Bears vs. the Consistent Teams

I received this rant from an anonymous fan and in the spirit of the guest commentaries I published after the season, figured I’d post it.  Let him know what you think.  Whether you agree or not, I can say it was written with the spirit of a true Grabowski.

With the No. 4/6 seeds in Arizona, Eagles and Ravens doing what we all saw over the weekend, there inevitably will be much talk in the coming weeks about league parity, etc., and we are likely to hear Lovie speak out soon with a similar message about how “close” the Bears really are.

But don’t be foolish and buy into this message – let’s look a little deeper at the big picture with the Bears.  First off, I do not want to EVER hear again any kind of uninformed, ridiculous statements that Lovie is a great or even good coach, motivator, person, whatever.

As an example, let’s look at Andy Reid as what I would consider to be a great coach.  This year Reid coached through the off-field distractions of his son’s legal/criminal troubles, and while not seeing eye to eye with him, also effectively continued to manage arguably one of the league’s top Drama Queens in McNabb.  As a result, Philly will be appearing in its 5th NFC title game in the last 8 years.  The Eagles have nearly completely flipped their roster in the last 3-4 years, yet have continued to find a way to retool and keep winning consistently with little or no downtime.

This year alone, they’ve won 2 road playoff games and kicked the crap out of the rested Giants on their home field.  It’s obvious that the Eagles have a winning formula that is working perfectly between Reid and his GM and player personnel staffs.  What Reid has done this year is yet a further example of this, and all of what he has done is even further validated by the Eagles playing in probably the toughest division in football in the NFC East.

In contrast, Lovie coaches in one of the weakest divisions in football, and has one Super Bowl trip and two playoff appearances that include a first round exit, and now heads into his 6th year on the job.  He has now brought on Marinelli (and in acts of cowardice and denial saved his friend Babich’s job by canning three positional coaches) to inevitably stubbornly continue moving forward with the same defensive philosophy that is clearly not working, with a roster full of players that mostly are not getting the job done, which is both his and Angelo’s fault, and no one else’s.  Yet Lovie and Angelo continue to get a free pass, and we are led to believe that 9-7 finishes validate the fact Lovie is a “good” coach, but that is BS.

Where is the accountability?  There are plenty of other examples besides Philly where a solid formula is/has been working for years – Baltimore, Pittsburgh, New England, and until the last year or two, Seattle, to name a few.  Why can’t the Bears figure it out?  Because Lovie and Angelo are in charge and have no idea what they are doing.  And as long as they are here, the Bears will never figure it out.  And looking one step further, probably not until the McCaskeys pass away or sell, will you ever really see positive change.

Are season ticket holders supposed to be doing back flips seeing a guy like Marinelli coming here from an 0-16 team to make a lot of money and be some kind of defensive savior, while other teams continue to make multiple year playoff runs?  If I was a season ticket holder (I’m not) even if I planned to pass them on to my kids, seeing the level of incompetence on display right now, I would have to seriously consider terminating my plan immediately and find a good place to invest that money instead.  But as long as season ticket holders don’t voice their displeasure with what is going on, nothing is going to ever change.

11 Responses to “Bears vs. the Consistent Teams”

  1. I can’t argue against the job that Andy Reid has done in Philly if only for the fact that he has done a good job at getting to the playoffs more times then not. Has he really done enough to be considered a great coach? Most coaches, now-a-days, have to have that Super Bowl win to be considered a great coach. I don’t think that but then again getting to the NFC Championship game five previous times and only winning it once can’t qualify as greatness. I will give you that he is a great regular season coach. It is kind of a little easier knowing that Jim Johnson is taking care of things on the defensive side of the ball and having a QB that seems to be able to buy more time in the pocket and make the throws when needed.

    I agree that the Bears need to get a GM that knows how to bring in talent on both sides of the ball! One who knew from the beginning that QBs are important to winning Championships and making that a priority from day one.

  2. Andy Reid has done a good job in Phily. No doubt about it. However, like Hoss said, if he was here, there would be people complaining that he hasn’t taken the team to the top. Hell, it happened in Tampa when they ran Dungy out of town. While it looked like a great move at first, Gruden has missed the playoffs four out of the last six seasons. Dungy continued success and got his Super Bowl in Indy. Had the Bears made the playoffs and not reached the Super Bowl, would there still people be calling for Lovie’s and Angelo’s head? The answer is yes.

