1. While Mike Tice NEVER received his due credit for the miracles he did on our O-line, truth is we still lack talent on the line and it starts there. He was able to turn a below average (at best) group into a group that had a shot at the title game...not bad for his first year. I cannot wait to see what he can do with two years and hopefully some new young talent.
2. Peppers is worth every penny we spent on him. He does a ton of stuff that doesn't show up on the stat sheets. He dominated in the divisional game against the seahawks and most of his stuff didn't show up on the stats. Opposing QBs/O-line/O-coordinators have nightmares about him and he makes me excited about next year.
3. Our secondary needs help. They are the final piece of the puzzle to running the Tampa 2 and as long as Lovie is here, the Tampa 2 is here...and even if Lovie wasn't here and we ran the 3-4 (which is my preferred scheme) we would need to improve the secondary anyway. So to all those out there who would say just dump Lovie and the Tampa 2 and our problems on D would be fixed...you are wrong.
4. Chicago can still run the Tampa 2. Most people do not understand what this is, or the fact that we are not always in the Tampa 2...but while we have our D-line and amazing linebackers and get help in the secondary we can do this...the Colts have run it for a while and it can still work. Most people only know it is the 'bend don't break mentality' which is true but it operates under the assumption that the other team isn't perfect and when patient they will make mistakes. Put the players in the right positions and let them make the plays. Look at how many turnovers we have forced this year!!! While the Tampa 2 is not my choice type of D, while we have the personal we have the capability to run it. Additionally, the coaching staff we have is great at running the Tampa 2.
5. Lovie is here to stay. I know people in Chicago hate Lovie but he is still a good coach. His players will play their butt off for him and his stuff can work with the right people. His decisions about bringing in Tice, Martz and Rod were brilliant & I hope they all are here to stay Peppers came to Chicago because of our D and Lovie (who runs the D). I truly cannot say enough about the supporting cast Lovie has around him. I really think they are great and I hope they all are here to stay cause WE NEED THEM!
6. I am still not a Jerry fan...he needs to prove me wrong with this coming draft. The O-line wasn't fixed this year and it should have been a personal decision which is Jerry's job. While he did bring in Peppers and Taylor which was great the O-line was not addressed like it should have been.
7. Hanie is a good QB with great NFL potential...just not in the Conference Championship game. People will call for Cutler to be benched and for Hanie to be put in but that would be a mistake. Cutler is still the best QB this city has seen in a LONG while. It would be foolish to decide who is the starting QB next season over 2 quarters of a game where the O-line didn't exactly play well...
8. Urlacher is NOT finished like all those haters out there said he was...although it would be nice to draft a MLB so they can start learning from him...I don't know if there is anyone left with the instincts he has to play the MLB position in the NFL. There are other great LBs in the NFL, but none that can play the MLB position like Urlacher can. I know some will say Clay Matthews but he doesn't play MLB and Ray Lewis is definitely in the conversation but his skills in coverage are not nearly as good as Urlacher. Lewis just gets more media attention because he draws more attention to himself where as Urlacher does not.
9. Going into the season one of the major perceived weaknesses was the WR corp...they proved everyone wrong for the most part. Johnny Knox (whom I love dearly) was the targeted on 10 of Cutler's 26 INTs for the '09 season. As far as ESPN's analysis can tell, Knox was responsible for at least 6 of those. He has greatly improved this season and is one of the main reasons why our WRs did well. He drew double coverages and allowed for people like Olsen, Bennet and Forte to be open on the field. DA was a dissappointment this season. The coaching staff said he didn't know the play book well enough to be on the field which is a shame cause he has the height, speed, hands and potential to be a true #1.
10. My prediction of 6-10 at the beginning of the season was almost as far off as it could have been. I have never been so happy to be wrong in my life! No one could have predicted the utter failure and self-destruction called the Viking's this season (my sympathies goes out to their fans cause, seriously...what can u do???). Lovie Smith, amidst all the criticism and hatred from the fan base in Chicago knew what he had and led us to a division title and to the conference championship game. I know losing to the Pack is painful but I never saw this season coming...I CANNOT WAIT FOR NEXT SEASON. See you all after the draft.
P.S. Olsen played well this season and I hope Martz can dream up more wild ways to get him involved. He DOMINATED in the seahawks game and we saw how if we get him the ball it just opens everything up. Martz, please get to work for next season.