Category Archives: Fire Mike Martz

Fire…

…this guy as well. Welcome to Chicago, Adam.
adam gase
I thought this was pretty funny, relayed to me by a friend:

Kick Returner Economics

I think we can all agree that the Bears special teams last Thursday weren’t…special.  In fact, they were awful.  Eric Weems has always been one of my favorite players since he taunts a lot.  I am just a sucker for guys like that, what can I say.  But he really looked like garbage last Thursday.  In his defense, it wasn’t like he had a really good chance to get it rolling, as he was getting hit around the ten yard line on some of the kickoff returns.  He still looked bad, that notwithstanding.

Having never played professional football, I can hardly imagine what it must be like to be a kick or punt returner.  Unless you go out of bounds, you are going to get smashed and wrecked every time you touch the ball.  If it were me, I would just go as fast as I could with all reckless abandon possible, for two reasons.

One, you are going to get creamed, so you may as well go for a TD while you are waiting for your “medicine”.  Two, maybe you can do some damage to a few players if you are running hard enough.  You are going to take damage anyways, so hopefully you can wreck some of the opposition along the way.

I looked at the contract of Weems and it would suck to cut him, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world.  We are looking at $600k worth of dead money, but we would save $730k on the cap if we cut him.  The math looks like this:

Salary:  $730k, Signing bonus:  $500k  Workout bonus: $100k

So his total cap hit this year is $730k + $500k + $100k = $1.3mm.  If we cut him, we eat the $500k and $100k in dead money, but would save the $730k off of the cap, making his total cap hit $600k if we cut him.  Easy?

Anyways, I don’t think the Bears will cut him since he is also a (half assed) backup receiver, but I decided to take a look at what some of the other return guys are making in the NFL.  I am going to look at their cap hit, versus their annualized salaries, as to me, the cap number is the real economic indicator.  Taking a whole summer studying and trying to understand the cap will do that to you.  I am also going off of some current depth chart projections, so some of this may change as we get closer to roster cuts.  Also realize that many of these guys are still on their rookie deals, so their numbers are artificially lower than the vets.  It is still important since we can just go out and get a crazed rookie from the SEC at any time as well.  I am featuring kick returners only (sometimes teams have a different guy returning punts).

Atlanta – Devin Hester: $1.833mm.  Hester sucked out loud last year and we were all screaming for him to be cut so I won’t be hearing any of this “I wish we had Hester back Hestering himself” nonsense.

Green Bay – Micah Hyde: $539k

Minnesota – Cordarelle Patterson –   $1.641mm

New England – Josh Boyce – $614k

San Fran – Parrish Cox – $695k

Seattle – Percy Harvin – $13.4mm

Denver – Andre Caldwell – $1.15mm

Pittsburgh – Dri Archer $546k

Dallas – Dwayne Harris – $655k

Indy – Donte Moncrief – $555k

New Orleans – Traveris Cadet – $571k

NY Giants – Trindon Holliday – $700k

Cincy – Brandon Tate – $1.024mm

So from this small sample, we can see that Weems is on the upper end of the chart, as far as cap hit goes.  The outlier is Percy Harvin, but we all saw what he did as a receiver and returner in the Super Bowl – he was awesome – so I will let that go.  With a $1.3mm cap hit, Weems is definitely not getting good value for the Bears in what appears to be a “disposable” position.  Tough to make a living being a return guy, like Hester did.  Recognize any of the names on the list besides Weems, Hester and Harvin? I recognized Patterson and Hyde because they are division rivals, but I have no clue who the rest are.  Most are used up vets that the teams are getting for a discount on the cap number or rookies.  So Weems needs to get better FAST or the Bears are on the bottom end of value at this position.

A few more thoughts.  Why the fuck not give Jordan Lynch a shot?  I have seen him play several times over the years and have no qualms in saying that he would throw himself all over the field on every play.

Lastly, I agree with what Fro Dog has been preaching on these pages for a long time.  If dumb Lovie and his dumb sidekick Mike Martz wouldn’t have put it in Hester’s head that he could be a wide receiver, I wouldn’t be writing this post and he would still be our kick returner.

