TRUBISKY IS THE GUY! I KNOW BUT LISTEN….

 

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Tonight’s game against the Cowboys is interesting for two reasons. One is that with a win the Bears get to be “December relevant” for 10 more days until they play the Packers on December 15, and who are we kidding what team would you rather have knock us out of contention rather than Green Bay?

The second reason is that Mitchell Trubisky has had two very good games the last two weeks, and if he can finish out the season, whether the Bears make the playoffs or not, with games like those two, it’ll be hard for the Bears to not call him their number one guy moving forward.

That still doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t bring in someone to compete against him, but what it does mean is they can use some of the salary cap space to go get some offensive linemen and a tight end, at the very least.

I know Trubisky stats are still pretty dismal, and he makes some decisions that make you scratch your head, but the Bears still have another season invested in him so why not see if they can’t get some value from his four years of experience.

I know the popular opinion is to get someone in here, pronto. It’s a good argument. Hell, I made the argument a little while ago. But think of the upside if the Bears don’t have to pay another qb? If we just ride out the storm like seasoned Bear fans who have seen into the beyond with their fair share of mediocre quarterback play.

It also gives Matt Nagy more of a chance to work with him. I know the response of what has he been doing now, is on the verge of my lips too, but nothing teaches better than failing.

Another plus side to bringing in free agents on the offensive line is how much worse can they do than what’s out there now? Want to get the run game going? It helps to have good blockers. Want to see more average yards per completion? It helps to have good blockers.

Also, on the tight end side, I seem to remember Matt Nagy using the KC Chiefs Travis Kelce a lot and where has the tight end play been this year. Adam Shaheen is probably not the answer.

I still think Trubisky can do it. But he has to build on what he’s shown in these last two games in order to prove it. The NFL shouldn’t let mediocre qbs play for so long. They should be recycling them on a regular basis. You never know who might turn into a stud. I know it might lead to poor play, but look how nice David Blough the backup, backup played against the Bears tough defense. 

Anyway, something to think about. 

BEARS 23 COWBOYS 20  OT

onlyifyoudream tidbits………………FOR FIVE DAYS IN DECEMBER WE CAN SAY THE BEARS ARE STILL DECEMBER RELEVANT, WHATEVER THAT MEANS…………IF WE DO GET TO DREAM ABOUT WHO MIGHT LOOK GOOD IN A BEAR’S UNIFORM I’D LIKE TO SEE CAM NEWTON. ANYBODY THAT ACTUALLY WANTS TO COME HERE GETS MY VOTE HANDS DOWN.

 

 

 

CAN MATT NAGY SAVE THIS SEASON?

 

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Most people when evaluating their own work, have to be honest about what they’re doing well, what they’re not doing well and what they need to work on.

The blame and success is placed by the feet of its leaders and so it is with these 2019 Chicago Bears. 

Which is why when you hear about how this team is doing, invariably names like Ryan Pace, Matt Nagy, Mitchell Trubisky, always come up. 

In fact, you can’t read a story about the Bears without hearing their names get mentioned.

So what it is about this Bears team that makes you feel like the season is already over?

The offense, plain and simple, is so bad that it reminds you of those teams in the 70’s that would just run the ball up the middle for three time for five yards and then punt.

Ranking last in nearly every category is not the way to get you to believe in a new head coach who was specifically brought because of his offensive chops.

So why can’t the Bears move the ball, get first downs, and score touchdowns?

Or another way of asking the question, is there anything they’re doing well? Anything they can build on? 

I don’ know what the stats are but when they let Trubisky move around in the pocket they do well. When they have him finding his tight end they do well. When he’s looking to run the ball they do well. When they run for more than 2 yards a carry they do well. When they take chances they do well.

You get the feeling that Nagy is keeping the reins so tight on his quarterback and offense that they can’t play with the way it’s set up now.

I like Matt Nagy. I can’t think of a coach who impressed me so immediately than he did last year. That team had a chance to compete for a super bowl and he was a big reason.

You get the feeling if they just improved a little on offense they could start to look a pretty good team.

Having bigger run plays, passing to receivers, passing to running backs, passing to tight ends is going to be the way they do it, if they do it.

