Got a ton of great comments on the post about Sunday’s miserable game. The last one was from “GWNIU” and it kind of steals away the second part of today’s post…but thanks none the less for all the great comments and opinions.
What the hell is the problem on defense? We will probably never know, truly, but it can’t be disputed that the following two things have happened since the Super Bowl 41 loss on February 4, 2007:
1. The nucleus of the defense was rewarded with fat contract extensions either prior to the 2007 or 2008 season. They were paid so much that the defense is the “money unit” on the team, limiting a little bit what the offense can do because the defense is making the bulk of the money. Players that are making premium money are Adewale Ogunleye, Tommie Harris (highest-paid defensive lineman in the NFL), Alex Brown, Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, Mike Brown, Charles Tillman and Nathan Vasher. (And on special teams, of course we know Devin Hester was rewarded with a contract extension that could be worth up to $40 million and now isn’t performing for the first time in his career).
2. Lovie Smith made the decision to not retain Ron Rivera as defensive coordinator, replacing him with his good friend Bob Babich, telling the media and fans that they should trust the decisions he makes because they’re the right decisions because he makes them.
As GWNIU stated yesterday, is it a coincidence that the Bears defense was ranked 2nd overall in 2005, 5th overall in 2006, then 28th overall in 2007 and 19th and slipping now (30th against the pass as of this writing) since Babich replaced Rivera?
Is it a coincidence, or do this guys not want to play now since they’re paid for life? Granted, they are 2-3 years older than they were in 2005 when they were ranked 2nd overall. Brian Urlacher is 30, but Ray Lewisis 33 and is playing as great as he ever has.
Lovie will continue to tell us that everything is fine and we shouldn’t be worrying about anything or trying to dissect any problems because we don’t know anything about anything-only he and his boy Babich know anything.
Friends I talk to are starting to compare Lovie-Babich to Jauron-Shoop, the assistant that cursed the team but the head man would rather be fired than be disloyal to his friend, and the losers in these messes are all of us.
This will be interesting. I do predict that no matter how the defense performs the rest of this sinking season and next, the year after, Lovie will never part with his friend at coordinator. And because of the fat contracts Lovie and Jerry Angelo have, they’re not going anywhere until 2012 at least. And with the fat contracts on defense, it’s watch these overpaid underachievers for the next few years, because the only other thing the team could do would be to cut all of them, take cap hits, and slowly rebuild the unit from scratch over a period of 4-5 years.
It either gets better real quick, or this my friends is going to stay bad for a long time.