The Bears? I’m going to actually take the time to write about the Bears?
Why yes I am. I get my outlet writing about the Cubs every Monday over at The Athletic. You guys know The Athletic, it’s that really good Chicago sports site that only like six of you actually subscribe to, because you are mostly cheap, semi-literate bastards. You really should subscribe. You know what. Go subscribe right now. I’ll wait. Here’s the link.
They’re always running promotions, but even when they aren’t, it’s only $5 a month.
They’ve got some really talented people there like Jon Greenberg and Lauren Comitor. I’m not so sure about Sharma. He’s basically the guy who always brings leftovers to work to eat for lunch and never covers it so it spatters all over the microwave. The Bears guys just showed up and they act like they’re king shit, but this is a Cubs town now. Durkin spends most of his time in the “film room” which is actually a janitor’s closet. He takes screencaps off of NFL.com with his laptop. It’s not exactly NFL Films in there—more like CFL Films.
Hell, we don’t even staff anybody to write about the White Sox. Makes sense, of course, because the Sox don’t have any fans and if they did, there’s no way those guys could read.
So anyway, I billed this as a Bears preview, so…let’s preview the Bears.
I think I’m the only guy who still likes Jay Cutler. I get off on the fact that he acts like a dick all the time. I love it. Instead of pretending he gives a shit about anybody else (Peyton Manning) or playing up any little injury like he’s playing with a spear sticking out of his neck (Brett Farvuhruh) Jay just looks pissed all the time. I love it. I’m pissed all the time. He speaks to me!
You know his home life is miserable. He’s married to a harpy reality TV “star” science denier who won’t let him eat meat or protect his children from life-threatening diseases. There’s no way Jay doesn’t spend every day after practice paying cash for a Popeye’s Chicken box, scarfing it down in his Range Rover and then tossing it out the window as he drives home to pretend to listen to Kristin bitch about Spencer and Heidi…AGAIN.
Brian Hoyer is the erstwhile backup. Because Jay gets hurt (for real) a lot, we’re going to have to watch Hoyer play. I’d rather watch Jed Hoyer.
Oh, and the third QB is former USC wunderkind Matt Barkley? The guy who was supposed to be awesome but turned out to only be able to throw the ball 17 yards in the air? Great.
People are still bitching that Matt Forte is gone. Guys, Matt Forte is old. I remember when Roland Harper was blocking for him. The Bears aren’t Super Bowl contenders, so having a 30 year old running back on a bad team is just…sad. You know, New York Jets level sad. Jeremy Langford looks like he might be fairly productive, and Ka’Deem Carey runs like he’s trying to concuss himself on every play. The other running back, Jordan Howard was so good that his first college cancelled their program and he ended up at Indiana. Did we even know that Indiana had a football team? Even better, the Bears are carrying a fullback this year and he’s from New Zealand. Jesus. Who knew Tyler Clutts would be so hard to replace?
The season opener is always an emotional time. The crowd is extra fired up, there’s usually some sort of military flyover (YAY WAR MACHINES!) and Alshon Jeffrey gets to throw out the first hamstring. He’s playing on the franchise tender which guarantees him $14 million and we’re supposed to be feel sorry for him. Kevin White is actually playing. How nice for him. Eddie Royal is apparently the honorary scrappy white guy since both Marc Mariani and Daniel Braverman got waived. Royal spent training camp in a dark room (maybe with Dan Durkin watching “tape”) because of a concussion. Bill Bellamy’s brother is on the team, and so is Cam Meredith and Deonte Thompson. So, look out NFC! The Bears are loaded! And so will the fans have to be to watch this offense.
The other guy fans are mad about the Bears getting rid of is The Black Unicorn, Martellus Bennett. This, despite the fact that Martellus wasn’t really that good, and was pretty much just an asshole. They sent him home, Milton Bradley style last year, and told him not to come back. In his place is an actual scrappy white guy, Zach Miller, who will be healthy for like six plays this season. The rest of the tight ends on the team are a who’s who of who isn’t.
So let me get this straight. The best lineman on the team is Kyle Long, and he’s legit good. The second best lineman is a guy the Packers cut on Saturday? They just let him go? On the eve of what they think is a Super Bowl season they looked at their three-time Pro Bowl left guard and said, “Goodbye?” And the Bears gave the guy $21 million? Oh boy. The rest of the line is filled with such notables as Ted Larsen, 1 Charles Leno Jr. and Bobby Massey. Massey was also a Cardinal last year, and didn’t do shit. The center might be Larsen or it might be rookie Cody Whitehair (who was drafted to play guard) or it might be Eric Kush (best known for having a “My Strange Addiction” for tank tops on Hard Knocks this year). You can call it depth. I call it not having five good players.