We’ll see. 

I’m not confident this week about this game against the Rams. But with a great defense anything is possible.

RAMS 21 BEARS 17

onlyifyoudreamtidbits………………what in the wide, wide world of sports happened to Tarik Cohen? Did he just go from stud to dud or have they failed miserably in getting him the ball? He looked like a number 1 draft pick last year and now he’s nowhere to be found…………also where are the tight ends? Seeing Ben Braunecker catch that td pass last week was so nice to see. Why not give the guy more chances?

I FEAR ANOTHER LACKLUSTER GAME COMING UP

 

 

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There’s nothing so cold about winter then when the Bears are screwing up and there’s no chance for the playoffs in sight.

I’m proud to say I never cried over a Bears loss, though. Angry, yes. Frustrated, yes. Disappointed, great God almighty yes. But moved to the point of tears, never. Call it a hardscrabble upbringing but there were just better things to cry about.

Now as the 3-5 Bears head into their ninth game you have to wonder if the season isn’t a total loss and if it isn’t a better idea to see what young players might benefit from some playing time.

I remember playing on a basketball team that when I finally got my chance to start I missed my first 6 shots and never played in another game again.

Some chances are fleeting, others last a lifetime.

Makes you wonder how long the Bears plan to stay with Mitchell Trubisky until they say enough is enough.

History isn’t kind to young quarterbacks in the NFL. Many of them are no good. For whatever reason there’s just too many who don’t pan out.

Everybody has a quarterback they thought was going to do great who didn’t make it.

Names like Vince Young, Robert Griffin III, Ryan Leaf, Johnny Manziel,  Jamarcus Russell, Blaine Gabbert litter the mind.

You can add Trubisky’s name to the list, I’m afraid. 

If I had to guess why here would be my three big reasons as to why.

ACCURACY

He just isn’t very accurate. Too many of his balls are uncatchable and they are even from a really short distance. All the great ones can hit the eye of a crow flying, The Biscuit can’t. The closest he comes is when he’s on the move.

THROWING IN THE POCKET

One of the things I keep hoping to see more of is Trubisky on the run. He’s just not very comfortable in the pocket, nor is he getting the kind of Aaron Rodgers time you need to pick a defense apart. But role out and maybe run the ball more that seems like something they still could do.

YARDS AFTER THE CATCH

Last year Tarik Cohen was a factor. A monster really except for the playoff game when he didn’t get any chances. You need guys who stretch the defense. Speed. Speed kills.

 

I fear another lackluster game coming up but we win this one against the Lions 21-17.

 

onlyifyoudream tidbits…………rumor has it that Matthew Stafford is out with broken bones in his back which makes me think of those really bad Bear teams in the 70’s who could blow a team out at home from time to time to satisfy the rabid Bear fan base…………Longtime Bear analyst Hub Arkush makes another great point about the Bears. A lot of times in the NFL you see a team go from disappointment to disaster. This year’s team is a disappointment, but they are not disaster, yet. Let’s see what they can do this week.

 

COMING UP TO THE MIDPOINT IN THE SEASON

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Coming up to the midpoint in the season.

I imagine the tumbling tumbleweed rolling over the great expectations

that once filled many a Bear fan’s heart.

I imagine the halls, the hallowed halls of George Halas Way in the sky and 1920 Football Drive on football field earth, are very silent right now.

I find myself already staring into the chasm of an endless night looking for possible quarterbacks to draft in the 2020 draft. 

How many quarterbacks does a team have to bring in and try before they can find a stud?

The right answer of course is as many as it takes. I also do think Matt Nagy can help a young quarterback. He’s a born leader, he’s had personal success at the position, and he will defend you.

The only thing he doesn’t have a defense for how bad his own offense is right now.

Settling for the field goal at the end of last week’s game, rather than trying to make it easier on a young kicker and getting a few extra yards with time on the clock, is an elephant in the room. But I think Nagy knows it.

Matt Nagy once Coach of the Year, now brought back down to earth.

There’s nothing so obvious then a parent that is dissatisfied with their own underachieving child. Everyone and especially the child can read it on their face. It’s not an algorithm to solve. It’s just basic human emotion.

