Last week's offensive competency: fluke against a bad defense or sign of things to come?
Really good question Jim. I'd say it's a little bit of both, but that's not a bad thing. Sometimes you need a little "CB" action (confidence builder) action in your life. What you can be optimistic about is the fact the Bears realized what they were doing prior to the bye week wasn't working and made the appropriate adjustments. So I think you can look for more of that as the season continues with the team sort of learning more about what it does well and what it doesn't do so well.
Is Sidney Rice going to play on Sunday? Is he going to be the difference for the Purples?
My guess is he plays, Jeremiah. He wasn't listed on the injury report at all yesterday.
Just curious, did the Bears put down a claim on Merriman? The Bills had the number one claim, so they claimed him, but did the Bears claim him as well? He's still a vital defensive force, and having a linebacker corps of Briggs, Urlacher, and Merriman would be the best in the league, as well as the most ferocious.
Steve, they didn't. You've got to remember that Shawne Merriman was a 3-4 outside linebacker in San Diego, which means he's sort of more of a pass rusher - that tweener DE/LB type. I'm not sure he would'v been a good fit in the team's 4-3. By the way, are you not happy with the play of Pisa Tinoisamoa? In my opinion, he's been a pleasant surprise alongside Urlacher and Briggs.
Who should the discerning Packers fan be rooting for this weekend?
That's easy: you'd be rooting for the Vikings. With Green Bay off this week, a Chicago victory gives it a half-game lead in the division standings.
Might as well get this out of the way......daaaaaaaaaaa bears.
Love it, Jake. Love the passion of the fans out here.
I saw Chris Harris (wearing his own jersey) at the Charlotte airport on Halloween and told him the Beard were "killin me" and they needed to step it up. Cna my pep talk be credited for the win against the Bills?
Possibly, Caleb. But why would you be wearing your own jersey at the airport? I'm baffled. This isn't high school, you know.
Michael, now with the reports coming out last night that there are multiple players who don't like Chilly and would like him gone, does this offer an opportune time for the bears to put the nail in the coffin of the vikings season? Doesn't really seem like the vikings are playing as one team
Sean, it's the perfect opportunity. A Bears victory over the Vikings would send that club into a huge tailspin. But on the flip side, all the drama could actually bring the Vikings together.
I'm moderately excited that Da Bears' O-Line and WRs showed some competency last week. Do you think that Cutler and Co. will be able to take advantage of the injury depleted Vikings' secondary and underperforming DL?
Maybe, Jeremy. But my biggest concern is whether we saw an improved Bears o-line last week, or an o-line playing against a bad Bills front. I was talking to offensive line coach Mike Tice yesterday, and he termed it perfectly. He said this game isn't gonna be about schemes. He said it's, "Are we man enough?" That's absolutely true. It'll be tough as all get-out to run on the interior of that defense, and you better believe the Vikings are gonna bring heat off the edges. In Minnesota's Cover 2 scheme, there are quite a few vulnerabilities that Jay Cutler can really exploit with that big arm. But you've got to wonder whether Cutler will have the time. This is gonna be a huge test for that offensive line.
Michael, what do you think the over/under is that Favre throws 3 int's and the Bears D gets 3 sacks?
Wow, Scott. That's a tough one. I could see either or both happening, actually. As great a player as Brett Favre is, he holds onto the ball at times and takes quite a few chances. Also, don't forget that Julius Peppers -- as a Carolina Panther -- abused Bryant McKinnie last year, causing Brad Childress to bench him. Remember, that was the same game Chilly had a "heated argument" with Favre because the coach was thinking of benching him to keep him from taking more punishment from the Panthers d-line.
Devin Hester. He (allegedly) worked his butt off this summer with Bruce and has been committed towards getting better and showing off his talent/speed in the Martz offense, but he has essentially been a non-factor in games. This isn't helped by the crazy number of drops he's had this season. Do you see him ever stepping up as a WR or should he be brought down in the depth chart?
