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Laundry on the field: Chicago Bears OL Penalties

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How many times in the last couple years have you pulled your hair out when a Bears lineman committed a penalty that absolutely killed the offensive momentum? Something tells me the answer is some variation of "Too damn many".

Here is a breakdown of OL penalties in 2010:

Olin Kreutz: 6 penalties/ 55 yards (1 false start, 4 holding, 1 other)

Roberto Garza: 6 penalties/ 50 yards (2 FS, 1 hold)

Frank Omiyale: 7 penalties/ 40 yards (6 FS, 1 hold)

Chris Williams: 6 penalties/ 42 yards (3 FS, 2 holds, 1 other)

J'Marcus Webb: 6 penalties/ 50 yards (2 FS, 4 holds)

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For a comparison, here is where some of the top linemen ended 2010's season:

Centers-

Nick Mangold: 3 penalties/ 25 yards (1 FS, 2 holds)

Alex Mack: 3 penalties/ 30 yards (3 holds)

Matt Birk: 2 penalties/ 10 yards (2 FS)

Jeff Saturday: 4 penalties/ 35 yards (1 FS, 3 holds)

Ryan Kalil: 2 penalties/ 10 yards (2 FS)

Guards-

Jahri Evans: 10 penalties/ 82 yards (2 FS, 8 holds)

Chris Snee: 5 penalties/ 30 yards (4 FS, 1 hold)

Logan Mankins: 3 penalties/ 22 yards (1 FS, 1 hold, 1 other) - 9 games played

Leonard Davis: 4 penalties/ 24 yards (2 FS, 2 holds)

Carl Nicks: 4 penalties/ 44 yards (4 holds)

Tackles-

Joe Thomas: 2 penalties/ 15 yards (1 FS, 1 hold)

Ryan Clady: 5 penalties/ 40 yards (2 FS, 2 holds, 1 other)

Jake Long: 8 penalties/ 60 yards (4 FS, 4 holds)

D'Brickashaw Ferguson: 5 penalties/ 35 yards (3 FS, 2 holds)

Michael Oher: 11 penalties/ 73 yards (8 FS, 2 holds, 1 other)

We see that many of the league's best offensive linemen still commit a high number of turnovers, but a truly talented player can overcome those yellow flags and have a huge impact on helping their teams win. But as we all know, the Bears OL did very little to have a positive impact on games, and we need to be more disciplined.

Year two with Mike Martz and Mike Tice, along with a couple new starters (hopefully) in 2011, should see an improvement in the penalty department for our crew.

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Bonus material-

And finally, looking not only at the offensive side of the ball, let's look at overall team penalty rankings for 2010. Taking all penalties into account, the Bears were the 11th-most penalized team in the NFL (5.7 penalties per game), tied with the Chiefs, Texans, and Saints.

The least penalized teams were:

Falcons (3.6 per game)

Dolphins (4.5)

Browns (4.8)

Colts (4.9)

Packers (4.9)

The most penalized teams were:

Raiders: (9.2 per game)

Lions (8.7)

Eagles (8.3)

Titans (8.1)

49ers (7.1)

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Penalties cause huge swings in momentum during the course of a game, and it can be difficult to overcome. Some clubs have the talent to pull themselves out of the hole, but many do not... I'd say the Bears fall into the latter category. Hopefully 2011 will bring some changes for the better...

All stats provided by Stats Hosted Solution and Team Rankings.