Are the Bears the worst in the NFL?

I sure as hell hope not since I will be attending 8 home games and maybe even 1-2 useless pre season games.

According to USA today (surprised they even exist, btw) the Bears rank 32 out of 32 teams according to their power ranking poll.  WOW.  That’s below the Browns, the Raiders, and Tampa Bay… and also the usual suspects like Tennessee and Jacksonville.

What do you think?

Bears News and Notes

Well, now that the draft is over, it is the “quiet” time for NFL stuff. However there have been a few things going on up at Halas Hall that I would like to round up in this post.

The draft went well for the Bears, according to most “experts”. We definitely addressed some needs and didn’t make any dumb moves or trades. All of the draft picks have been signed. This used to be a huge deal, but with the new CBA of a few years ago, there really isn’t much negotiation for these guys any more. If three of the six catch on and contribute in any meaningful way, that will be a huge success as the draft is always a crap shoot. Look at Jacksonville, who had the number three overall pick in the draft. They chose Dante Fowler, who has already mangled his ACL and is out for the year.
Confused-Jacksonville-Jaguars-fan-in-stands
Others have beaten the draft all to hell so I won’t spend too much time on it here.

The Bears signed tackle Paul Cornick (another former Bronco player) on May 5, and then cut his ass on May 7 due to a “failed physical”. That term “failed physical” is tossed around pretty nonchalantly in the NFL and could really mean a million things. I am guessing he was trying to hide an injury or something that got vetted out in the physical.

The Bears signed an assload of undrafted free agents (UDFA’s) after the draft – 15 of them to be exact. If we can get just one of these guys to catch on it would be a huge success. Of note is the QB Shane Carden from East Carolina.

These highlight youtube videos of college football players crack me up. You can find them for almost every player of note. I think that the kids who are media majors have to make them for the school for one of their classes.

So for QB I think it will look something like this:
Run Cutler into the ground at least one more year since we will suck anyways, and maybe run him into the ground for his final year in 2016 too. Keep Jimmy “Pickles” Clausen for when Cutler gets hurt. That leaves the third string position to be fought out by Carden and Fales. I am guessing that one of them will make the practice squad and/or they will keep them as an inactive on the roster.

One thing I would like to bring into this post that is draft related was the choice of Jeremy Langford from Michigan State. This is a sure sign that Forte will have to take a massive pay cut as he is aging, or he will be gone. There is no more de-valued position in the NFL right now than running back.

The Black Unicorn appears to be on the trading block. As of this writing, the Bears have five or six tight ends on the roster so it does look like this is the end for him. He is smart, though for complaining and bitching and trying to get a new deal done NOW. With the new offense, it is almost a lock that Bennett will get fewer touches this year, and his stats were excellent last year – he was one of the very few proven performers for the Bears all year long. With an aging player, your stats declining is a BAD THING when it comes extension time. But he has attitude issues, and that doesn’t look like it will fly with a guy like Pace. So we will likely get a 4th or 5th rounder for him but oh well, that’s the NFL for ya. This is my favorite moment from last year, when he welcomed Kyle Fuller into the NFL in camp:

I am sure that the Bears owners and higher ups all almost vomited when they saw their first rounder get slammed to the ground.

The Bears have declined to pick up the fifth year option of Shea McClellin. This is an interesting moment in a recent presser from Pace – it almost appears as though he is doing everything he can not to just say to the reporter “are you nuts?” at the 4.55 mark in this press conference. I have a feeling that Shea will get cut before the season. We will always have this to thank him for:
shea gif
Ha ha ha I could watch that a million times.

As an aside, if you have never watched a Ryan Pace presser, you should. He is a refreshing change from the old, stodgy, typical GM. He is young, healthy, intense, and engaging. Will he be successful? Time will tell, but I like how he has come in and essentially blown up the place. Speaking of…

…Pace has fired many of the Bears scouts. It appears that he is just totally cleaning house and bringing in all new people from the players to the staff. I see no reason why he shouldn’t.

That’s about it for now. As I said, we are now heading into the quiet time for the NFL and there won’t be much to yap about but I will try to occasionally put up a post like this that consolidates a lot of the small news and notes that apply to the Bears.

Your Draft Week Open Thread

There isn’t a much more hyped event that offers nothing of value than the draft. I have to hand it to the NFL – they have done a good job at getting people excited about it, and it is a testament to how nuts the USA is about football that they garner huge ratings for the draft. And it is in Chicago this year, so we should see some good examples of Drunk Bear Fans milling about.

I won’t be watching past pick seven on Thursday night (that is, if the Bears don’t trade up or down), however I will take a look at who the Bears picked up later next week. For now, here is an open thread for you.

EDIT – d’oh I just looked at the forecast for this weekend. I will not be watching one second of the draft – need to get outside and thaw my frozen ass out.

Why Baseball Sucks

Baseball never learns.  No one needs a 162 game season and then myriad rounds of playoff games.

dumb_april_baseball

Here’s a screen shot from the Cubs game at Pittsburgh.  There are like 5 fans there in the first place (because it is Pittsburgh and it isn’t the hated Steelers).  But then those 5 fans flee because IT IS SNOWING.  What do you think happens when you play a NIGHT GAME IN APRIL.

Really – I don’t care how much they are paying for TV rights – baseball will by dying soon at this rate.  They need to compress the season down to like 100 games and shorten the playoffs.  None of this will ever happen, however, because there is no incentive to reduce short term revenues (and the amount of Coors Light they can serve) by not having 162 interminable night games.

No learning for baseball and I don’t care.  Waiting for football season…

More Roster Moves

The Bears are quickly jettisoning guys who Pace/Fox don’t want, and signing the guys who they do want.