Paul, Devin has improved tremendously believe it or not. The problem is that improvement hasn't been enough for him to make an impact. I don't think he should be brought down the depth chart, but the Bears should move him inside because he'll draw safety help because of his speed, which in turn would free up the outside guys to make more plays.
If the Bears don't make the playoffs this season? Who/If anyone is gone this off-season (Coaching Staff and Front Office)
That's a tough question, Shams because of the uncertainty about a new collective bargaining agreement coupled with the fact Bears ownership is never quick about doing things. If they don't make the playoffs, in my opinion, the Bears should clean house. They should pink slip almost everyone in the building. To me, Jerry Angelo has had a decade to make this consistent team winners, and he that hasn't happened. So he should be out the door first if they don't make the playoffs. I think it's almost forgiveable the way the team has neglected the offensive line on Angelo's watch.
Why is it that on every sports channel the Bears continue to get no love at all. Do the powers that be just love to hate on the Bears?? It seems like we never get any National coverage, what gives?
Jeff, the problem is nobody knows what type of team the Bears are. They could possibly be the worst 5-3 team in the league. I know you don't want to hear that, but it's true. I don't think the team's body of work is enough for anyone to give a definitive opinion on this team either way. What I do like though is the fact that we honestly haven't seen the "best" of this Bears team yet. Once we do, I promise you the national folks will give this team some love. Just watch.
So if Lovie is gone, which "Big-name" coach is the best choice for the Bears?
BJ, I'm a Cowher guy. But that would mean the team would have to possibly do a makeover on defense to run a 3-4. I've said it a bunch of times, I like my football nasty. So I'd like to see a coach who would make running the ball SUCCESSFULLY a priority. There's nothing like bust-you-in-the-mouth football when it gets cold out.
This will require delicate answering, but have you frequently spoken with a Jerry Angelo? Does he sound as confused and muddled as he does in interviews that we hear on TV?
Jay, Jerry's actually a very interesting guy to speak with. He can talk football for days, and honestly, I was surprised how much he knew about some of the little-known schools and what they produced. I think the reason Angelo may sound confused or muddled in interviews is because he's trying to give as much as possible in the interview, while not divulging any information. That's a tough balancing act for GMs and coaches, and it often makes them come off in the way you described.
Consistently being called one of the worst 5-3 teams in the league seems to be the trend lately for the Bears. Do you think they're on par with other teams of the same record, or much weaker overall?
Ben, to me, there's not much difference between 3-5 and 5-3, really. I know you hear that quite a bit, but I don't think people realize how fine a line there is between the good and bad teams in this league. I've said it all along that the difference is one or two players and one or two plays. And it's usually that one or two players making those one or two plays. Do I think the Bears are the worst 5-3 team in the league? Yes, based on their body of work up to this point. But there's still another eight games to play, and my opinion could change. The Bears have definitely shown signs they can achieve a level of consistency (especially on defense). It's up to the Bears to actually do it on the field. One of the most encouraging things about the Bears -- and you're gonna hate me saying this -- but Lovie keeps that locker room on the up and up. You're not gonna hear about any drama surrounding this team. And when a team can stay focused and drama free, that's a huge advantage.
Mikey! Can I catch a ride wit you to soldier field on sunday?
Well, I don't own an "Ole Skool". So I might be cramping your style if you roll with me in the Avalanche.
Do you have any updates on Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin, I know they're a little banged up and was wondering if they would be playing?
Matthew, Sidney Rice wasn't listed on the injury report yesterday. Harvin missed due to migraines, which in my mind, means he'll be fine to play on Sunday.
People need to stop saying how Jay is not a good quarterback. He's without question the best QB we've had in a long, long time. The guys operating with an awful OL, weak receivers, a bad running game, and his 3rd offense in as many years that isnt that is by far the most difficult to grasp. We SHOULD NOT trade him, and give him a few years to grow. Especially if its going to be for Grandpa McNabb, or Caleb Hanie. Give me a break.