The line might actually be good. Eddie Goldman turned out to be worth his draft slot last year. Akiem Hicks plays like a beast. Then there’s sometime FB/TE/DL Mitch Unrein, and the guy best known for tearing his ACL celebrating a sack while the Bears were getting blown out (Lamar Houston) and Willie Young, oh and the new guys, Jonathan Bullard (who everybody loves) and Leonard Floyd.
Reason number 12,342 why the Chicago sports media is the worst. Yesterday, defensive coordinator Vic Fangio gave a long answer to a question about how Floyd was doing. He said it was disappointing that Floyd missed time in the training camp with an illness, then a shoulder injury then a hamstring. He said the lack of consistent reps had left Floyd not in tip top game shape. Makes sense. So the media run to Floyd and try to get to comment on Fangio saying he’s a disappointment.
So last year the Bears lined up with Christian Jones and Shea McClellin and teams just ran over them all year. This year the Bears will have real NFL-caliber players inside, Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman. That seems like a plan. But the guy Bears fans are going to love is rookie backup linebacker Nick Kwiatkowski. He missed almost all of the preseason, and played fairly well in the meaningless Browns game. But wait until you get a load of this guy. He’s like Tim Shaw only half as shitty. He’s going to be a legend.
The Bears have 11 defensive backs on their 53 man roster. Eleven! Twenty one percent of their whole roster is made up of defensive backs. You know what that means? They all suck. It’ll be week 12 before we have any idea who half of them are. They have a Deon, a Deiondre’, a DeAndre (no confusion there at all) and now a Cre’Von. The starters at both corners and nickel are all hurt though they’ll probably all limp out to start the Texans game on Sunday. Oof, this is going to be ugly.
Oh, no, they cut dear Robbie Gould! Robbie should have been cut when he shanked the field goal on second down in Marc Trestman’s first season. It was indoors, in range and cost the Bears a game and eventually a playoff spot. Over the past two seasons, Robbie went from the most accurate kicker to the NINTH most accurate. In two seasons! Kicking the ball off to the ten yard line is now the hot strategery in football, well, Robbie revolutionized that back when he was trying to kick it to the end zone. Nowadays, he’s lucky to get it across the 50. Oh, and he was the shittiest onside kicker ever. The Bears successfully recovered ONE onside kick in the ELEVEN seasons he kicked for them, and that was a surprise one against the Vikings last year. In other words, every time the Bears lined up in an obvious onside kick formation for 11 years, they failed to recover one of Robbie’s onside kicks.
Pat O’Donnell is pissed that the Bears dumped Robbie in favor of Connor Barth. Pat O’Donnell can cram it.
The new offensive coordinator has a name that sounds like an exotic woodworking tool. “Hey Norm, hand me that Dowell Loggains, I need to put a rabbet in these cabinets!” The confidence in Loggains is that he learned a lot from the real offensive coordinator last year, Adam Gase, and that Loggains gets along with Jay. Nobody really gets along with Jay. If the preseason was any indication, this offense is going to suck.
Fangio’s defense should be much improved because he has some actual talent this year, but he also has nothing in his secondary, so even that improvement comes with a governor on it. Isn’t it always the way?
In year two in Carolina, John Fox took the Panthers to the Super Bowl. In year two in Denver he took the Broncos to the Super Bowl. In year two in Chicago…he’ll be watching the Super Bowl on TV like the rest of us poor schlubs.
Rich Hahn would tell you the Bears are “mired in mediocrity” and he’d be right. They were 6-10 last year despite blowing two winnable games thanks to Gould shanks. But they also won two games that they had no business winning so six wins seems about right. They should be better this year. But not much. As former Bear Jeff Fisher can tell you, “This is some 7-9 bullshit, here.”
Here are those annoying footnotes.
- Ted’s the guy Bruce Arians nearly cut during a game last year for a false start, only to be bailed out by the refs incorrectly calling penalty on the defense for “simulating the snap count. Had Ted been called for the false start the game would have ended before the Cardinals could kick the game winning field goal.