So why not go to an old fashioned favorite to solve our woes, and at least tell us exactly how much trouble we're in next year.
It's time for Musical Chairs!
If you can't bring in any more quality players, then you make do with what you have by putting them in the best spot to succeed. So let's look at what that could possibly entail.
To say that we swung and missed on our FA offensive line acquisitions this off season would be a misstatement of Orlando Pace-like proportions. We picked up a tackle and tried to run him at LG, which has proven to be one of the worst decisions possible considering Omigawdyouwantmetoblockwhat has looked like one of the worst offensive linemen that I can remember playing for the Bears. His run blocking has looked absolutely terrible, and his pass blocking hasn't been anything even mediocre. Then we've got Orlando Pace who has definitely lost a step and while he does well against power still, top end speed rushing is making him look like a clown more often than not. Shaffer has been relegated to definitive back up category and it's pretty obvious why when you see him in place of Pace and actually miss Pace.
Now then, returning to the team from last year we have the big CDub who has shown flashes playing at RT, but it's obvious that his finesse game just isn't suited to more power focused RT spot by the way he seems to get pushed back miles on many of his run blocking assignments. We've got Garza who has been Garza, a delightfully competent right guard who has managed to shine like a dime in a pile of crap. Honestly, he's been very serviceable, but surrounded by the four stooges he's looked phenomenal in comparison. Kreutz is back again this year anchoring the middle of the line, and he's finally hit the end of his road. His shotgun snaps are abysmal seemingly low two out of three time, even rolling on occasion. His actual blocking is extremely suspect, as he has always been slightly undersized and his age is apparently catching up with him, showing that fire only goes so far when father time comes calling. Lastly, we have Beekman and it's quite literally Beekman's world at the moment, as he's looked very serviceable at LG, not a monster by any stretch of the imagination, but plenty of flashes and looks definitely good enough to take over for Kreutz next year for a solid improvement.
So, with the brief overview completed I'll get back to my main point. We're 4-5, and the only even slight chance at a playoff berth would be to double tap the Vikings, and sweep the rest of our conference games which isn't really likely. It's time to figure out what we have for next year so we can make the best of our limited picks, and go after needed pieces in the FA market. The best way to do that is to start the game of musical chairs.
1. Take advantage of Pace's injury and move CDub over to his natural LT position, Cutler can't be smashed and under any more pressure than he already is so no worries about him learning the game speed at LT on the fly.
2. Move Omygoodnesshemightnotbetheworstever, over to RT where he can take advantage of his more tackle skill set, and larger size and see if he's worth keeping on the roster next year or not. This would be put up or shut up time for the guy, if he can't handle RT he'll be trade fodder/cutfodder next year.
3. Put Shaffer in at LG to help CDub out a bit, and see if he has any talent at the position. My understanding of the guy is that he was always known as run first blocker, even playing tackle. As a guard he's going to be able to work more at run blocking, but having the experience at T should help him a bit in catching CDub's mistakes that he's bound to make taking over the position.
4. Pull Kreutz for Beekman. Beekman is a better blocker, and it's hard to imagine anyone could be worse than Kreutz at getting the ball into the QB's hands. Kreutz is not the answer at center, so if Beekman is it'd be best to get the chemistry building started now instead of waiting for next season. If it's shown that Beekman is terribad at C, which I don't think he will be, it'd at least give us a prime target in the draft next year since C are historically picked low, and multiple teams picked centers last year that needed them.
So those are my thoughts on an NFL level game of musical chairs, anyone else want to queue up the Bear Down fight song and see who ends up on their rear end when the music stops?
P.S.: I'd add a poll, but anything to do with assets or polling seems to be crashing my browser when I click on it, I had to manually tag the one image I did get in :P