Well stated, Jac. I agree.
What are your thoughts on the play of JaMarcus Webb? The big guy seems to be improving, no?
Corey, I'd say he's improving. In fact, Mike Tice said yesterday that Webb had only one mental bust against the Bills, and that mistake didn't even hurt the Bears. Webb's play is only going to improve with Roberto Garza lined up next to him. Garza makes sure Webb knows his assignments and blitz pickups, which had been a problem in the past for Webb. I like Webb's tenacity and athleticism. I almost wonder whether he could develop into a left tackle down the road.
Michael - Moore seems to like talking. A lot. Were you a talker when you played? If so, what was your favorite (and most printable) line you dropped on someone?
Adam, I was a big-time talker. Don't have many printable lines to give though.
What are you keys to victory on Sunday? Mine are to control the clock, and put consistant pressure on Favre. If we can limit the big plays our of Adrian Peterson, i think we will have a great game. Thoughts?
The only way to control the clock is to have some success with the rushing game, which is gonna be extremely tough. I don't really see Adrian Peterson busting big plays initially. But if the Bears let the Vikings stick around, I could see Peterson wearing out the Bears, who are a little undersized. I definitely think they need to get constant pressure on Favre, but it would be a mistake to try to manufacture it because it would put the Bears in too many one-on-ones on the back end, and I don't like their chances in man coverage. On the offensive line, the Bears have to find a way to neutralize Jared Allen. I think he's about to get on a roll finally. So the Bears better make sure it's not this week.
When the Bears beat the Viks on Sunday do you think that's it for Childress? Couldn't one say the Bears are 5-3 because Lovie's getting the most out of what he's got instead of bashing the club all the time?
Dean, I'm not sure about Childress. If they fire him, to me, it's almost as if they've given up on the season. And I think Wilf is reluctant to do that given all he's invested in this team financially. They're built for a Super Bowl run. As for your question about Lovie, I agree. He and that staff are definitely making lemonade out of lemons.
Considering the fact that DA put a clinic on the Viqueens the last time we played them, do you see him getting more action on Sunday? Finally?
Paul, DA's playing time has increased a little bit in each of the last two games. It appears he's finally out of Mike Martz's doghouse, but he needs to start making plays. Aromashodu had two balls thrown his way. I'd say only one was truly catchable, but he didn't come up with it. I've said it all along that I think Aromashodu is this team's most polished receiver, from a standpoint of route running, hands, and run-after-catch skills. Obviously, Martz feels differently though. But if Aromashodu duplicates what he did last year against the Vikings, I don't see how Martz can keep him out of the lineup.
This isn't a question for now but who would we draft with our first round pick? WR, OL, or LB, SS? I mean, I know it depends on the outcome of this season but we have players getting old and some are not good. Any idea's?
Erik, I'm a best-available-player guy. I'd draft the best player in my spot, regardless of position.
Is Jay Cutler liked and/or respected by his teammates? He always goes to the bench to sit by himself and I rarely see other players come up to him.
I've heard both accounts, Tim. I asked a defensive lineman specifically about Cutler in the locker room a couple of weeks ago. He said, "J-Cut is cool. He's just doesn't like y'all [the media]." I was in the elevator with Cutler and Greg Olsen in Toronto the other day, and we had a pleasant conversation. Cutler seems pretty cool to me. But I've also heard that some of the guys on the team don't like him. Personally, I think Cutler is a decent dude, just misunderstood by us in the media and some of his teammates. Cutler needs to open himself up more to teammates, and I think some of those bad opinion's about him will change.
The Bears have been known for forcing turnovers. But I've noticed this year that while they are trying to strip the ball, ball carriers are picking up a lot of extra yards. Should they just start trying to tackle the guy?
