Seeing Red at The Orange and Blue
Once again, I cannot hear The Score 670, my hometown station, live.
Hearing that the Bears did their end of the season press conference from a friend, I asked him what they said. His response was "listen for yourself."
I had no way of doing that, so I booted up Boers and Bernstein, for my money the best sports radio duo in the country. Bernstein announced that they would be carrying the press conference live, and instinctively I knew I'd be laughing, as B & B's comedy stylings and drops are excellent and, more often than not, germane to the discussion at hand.
But I still felt disappointment as I listened to Ted Phillips say nothing while using a lot of words, Jerry Angelo take responsibility for the failure of the team (which is only fair, since it was the Orlando Pace horror show on his watch.)
But when Lovie Smith, the man supposedly under fire, the man who has had it put into his face like a tire iron that he doesn't have the personnel to utilize the Tampa-2 defense effectively, strode to the podium and basically said "As long as I am the coach of the Chicago Bears we will do things my way even when they don't blanking work."
I felt my eyeballs turn red with rage.
Firing Ron Turner wasn't the admission of wrong that it was supposed to be. It wasn't the front office and Smith admitting that they needed a fresh look. It's the same old stuff, like Humphrey Bogart's early career or Vince Carter's creative interpretation of the word "team."
You see, the Tampa 2 works when you have Brian Kelly and Ronde Barber. IT DOES NOT WORK when your cornerbacks are Zack Bowman and the soon to be moving to safety Charles Tillman. Or the injured Nathan Vasher.
It also does not work if opposing QB's have time to locate and complete passes to their receivers. It also won't really work if Jay Cutler is getting buried on a regular basis by defensive ends and linebackers, because YOU WON'T SCORE, and the defense is moot.
Following the Super Bowl Season, Smith derricked Ron Rivera because of a difference of opinion. The opinion being that Lovie was the boss, and Rivera did what Lovie wanted him to do or else.
Now, I have no problem with this in the real world. You do have to do what your boss advises you to. But when it comes to a football team, you leave the DC alone.
You do not meddle.
Smith took over as the DC, and the Bears haven't seen the playoffs since. This could also be attributed to the rise of the Vikings as an NFL elite and the Packers right behind them, but the Bears could very easily be a good team. They just aren't.
Why aren't the Bears a good team?
I've listed it plenty of times here, so I won't go into it, but Dan Bernstein regularly gets into arguments with callers when they start with the "fire and passion" argument. Fire and passion doesn't mean a thing, no matter how many bad football movies may convince you otherwise.
Different things appeal to different people. If you come at the Bears with the fire and passion thing, you're going to get laughed out of the locker room. You'll lose the team.
Because of guys like Brian Urlacher, who've seen it all and basically just laugh. Unless you challenge them.
Cutler did a long time ago, and Urlacher, who busted his wrist in the first game against the Packers, spent the season on the sidelines taking shots at the Bears, and Cutler in particular. But, the Bears have been known as a defensive team because they've never had a QB that was actually good since Sid Luckman.
Until this year.
One could say Jim McMahon was good...but was he really? That's a true question, and I'd be interested to know the answer.
With "game manager" QB's, the Chicago Bears have been one of the biggest failures in the Super Bowl Era. The Dallas Cowboys' "America's Team" periods arose when they had Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman, not whoever was between or before those two.
Yet being the Chicago Bears, they attempt to rely on defense to do the impossible, then have the gall to blame the offense when the defense fails.
In summary: Shut up, Urlacher, and all your minions. Defense wins championships when there's a cursory offense, at least, to sustain it.
If something doesn't work, you try something else. Unless you're the Chicago Bears, who are going to face next season's potentially uncapped year without a first OR second round pick, possibly without any good free agents, and with the same bad defense that got the Randall "Tex" Cobb treatment this season.
It drives me up the wall just thinking about the arrogance of Lovie Smith, who will hire a DC who'll probably be a puppet. (Cue "No Chance in Hell" here, complete with the Vince McMahon walk.) All I have to say is, if there's another 7-9 season, this can't be fixed. And if it can't be fixed, then hire someone who can.
And someone who won't give dumb press conferences where they promise nothing will change on the side of the ball that got beaten to a pulp.
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