I returned from northern Minnesota today after an unsuccessful deer opener, and I got to my girlfriend's house around 12.30. I was checking on the game through my iPhone and texts from friends. I went inside and realized that the Bears weren't playing on any of the Minneapolis Fox affiliates. In all honesty, I think that was good. I talked with my mom and my dad to see what had happened. They both said was that Olsen and Hester were ok, Cutler did pretty well, but the OL and DL were awful. Judging from what's going on here, I'd have to say that their assessment was pretty solid.
First, I'm going to talk about Tommie Harris, a thought on Lovie Smith, and finish up with the quotes. Follow me inside.
Let me say that I want Tommie Harris suspended for a few games by the NFL. That was a bullshit move on his part. Punching a player who is down on the ground is the sign of a sure pansy. Way to be a big man, Tommie.
One of the only positive things about this game is that Tommie has driven that nail through the coffin - he won't be a Bear next year. Since 2007, we haven't been getting a lot out of him. The problem with Tommie is twofold: Players don't regress that quickly. There's no reason for it, whether it was due to the payday or his knees. His knees aren't in the best of health. Do I believe that he got paid and decided to quit? No, I really don't. Do I think that his knees have completely given up? No, I don't believe that either. I think it's a mixture of both. I know that until Lovie sat him down in the Cincinnati game, he didn't practice that often. That was a source of consternation for us throughout the offseason, and Tommie still didn't practice until Lovie sat him. And looking at all we have to upgrade, I think you'll see that Tommie Harris will be an ex-Bear. If they're focused on getting the OL and DL fixed, you have to go out and get rid of waste. We're well under the cap - get rid of waste (Tommie) and go from there. This isn't an offseason to hang around and be under the cap, we can
Good coaching is all about preparing your players, making sure they're motivated, and executing what they're told to do. Before this year, I never really had a problem with how Lovie prepared. As we all know, a big problem last year was that we prepared and were too rigid in our playcalling - we'd start hot and then not make any second-half adjustments. I don't care which 2009 game you look at, but we start out lethargic. Good coaches make sure their players play with a sense of urgency, and that hasn't happened this year. That, in my opinion, is disappointing.
I know one of the things that everyone's going to be talking about (and rightfully so) is the rest of the schedule and where we go from here. I'm not calling for Lovie's head. At the same time, I believe that if we continue melting down the rest of the way like we have, Lovie will probably be the coach in 2010, but it wouldn't shock me if Jerry axed him.
I'm sure some of y'all are looking forward to Lovie Smith's press conferences and somehow try to objectively critique his fire and passion. Bottom line: Everybody wants to win. Whatever you do, you want to win and do a good job. If you're a lawyer, you want to win every case. If you're doctor, you want to cure every patient. Whatever your occupation, you want to do a good job. I have a hard time believing that just because Lovie doesn't show emotion, that's a sign he's apathetic or he doesn't care. That's just wrong. He wants to win, everybody in the Bears organization wants to win. Some people just don't show emotion, and that's ok. I have no problem with him not showing any emotion, that's fine with me. At the same time, I don't want to hear the bland answers at pressers.
I know Bill Belichick has been dishonest when talking in press conferences, and that's fine. He's Bill Belichick and he has earned the right to do what he wants to. It's saddening to see this team, who we thought would look like a cleaner product on the field regress horribly. Just please, don't start the fire and passion arguments. It's a used, worn-down, and absolutely unsubstantiated. He has passion to be a head coach, he wants to win just like we all do. If you want to talk about Lovie Smith and his playcalling, go ahead. Saying that he doesn't have fire and passion because he doesn't wear his emotions on his sleeves is a horribly misguided opinion for you to have.
Let's get to it.
Lovie on the game:
"Don't have a lot of reasons to give you why we played that way. I know we're a better football team than that. But of course, our play didn't say that today. When you get yourself back in position at home, normally with momentum, good things happen. But that's the way our day went a little bit. In critical situations, we didn't make the play. You look at reality, and we're 4-4. That's all you can look at. We haven't played the defending champs in our division (the Vikings). You're disappointed, which we are, but then you move forward and you just do everything you can to get a win the next time out, and that's what we'll do. We have a lot of important football games coming up."
We have some soul-searching to do right now on a short week. When you play a game like this, you want to play [again] almost immediately. That's the good thing about having the chance to play the 49ers on Thursday night. We have a lot of character on our football team. We realize where we are right now. We'll come back ready to go this week."
Lovie on Tommie:
"You can't lose a player like Tommie Harris. Tommie has to be smarter than that. He can't get himself thrown out of the football game. That hurt our football team. I haven't really had a chance to get a good explanation from Tommie. I didn't talk to Tommie after the game."
Jay Cutler on the game:
"A loss is a loss. We've got to do things better in the first half. If the other team is going to score like that, we've got to close the gap somehow. We're not really into moral victories at this point."
Jay Cutler on facing a large deficit:
"It's tough. We tried to mix in some runs. We tried to mix in some quick screens and stuff to the wide receivers. But when you boil it down, we've got to get some chunks of yards. We've got to score and we've got to do it quickly. The defense knows that. They understand that. It makes it an uphill battle."
Alex Brown on the game:
"Before it's going to work, we've got to believe it's going to work. We've got to have a sense of urgency, and we don't have that right now. I don't know what the hell is wrong, but we've got to change it. This is the eighth game of the season, and I know a lot of people like to think that we're better than 4-4. But hell, our record is 4-4. So that's what we are. If we have any aspirations of going any further or making it to the playoffs, then we've got to play a hell of a lot better. We've got to play better. Everybody that doesn't feel bad after that shouldn't be here. That's horrible. We stunk up the place. It was pretty
Everybody that doesn't feel bad after that shouldn't be here. We stunk up the place. That's horrible. I really don't know what to do, but we've got another game Thursday (at San Francisco). We keep saying, 'Go home and soul search and look at yourself,' but I don't know. There might be something more, might be a little more than that."
Alex Brown on Tommie:
"Ninety-one [Harris] going out hurt us a lot. That's as far as I'm talking about 91."
Zack Bowman on going against Larry Fitzgerald:
"He has powerful hands. I saw one on the sidelines that he caught against Tillman, and Charles had perfect coverage against him. Just an excellent catch. You win some, you lose some."
Danieal Manning on the game:
"We didn't play good football today. We just didn't play football."
Al Afalava on his injury:
"I already injured (the shoulder) in preseason, but I just hurt it more. I missed a tackle on a long run and the running back ran through my arm."