Nagy looks that way to me. He looks beyond frustrated, like he’s trying to solve for the moon. 

It’s not rocket science as all the dummies like me like to say. 

You just have a bad offense, last in the league in nearly everything. But is it fixable? 

Sunday’s game against an injured opponent was better. David Montgomery’s long run skews the stats but still, not bad. Even Mitchell T made some nice long throws to Anthony Miller downfield. 

The defense looks really pretty great to me and if the offense was just ordinary I think we’d have a contender on our hands. Three losses have been decided by seven points or less. 

Also, what team is last place in their division but fourth best in the league in points allowed?

But the defense can’t alone win the Super Bowl, the offense needs to do something, generally speaking.

Sunday’s game against the Eagles will probably be bad. Trubisky looks like he can’t hear in his home stadium and can at times look really lost on the road but we’ll see. 

You beat a kid long enough and two extremes emerge. He either folds into himself thinking he deserves it, or he’s born again tough. It’s probably going to be somewhere in the middle. 

The Bears have been in every game but one this season, the Saints game. Every other game they’ve competed, even with a substandard offense. 

I’d like to see them run more like everyone would, but run more in less than obvious running situations. This offense doesn’t seem like it has made anyone play on their heels too much except for the Chargers game and of course the game against the lowly Redskins. 

I’d like to see them throw the ball downfield to give Trubisky some confidence early on in the game, and to keep those defensive backs of the Eagles from playing too tight of coverage.

I’d like to see them surprise some people this week. Usually teams caught in a losing streak can snap out of it, and show great flashes of what they can be.

But can they do it on the road? Against a good team? As much as my heart says yes, my mind says no. Another close game but no dice Chicago.

EAGLES 24 BEARS 18

onlyifyoudreamtidbits…………………to show you what a difference 34 years makes take a look at the often misread and misunderstood quarterback rating. Jim McMahon in our beloved 1985 Chicago Bears, a team that keeps orbiting like the moon further and further away from the earth, had a 82.6 QB rating during that season. Trubisky’s quarterback rating so far this season is 81.4. Eerily close, except McMahon played in the pro bowl that year (as an alternate) and Trubisky is stuck in another kind of bowl.

 

SO YOU WANT TO PLAY QUARTERBACK?

 

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The NFL has a flawed concept of how to find a Super Bowl quality quarterback for their franchise.

Essentially they choose one, and mostly they choose only one and that’s the flaw. 

Then they adorn him with all sorts of gifts, like a great coach, a great defense, solid playmakers on offense and giant lineman to protect, all on the premise that he can stand under pressure, with the weight of a city on his shoulders and hit the open man.

And, on top of it all they pay him giant amounts of money before he ever really proves he can be “that guy.”

What most teams do is they spend tens of millions of dollars on a guess. 

They engage in calculated risk.

On the surface it sounds entirely American, invest in a business, put in resources and time and materials and watch it compete and grow. 

The problem is when they don’t compete and they don’t grow. 

Take our beloved Bears as exhibit A. The first thing Ryan Pace said when taking over as GM is that he would draft a quarterback EVERY YEAR.

How many has he actually taken? ONE!

Forget about whether or not it’s in the first round. The point is you never know when you’re going to catch lightning in a bottle. Who knows who the next Tom Brady or Joe Montana is.

If you had to guess how many Super Bowl winning quarterback WEREN’T drafted in the first round how many would you guess?

5? 10?

Try 16. Here they are:

Tom Brady——————6th round

Nick Foles——————-3rd round

Russell Wilson————-4th round

Drew Brees——————2nd round

Brad Johnson—————-9th round

Kurt Warner——————undrafted

Brett Favre——————-2nd round

Steve Young——————supplemental draft

Mark Rypien——————6th round

Jeff Hostetler——————3rd round

Joe Montana——————-3rd round

Joe Theismann—————-4th round

Roger Staubach—————10th round

Ken Stabler———————2nd round

Johnny Unitas——————9th round

Bart Starr————————17th round

(Apologies if I missed anyone)

You still have to adorn him with gifts. You’ll still have to pay him the money if he wins. Unless you’re the Eagles and you decide beating Bill Belichick and the Patriots and winning the Super Bowl isn’t good enough to earn you a spot as the team’s number one quarterback. No, that belongs to Carson Wentz “because he’s our guy.” 

