I'm honestly at a loss for words as to the horrid play of our beloved Bears in particular on offense. I've been so optimistic about everything, and now I feel embarrassed. Its as simple as it gets; changes must be made to the Bears especially on the roster for this team to contend once again. But, unlike a few others, the changes are not as dramatic as firing the entire coaching staff. That will still be discussed, but here are my proposed changes to the Bears and the moves I would make as a GM (George McCaskey, you better be taking notes!). Lets begin as soon as you take the plunge to the future.
First and foremost, I will make this statement; don't place 100% of the blame on the coaching staff.Injuries happen, and even though great coaches get through the injuries (see 2010 Green Bay Packers for reference), injuries to your most important players can ruin a team's season (see current Colts for reference). For the most part, the defense has played very well albeit it seems to be in-vain. This offense has been torn to shredswith the injury count that includes two starters on IR (Gabe Carimi as well as Chris Williams, on the O-line) and two that have and will continue to miss time (Jay Cutler and Matt Forte). So cleaning house on the coaching staff is not a great idea. However, with all that said, the coaches still deserve a fair share of the blame, and thus the first of my moves begins.
Coaching Changes: Now, again the defense has been good under HC Lovie Smith as well as Hot Rod being the DC, but the injury riddled offense headed by Mike Martz...unacceptable! I will be somewhat lenient towards said Mike Martz, because ultimately injuries to his starting QB as well as his star RB have wrecked his offense; however, his receiving corps has been virtually non-existent throughout the season. And who is in charge of the receiving corps? One Darryl Drake. Throughout his now 7 year career with the Bears, not 1 receiver has become something known around the league as a #1 target. Granted Jerry Angelo has been...foolish with the receiving corps, but its on the positions coach to get the most out of their players. And not 1 receiver has made a real long-term impact. So, he should be fired after a failure to accept responsibility and COACH! Mike Martz is still on my hot list for potential firings, but I'll make the appropriate roster moves and see if he will run the offense the same way he ran it while Cutler and Forte were healthy.
Front Office Changes: Everyone's favorite idea, firing Jerry Angelo. He has made some brilliant moves in the past, but overall his preparation in particular on the depth charts for the offense hasn't cut it. The receiving corps as well as the O-line are perhaps the worst in their respective categories at least in our division if not the NFL. He has made all the personnel decisions, and thus must take the blame for its failures as much as he takes credit for the FA splashes. So, he as well as Ted Phillips for the matter and his crony Tim Ruskell, all fired.
Now lets talk about the roster itself. Where we have a great defense as well as some great players on offense, depth is a serious concern to each position. Lets make a list of each position, and see how many changes are needed in each position.
QB: Jay Cutler proved when healthy as well as protected, he is definitely an elite QB in the NFL. He is and shall remain the starter for years to come. But the back-ups are a completely different topic. Caleb Haniehas failed in just about every way this year, he just doesn't have "it". Unfortunately, there are not too many good veteran back-ups expected to be available, so the way I would solve this is to look into the draft for a back-up to Jay Cutler. If RG3 is somehow available in the 3rd round, take him!
RB: Matt Forte is without a doubt a young star in the making. He shall receive a very nice (and fair) contract extension. Marion Barber has, for the most part, been a good #2. Kahlil Bell is a great #3 RB. And Tyler Clutts is a rather good FB. So this position will remain as such in terms of depth.
WR: Our biggest problem, by a long-shot. Earl Bennett is a good receiver when Jay Cutler is on the field. Otherwise, not one receiver on this team is starter material. All of them except Earl have issues running their routes, catching the ball, getting off of jams, etc. This has to be overhauled. Roy E. Williams has been...bad. He will not be kept around. Johnny Knox is extremely inconsistant. He will not be a starter. Luckily for us, this may be the easiest to solve given the cornucopia of talent available in FA as well as the draft. Vincent Jackson would be a perfect fit for the offense. So sign him, then look at the 2nd-4th round for another nice prospect, unless somehow Justin Blackmoncomes within range of us in the 1st round.
O-line: Our 2ndbiggest problem. People would want new starters signed. However, its been an O-line dealing with injuries to 2 starters. It will be extremely tempting to land a great talent such as Carl Nicks, but, this O-line is also young. Chris Williams was perhaps our best O-lineman until he tragically got placed on IR along with a promising player in Gabe Carimi. Chris Spencer has been effective as our RG. Roberto Garza is old, but provides a stable "force" on the line. Lance Louis has shown promise at times, but has regressed recently. J'MarcusWebb is dealing with his own issues at LT. Perhaps a veteran player could replace Webb at LT, and a promising rookie suchas Ben Jones from the draft could take over at Center, but I'm going to remain patient with this young group. Its depth I'm most concerned about. Attack it head-on in FA as well as the draft. And above all, GET RID OF OMIYALE!!!
TE: Not much to say withthis group, as they are under-used as of right now. Not a ton of talent, but both Matt Spaeth as well as Kellen Davis have been solid. Adding another balanced option during the draft will help.
LB: Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs remain as one of the best 4-3 tandems in the NFL. Nick Roach has been okay as a SLB, but nothing special. Depth (a repetitive issue in this article) is a major concern. I would go ahead and draft an exceptional talent who can start as the Sam on day 1, then slide inside once the time is right.
D-Line: Major improvement over last year in terms of pass rush. Julius Peppers currently has 9 sacks and is poised to reach double digits by season's end, Henry Melton has 7 of his own as the primary 3T. Israel Idonije has been a solid vet, and both Amobi Okoye as well as Stephan Paea have been solid pick-ups. The one issue I have is that there seems to be a huge drop-off at DE from Peppers, to Idonije, then to everyone else. Peppers ain't a spring chicken, andwe have to find more players that can spell for Peppers. NT has also been a problem, where Anthony Adams has been dealing with injuries and well just no consistency with the group. We must bring aboard someone who can become a mainstay at NT as in being there to command double teams and being a force against the run.
Safety: Once again it has turned into a revolving door. Brandon Meriweather has not performed well, and Major Wright continues to have issues with injuries. Chris Conte has proved to be a wise selection as he perhaps has been our most consistent safety this year. Yet, this simply has not been enough. I'm not particularly sure how to solve this, so this is up in the air.
CB: Our third biggest issue. Charles Tillman is a great player to have. Neither Tim Jennings or Zachary Bowman have shown to be dependable players in regards to man coverage. The draft is full of talented prospects, that is our best bet.
Been a while since I've typed one of these. Overall, this season has gone from being very promising, to very disappointing. Injuries have killed this team. Changes must be made, but not all hope is lost for the future. Bring in the right people, and this team shall return to glory. If not, we are doomed. Anyway, feel free to comment and express your opinion/frustration. But first, a question: