Bear Essentials

Bear Essentials

Don't limit Hester

Posted by Bob LeGere on Tue, 10/18/2011 - 01:01
One of the most ridiculous ideas I’ve heard this season – and I’ve heard it several times now – is that the Bears should make Devin Hester strictly a kick returner. Why would any coach in his right mind waste one of the most dangerous players in the history of the NFL by limiting his number of touches? It makes no sense. Hester was phenomenal in the return game vs. the Vikings, scoring on a 98-yard kickoff return to blow the game open. The next time he touched the ball, Hester picked up 27 yards on a punt return that set up a Robbie Gould field goal.

Are Lions that good?

Posted by Bob LeGere on Tue, 10/04/2011 - 21:58
Are the Lions overrated? Well, they’re probably not as good as their 4-0 record. They’ve picked up their wins against the winless Vikings; the 1-3 Chiefs, who have defeated only the Vikings and lost their three other games by a combined 109-27; and the 2-2 Cowboys. But give credit to the Lions for wining three of those four games on the road, which is rarely an easy task in the NFL. Monday night should be a good test for the Lions, not because the Bears present such a formidable opponent because, at this point, they don’t. But the Bears have owned the Lions lately, winning the last six games in the series.

Cutler-Williams connection short-circuiting

Posted by Bob LeGere on Fri, 09/30/2011 - 00:24
If Roy Williams is supposed to be Jay Cutler’s go-to receiver, as offensive coordinator Mike Martz implied when Williams was signed on July 29, the early returns are disappointing. At best. Williams has 4 catches for 55 yards and no touchdowns, although he could have had one last week against the Packers if he didn’t drop a pass at the goalline. In that game, Cutler and Williams demonstrated absolutely zero compatibility. They were never on the same page and they rarely appeared to be on the same playbook. To say they looked out of sync would be a major understatement, since two of Cutler’s passes that were intended for Williams were horribly overthrown, and both resulted in interceptions.

What will Toub think of next?

Posted by Bob LeGere on Thu, 09/29/2011 - 01:52
As brilliant as Dave Toub’s trick play punt return against the Packers was, I can’t help thinking that it might have been wasted. Not just because Johnny Knox’s 89-yard sprint down the east sideline was nullified by Corey Graham’s phantom holding call. But because even if the flag wasn’t thrown on Graham – and it shouldn’t have been – the Bears still were an extreme long shot to win the game, and now they’ve burned one of the most clever plays ever devised since the “fumble-rooskie.”

"Great" players need to show up Sunday

Posted by Bob LeGere on Wed, 09/21/2011 - 23:18
If, as they say, great players make great plays in big games, then it’s time for guys like Julius Peppers, Marion Barber and Roy Williams to step up. In the case of Williams and Barber, that means getting off the sidelines and on the field. Barber has been out for a month with a calf injury. Williams missed last week with a groin injury. For Peppers it means showing up on the stat sheet or on the highlights when you’re on the field. The Bears need to run the ball, and Barber has the toughness and power to pound the ball at any defense. They also need a go-to receiver, and that’s what coach Lovie Smith and offensive coordinator Mike Martz touted Williams as when they brought him in. Williams thinks so, too.

Falcons Robinson should be suspended

Posted by Bob LeGere on Tue, 09/20/2011 - 00:40
The $40,000 fine that the league slapped on Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson for his hit on Eagles receiver Jeremy Maclin Sunday night isn’t enough. Robinson’s hit was a blatant cheap shot and exactly the kind of over-the-top violence that the league has tried to legislate against. Robinson clearly led with his helmet, basically launching himself like a missile and striking Maclin in the facemask while throwing a forearm shot and a shoulder into an essentially defenseless player. Robinson is a repeat offender. He was fined $50,000 last year for a cheap shot on Eagles wideout DeSean Jackson, but that was later reduced to $25,000 on appeal.

Bears better than you'd think

Posted by Bob LeGere on Tue, 09/13/2011 - 20:56
I’ve often wondered over the years, when I hear fans criticize Lovie Smith for his coaching or general manager Jerry Angelo for his draft picks or the free agents that he signs, how the Bears rank among all NFL teams in terms of wins and losses. The results are interesting when you look at every team’s record since the start of the 2005 season, Smith’s second as coach and Angelo’s fourth full year as the personnel boss. I don’t think many would guess that only four teams have a better record than the Bears during that time. Colts 75-22 Patriots 74-23 Chargers 65-32 Steelers 62-35 BEARS 59-38 Giants 59-38 Cowboys 57-40 Ravens 57-40 Eagles 55-41-1 Packers 53-44 Falcons 52-45 Saints 52-45 Jaguars 52-45 Vikings 51-46 Titans 49-48 Broncos 49-48 Jets 48-49

Packers, Saints could be Bears nightmare

Posted by Bob LeGere on Thu, 09/08/2011 - 23:34
If any Bears defenders watched the Thursday night season-opening slugfest between the Saints and Packers, they couldn’t have enjoyed it, knowing that they have the Saints in Week Two and the Packers the following week. I’m not sure which offense the Bears will have more trouble containing, the Packers, who scored 42 points Thursday night, or the Saints, who had 34. And that’s what the Bears have to look forward to after they open with the Falcons, the fifth-highest-scoring team in the NFL last season. The Bears have talked all preseason about the depth and quality of their defensive line, and they better hope they get a better pass rush than they did last season, when they were 21st in sack percentage.

Forte has an argument

Posted by Bob LeGere on Wed, 09/07/2011 - 23:58
Matt Forte I sympathize with. No position in the NFL has a shorter life expectancy than running back, and those guys have to make their money early on or risk never having the big payday. And the case can certainly be made that Forte has outperformed a rookie contract that pays him an average of slightly less than $1 million a year, including this, the final year of the deal. Last year Forte rushed for 1,069 yards and had 547 receiving yards. Only one other player in franchise history has rushed for over 1,000 yards with more than 500 receiving yards – Walter Payton. Only five players in the NFL accomplished that feat last season.

Why aren't Bennett and Knox starting?

Posted by Bob LeGere on Tue, 09/06/2011 - 22:47
Johnny Knox and Earl Bennett finished 1-2 among the Bears’ wide receivers in receptions, and they were 1-2 in receiving yards among all Bears. So why are they the Nos. 3 and 4 wide receivers on the Bears’ Week One depth chart? Good question. I’m still waiting for a good answer. I understand wanting Devin Hester in the starting lineup because he’s a threat to score any time he touches the ball, which is why he’s listed as the No. 1 punt returner and kickoff returner. But, if he’s doing both, you have to wonder if he’ll be able to play 50-60 snaps a game in the offense. I absolutely don’t understand why Roy Williams is playing ahead of Johnny Knox, who led the Bears with 960 receiving yards last season, 399 more than Bennett, who was second with 561.