It doesn’t even surprise anymore.
It shouldn’t-it is the Bears we are talking about.
For the last few off seasons, the Chicago sports media took great pleasure in pointing out what was wrong with the Bears. It has always been the same thing: if only they could fix what ails them on offense. Some of the popular excuses for their shortcomings were the offensive line was a disaster, the tight end situation was horrible, and my personal favorite, that the wide receiver corp was in desperate need of an upgrade.
Lets analyze that a little bit.
The Bears sit near the middle of the pack in passing yards at the halfway point of the season, with a stellar 222 yards per game through the air. This may seem paltry, and an indication of a team far out of playoff contention as we approach the midway point of the season. Yet closer inspection reveals a respectable 337 total yards per game for the Bears, primarily due to the thus far outstanding play of Matt Forte, who is doing his best Marshall Faulk impersonation this season. Accounting for over 50% of the offensive yards for the Bears this season, it does make sense that the Bears are going to let him play out his contract and hit free agency after the season, but that is another story for another time.
Some of the blame for the lack of push in the passing game may lie at the doorstep of Jay Cutler, for failing to look further than his outlet receiver in Forte more often. In fairness, Cutler has been running for his life in more than a few games this season, so I (cannot believe I am actually going to say this) can’t totally blame him. Someone check me-I might be going soft.
Another culprit could be the caller of the plays on offense, Mike Martz. While the mad scientist cooks up plays in his lab which are supposed to be groundbreaking and revolutionary, the offense he is leading is struggling. It’s possible that Martz has forgotten a few things. First, Jay Cutler is no Kurt Warner behind center, and anyone who might think this is a moron. Second, and more importantly, the Bears wide receiver corp is no where near the caliber of the one he had in St. Louis during the “greatest show on turf” era of the late 90′s. This is where their problems on offense lie.
When Roy Williams is your answer at wide receiver, you are in trouble. Adding him to a wide receiving crew which consists of Devin Hester, Johnny Knox, and Dane Sanzenbacher is not going to strike fear into any opposing defensive coordinator. Yet according to Jerry Angelo, the Bears wide receiving corp is a position of strength.
Give me a break.
Want to see a team that has wide receiver as a position of strength? How about this team.
The Bears have a glaring need at wide receiver, and have had it for years. Yet instead of addressing it in the off season, they enter every season with the impression that they will be able to simply get by with the players they have, rather than solve the problem via free agency or in the draft. It is beyond comprehension to me.
Even when players are available who could help them, it seems as though they will not sign anyone hoping instead that everything will be roses and sunshine as they head down the final stretch of the season. It is absurd.
The Bears had better hope that their leading rusher and receiver in Forte doesn’t get injured, and the pressure of the offense falls onto Cutler and his right arm. If that does happen, it could get very ugly for them very fast.
Not that that would be a bad thing.
Filed Under: John Rehor