Bear Essentials

Bear Essentials

Kiper gives 2011 draft a "C"

Posted by Bob LeGere on Mon, 01/16/2012 - 23:25
With the playoff action, changes that have already occurred on the Bears’ coaching staff and those that will be made soon, plus the search for a new G.M., Mel Kiper’s re-grading of the 2011 draft was almost lost in the shuffle. Kiper originally gave the Bears a “B” for their five picks, but after a year to evaluate, he dropped that grade to a “C,” which seems about right. Jerry Angelo’s last draft class could have lived up to its original grade had starting ORT Gabe Carimi not been lost for the season in Week Two. “Carimi could pan out at right tackle and had the job coming out of camp,” Kiper said. “There's no telling whether he'll be able to move to the left side.”

Early peek at NFL picks

Posted by Bob LeGere on Thu, 01/12/2012 - 18:18
Considering last week’s 4-0 record against the spread, I figured there might be some interest in a sneak preview of this weekend’s NFL playoff games. On Saturday, I like the Saints minus 3 against the 49ers in San Francisco. I realize the Saints are a completely different team outdoors on the road than they are in the comfort of their home dome, but I think they’re clearly a better team than the Niners, who could have trouble scoring even against a Saints defense that is far from dominant.

Martz's future? Don't ask

Posted by Bob LeGere on Wed, 12/28/2011 - 17:49
The future of offensive coordinator Mike Martz is apparently off limits. When Bears coach Lovie Smith was asked about it after Wednesday’s practice inside the Walter Payton Center, he was clearly annoyed and answered the question with a question: “What kind of question is that anyway, at this time?” Smith retorted. “What kind of question is that? Why would you ask a question like that anyway?” The obvious reply is: “To get an honest answer.” But that’s not happening. The bottom line is that, if Smith had already decided to have Martz back for next season, he would have said so. The absence of a vote of confidence is not a good sign for Martz, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that he won’t be back.

Payton, Brees show lack of class

Posted by Bob LeGere on Tue, 12/27/2011 - 18:48
If anyone happened to catch the end of the Saints’ Monday night’s blowout victory over the Falcons, it was a classic example of self-indulgence and lack of class by New Orleans coach Sean Payton and quarterback Drew Brees. Already leading the Falcons 38-16, Payton and Brees couldn’t wait another week for the Saints’ quarterback to surpass Dan Marino’s single-season record of 5,084 passing yards. So the Saints ran it up on the Falcons by driving for another touchdown, primarily through the air and then the game was delayed for an embarrassing tribute to Brees, who achieved his precious individual accomplishment.

Bears have contained Rodgers

Posted by Bob LeGere on Fri, 12/23/2011 - 12:56
It’s not as if Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers hasn’t played well against the Bears in the past. He has. It’s just that he hasn’t been as spectacular against the Bears as he has been against the rest of the league. Rodgers’ passer rating this season is 120.1, which would be the best in NFL history if he maintains it for the rest of the season. He was over 100 in each of the two previous seasons and at 93.8 in his first season as a starter in 2008. But, in eight games against the Bears, Rodgers has had a passer rating over 92.5 just twice. Rodgers has thrown 40 TD passes this year and just 6 interceptions, but his career numbers against the Bears are 10 TDs and 7 interceptions.

Just say no to Favre, McNabb

Posted by Bob LeGere on Wed, 12/07/2011 - 12:53
Bears G.M. Jerry Angelo effectively quashed the silly notion that the team might consider signing Brett Favre as an emergency quarterback for the remainder of the season. This morning, on the team's website, Angelo said: "I'm not even factoring Brett Favre into the equation because he hasn't played or even practiced from the preseason on. We're all assuming he's in great shape and frothing to come back and play football, which we all know is not true. So the Favre thing is just a fantasy." Angelo also explained the decision not to pursue Donovan McNabb.

Defense not good enough

Posted by Bob LeGere on Tue, 12/06/2011 - 00:14
Holding the Chiefs to just 245 total yards and allowing only 10 points isn't good enough for the Bears' defenders - at least not when the offense is without Jay Cutler and Matt Forte. And they agree. "We don't feel like we did enough to win because we didn't win the game," cornerback Corey Graham said. "On defense, we feel like we have to get the ball out. We weren't able to do that. We pride ourselves on stopping the run and creating turnovers, we weren't able to do that. "We didn't create turnovers, so nine times out of 10 when you don't do that, you're not going to win the game. We've got to do better. We've got to find a way to make it happen, and (Sunday) we weren't able to do that."

McNabb a bad fit

Posted by Bob LeGere on Fri, 12/02/2011 - 12:17
Five years ago Donovan McNabb and the Bears would have been a good fit; maybe even two years ago, but not now. The obvious reason it wouldn’t make sense to bring in the 35-year-old McNabb now, is that 100 percent of the coaching staff’s time and effort must be devoted to getting Caleb Hanie ready to lead the offense. That would leave little time to get McNabb up to speed, and there’s not much evidence that he could pick up Mike Martz’s offense on his own overnight. Best-case scenario is that the former Mount Carmel High School star might possibly be ready to serve as the emergency quarterback for the final two weeks, but he’d be at least two weeks behind current veteran backup Josh McCown.

Bears, Lions headed in opposite directions

Posted by Bob LeGere on Tue, 11/15/2011 - 00:06
Some leftover observations from Sunday’s butt-kicking of the Lions and a couple predictions: Concerns about the age of the Bears’ defense are unfounded. It may have taken a few games to get revved up, but the defense, and especially its 30-something core players, are running smoothly now. The Lions aren’t very dangerous without Jahvid Best running the football, and no one knows when he’ll be able to come back from the concussion that has sidelined him recently. Although both teams are 6-3, the Bears appear to have a clear path to the playoffs, while the Lions look like a .500 team; 9-7 at best.

Forte should take Bears' offer

Posted by Bob LeGere on Thu, 11/03/2011 - 00:23
Peter King includes RB Matt Forte and PR Devin Hester on his mid-season All-Pro team in Sports Illustrated this week. King also names Forte his offensive player of the year, while choosing Packers QB Aaron Rodgers as the MVP. As impressive as Forte has been running the ball for 672 yards and a 5.4-yard average, he might be even more valuable to the Bears as a receiver. He leads the team by a huge margin with 38 catches, and he also has a team-best 419 receiving yards. In fact, Forte could actually be considered Jay Cutler’s go-to guy, given the absence of a No. 1 wide receiver on the team. I really can’t remember the last time Forte dropped a pass, and he’s averaging 11.0 yards per catch, more than a lot of wide receivers in the league.