There's a fine line there, Sherwin. I'm guessing you're specifically talking about Charles Tillman. Yes they've forced turnovers. And yes, they've given up yardage unneccessarily by going for strips. I think sometimes they've got to realize the quick tackle is more important. Yet at the same time, you can't argue with the fact the Bears are second in the league in takeaways.
Do you think the Bears realize how important this one game is? If they win, the Viking are in full dysfunctional fire-the-coach rebuilding mode, the Bears are in first place with all the tiebreakers. If they lose, they are giving the Vikings life, and are only one game up on the Vikings. Any playoff hopes the Bears have now, will be greatly diminished if they can't pull off this crucial victory. DA BEARS!
Believe me, Eli. They know how important it is. The Bears are approaching it like it's a playoff game, which bodes well for you guys -- the fans.
What is your prediction for Sunday's game?
You're gonna have to read my prediction on ESPNChicago.com. I haven't made it yet, because I'm having a tough time figuring this one out. I waited up until Friday last week to pick the Bills and I was wrong. So I'll likely wait until Friday to make my prediction. It could come later today, too.
Not to bother you again but I don't neccessarily believe that. If our best available player was a QB, do we draft him?
Yep. Even if it's a quarterback, you could possibly have trade bait to pick up draft picks.
Knowing what we know now, and comparing stats etc., was the Cutler for Orton/draft picks trade a good thing for the Bears in the long run?
Pete, if you look at it from purely a statistical standpoint, the Broncos got the better deal. I don't like to weigh things that way, but that's the reality of it. Orton takes fewer sacks and turns the ball over less than Cutler.
How will the return of Zack Bowman factor into this weekend's equation? Tillman and Jennings have not been playing that well lately, despite a few opportune turnovers.
Bobby, I totally agree with you. Tillman lucked into an interception on a play that should've gone for a TD against the Bills. Tillman has been getting balls completed on him all over the place, and he's only compounded it by trying so hard to strip receivers that it's given them extra yards. If Bowman is completely healthy, I think you throw him into the lineup as soon as one of those other corners falters. The Bears talk a lot about accountablity. So let's see if that's really the way they look at things.
Michael, am I the only one that thinks our running game won't be effective against Minnesota, if it wasn't against the Bills?And in that case, were going to have to resort to throwing the ball a lot, like against the Giants?
Guys, this is the last one. I've got to get going because it's almost interview time here at Halas Hall. Dan, I agree with you. And I wrote yesterday that reading between the lines, you get the impression the Bears are planning to throw quite a bit this week. Cutler even said that this week will be a huge test for the offensive line. To me, he was basically saying, "Guys, y'all better protect me this week so we can throw it all over the yard." Will it be similar to what happened against the Giants? Let's hope not for Cutler's sake. The Bears think they're improved along the offensive line. So I guess we'll see here in a couple of days.
If the Bears don't play substantially better than what they played last week or what we have seen the first 8 weeks of the season, hell is coming to the lake side. And it's going to be White and Purple, and it's not going to be pretty. Wouldn't it be nice to see our team actually beat someone, outplay somebody. How about no question marks at the end of this game, as opposed to beating teams with question marks.
Jurko , what are your key points to a bears victory on sunday?
No. 1: they have to protect Jay Cutler. Because I don't think Cutler makes it through the game. So protect Cutler. No. 2: spread the ball around evenly. They have to run the screen game effectively. When they run, they have to use misdirection, and trickeration.
I'm just curious when are you guys gonna stop playing soft on the line of scrimmage by not giving the opponents a 7 yard cushion. I see Tillman and Manning far back on the line. Giving the opponent easy five yard passes here and there.
They'd rather force another team to execute than get killed by the big play. That's their defensively philosophy, it's not going to change.
How creative will Martz get against the Vikings? I thought some of the screens/ misdirections the ran against the Bills were not only beneficial in the sense that they went for nice gains, but they also kept the D off balance and gave the O-line/ Cutler the benefit of not being predictable. I'd imagine Jared Allen would be a little less bull-headed if we run a few screens (or my favorite, the flip 90) to his side for big gains.
