I have many mixed emotions after watching the first Bears game. Overall, I thought the game was one deserving of national tv exposure because both teams exhibited extraordinary effort and emotion. In this case Green Bay had the better game plan and execution and won the game because of it. Green Bay did their homework and exploited all the Bears weaknesses. I have listened, read and am watching Monsters in the Morning as I write this and all I hear and see is Jay Cutler’s bad game and what a brat he is, what an overpaid nothing he is, and how he is too arrogant to manage a game. While I agree that he had a horrible game result wise, I don’t buy these wild and extreme opinions being bandied about these blogs, columns and tv interviews. My thoughts follow in this column.
1. The defense played a great game and ended up being the ones that cost the game. The defensive line was outstanding, the linebackers were very good, and the defensive secondary stunk out the joint. With the exception of some big plays by Afalava, the secondary needs to hit the bench. It is not only the pass that beat them, which was inexcusable, but he play after play where Green Bay players were wide open or behind the coverage. The Packers could have scored fifty points if their quarterback was not in survival mode, taking hit after hit, and missing those open receivers. They won’t be able to do this against the Steelers as Big Ben will dish it out rather than take it and we better cover his receivers.
2. One of the biggest costly plays in the game was on the special teams. The snap to Garrett Wolfe in that situation was suicidal. This was as big a turnover as any of the four interceptions.
3. Offense. ???? What was that? Who the hell is that guard who’s name begins with O and is nicknamed swinging gate. I don’t think Rex Grossman ever had to run for his life as much as Jay Cutler did. I am watching the interceptions and only one was a lousy decision with at least a second to think about it. Three of them were desperation passes that shouldn’t have been thrown but they would never have happened if Jay was not running for his life. Greg Olson was double and triple teamed and the Bears didn’t take advantage. The running plays were run when they were obvious and run to please the sportscasters, not as good offensive decision. On the good side Johnny Knox and Earl Bennet, though far from polished, showed some progress. They were never double teamed and should have gotten open, but it is good they did. Devin Hester had a good game and looked like a receiver, not an out of place kick returner. Matt Forte did all he could against an inspired Packer defense and should have some good games in the future. The tackles looked adequate although Orlando Pace looks a little slow and not much help on running plays. The guards………hide your eyes.
4. Jay Cutler (aka brat, devil,etc.) had a horrible first game. Kinda like Elway when he was a rookie. But Jay is not a rookie. He should know better when to take a sack and when to throw it up for grabs. These decisions were poor at best and unacceptable as we go forward. I think Jay Cutler will be a good weapon for the Bears. I never thought we were going to the Super Bowl this year with no secondary and no established receiver to throw to, and now a sieve for an offensive line. But I like the way it looked when after all the adversity, the Bears had the lead because of some passes Jay Cutler made that Kyle Orton (the hero) could not have made. I hope the games improve for us Bear fans, and maybe we could be 2-2 after four games. Because after that we have a schedule that our defense will absolutely have field days against….if the find somebody to play in the secondary.
Watching Jerry Sloan reminds me why I love the Bulls. MJ soon. What a night! The Hall of Fame is much richer. I hope Norm Van Lier and Johnny Kerr get in some day, not just with tributes.
Look at this link to appreciate MJ in the best light:
When the Sox traded for Swisher I told everyone we got the wrong OF, We should have gotten Kotsay. Now we have him. And I hope he is here next year. Hopefully part of the year at least at first base.
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The attached article in a national magazine confirms exactly what I have been saying all season. I love Ozzie Guillen as a person, I love his enthusiasm and even his game knowledge. But as a a manager in major league baseball, he stinks at the most important element, handling his team to maximum performance. Maximum performance can only be defined as winning record. I don’t know Ozzie’s overall record of manager, but I’d be surprised if it isn’t hovering somewhere around .500. If you told me it was around .600 I’d give him a pass for a bad season and move on. But somebody has to take blame for this season, where he took a veteran laden lineup and got no consistency and actually poor performance, out of all the veterans except AJ Pierzynski, who already was one of the worst catchers defensively in baseball (based on throwing out runners stealing at will on him). At least AJ hit well and was moved around the lineup to take advantage of his hitting. This is the one thing Ozzie did that I think was good managing. The bad thing was that AJ was way overplayed in a position that needs a break at least once a week or more. If he did a better job with the other veterans he could have rested AJ properly and maybe even helped the defense.
Ozzie’s handling of pitchers has been awful and his timing was not just bad this year, but has been bad every year. Other teams seem to be able to get a few wins at least out of a fifth starter, but we as Sox fans have looked at a parade of losses every time we trot out a fifth starter. Why? They are not that much worse than a Cub, Tigers or Cardinals fifth starter, they are similarly flawed. The difference is Ozzie does not know when to take them out of the game and who to replace them with. Most of the games go along ok for three or four innings and then the roof caves in. Some smart managing might minimize these collapses, but no, it NEVER happens. A similar thing happens with our regular starters. They pitch their hearts out until they are done, and Ozzie leaves them in to try to get them a win. But he doesn’t make lineups that produce run support, so this system is faulty. And when he goes to the bullpen, he always seems to get the wrong pitcher at the wrong time. He follows the book okay, but somehow it never works out. Must we sit through these mistakes year after year? It appears so.
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Gavin Floyd gave us all a thrill today watching him blow away Boston hitters one by one. I really felt bad for him when that first hit came in the 6th inning. He looked like we all knew he would this year. If only this game can be replayed about 20 more times this season, all of us Sox fans would still be happy. But we all know this 4 game winning streak is a little too late to save our season. But again I say it bodes well for the next five years. Now if we could only rid ourselves of the two other boat anchors Dye and Konerko, the future would be really bright. We got a glimpse Friday night of some of the kids. And the future looks bright.
Now Gavin Floyd has a perfect game through 4 innings for the Sox. What a Sports DAY!