Chicago Bears Hindsight Draft

Jerry Angelo Hindsight

Imagine, if you will, Troy Polamalu returning a fumble he forced himself for a touchdown; Aaron Rodgers lofting up 50-yard bombs with pinpoint accuracy; and Maurice Jones-Drew dissecting a defense with his explosive speed.

Now, imagine all of those things happening… with those players wearing Bears jerseys. Call it crazy if you’d like, but the draft records show that former GM Jerry Angelo had the power to make all of this possible. In hindsight. [Read more…]

A Post-Preseason Look at the Indianapolis Colts

So here stand the Indianapolis Colts.

Here they stand after a condensed offseason, an entire training camp without quarterback Peyton Manning, a 1-3 preseason and a cut to the 53-man roster.

So here they stand … and where, exactly is “here” that they stand?

I have to be honest with you, not even I am quite sure one week in advance of the team’s regular-season opener against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium. [Read more…]

Indianapolis Colts Suit Up for Preseason, Looking at Houshmandzadeh?

Indianapolis Colts offensive lineman Joe Reitz said the team is tired of hitting each other and is ready to hit someone else.

The Colts will get that opportunity tonight at 8 p.m. EST when they face the St. Louis Rams in a preseason game at the Edward Jones Dome.

And, according to Stampede Blue’s updates on the matter, Indy might be on the verge of signing former Pro Bowl wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh.

What should one be looking for in tonight’s game, and what would the Housh addition mean?

[Read more…]

2011 NFL Free Agent Signings, Trade Rumors News: Umenyiora, Edwards, Floyd, Packers and more.

 

braylon_edwards

With many big names off the NFL free agent block, teams are still putting pieces in place. The New York Giants tell  Osi Umenyiora he’s off the trading block. Will Barack Obama become a Green Bay Packers Fan? What is next for former Chicago Bears Olin Kreutz and Braylon Edwards? What NFL Free Agent signings remain? Trade Rumors? NFL News?

The sportsbank’s all-pro section reveals the latest for you.

[Read more…]

Indianapolis Colts Get Active, Sign Tommie Harris and Other Defenders

The Indianapolis Colts have taken pride in their organizational philosophy — build through the draft, re-sign your guys and stand pat during veteran free agency — often to the dismay of their fans.

Well, after the first two days of Colts training camp in Anderson, Ind., the franchise sent a message to those fans: Here you go.

Indy brought in three outside veteran defensive players — former All-Pro defensive tackle Tommie Harris and former top-10 draft picks, linebacker Ernie Sims and defensive end Jamaal Anderson — on one-year contracts.

My take? Low risks, potentially nice rewards. Oh yeah, and now those angry fans can finally hush.

[Read more…]

Who Had The Worse Weekend, the Chicago Bears or the Illinois Fighting Illini?

Lovie

By Paul Schmidt

For most Chicago area football fans, the weekend wasn’t a complete loss. For anyone who is a University of Illinois graduate and a Chicago Bears fan…let’s say you’ve had better weekends, and leave it at that.

During the awfulness that was the Bears’ game on Sunday, it spawned somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 tweets on Twitter about just how bad the Bears were, and the most proposed question was, “Who would win in a game of football, the Bears or the University of Illinois?”

I opined in response to one of these questions that it’s just a silly question, that of course the Bears would win.

It took a tweet from @bears_insider that made me really think about what had just happened: “Ah, but what if Juice Williams wasn’t playing for the Illini?”

It really says something about how bad the Bears looked that that actually made me think for just a moment.

This is why, despite the insanity that was the Illinois game (over 200 yards rushing given up to Purdue by Illinois’ now-101st ranked run defense, rotating three quarterbacks and simultaneously killing both Jacob Charest’s and Eddie McGee’s confidences), the Bears had the far worse weekend.

Jay Cutler cemented himself as an enigma this season, sort of a higher profile Rex Grossman — Each game’s outcome will be determined in the first few minutes of offensive game play, whether Good Jay or Evil Jay shows up.

But Cutler wasn’t the only problem, nor the biggest problem.

That would be Lovie Smith and the defense.

Lovie took control of the playcalling this season, in response to Bob Babich struggling with that aspect of being defensive coordinator. This was supposed to be a return to the glory days of  Lovie’s Cover 2 (or Tampa 2, if you prefer) defense, back when the Bears, in 2006, had a ball-hawking opportunistic defense that created points on their own.

If you remember the 2006 defense, you’ll remember just how dominant and dangerous they were. Of course, with three more years of age and games played under their belt, and largely the same unit on the field, perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that, on Sunday, the unit looked lost, slow and basically underprepared.

Slow, I completely understand.  I felt this whole season came down to how well the defense was going to play, and the health of Brian Urlacher, Tommie Harris and Peanut Tillman. While Peanut has been healthy for the most part, Urlacher obviously is done for the season and Harris has been completely M. I. A. when he has played.

I cannot defend the defense looking lost and underprepared, however, and that blame falls right at Lovie Smith’s feet.  Since he took control of the defense back, they have been suspect at best.  The only especially good thing that has been said this season was early on the strength of the play of the front four — which was basically all attributed to Rod Marinelli, not Lovie. Motivation, it would seem, is not Lovie’s strong suit, as the defense was completely embarassed on Sunday for no apparent reason.

Lovie’s also been far too slow to get plays on the field, which is a problem given that that means the team is slow to line up in formation, which in turn means that not everyone is always set and in position for the start of the play.

This smacks of unpreparedness of the worst kind — This isn’t the team not listening to the coaches, or going through the motions. This is the head coach, Lovie Smith, in charge of calling the defensive plays because he wanted to be (not because he had to), not being prepared enough to get plays and formations on to the field quick enough for his team.

This is Lovie Smith not recognizing the offensive personnel on the field quick enough and being able to respond.

zook2This is Lovie Smith in over his head.

In Champaign, the heat is on Ron Zook and his coaching staff. It’s definitely reaching the boiling point, and he needs to produce wins now or face some dire consequences in the near future.

Still, after Sunday’s Bears’ game, I can’t help but think that Zook probably felt a little less pressure. Even if only for a day.