As I pointed out earlier, those are definitely keys to a victory. Allen has been struggling all year. I don't know if he's bene nursing an injury. I wish we would haved Minnesota in the first half of the season. That would have benefitted us.
is it in our best interest to take a few late hit flags and roughing the passer flags and knock the snot out of farve early?
I've seen people do that to quarterbacks who can be intimidated. I think you might be barking up the wrong tree. The Jaguars did it to Steve Buerlein in Carolina. We didn't care. Give us 30 yards of penalties. We just wanted to show him we were a little off-kilter, and we ended up winning. It wouldn't work against Favre. First of all, if they find out that's what you're tyring to do, somebody will get ejected. He's proven how impervious he is to injury. He's playing with a broken ankle, and he's still out there.
So lets take a deep breath. the Bears finished the first half 5-3, when they actually could have finished 7-1. Second half, where do they finish and do they have enough steam to catch the Packers? Its very possible that they finish the second half 4-4 and miss the playoffs altogether. With the CBA looming, if they miss the playoffs, do they clean the cupboard and start over? Im really trying to figure out who are the impact players on this team. Do you know? Because I have no clue as to what kind of team this is.
They finish 2-6 in the final 8 and 7-9 overall, and then a clean sweep, they all get flushed out of there. Everyone. One big whoosh. Sound of a toilet flushing.
Mr. Jurko. Two questions: 1. Is there anyway to possibly forfeit this game potentially? 2. Who is the true Croatian Sensation: Yourself or Toni Kukoc? My vote is leaning towards you because you are and have proven to be a person for the people.
Mirko Filipovic - Crocrop -is the Croatian Sensation. No they can't forfeit, and I appreciate the compliment.
Sir Jurko. Hello. Can you please tell Lovie to start Tillman at safety? And do you think it's very possible to lose out the second half of the season? I don't want any hope of Lovie and Angelo returning.
I can tell Lovie what to do, Lovie won't listen. He believes he knows everything. If he succeeds or fails, he's going to do it his way. Is there a chance to go 0-8, sure, but they'll win two.
Good afternoon Jurko. Do you believe that the Chicago media can ruin a players psyche? I will always believe if Rex Grossman wasn't such a mental midget and played in a smaller market he would have excelled. Now the same is sort of happening with Cutler, i will hope last games check down and take what is there mentality will be a weekly habit. Though at the same time erratic play in 1 and a half years leads me to think the pressure will ultimately prevail. I would like to know your opinion.
I don't think Jay Cutler cares one iota about what the media says about him. Rex was mentally weak. That's the report I got from a guy who played with him during his college career. It proved to be true. Cutler doesn't fall into that category, fellas. And if you're susceptible to that sort of thing, then you don't deserve to be in the NFL.
Who will have a bigger game at DE; Pep or Allen?
I'm going to go with Jared Allen. Because contrary to what the media says about Frank Omiyale, he hasn't played that well. Just because yo'ure the best of a garbage lot doesn't make you good. It's like the least-spoiled apple. It's still not good.
People are being foolish if they're rooting for a collapse and a bunch of firings. Will it happen? Maybe. But so what? The Bears will just cheap out on a new coach. Is Smith that much worse than some randon DC or OC? And this team went 20 years without a GM at all, so...
I'm rooting for the Bears to win. I would like for them to go to the playoffs and Super Bowl. The problem is my eyes tell me different. My eyes tell me we're in trouble. Don't like the fact we're in trouble, that's just what my eyes are telling me.
C'mon Jurko I'm a big fan of your radio show but you're way off on this wks prediction...at least give the bears some credit!....
I hope the Bears win! And there is a way for teams who aren't as good to still win games. The Bears will have to play a perfect game to beat the Vikings. Are they capable? Maybe. But I have no faith in this OL to provide the requisite amount of protection for success. And when I compare receivers and RBs, it's not even close.
