line can block for it. Not a bad idea though.
Who is more spoiled, Tom Ricketts or me?
Funny, Tom stole Ryan Dempster's bike right after the press conference.
Do you see the line getting better as the year progresses, or are we going to be in for a long year?
They can't get much worse. Or actually they can. The Bears haven't given up the most sacks or QB hits, so that could always go up. Sacks aren't always line's fault, a lot of blitzing came from outside, where RBs and TEs, or even Cutler during pre-snap reads, should've picked them up.
Bears season? Disaster or about what you expected?
A little worse, because the running game is so bad. Record wise, exactly what I expected right now.
Ok, that's it for me. I think the Good Kid is here and ready to rock.
Do you see the bears ever using the wildcat more often?
I hope not. It doesn't work with this team.
Oh yeah, I'm back. technical problems. sorry.
when the bears get their chance to take on Favre and the minnesota team,do you think it will be close or a blow out?
I'd say 10 point win in Minny, tossup in Chicago. it'll be a big event though. so that's cool.
Has Olin Kreutz done anything to live up to his reputation as one of the better centers in the nfl?
You don't count intra-team fistfights at gun ranges? I'm no offensive line guru, but he's anchored some lines that had pretty good running seasons with abysmal QBs. So he must be doing something right or the people who grade linemen in the front office would've bounced him.
Sabs went to Gold instead of watching the Bills-Browns game...don't let him tell you different.
I don't want to know what "Gold" is, but Sabs didn't miss much.
What, as Bears fans, can we do to get rid of the unimaginitive Turner? For some of his plays, it looks like plays straight out of the Madden playbook. No line shifts... hardly any pulls....
Terry, I hope you're not planning a coup. Who would Bears fan install as offensive coordinator of a Central American style coup happened?
what will ESPN do this week with the Minnesota Favre's on a bye, and the Yankees season being over??
What-if shows on how the Yankees would have done with Favre on the mound.
what is your prediction for the bears record at the end of the season?
9-7, no playoffs.
Jay Cutler has very comparable numbers to Brett Favre through 45 starts. Thoughts?
Cutler needs to get better making decisions in the red zone. But you're right, we shouldn't judge a guy against QBs who are older. Then again, what are his numbers compared to say, Big Ben or peyton through 45?
Is Orlando Pace going to keel over sometime during November or will he make it all the way to December?
Pace will make it to December. Whether he'll be on the sidelines or not is anyone's guess.
Really? I get 14 million to be a turnstyle? Good stuff. Thanks, Mr. Angelo.
It's a great country isn't it? How much of his deal was guaranteed?
What does Jay cutler have to do to improve for the game against the Cardinals
Not be so bad in the red zone. If the play calls are bad, audible them. Get some control over it.
Seven more minutes get those questions in.
How would Ron Turner feel is Cutler audibled out of every single play he called and we destroyed the opposing team. I think this would be awesome!
It would be like Varsity Blues. Turner isn't as bad as everyone makes him out to be. I think putting in Garrett Wolfe in red zone situations to run up the middle in normal formations is genius.
who are the free agents next year that would be great additions to the Oline?
I have no idea. Sorry. But now you have something to look forward to in the off-season.
Do you guys miss me at all?
Just the ladies, Rex. Just the ladies. Seriously, no. No one at all.
I believe it was 11.5 mill guaranteed to Omiyale. I just threw up a little bit.
Well, maybe he'll have more success at tackle. I never understood Angelo's reasoning that they wanted bigger guards to combat bigger d-tackles in the league. Wouldn't smaller, tough guards get better leverage in quick bursts?
I think Angelo has this all figured out... Phase 1- Sign large offensive linemen that can't block. Phase 2- hire a fast midget to run between their legs for a large gain.
Then there's the fourth phase, hire meatheads to wave 4th Phase flags at fans to rev them up.
If you pick them to go 9-7, do packers finish in front of them or behind them, and who are the wild card teams?
I'd say Pack is 9-7 too. Wild cards are Falcons and Eagles.
bears are a joke
And with that, my friends, we sign off. Bears will be performing at Zanie's this Saturday, opening for Susie Essman, and then again at Soldier Field on Sunday morning.