The Bears re-signed our favorite Irishman, Sherrick McManis to a one year deal. He does a really good job on special teams so I am good with that. We also picked up Jaquizz Rodgers, a signing intended to give Forte a rest now and then or to give a different look. I haven’t seen the deal yet but I am hoping we got him on a vet minimum and receive the discount for that on the cap. We also signed linebacker Sam Acho from the Cardinals. We have a LOT of lb’s under contract now and camp will be great to sort out the wheat from the chaff.

Gone are safety Anthony Walters and Roberto Garza. Garz was a great advocate for the Bears – he was active in the community and gave us a lot of years of good service. To replace him we picked up former Broncos center Will Montgomery.

It is interesting to note that a lot of our pick ups have been from NFC South teams or Denver – the NFC South is likely the division Pace knows the most about being from New Orleans. The Denver pickups were an easy one – Fox obviously knows his old players.

All Defense

Well, the Bears didn’t exactly make a huge splash in free agency, but I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing. I am happy with what has been done so far.

The contract given Suh by the Dolphins is likely going to go down as the worst contract for a team in the history of the NFL. It will literally cripple the Dolphins for the next half decade at a minimum – all to sign a guy who isn’t even the best DT in the league. It has to be all marketing because I (and a bunch of guys smarter than me) can’t figure out any other way this deal makes sense for Miami. Thank god our current GM is a bit smarter than that. Just watch – the Dolphins will have to restructure that deal. Every. Single. Year. And it will kill them on the cap.

But you know what? F!ck the Dolphins. Let’s talk about the Bears.

So far we got what most are considering a pretty good deal for Pernell McPhee. This is an obvious play to try to get the Bears defense back into shape and will give us a much needed pass rusher for the new 3-4 we will be installing. Lets hope we see a lot of this next year.

McPhee describes himself as “violent” and lets be real – we definitely didn’t see enough violence out of the Bears horrible D last year.

We also took a flyer on Ray McDonald. Ray has some baggage – a domestic violence charge that was dropped and a sexual assault charge that is ongoing. He is actually suing the woman who made the sexual assault charge so we will see how this all ends up. We only signed him to a one year deal so I am good with it. Supposedly Pace had to clear all of this with George McCaskey and Ma before the signing.

McPhee and McDonald both come from fierce, successful defenses. I expect McPhee to make an instant impact. McDonald is older, but having him in the locker room will certainly help with the new maniacs from the SEC and PAC 12 that we will soon be drafting for that side of the ball. Both of these guys on the team will hopefully start to instill a “kill” mentality.

The Bears also gave Zach Miller and Dante Rosario deals. As I predicted (for once) the Bears are being smart and will bring both into camp to compete for the backup spot behind the Black Unicorn at TE.

We also signed Antrel Rolle. Again, an older player, but one that is a good enough upgrade in the secondary and will bring much needed experience. Thank God Chris Conte is gone. As an interesting aside, Lovie is putting the band back together in Tampa, signing Conte, Major Wright and Henry Melton. Have fun with that, Tampa fans.

Jarvis Jenkins was brought over from the Redskins on a one year “prove it” deal. More shoring up of the D. I like the move – we got him on the minimum, surprisingly. He will compete for a starting spot on the line for sure.

I am sure he was brought in to make up for the departure of Paea. I was surprised that the Bears didn’t make a harder move for Paea, but at this point we can’t really criticize much Pace and Fox are doing compared to previous regimes. Then again, the bar is set pretty low.

There really wasn’t much to report on the offensive side of the ball (besides the Miller and Rosario deals) during free agency – yet, anyways.

I think Pace is doing a fine job so far, targeting players who he thinks may be undervalued (Jenkins) and taking a chance on McDonald. Time will tell.

Our Friend Fro Dog and the Bulls

Our friend Fro Dog runs a site “Fire Tom Thibodeau” and one of his major themes is how Thibs beats the hell out of the players during the long and mostly useless regular season so that they are all decimated during the playoffs and they lose in the first or maybe the second round if all goes well.

I thought of it recently as I looked at my phone on the score and saw the Bulls as “pick em” vs a bad Charlotte team. The Bulls ended up losing that game as they collapsed at the end. Why? Well just pull up the ol’ injury report and you can see that Rose, Butler, Gibson and Noah are all out with injuries. That’s basically the whole starting line up of a pretty good NBA franchise right there.

Since we are in the East what is the damn home court worth anyways. I know you can’t predict the future but obviously some bad teams in this division are going to make the playoffs (meanwhile teams in the West are getting screwed but that’s not my problem damn I am from Chicago we always end up getting screwed).

So in hindsight of course a way better plan would have been to set up a balanced rotation and not kill guys like Butler and they could have used much more from Mirotic, McDermott, Brooks, Snell, etc… because they all turned out to be pretty good. Hell even E’Twaun Moore whom I’d never heard of killed it when they gave him a big chance.

When I look at the Bulls roster I see a great mix of bigs and smalls and guards and shooting and defense. The roster used to have a few good guys and then it fell off pretty quickly, but these guys aren’t bad end to end. And yet we have a pretty crappy team out there now, and we aren’t even playing good defense, which is the saddest part.

So I know squat about basketball but whatever we are doing here isn’t really working. I hope the Bulls get their act together and make a deep run in the playoffs because I am a fan but not exactly taking it to the bank when they can’t even beat Charlotte.

I sent the note about Pick ’em and Charlotte and Dan said that Fro Dog would be laughing as Thib’s plans reach their sad ending but I figured he’d probably be crying but either way he’s right.