Hey everyone. Thanks for coming to chat. Lets get this thing rolling.
Say the Bears win Sunday and at Buffalo. Even at 6-2, can you find them four more wins that gets them in the playoffs?
Loren, I don't like to go through the schedule and pick out wins. But for you, I'll give it a shot. Detroit would be a win, and I think the Bears can win at Minnesota and Green Bay. After that, though, it's a toss up. Somehow, they'd need to squeeze out one more win.
I think the offense can be explosive if it stays in the Martz system for a couple of years. But what is the window for the defense? To me, this seems like a last hurrah of excellence.
Kenneth, I agree with your statement. And it's funny you mentioned that about the defense. Lovie Smith and I spoke about that one day after practice. I was asking why he was seemed so giddy despite the team not playing well in the preseason. He told me that he could see that for a lot of guys on defense, this was their last hurrah so to speak, and they were taking it almost as seriously as life and death. I thought that was interesting. But you're correct, the defense is definitely aging. But luckily, they've got a couple of pieces they can continue to build around.
We should have a pass/run ratio of 60/40 this game and cutler should audible when he sees Martz play might not work. Yes or no? I have yet to see him audible.
Yes, Jay, yes. And you're not going to see Jay Cutler audible. Audibles aren't built into this offensive system.
Who has more blame: O-Line or Martz for lack of running plays?
Hani, I'd say it's 50-50 in terms of who was responsible.
What if Lovie Smith was under a better, more productive GM unlike Jerry Angelo. Do you think he would be a better head coach since the drafting of players would be a whole lot better.
Good question, Mike. And you know the answer. Obviously, better players make for a better coach in a lot of ways.
Did Julius Peppers get fined by the league for his hit on Matt Stafford? Trying to settle a bet at work, thanks for the help.
Chad, you win the bet. He did get fined for that hit.
Honest opinion: is Caleb Hanie a starting QB in this league? Is he to Jay Cutler like Kyle Orton is to Rex Grossman? Will we ever find out while he's on the Bears?
Ed, I'd say no to all those questions. Hanie is a potentially a solid back up, but at this point, nothing more.
Everyone on the Bears staff, including Jay Cutler, seem to think that the current offensive line will be good enough to push this team forward. What are your thoughts on this?
Travis, I don't think this offensive line can continue down this path without the quarterback suffering a more serious injury that could cause him to miss major time. The Bears claim that starting the current group for the second consecutive week will do the trick. So I'll reserve judgment until after this game. As it stands right now, though, I'm not confident at all in this offensive line. Without coming right out and saying it, everyone seems to be pinning the problems on the right side, where Edwin Williams and J'Marcus Webb are starting. From what everyone is saying, Williams and Webb played last week's game without saying a word (which caused a lot of the communication problems). So let's see if they're more vocal this week in terms of picking up blitzers.
What do you believe the chances of the bears going 4-3 before the bye week, next week?
Chances are very high. In fact, I picked the Redskins. Their pass rush is pretty tough to deal with, and I'm not at all confident in the offensive line's ability to handle it.
Ok, we've got a wide receiving corps of special teamers and inactives and a tight end/wide receiver combo who's proven useless for weeks now. Moss was made available for draft picks, and I know the Bears have been snakebitten in the past with trading picks away, and they really need to rebuild, but REALLY? How on earth do we not step in and make a better offer than Minnesota? Jay has so many issues with protection, imagine if he could throw up a ball when he sees defenders coming at him (like he does anyway), and one of the best jump-ball receivers of all time was downfield to try and make a play. Why didn't they go after him???
I like your thinking here. Let's be real: the Vikings got a Hall of Fame receiver for a second-day pick. I would've given up a 2nd for him for sure. I'm not sure why the Bears didn't go after him. Perhaps that's something I could ask Jerry Angelo for you if I see him in the lounge Sunday before the game.
Haven't read the whole chat, so excuse me if already asked and answered. Thoughts on NFL/Head-to-Head rule enforcement?
I'm surprised I'm just now getting this question. Brian, I'm not sure I like the way the league is handling the situation. It seems rather knee jerk to me. I'm all for protecting the players, but to me, the league risks watering down the game. Besides that, you're asking players to pretty much fight against everything they've been taught since they were kids (most players are taught to lead with their faces when making a tackle). I also worry that this new emphasis on head-to-head contact will result in more shoulder injuries for the defenders (and possibly even more concussions from helmets hitting knees) and lower-body injuries for offensive players.