Top Ten and the Martz Legacy

I was looking at the Bears cap numbers the other day and we look to be in pretty good shape for now.  We have about $5mm to spare as far as cap space goes, and I have a feeling that will go up as camp moves along.

I was reminded of a couple of things as I was looking at the cap numbers.

1)  There is an upper class of athletes in the NFL and a crapload of guys scrambling to get a contract.  The middle class is almost non existent.

2)  Nothing happens in a vacuum as far as the cap is concerned.

I will speak on point one first.  As of today, the top ten guys on the Bears take up 54% of the available cap money.  They are, in order:

Cutler, Marshall, Forte, Bushrod, Briggs, Bennett, Jennings, Houston, Tillman, and Allen.  On that list, I imagine we won’t be seeing Forte, Briggs, and Tillman around for too much longer.  So, the whole rest of the team is scrambling for the other 46% of the cap dollars.  This is indicative of the NFL in general.  I ran the numbers for a few other teams as far as what percentage of their cap dollars are taken up by the top ten players.

Bengals – 50.6%, Falcons – 47.4%, Ravens – 60.5%

The Ravens have a ton of high cap number players that aren’t really worth squat, but that is the penalty, if you want to call it that, for winning a Super Bowl.  The Bears seem to be in the middle of the pack as regards this top ten number.  It doesn’t change or really mean too much, but it is something to think about once in a while when you are hearing about the upcoming cuts and moves to the practice squad.

Point two is a real beauty.  Brandon Manumaleuna just got an injury settlement out of the Bears for $250k and that will go on the books against the cap.  This guy was Mike Martz’s bright idea and in 2010 Manumaleuna signed a five year deal and then got cut in 2011 after doing NOTHING. It is important to understand that it takes several years to unwind these terrible contract decisions that were made under Angelo and the previous coaching staff.

Who Cares What Jerry Angelo Has To Say?

I often read the ESPN NFC North blog to keep up on our division.  Recently they had a post on Jerry Angelo commenting on Suh from Detroit.

Whether it’s about Jay Cutler or the expected fall of some of the top quarterbacks in this year’s NFL draft, former Chicago Bears general manager Jerry Angelo continues to express strong opinions regarding several subjects around the league; the latest being Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.   On April 22, Angelo made his thoughts known — pretty scathingly — on Twitter about Suh, who hasn’t attended the start of the club’s voluntary offseason workouts. 

The first thing I did when I saw it was look up Angelo on the ol’ intertubes… and of course he hasn’t been working since the Bears canned him, well, for sucking.  He apparently is doing some blogging and a sports show.  Hell, I ought to call in and heckle him for being a dolt.

Most of the ex-Bears coaches and managers of recent vintage are so bad they are unemployable in the NFL.  Shoop is wrecking the offense of Purdue (a team SO bad that the Illini even beat them to stop their infinite conference losing streak), Mike Martz isn’t in football anywhere, and dopey Dumb Ron is wrecking FIU and DEAD LAST in college football coaches, to boot.  Sure, some have jobs, and not all were as bad as those three.  Obviously many former Bears players are doing well in the league as coaches, but they weren’t “groomed” by this sort of regime.

Lovie is going to be a great experiment in Tampa Bay; he brought a bunch of our coaches and McCown.  McCown SUCKED abominably under Lovie’s crew; that is a proven fact.  Under Trestman, he flourished (with help from roster moves from Emery, like signing Marshall and drafting Jeffrey, and GETTING AN OFFENSIVE LINE).  Now, McCown is going to go backwards under the Lovie crew, and mark my words he will look much worse down there in Tampa.  Poor McCown.

As I start to look around at people commenting on Jerry’s posts (other bloggers like us) I get a lot of the same ripping apart of his posts and general astonishment that anyone has given him a microphone to speak into.

So I guess the best thing to do when he talks is just to ignore him.  I’m going with that plan from now on.

 

$45

Our guy Nathan Enderle got cut from the Chargers the other day and it got me to thinking. Lovie Smith and Mike Martz runied Enderle’s career and could have cost him millions of dollars by letting Hanie lose game after game after game when Cutty went down in 2011. This is detailed here in my magnum opus.