It flabbergasts me why the Eagles didn’t trade Wentz and keep Foles. I guess they’d rather follow through with their plan, rather than follow through with what’s best for their team. 

What more does a guy have to do than beat the Patriots, one of the greatest dynasties in the history of the NFL?

I really don’t think being a GM is terribly complex. But I do think you have to be ruthless. You have to sit a guy down you just told how much you love and tell him HE ISN’T YOUR GUY after all.

One last thing I’ll say in defense of the GM, to be ruthless is to be unpopular, and to be unpopular is to be without friends, and to be without friends is to be without a job and to be without a job is well you see where it takes you. 

It’s a fine line between ruthless and a guy you actually want to play and work for, actually want to sacrifice your body and mind for a fistful of dollars for, well a little more than that.

Also, another thing in defense of the GM is how stressful the job is. I mean to be responsible for a team in that way and have millions of little micro GM’s like me screaming and telling you what to do.

It’s no wonder they come in all fresh faced like a president and look like haggard janitors after four years on the job. 

I get that playing quarterback is hard. I certainly wouldn’t want it no matter how much money you threw at me for the chance. But there are hundreds if not thousands who do. Why not give some of them a shot?

ONE FINAL NOTE…………………IN THE LAST 33 YEARS THE BEARS HAVE DRAFTED ONLY 14 QUARTERBACKS! If that isn’t a S.O.S. to the McCaskey family about a mediocre football team what else can we do???

 

YOUR 2019 FAUSTIAN BEARS

 

 

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To borrow one of Lovie Smith’s little analogies, the Bears are in the second quarter of their season with still plenty of ball left to play. 

Good to see Lovie get a win over my Wisconsin Badgers. The way the fighting Illini were celebrating that victory you’d think they were the team destined for greatness and not the Badgers.

So are these Bears destined for anything so raucous? Why does it feel like they’re down by 21 points already in this football season of a game? 

Are they actually in the middle of a crossroads? 

Robert Johnson’s crossroads. 

Robert Johnson who sold his soul to the devil to become a legendary blues guitar player. 

Are you going to sell out with everything you got to make the playoffs and mount a Super Bowl challenge or start planning ahead for next year’s team knowing you’re not good enough?

Of course the Bears don’t need to sell their soul to make the playoffs and possibly win the Super Bowl. But they do need better than average quarterback play, great talent that plays like great talent and a little bit of luck. 

They also need to run the football, when David Montgomery is averaging 3 yards a carry and Tarik Cohen hasn’t even been a factor what’s going on?

ONE THING TO ASK THE DEVIL FOR MIGHT BE A BETTER QUARTERBACK

Mitch Trubisky is playing like the worst quarterback in the league. I hate to say this. I thought he was going to turn the corner and be great but that obviously hasn’t happened and I think the league is figuring out why.

He’s just not a good pocket passer and he’s not very accurate. He doesn’t really lead his receivers too well and hit them in stride. Probably the toughest thing to see is how uncomfortable he is just standing there. Part of this is Matt Nagy’s fault. 

How many times do we see the Bears get to the line of scrimmage and just stand there for 20 seconds, letting the defense catch their breath, and failing to get his quarterback into any kind of marching rhythm. 

How many times do we see him rolling out? Escaping the pocket? Creating on the fly?

It looks to me he wants Trubisky to be a kind of player he isn’t and so he hasn’t adapted to what his strengths are yet like moving without the ball and running.

ANOTHER FAUSTIAN DEAL TO MAKE MIGHT BE GETTING THE RUNNING GAME GOING

All we heard in training camp was how good David Montgomery is, how tough he is to tackle, and what a season he was going to have. He in fact might be and do all those things but something needs to change. 

I think he’s got talent. The number of guys he’s made miss has already exceeded what Jordan Howard could do last year. He can be a better back than Howard but so far he hasn’t shown it.

He looks like he’s tentatively hitting the holes and has no real long rushes from scrimmage. 

