1. I’m surprised at myself. I did think that at some point in the year I would consider the ramifications of the Greg Olsen trade. But I’m surprised I’m just thinking of this now. When the trade went down, I agreed with it based on the fact that it was a necessary step in the “Martzification” of the Bears offense. Fair enough, the Martz offense requires large blocking tight ends more than pass-catchers. But I did think at the time that “what if Martz leaves after 2011, and the next offensive coordinator’s system requires a tight end with great pass-catching skills.” And here we are. I am convinced that Martz will not be back in Chicago in 2012, no matter what window dressing Martz and the Bears organization try to put on the situation. What will be next? Trying to find another pass-catching tight end? Again, great move for the Martz’ offense. Very short-sighted if Martz isn’t back.
2. Addressing the backup quarterback situation and my reflecting on Jerry Angelo’s ongoing comment that a team can’t invest in a backup if it has a high-priced starter. JDM in his comments makes a very good point–there are not even 32 starters in the NFL, let alone backups that any team would want as their starter for any length of time. What I was probably dwelling on was the chance the Bears had to sign Marc Bulger in 2010 but passed due to the contract demand. Despite giving Chester Taylor and Brandon Manumaleuna more than $10 million guaranteed each. So JDM, point taken and I stand corrected. I don’t have a matrix of the current 32 backups in the NFL, and I agree that there probably aren’t any that would be better off than Caleb Hanie, other than Matt Flynn in Green Bay.
3. So I think the key to having a quality backup quarterback is to develop one yourself, as the Packers seem to have done so many times (Ty Detmer, Mark Brunell, Matt Hasselbeck, Aaron Brooks, and the aforementioned seventh round pick in Flynn). Let’s hope there is hope for Nathan Enderle in a few years. Good thing the Bears dropped the agreed-upon pick of James Starks to take Dan LeFevour, right?
4. Martz says he will be expanding the offense with Hanie this week, not scaling it back. Really.
5. I agreed with Steve Rosenbloom’s opinion in the Chicago Tribune this week. While Tim Tebow gets all of the attention in Denver, the Bears shouldn’t worry about him as much as the Bronco defense. Hanie and company couldn’t score against the Kansas City Chiefs. How will they do so against this Denver defense?
6. Comment from an insightful co-worker at the company holiday party last night. “I’m not worried about Cutler coming back this year, that’s not going to happen. I’m worried if this injury will affect him forever and he’ll never be the same.” I sure hope that doesn’t happen, but it was a good point.
7. OK I have a number 7 this week, as we all probably need a good laugh. I’m glad to call “Bearman” Don my friend-we got together to watch the Oakland-Bears game. We should all know by now that former safety Doug Plank is his favorite Bear of all time. Don has worn his #46 jersey with his Bearman getup for years-and from 1998 through 2002 he ran the flag on the field after scores. While doing so he got to know some of the players, being on the field with them. While watching the Oakland game, Don told me that former Bears kicker Paul Edinger thought that Don’s name was actually Plank throughout his tenure. Yes, Edinger thought that Don just bought a Bears #46 jersey and put his own name, Plank, on it. For those of you that remember Edinger, I hope you enjoy that story as much as I did.