So I was thinking that I would like a Nathan Enderle autograph. Why the heck not. I found this one on eBay for FORTY FIVE DOLLARS. It is a nice action shot of Enderle in his Bears uniform.
enderle
But that price is insane. I sent the seller the following message:

I am serious I want this and I am probably the only person in the United States that does so I think that a fiver will do it. Thanks for your consideration, Dan

We shall see what happens.

Hester On Special Teams Exclusively, Where He Is Supposed To Be

Here at frt, Carl I and our tens of readers have been screaming constantly that Devin Hester should never have been put on the field as a wide receiver.  He sort of sucked at that position, and the hits and overall wear and tear was killing his return game.  That return game was supremely important over the past several years, since typically our offensive coordinator was crazy.

This article today was music to my eyes.

Here is a quote:

“My door is not closed on the offensive side of the ball. I’m still open to it,” Hester said on the radio show. “But as of right now, I know that I’m going here first into this season as the main kickoff return man. As of right now, that’s my main focus — to get my swagger back.”

That’s got to sound good to Bears fans.

Hester — arguably the best kick returner ever — said he’s been working on regaining his explosion through his offseason training.

“That’s where I fell short of the past couple years,” Hester said.

You got that right, Devin – you really did fall short in the returns department.  But I won’t bash Hester too badly – he was being asked to do something he shouldn’t have been asked to do.  Now, with the new regime in place, Trestman IMMEDIATELY realized that this was stupid, and rectified the situation so Hester could focus – lets look at part of the above quote again:

Hester — arguably the best kick returner ever — said he’s been working on regaining his explosion through his offseason training.

Yes.  Hester knows his role now, so he can train for it.  That is what I am talking about with the Trestman way – clear, focused direction.

But hidden in the article is something not too many people will read into but I will.

As for all the changes the Bears have undergone, Hester said the feel around the locker room is “very different,” especially with Brian Urlacher and Lovie Smith gone. But he likes what Trestman is doing.

Hester described Trestman as “more of a hands-on, player-type guy” and said he likes the changes he’s made to the locker room, mixing offensive and defensive players.

“He’s trying to stop the separation of guys hanging out with their position,” Hester said. “Now the team, everybody is just hanging out with each other. … That small little thing is kind of helping out a little bit. I can tell.”

I fully expected this, having read the Trestman book (which I firmly believe all of you should read).  When you read the book, you will understand why a lot of things are being done – the Hester move is no exception.  I knew that Trestman would unite the team as ONE and win or lose, when you hear those end of game interviews, I predict that you won’t hear the word “I” too many times when the athletes talk to reporters.

*Hey, don’t forget to check out the Hester Bear from the most important site on the interweb.

There’s a Lot Here

Don’t want to bore you with web related and blogging stuff (Dan always says it is the “best buggy whip out there”) but in moving FRT from its old (paid) home to its new (free) home most of it was pretty easy due to how advanced the Internet tools have become.  Also the free sites over at wordpress.com are pretty amazing I had this (cluttered looking) site up in no time and just re-pointed the URLS that go here and we were up.

One tedious task is that the pictures get moved but then they still “point” to the old site.  So I need to go into every post with a picture and redirect it to the media on this site so that when the old site is shut forever (soon) they won’t all be dead links.  In so doing I sometimes throw a line or two in the post and update the categories (for the tag cloud on the right) and stuff like that.

But this post really isn’t about the posts or technology or blogging.  It is about the incredibly frustrating journey we all have had as Bear fans looking backwards from today.  Let’s just look at some of the low (or high) lights

– recently they hired a whole new coaching staff (good)

– they fired Lovie (great) and also Mike Tice and everyone else left

– We had a disastrous ending to a 7-1 start, missing the playoffs

– they hired Emery

– We had a disastrous ending to a 7-3 start, missing the playoffs

– they fired MAD Martz and made Tice the OC

This is about how far I have gotten with reconnecting our old posts to new media.  I HAVEN’T EVEN GOTTEN TO DUMB RON yet.  Damn.  A lot happens here and it is all frustrating to go through because I know the outcome and it SUCKS.  This is like living my miserable life as a Bear fan in reverse, all over again.  And the most frustrating years (backwards) are still to come.

As Dan would say, not like anyone is going to read back that far, but as an archivist of our Bears’ misery it is my obligation, a labor of love (or mostly defeat).