Nothing like a movie quote to sum up a team. In Spiderman before Peter Parker's loving Uncle was killed off he said.... "With Great Power comes Great Responsibility". That is the story of the 2009 Chicago Bears. A season with so much promise, now has been reduced to something familiar to the City's baseball team on the North side...."Wait until next year".
The only problem is that next year, actually the next few years, look much worse.
Jay Cutler has been the whipping boy the last couple of weeks for a team that frankly is not very good. When your #1 wide receiver is a converted kick/punt returner that should tell you all you need to know: The Bears Leadership (Coaches/Front Office/ Ownership) are clueless. Who gets a so-called Franchise Quarterback and gives them no support. The move to get Jay Cutler for a couple of #1 draft picks, a 3rd/5th round swap, and Kyle Orton makes total sense.
The moves that did and didn't happen after it don't.
#1 Improving the Wide Receiver Corps: That was the talk before the draft and in the off-season (before the Cutler deal). All the bears ended up with was Juaquin Iglesias (Mark Bradley #2), and Johnny Knox (who has shown flashes), but is not an every down wide receiver. Earl Bennett may have played with Cutler in college, but he is still a rookie, considering he didn't even see the field in his rookie season. So you have two rookies and a converted kick/punt returner as your wide receivers. No wonder the man leads the league in picks. Cutler may be talented, Greg Olson may be a solid TE, but you need people on the outside who can make plays. Expecting Devin Hester to be that guy is just dumb.
#2 The Offensive line: You want to talk about offensive.....whew. The bears get Orlando Pace who despite having a great career is far past his prime. They add Frank Omiyale from Carolina for big $$$ (even though he was a back up in Carolina), and move rookie Chris Williams to Right Tackle. Looks good on paper, but not on the field. Pace has looked his age, Omiyale is proving why he was on the bench, and Chris Williams is out of position. Add an aging Olin Kruetz and you have issues. The issue is the Bears can no longer run the ball, putting all the pressure on the QB to make plays, without the tools to make them. The interceptions/sacks have piled up and Cutler's confidence has suffered. He looked like a scared/beaten person on Sunday night against Philadelphia.
#3 The Defense: This once dominating defense was a shell of itself last year, but the coaching staff must not have been watching. The defense needed to stay healthy in order for this team to come close to meeting it's lofty expectations and what happens???? Brian Urlacher is lost for the season in the first quarter of the first game, and free agent signing LB Pisa Tinoisamoa has been lost most of the year with a knee injury. DT Tommie Harris (another major component) has been having a mid-career life crisis, and a young secondary is getting beat often because the lack of a consistent pass rush. The Bears then gave away a 2nd round draft pick to Tampa Bay for Gaines "I'm a bust" Adams, who has made absolutely no impact.
#4 To the future: With no 1st or 2nd round draft picks next year, an aging offensive line and defense, where is this team headed??? You got it....backwards. Free agency could help fix some of the problems, but the Bears are not the Washington Redskins when it comes to spending money in free agency.
#5 "With Great Power comes Great Responsibility": That responsibility is getting dumped mostly on the shoulders of Jay Cutler right now for the way he has played (most of it justified). However, the lingering effects of that responsibility come down hard on the men with the Power: Lovie Smith and Jerry Angelo. Smith for the regressing on-field performances, and Angelo for the failure to support one of the biggest moves in franchise history.
Spiderman was able to handle that Power and Responsibility, but after all he's a comic book superhero for god sakes.
Angelo and Smith may need someone like their friendly neighborhood Spiderman to save their jobs, because Bear fans are already using another classic movie line from 1977's Network. "I"m mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore". I suggest Jerry and Lovie listen.
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