Plus the offensive line really doesn’t look like it’s been blocking as well this year and really pushing guys around.

And where is little scatback Tarik Cohen. Where are his attempts and targets? 

And where is Matt Nagy’s commitment to the run? All this adds up to 3.4 yards an attempt and one of the worst rushing offenses in the league.

DO YOU NEED TO SELL YOUR SOUL WITH SUCH AN IMPRESSIVE DEFENSE ALREADY?

It might be the most impressive thing about this year’s Bears is what the defense has done considering the offense has done squat. Even after losing Akiem Hicks and Bilal Nichols and Roquan Smith for a game they look tough. 

They haven’t been thoroughly dominating teams like last year and scoring touchdowns but they still have got some great players. Hopefully losing Hicks won’t be too big a loss and other guys will step up.

My guess is Robert Johnson before selling his soul must’ve had some amount of talent or something like a massive heart or else he wouldn’t of gotten to meet the devil in the first place, or ever wanted to be so great. 

I’m not suggesting the Bears sell something so vital to win a measly Super Bowl, but they might have already. 

DID THEY ALREADY SELL THEIR SOUL?

Khalil Mack can flat out play football as good as Robert Johnson can play guitar, but missing high draft picks for a young coach and rebuilding team is quite a high price to pay. Can he, Mack, by himself make the defense great? I think he already has. Can he continue to make those around him better? Looks like he’s doing that too. If the Mack and the defense has anything to say about it this team would already be famous.

ONLYIFYOUDREAM tidbits………..if all one did as a Bear fan was listen to and read Hub Arkush one would need little else to know how good the Bears are doing. A master craftsman at his work and I can only tip my cap and nod my head. In one of his columns last week he was talking about acquiring Colin Kaepernick as a no brainer to help make your team better and of course he’s dead on. Kaepernick is not the devil but the way the league has treated him you’d think he was. It would be a ballsy move to be sure, but greatness doesn’t sit and wait.

 

 

 

8 REASONS FOR HOPE 8 REASONS FOR CAUTION

 

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8 REASONS FOR HOPE 8 REASONS FOR CAUTION

Ok 3-1 is good especially after that opening night debacle but how good are we? Well, we’re 0-1 against teams winning teams and 2-0 against losing teams, and 1-0 against 500 teams. How will it be when we play the Rams or the Chiefs or the Saints or the Packers again? Hard to say.

Do we need Trubisky to win? Is Chase Daniel more accurate? Doesn’t it seem the Bears defense has improved from last year?

Like in the Big Lebowski, lots of ins, lots of outs lots of strands in old duder’s head. 

I wouldn’t take Oakland for granted and I know Jon Gruden will be up for it as much as Khalil Mack, and then we go into the bye week which will give Trubisky some time to heal. 

All is good. Isn’t it?

REASONS FOR HOPE

  1. Even when compared to the past Bear defenses this one looks great.
  2. Even with key players out the defense looks great.
  3. The pick up of Ha Ha Clinton Dix looks like we stole one from the Packers, than the usual other way around.
  4. On the offensive side doesn’t Allen Robinson look like he makes every catch he dives for?
  5. David Montgomery is a bruiser and I like how he always knows how to fall forward and make guys miss.
  6. I like how for the most part we’ve protected the ball on the offensive side.
  7. Eddy Piniero!!! Way better than we could’ve hoped for at this point.
  8. To not have Roquan Smith or Akiem Hicks and still do what we did to Minnesota is way impressive.

REASONS FOR CAUTION

  1. At some point you have to take shots down the field and spread out the defense, we haven’t really.
  2. Nagy’s play calling sometimes looks a little questionable, like running Chase Daniel when we had no backup QB behind him.
  3. Great teams destroy worse teams, we let them hang around at the end.
  4. Is this about as good as we can expect from Trubisky or does he still have upside?
  5. What happened to rolling Trubisky out more?
  6. Is a great defense alone enough to win a championship?
  7. From what I’ve seen Trubisky doesn’t know how to just get down when the play is a bust.
  8. So few passing TD’s in a pass dominated league is a bad sign.

 

PREDICTION——-BEARS 21 RAIDERS 14