Chicago Bears Problems: Personnel

I was thinking about a potential off-the-wall suggestion for a great Chicago Bears coach in the next few years, and potentially I’ll write about that next week.

But before I do that, I just want to make sure we all realize that in my opinion, the Bears’ problems are about 90% personnel and 10% coaching.  Nothing will change until severe problems with talent on the offensive line, wide receiver, defensive line, running back and safety are addressed.

Sure, in the current conditions every stupid coaching mistake is amplified.  Every time the Bears are penalized for having 10 or 12 men on the field, every time the Bears force a third-and-nine only to give up 12 yards, and every time Lovie Smith is shown on the sideline with his dumbfounded yet confident smile, it sucks even more.

But with an actual pass rush and NFL safeties, the Bears defense would look like it did in 2006, even with this scheme that looks so horrific in 2009.  And I’ve come to a conclusion about Ron Turner.  If he is provided with an above-average offensive line and at least one above-average running back, his scheme can win games.  In 2005 and 2006, the house of cards line Jerry Angelo built was holding strong.  Thomas Jones had hit his peak, and at times Cedric Benson looked interested.

But in 2007 Ruben Brown was injured and the play of the tackles and center started to decline.  Thomas Jones was gone, Cedric Benson didn’t seem to care about the responsibility of being a load back, and the team has regressed since then.  Without the required personnel to run his scheme successfully, Ron Turner looks like John Shoop.  And remember that when Shoop had the pieces he needed in 2001, his unit didn’t perform to the depths they did after the strong players started getting injured the following two years.

Take Brad Childress in Minnesota.  He’s been given one of the best offensive lines in football, great receivers, a quarterback that at least for now is playing the best he has in his career and potentially one of the greatest running backs of all time, and he’s rewarded with a Lovie Smith-esque contract extension.  But take away some of those pieces, and Brad is back to being Chilly.

Unfortunately I don’t see a way for the Bears personnel problems to get fixed before Smith will be fired following the 2010 season.  Problem is if the next coach fields the same poorly assembled team, the mere coaching change will do no good other than giving Smith and Turner a paid vacation 99.9% of the human race would die for.

5 Responses to “Chicago Bears Problems: Personnel”

  1. I was just over at Propaganda Central (aka the “official” website of the Chicago Bears) and learned that Green Bay currently has the #1 ranked defense in terms of yards allowed, and they rank near the top in every other major category. Wow. Prior to the start of the season, I thought for sure their defense was going to suck this year, having just switched from a 4-3 to a 3-4. Can you imagine if Lovie & Co. tried to make a change like that? The results would be catastrophic. It just goes to show the differences in the way these two organizations are run. Roy has been touching on this lately in his posts, and I have to agree. Seems like Green Bay or Minnesota may have a down year here and there, but then they bounce right back. It pains me to say it, but props to our rivals. They are much more professionally run from top to bottom. I only wish we could be so lucky.

  2. It makes me sick, but what the Packers have done in less than a year is something that would take the Bears 20 years to understand. The McCaskey’s don’t get it and never will, and the way they’ve run this organization into the ground is a disgrace to the loyal fans following it.

  3. Acquiring Jay Cutler and giving away the future should get our goofy GM fired.

  4. Ron Rivera wanted to make our defense better. He saw the holes. He was immediately fired. F**k Lovie, but first F**k Angelo. You need to learn to draft like the play happens. The ball is snapped from the line, directly to the quarterback. If the quarterback doesn’t get demolished by the defensive line or linebackers on a blitz, he can either hand it off to the runningback or throw it where the wide receivers an defensive backs/linebackers can fight for it. Our neglect of the line, and (last year and this next year) of the draft in general, is appalling.

  5. Estranged Yet Loyal on December 28th, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    While there are multiple issues with both personnel and coaching for this franchise — I believe it boils down to one stock: coaching. Josh McDaniels started this season in Denver with a rag-tag assortment of mercenaries and inexperienced players and battled the team to a 6-0 start. Everybody here knows how horrible Kyle Orton is. How is it that every player that leaves our team (besides Bobby Wade, Bernard Berrian) turns in a killer season afterwards? Cedric Benson and Kyle Orton are singlehandedly embarrassing us — as if Jones and Moose weren’t doing it already. Olson is turning out to be one of the biggest disappointments ever. The writing is on the wall. We need to clean house on every single coaching position besides special teams, starting with offensive coordinator, qb’s coach and wide Receiver’s coach. Sure, there are excuses in the suit of injuries and “bad luck”, but there has to be an end to the mentality of “cirumstances outside of our control.” This is a franchise with pride and money, vision and history. I am embarrassed by the lack of evolution from this team and it’s coaching staff. We should have converted to a 3-4 when Urlacher was healthy. People on this board have pointed out hoards of free agent gems to fill gaps in our roster. I’m sick of should. How do we expect our youth to man up in their positions when they have no one to learn from? The day won’t come soon enough when this regime is ousted and we get a fresh set of coaches who know this is a “tape league” and change with the times.

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