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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Posted by Bob LeGere on Tue, 08/30/2011 - 00:15
Robbie Gould has already missed as many field goals in three preseason games as he did in the entire 2006 regular season and the 2009 regular season. He’s already missed 1 more field goal than he did in the 2008 regular season.
Gould has missed 4 of his 9 attempts in the preseason, but it’s not time to panic. Two of the misses came from 55 and 56 yards, but the other two were from 29 and 34 yards, which could be a cause for concern.
It probably isn’t. Gould is working with a new holder, punter Adam Podlesh, who was signed as an unrestricted free agent after the Bears parted ways with their punter of the previous 10 years, Brad Maynard.
Posted by Bob LeGere on Thu, 08/25/2011 - 23:05
Remember last season when Mike Martz made Todd Collins the Bears’ No. 2 quarterback ahead of Caleb Hanie?
Remember how, even after Collins was intercepted 4 times against the Panthers and completed 6 of 16 passes for 32 yards and a passer rating of 6.2 in his only start, he remained the No. 2 quarterback because Martz felt better with a veteran quarterback backing up Cutler rather than Hanie?
Remember how, after Cutler was injured in the NFC championship game how Collins was still No. 2 (insert your own joke here), and how he performed in that game?
Posted by Bob LeGere on Wed, 08/17/2011 - 08:07
If there’s one player who needs a big game vs. the Giants next Monday night it’s free agent defensive end Vernon Gholston, the sixth overall pick in the 2008 draft, who failed to record a single sack in three seasons with the Jets.
Gholston signed a one-year, $1 million contract with the Bears, one of the few teams that would even take a flier on the Ohio State product. His deal included a $250,000 signing bonus.
And Gholston will certainly get his chances. With Corey Wootton out 3-4 weeks following arthroscopic knee surgery, Gholston should get more opportunities to salvage his NFL career by proving he can be a factor in pass-rush situations and back up starters Julius Peppers and Israel Idonije.
Posted by Bob LeGere on Mon, 08/15/2011 - 00:24
There are at least three changes I’d like to see the Bears make as soon as possible.
No. 1: Make Marion Barber the undisputed short-yardage/goalline back. It took just one series Saturday night to see that he is clearly a more effective runner than Chester Taylor, who was a tremendous disappointment last season and hasn’t looked any better in training camp or the first preseason game. At 28 years olds, Barber clearly has more gas in the tank than the 31-year-old Taylor.