What do you feel is the reason for Devin Hester's re-emergence as an explosive kickoff returner? I have read some reports that his receiving duties have been lessened this year in favor of more return time, but is this really the case?
Jason, first off, thanks for all you do for our country. The reports you've read are correct. Devin Hester talked about it after the team's win at Carolina. The team has adjusted his snaps on offense to keep him fresh in the return game, and believe it or not, that may have been the difference in what you're seeing from him now.
whats our injury report look like this weekend? who do you think will play and who will not?
For the most part, it looks OK. Zack Bowman (foot), Danieal Manning (back/ribs), Roberto Garza (knee) and Chris Harris (knee) didn't practice on Wednesday, but I'm pretty sure they're playing. Also, rookie Major Wright returned to practice Wednesday, and he could be a go for Sunday's game against the Redskins.
How do you think the fans will respond to rex coming back?
You're a fan, how would you react? My guess is he'll get booed.
Isn't the NFL completely hypocritical for flipping out about this weekend's hits--most of which were legal--but pushing for an 18-game schedule that will most definitely result in more injuries and long-term health problems?
I wouldn't call the league hypocritical. But you raise an interesting question that will definitely be up for discussion when the players and owners get into more serious negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement. It's common sense, right? More games = more chances for injury.
i read somewhere that the bears were in trade talks before the deadline for logan mankins from new england? is this true or were they just rumors. we are desperate on the line. he has experience, hasnt missed a game til this year since '05 when he got in the league. was it a good pass not to get him or should we have made the move??
Those rumors, from what I know, weren't true. The Bears definitely kicked around the idea, but recognized that he would be too pricey in terms of contract and what the club would have to give up in terms of draft compensation.
With the offensive line issues, do you think the offense could work in some quick slants or quick outs to get the ball out of Cutler's hands to back the defense off?
Chris, I actually think that's what they should do. But you've also got to remember against a team like the Redskins that could be dangerous. Corners are taught to read a quarterback's drop. So if they see a three-step drop, they're gonna sit on routes and drive on the slant, which could possibly be returned for a TD. It's a dangerous game the Bears need to play accordingly.
Giving yourself a nickname, pro or con?
I would defer to safety Chris Harris on this one. Interestingly, I've never seen one of his teammates say, "Hey, Hitman, what are you doing tonight?"
Is this the worst offensive line in NFL history?
Ray, that remains to be seen. But if things continue the way they've gone so far, the Bears Cutler could break the all-time record for sacks taken in a season (76). He's definitely on pace to do it.
Why is Cutler holding the ball so long? If there's no one open why not just throw it away more often?
Cutler knows he's holding the ball too long. But like any playmaker, he's just looking down the field to make a play, which contributes to that problem. You're correct in that he needs to throw it away, and move on to the next down.
Do you see our sack problem plaguing us all year or is this something we can correct in time to make the playoffs?
Nick, this is going to be a problem all year. Look throughout Martz's career and check out the sack numbers given up in this offense. I wrote back in the spring that Cutler would surpass his career high for sacks (35) in the new offense. It's pretty much inevitable.
do u feel devin hester can be a true number 1 reciever and seeing how he has got his swagger back on punt returns should the coach consider putting him back on kickoffs?
Vernon, I still don't believe in Devin as a true No. 1 receiver. It takes a while to make that transition, especially for a guy who was never a full-time receiver before. I agree that it might be worth it to try Hester on kickoff returns. As you probably already know, Danieal Manning is a little banged up. So don't count out that possibility this week.
Quite frankly I'm pi**ed w/ the run to pass ratio. They paid big bucks for Chester and neither he or Forte are being used to their abilities....why? Just Martz being persistent (stubborn)? See any Bears interest in Merriman?
Ben, I don't see why the Bears would be interested in Shawne Merriman. He's a 3-4 linebacker. I agree that the Bears should use the running backs more. I also agree that Martz is being somewhat stubborn by continuing to throw the ball at such a high rate, when clearly it's jeopardizing the health of the quarterback and making the team one dimensional.
How close would the comparison be between Hester and Az hakim? I'm just wondering why Martz doesn't line Devin up in the slot to get a favorable matchup?
Tony, I think the comparison is pretty close. The only difference is Hester is much more explosive. I'm with you in that I'm wondering the same thing. Putting Hester in the slot would make defenses respect him there, which would take some of the coverage off the outside guys. The stubborn teams that don't respect that look would obviously pay by being hit over the top for big chunks of yardage. It's a win-win for the Bears. I have no clue why they won't try it.