    As for Marinelli, for years, I heard complaints that the Bears coaching staff was inexperienced. Now, they bring in an assistant with a good track record, and it’s a bad move. Yes, he failed as a head coach, but so did a lot of assistants. It is a good thing Balitmore didn’t use Cam Cameron’s 1-15 record as a head coach when hired as an assistant. The same with Dick Leabu and Marty “take the wind” Morrenwig. NO coach was going to succeed under Matt Millen. Now, why Babich is still on the staff? Well, life doesn’t make sense…

  3. What a crock. Yes, Philly has had a better run than the Bears have recently. That doesn’t mean the Bears have done poorly. They’ve done well over the last few years–not great, but well. But oh no, we have to throw everything out because we haven’t achieved the highest heights–yet.

    People look at the Patriots and the Steelers and ask “why aren’t we those guys”? Well, because not everyone can be those guys. There’s only so many great teams in the league. And if you’re not one of those teams, but you ARE a GOOD team, then the answer is not to throw everybody out and start over–it’s to build upon what you’ve got.

  4. Kenneth: While as a few others here have correctly pointed out, Reid has done a very good job in the regular season, but has only achieved one Super Bowl berth. This is all very true. But you state that the Eagles have done well over the last “few years”, and seem to take exception with the reality that the Bears are a mess right now in a multiple areas, with the mess starting right after the 2006 Super Bowl season. This is a fact. The Bears may have won 9 games this year, true enough, but they are far from a “good” team, and would be destroyed by any of the 4 remaining teams right now if they played tomorrow.

    In reality, here is Reid’s run since the 2000 season, in the toughest division in football: 2000, 11-5; 2001, 11-5; 2002, 12-4; 2003, 12-4; 2004, 13-3, 2005, 6-10; 2006, 10-6; 2007, 8-8, and 2008, 9-6-1.

    That’s 9 seasons right there, and even with a couple of down years in this mix, the Bears have not had a run of success anything close to these numbers since the 1980s, that is a fact. This will be Lovie’s 6th year. See where he’s at after year 9 and you can match things up exactly with the numbers above. But there is NO way his numbers will come anywhere close, that is certain. The Bears as an organization have underachieved and been a highly dysfunctional operation for quite some time. This is not the time to start defending Lovie and 9 win records in the worst division in the league, and two playoff misses after a Super Bowl berth. If you’re going to say something is a “crock” in your words, please offer something that makes sense instead of the nonsense you wrote.

  5. Didn’t the Bears beat the Eagles this season? This isn’t an Eagles post. Quit with the Andy Reid man-crush. I personally can’t wait for next year. Just like I couldn’t wait for this year. Go Bears!!

  6. Grabber, I wouldn’t go as far as saying the NFC North is the worst division in the league. It’s rather weak yes, but the NFC and AFC West divisions are worse. The AFC West saved Norv Turner’s job, and the Cardinals won six of their nine games in their own crappy division. Both teams deserve credit for taking advantage of their situation, but they were both very lucky.

    Higgins, he was just using the Eagles as an example. That’s all. Right now, I think the Bears are average, not great, but not horrible. There are much worse teams than the Bears, but there are a good amount of better teams. Things are certainly better compared to the Wanny and Jauron regimes, but we should expect at least playoffs every season. They’ve won three divisions this decade. It could be worse, but it should be better. The Bears are actually trying to make changes. If anything, this playoffs have proven no one has a clue what is going to happen in the NFL.

  7. Higgins: jdm is right, I was using the Eagles as an example to illustrate my points, I thought that was obvious. Dude, I am not any kind of Eagles fan whatsoever. I was born here and will die a Bears fan but am sick of seeing incompetence reign. Substitute other organizations like Baltimore, Pittsburgh or New England, as I mentioned before as models of recent success, if you want. Sure, we beat the Eagles earlier this year, absolutely. But are you going to tell me that the Bears team that ended with a thud against Houston could line up Sunday and beat the Eagles the way they are playing now? No way, and if you don’t see that, you’re not admitting the truth.