Jurko how's it going? do u see jay cutler as a hall of famer in the future or u do u just see him in the record booko for throwing the most interceptions
A lot of being in the Hall of Fame is the total team you happen to be on. Right now, not one HOFer. That includes Urlacher. He needs to have 3 great years to solidify his position as a HOFer.
We keep on rolling out retro uniforms and reliving past glory days. How about bringing back The Honey Bears!
I'm all for cheerleaders. Sign me up.
Have you seen my best play yet? Or is the best yet to come for me? What can I do to improve my game this offseason?
I'm hoping the best is yet to come. Maybe hit the weight room a little more and get some size. Give me about 8 pounds of muscle.
Not to look beyond this huge game, but how tough is it going to be to follow up Sunday with the Thursday night game at Miami? And shouldn't the host team for a Thursday night game at least have to play on the road the week before?
It's going to be two losses in five days, how do you think that's going to feel? Thursday nigths away are almost impossible. Thursday night at home isn't so bad. Plus they're playing Pennington down there. Good for Miami, bad for the Bears. You'd like to keep Henne, he throws to the other team.
is it in the best interest of this team to get rid of all the coaches? wouldnt a new OC just hurt the bears more than keeping lovie? Cutler would be on his 4th system in as many years
Best interest in the team is get the right head coach to win a Super Bowl. Maybe more importantly it's to get a GM in here who can recognize offensive talent.
I know you played defense, Jurko, so you can be a great person to answer this tidbit. What team in your career fielded the worst offensive line that you've ever seen, either playing against or seeing? I can't recall a worst offensive line than this one.
The best OL ever was the 96-97 Ravens. The '93 Cowboys. The '97-'98 Broncos. The worst ones resided in Tampa Bay.
Do you think that Martz will get pass happy again this week cause he sees a beleaguered secondary? Also do you feel the Bills showed a trend to come the rest of the year similar to last year when teams start picking on the underneath stuff against the Bears? Seems since Lovie's been here the zones for the secondary haven't changed much in the cover 2. Would think offenses see that whenever the Bears show blitz and you audible they go right to base 2.
The Bears force you to execute over 10-12 plays. Most teams in the NFL will shoot themselves in the foot during a 10-12 play drive. They'd rather have a slow death than a quick death with one big play beating them. This is not going to change. This is Lovie's defensive philosophy. You will not confuse him with Rex Ryan.
Whats up Jurko, Head coach, position coach or G.M. which one do you think you'd be best at and why?
I think I'd be a better coordinator than a head coach, and better GM than head coach. I'd rather be behind the scenes, not be the guy with the microphone in his hand, spinning yarns. I like to have fun. As a GM and coordinator you can have fun. The coach has to be the face of the franchise. I promise I won't draft 3 WRs in three drafts in a row.
Can you name one 1st round pick, besides Olsen, of the Jerry Angelo era that is still with the Bears and is playing up to a 1st round pick?
That answer would be no I can't. And his draft failures on the offensive side of the ball are well documented.
I don't think Favre has enough magic left for back to back weeks. With everything going on in Minn, I think if the Bears get an early lead and maintain it Minn is just going to Cowboys it, to stick it to the coach.....I say the Bears win here and take the next in Miami, Chad hasn't played in a yr and has a case of the ol Orton arm...
It's not predicated only on Favre. It's based on the players' belief in Favre. And in their sense of urgency at 4-5. These guys are all pulling on the same side of the rope. That rope is to win games, in spite of Childress. That can be a powerful thing.
When you think of the talent level that Vikings and the packers and even the lions we are not near to them. I do not know why people constantly complain about Lovie and his coaching.He is a very good coach and i dont think people in Chicago are going to realize it. Your thoughts.
I don't think he's a good DC. But he is maximizing talent. But ultimately a team's failure falls upon the head coach. Seventy-five percent of the blame goes to Angelo for giving Lovie the players he's given them.
35-17 Minnnesota. I hope the Bears win, but I think that's what's going to happen.