What chances to you give the Bears this week against Washington? McNabb always seems to play so well in Chicago and since our Oline is inexistent, I feel this is going to be a very tought game to win and I'm preparing for the worst. Thoughts?
It's going to be a tough out for sure because the Redskins are so skilled at rushing the passer, while Chicago -- we all know -- is horrible at protecting the passer. At the same time, the Redskins are pretty horrid against the pass. So something has to give here. I wouldn't say you should prepare for the worst, because with a little improvement up front, Cutler could pick apart the Redskins. I'm giving the Bears a 50-50 shot to win this game. I'll admit, though, that I picked the Redskins to win.
What's going on with Tommie Harris?
Disco, wish I could tell you. It seems to me that his snaps are continuously dipping. He's started just two games this season and has registered five tackles. Last week against the Seahawks, Harris made only one stop. My guess is this is it for Harris. I honestly don't see him being a Bear next season.
which of the over priced D-linemen will play better this week...Tommie Harris or Albert Haynesworth?
Haynesworth. I'm not sure Harris will play very much.
With all of the problems at o-line do u see the bears moving to 2back sets with forte and Chester? Also does the lack of effective play action be derived from the lack of a production from running the ball or from the lack of commitment towards running.
They've run a few two-back formations featuring Forte and Taylor, but not enough to establish any type of pattern that would make defenses respect the look. You're correct in saying playaction won't work when there's no committment to or production from the rushing attack. In fact, when a team doesn't respect the run, trying playaction only makes things worst because those passes take so long to develop, which gives defenders more time to smack the QB.
Im a firm believer in a head coach brings swagg to a team. I love what Rex Ryan has done with the jets. The swagg and confidence he brought since the day he stepped in has had them jets playing some ball. Not to mention all the other greats like Mike Ditka, Bill Coward, etc.... We all know lovie aint a HOF coach but listening to him talk i hear no confindence in his voice its not what he says its how he says it. Its kind of like he has a what ever happens that happens attitude. What do you think. Do you think da bears need some swagg because lovie (too cool) smith aint working for me.
Lovie's demeanor may not work for you. But I can honestly tell you from several private conversations I've had with players, the team loves the guy, and will run through a brick wall for him. Every coach has their own style. I like the swag of guys like Ditka, and Rex Ryan. But that doesn't work for every player, nor does Lovie's cool approach work for every player. From what I can tell though, the players in the locker room here play hard for Lovie. I know that's not what you want to hear. But it's true.
I know that generally for the past decade or so the AFC has trumped the NFC in terms of "talented teams" but this year it looks ridiculous. I'd say as of right now there has to be a good 5-6 AFC teams (6 teams make the playoffs from each conference remember) ahead of any NFC team. I understand that teams like the Vikings and Saints will probably eventually be considered a top team when we get to week 14ish, but is there any reason why as of now the AFC (at least at the top) completely out classes the NFC?
Outside of the normal reasons (drafting, free-agent acquisitions, coaching, etc.) there really isn't anything that stands out. I will say that a lot of those AFC divisions are tremendously competitive. Look at the AFC North, East and South. When you play in tough divisions, all your efforts go to making yourself competitive. I think that's led to the AFC being the better conference.
Who plays SS if Manning comes out? Bullock? Steltz? or do they switch Hitman to SS and play Major at FS?
Corey, Bullocks came in last week when Manning went out with a rib injury.
I really just don't understand how Lovie doesn't go over to Martz during that Seahawks game last week and say "run the !#@#$ ball" it's his team after all?
Lovie likes to let his coaches do their jobs. But I've got a good feeling that he won't put up with that type of thing anymore. Especially after what happened last week.
Is there any offensive linemen available in the trade market?
There are several, but not the type the Bears need. Jerry Angelo said it best when he mentioned that top-tier OLs aren't just out there on the streets, and teams aren't in a hurry to give up good linemen because they're tough to come by. It sounds easy to say, 'Let's go get linemen to replace the ones we have.' But really, it just doesn't work that way. The Bears are in a tough spot.
Is DA out of the doghouse?
I wouldn't say he's completely out. But the fact he had a couple of passes thrown his way last week is encouraging.
Do you see Major playing at all this week? That guy is a hitter.