    Jdm, I think you and I are pretty much on the same page in line of thought on this one. Bears fans shouldn’t be hoping for 9 win seasons – winning every year should be expected. The only way that is going to happen is with a solid talent pool to work with and flipping the roster every few years as needed. Next year, with Lovie now taking on all accountability for the defense, will be a true barometer of where this team is at. If the defense fails again, Lovie will be completely under fire from all angles.

  8. Grabber, no one should be too happy with this season. However, compared to the last two regimes, Lovie’s regime hasn’t been quite that awful. That certainly doesn’t mean we should be happy with a 9 win season and just missing the playoffs, but sadly, the last two regimes brought us to this point. Hell, I was just happy the Bears were playing in games that counted in late December.

    From a football standpoint, there were things I did like, and things I didn’t like. I liked what I saw from Orton in the first half, and I do think he will bounce back. It was obvious he came back too soon from the injury, and it affected his play. Forte and Olsen are solid pieces to build around. Receivers are a disaster, but it can be fixed. The oline will be a question mark. We will see about that.

    On defense, they were second in takeaways, fifth in third down effeniceny, and good against the run. An average pass defense would’ve put them in the playoffs. I have said before, the blame goes on the players first, but it was obvious they weren’t responding to Babich. So, something had to be done, and you can’t get rid of half of the roster. I do like the fact Lovie is changing things around. Next season is his make or break season, and he knows it. At least he’s acknowledging something isn’t right and trying to change things up. It’s better than what Jauron did which was sitting there and do nothing when changed needed to be made.

    To me, this year proved the Bears are in the middle of the pact. They were better than a lot of teams, but weren’t quite good enough to get on the elite level. They were stuck in the middle with the rest of the teams that fell short of the playoffs. I don’t think things are that bad, and getting into the playoffs next year is not out of the question. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

  9. JDM – agreed that this regime isn’t near the level of incompetence it was with Wanny and Jauron. It would be hard to get “back” to that level, and hopefully we are not down that road. I still have no idea how a guy like Jauron gets a contract extension in Buffalo after seeing some of the boneheaded decisions he made this year after everyone seemed ready to jump on the Bills’ bandwagon. I heard and read that at the end of the season Jauron was under fire from media and fans after a huge second half implosion, yet the guy gets an extension. I guess they operate on the Millen rules of employment in Buffalo

    Re: Lovie and his moves, yes, we’ll have to see. It’s better than doing nothing. But I still firmly believe that the positional firings were not root of the problems. The defense needs to make plays, that’s the bottom line, and 100% correct. I’ll take your word on third down efficiency numbers, but I do recall seeing an awful lot of 3rd and longs all year. We didn’t do enough on either side of the ball to get in, and yes, changes on O, especially receivers, are absolutely needed. I know that Orton showed some promise overall, but he really did fall off in the second half. How much of that is the ankle, we may never know. The Bears will never do it, but I think they need to draft another QB with their second pick, or maybe look at bringing in someone like David Carr. Instead I could easily see them go the retread route and get someone like Chris Simms and try to sell it like they are getting a high quality guy that hasn’t ever been given a chance. A signing like that has Angelo’s name all over it. I also think Babich does not really add much, if any, value, and Lovie’s firings and reshuffling are covering for Babich’s lack of knowledge.

  10. Babich got put with the linbackers because they can coach themselves. It’s Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher for heaven’s sake. Grabber, I was only teasing. Man’s game. I am admitting the truth right now. If the Bear’s lined up against the Eagles on Sunday it would be a tight game, not necessarily a win, but yes we can beat them. Houston was one of the hottest teams in the league when we faced them. We need a better secondary, that is all there is to it. Yes, a great pass rush will help hide the flaws of a secondary as well. Manning looked lost this year. Get rid of Vasher. If I ever see Rashied Davis again it will be too soon.

  11. Andy Reid, c’mon: He’s not a crack addict, but no one can win with the current squad. It’s not the coach. It’s the millionaires that are gutless and play only when a contract is on the line. Vasher played not to get hurt. Mike Brown played not to get hurt and got hurt anyway. Peanut had no help in the secondary except for some really good games by Payne. Urlacher is being paid too much for where his is in his career. Briggs only worries and about fast cars and fast women; he’s got the talent to play lights out every down, but doesn’t. Don’t get me started about the offense.

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