I’m trying to think of anything I can be positive about at this point. Obviously there are dozens of reasons to fear doom right now. As David Haugh points out, to say there is a positive feeling at Halas Hall wouldn’t be quite true.
OK, first let’s run down the list of negatives, just for those that may think I personally am being too negative for no reason. Our running back that was the fourth pick in the entire draft is not performing as expected. Our offensive linemen and receivers, old as a group to begin with, have aged more in a year than any group I’ve seen. So it appears the linemen are having a difficult time blocking and the receivers are having a difficult time getting open and catching the ball. Add to that fact, two of the linemen are injured. And the offense can’t control the ball long enough to give what was a stellar defense a break.
On defense, not only were two starters lost in the first week of the season, but now three may miss significant time, two more are hobbled, and one is playing with a cast on his broken hand. Two more (Adawale Ogunelye and Alex Brown) have been slowed. Both starting corners, vital to any defense in any game, are lost for two weeks, which will be two critical games against division opponents that are lighting up scoreboards with their passing game.
Sorry, just painting the picture as I see it.
One positive vibe, though, that I don’t think the “real” media is portraying accurately. Brian Griese is now our starting quarterback, and I have to be behind the move even though I don’t think this was the week to pull the trigger. Lovie Smith knows better than I do.
I’ve seen it reported repeatedly that “if Brian Griese were the answer, he wouldn’t have been cut by three teams.” Or “three different teams didn’t want him.” This isn’t entirely true. I don’t know how the “real” media has missed (or neglected to want to report) that Tampa Bay most certainly did want Griese back for the 2006 season. If we’ll remember, Griese was off to one of the best starts of his career in 2005 when he tore his ACL. Tampa had him under contract for a significant figure and were forced to release him rather than risk eating up that kind of cap space for a guy coming back from a major injury.
Tampa did release him with the hopes of re-signing him to a lower salary, but the Bears swooped in immediately and got him.
So, we can only hope that the veteran will indeed spark this team and pick up where he left off in 2005. God help us.