If it were me, I'd sit him. The bye is next week, so why not give him an extra week to heal? Besides that, it's not like the Bears are hurting at the safety spots right now.
Outside of guys like Forte, Urlacher, Briggs or Peppers what Bear has impressed you the most this season?
Believe it or not, Cutler. A). He's taken a beating and never once complained. B). He's way more athletic than we tend to give him credit for. He took six sacks last week, but think of how many he escaped. I honestly had no clue that Cutler was as agile as he is, and the first time I really noticed was last week against the Seahawks.
Folks, that's my time. I'm gonna turn things over to Jurko. Had a good time. See you next week.
What's up guys. Lot of talk about helmet to helmet hits and changing the way football is being played. Intriguing. Let's go.
What's up Jurk T/F If Cutler starts throwing the ball away, he is going to be criticized for showing up Martz and his WR's?
False. From everything I read from Tice, the OL was to blame for the loss and the inability to pick up the extra guy. Like I said, nobody is throwing anything at the Bears that hasn't been seen before. Have to have a balanced protection and should be able to pick things up. I think we're all tired of seeing the same mistakes.
Jurko: I know the protection last week was horrible overall. But how did you think Chris Williams played at LG?
When you get buried inside at the guard position it's a little difficult to isolate on that guy because the camera doesn't follow offensive linemen. That being said, he's one of five OL who couldn't figure out what direction they needed to go and had an inability to run the ball. The group got an F last week. Chris Wiliams gets an F too.
Is it by design that in a Cover 2 defense, there are always 3 or 4 guys around a WR after he makes a catch? It seems every 3rd down conversion, there are several Bears defenders who could have stopped a WR from catching the ball if they played a man and not a space.
Some zone concepts have some man principles in them. And if there's nobody in your zone, supposed to squeeze. Thus requiring more perfect throws and better precision by the QB.
If you were Lovie, would you tell your defenders to play any different in regards to the helmet to helmet hits? Or would you tell them to continue to play the game as they always have?
I'd say continue to play the game, take no cheap shots. That's all the NFL wants to do is eliminated the cheap shots.
...were the bears kidding when they said the Mike Tice was one of the best O-Line coaches??... seems like my grandma could have them doing just as well. (and don't give me any of that it's not all the o-lines fault)
Listen, you can only coach to the intelligence of your OL. You can tell a guy to go right 500 times, and if the SOB still goes left and you're looking to replace him and there's nobody to replace, then that's what you have to deal with. Unfortunately, it doesn't look as if this crop of OL are the sharpest tools in the shed.
I think its obvious that the Bears will need to address both sides of the line next off season either in the draft, free agency or via trades, but do you get a sense of which side the team views as a more pressing need?
Both lines need to be addressed. Interior tackles for the defense and overall upgrade on the OL.
helmet to helmet hits are illegal but aren't the fines and getting suspended taking away the hard hits from football ? i just dont believe football would be football without the big hits and do you feel they're doing this to pamper the recivers?
The offense has been getting pampered for the last 30 years. All rules favor the offense. Cheap shots is what they want to elimiate, that's all, the third guy in ramming his helmet. You learn that in CYO football, don't ram, spear with the helmet. Every Sunday you see guys spearing, ramming and butting with the helmet. Hard to implement. What Jerome Harrison did, whether he admits or not, was a chapt shot. He could have delivered a shot to the chest. He knows what he's doing.
With the Bears WRs resembling the Rams WRs before the Superbowl. Wouldn't it be smart to incorporate 3 step drops with slant and curls to let the speed of the WRs get you extra yards? That's how the "Greatest Show on Turf" got started... What about incorporating a quick passing shotgun as well?
There are 3s and 5s and 7s in there. The 5s are probably the most routes and drops, with 3s and 7s being the least. These patterns you ask for are in the system. I've seen them try to run slants and the WRs not being able to get inside the defensive backs. You don't see the patterns on television. You see them either at the game or film. If it's not the primary pattern, it's secondary. They're not just running one pattern all day.
Jurko, Who exactly is at fault for not picking up a safety/cb/or linebacker blitzing off the edge? Is it always the running back/te or are linemen supposed to shift sometimes too?
Either the back or the tackle. They send 5, you got 6 to block. Tell me who has one more man. Nobody should be unblocked.
Didn't the Bears defense appear to take a big step backwards last week? Their worst performance of the year?
Yes. It was their worst of the year. No consistent pressure on Matt Hasselbeck, and they concentrate on getting receivers to the boundary, throwing ball u pand making plays.
Not like it would have taken a lot, but is Martz "coaching" himself out of any possible NFL job after his Bears tenure ends?
It's still early. We played 6 games, let's not go crazy. You're 4-2 and your OL hasn't been able to figure it out. I would simmer down about Mike Martz not being to go here and there. Few bright spots were the big chunks receivers got after catches.
How long do u see Tice as O-line coach for da bears?
At least this year and as long as he wants to be. Anybody blaming Tice for this is foolish. Blame the lack of skill and intelligence on the OL.
Honestly is it just me or does it seem like the NFL is doing this anti hitting to the degree they are doing it making it seem like its for the publicity more so then for the concern of the players. As other players (and fans) have said if they care that much about players why are they trying to shove an extra 2 regular season games in?
Certainly it's a PR campaign. Management has never cared about the health of the players. They're interchangeable parts, like a carbuerator, transmission, tires. They're to be used, worn out and replaced when they break.
Jurko, doesn't Cutler's body language kinda make you sick? How are the fellas supposed to follow a guy who looks like he's quitting?
Any football player who has to follow another player isn't worth his salt to begin with. Better have the self confidence to know what you're doing out there. I never played with anybody who needed to be led.
How do you assess our safety play? Seems like we're missing impact plays that we used to get in the Mike Brown days.
There's a reason Manning has been in and out of the lineup. Because he's not a good safety, doesn't know where to go.
Will Angelo finally draft some OL?
Hopefully if he drafts OL, he takes them early. And then doesn't take the worst OT of the 7 taken in the first round in 2008, which is what Chris Williams is starting to look like.
Rather have Cowher or Fisher next year?
Fisher won't be available and I don't want Cowher. He's going to Carolina. It's Gruden I want.
when Cutler is frustrated on the field he physically shows the frustration what bothers me is that it feeds the other team. They see how frustrated he is and it motivates them. Your thoughts.
That could be an effect. Him having positive body language doesn' affect the other team negatively. Hey, you know what you're getting with Cutler. At least the guy hasn't quit on you, and I've seen QBs quit when they're getting pummelled.
Do you think we'll do a better job with Torain than the Colts did? He ran all over them
If Lance Briggs is back, they'll do a better job. If not, they might have problems.
Jurko, it literally sickens me to see top notch players get traded to teams for basically a late round pick. Randy Moss, Santonio Holmes, Cromartie, even a few OL. Since Angelo hasn't had a good draft since '05, why not even hint at trying to go after them? @#$@
I think he tried to go after them, Mankins, but the asking price was too high. You're not giving up a first-round pick ever again, because they're going to agree to a rookie wage scale. So first-rounders are too valuable now.
Doesn't Redskins saftey Laron Laundry remind you of Mike Brown fast, strong makes an impact on every game
Yeah, I like LaRon Landry. I like the pace with which he plays for a young player. But I think his over-aggressiveness can be taken advantage of. The one weakness Reggie White had was when you ran straight at him. He hated it. Reggie would prefer to rush the passer and chase down plays. Hopefully the Bears identified Landry's weakness of being overagressive and use it against him.
How long does it typically take for an O line to turn it around? Or is there no hope for them this season?
There is hope this year because it's nothing physical. They're not getting run over. They're just not picking up guys. So I think mentally they could be taught to count to three and pick up the guys as they show up. If not, start looking at some Wonderlic test.
Would Vincent Jackson be a good acquisition or is he too much drama?
He would have been a good acquisition, and the drama would go away as soon as you paid him.
Over/Under on Orakpo sacks, 2 1/2?
Under. Because the OL will look left and right and pick people up.
So QB's aren't necessarily leaders?
The position would dictate that the QB has to be a leader, but Mark Brunell wasn't a leader of his team. The OL was. Jimmy Smith was. Favre was the leader becuase of his play, not his clubhouse demeanor. Marino was a natural leader because he knew the offense better than the coaches and th players knew it.Couch was no leader whatsoever. He was just a country kid in way over his head.
Will Martz attack Rogers to avoid Hall?
Carlos Rogers has been somewhat of a disappointment. Anytime you spend a high draft pick on a corner, you're hoping for a shutdown guy. I think they're equally susceptible to getting picked on.
The one thing I can guarantee you is this OL will perform better and you won't see a 5th rusher unencumbered to the QB. Bears 21, Skins 17.