Looks like we're back up and running here at DaBlog and (I promise) t-shirts will be available prior to the start of the season. I've spent the last two and half weeks living in theatreland so I'm playing catch-up but here's my compilation of thoughts moving forward.
1. It looks like Matt Forte will have more pressure on him than any Bears' rookie in an awfully long time. Forte is going to be asked to carry the load for an offense that will not be able to survive his growing pains, should they occur. He needs to be good and he needs to start being good in the dark hours of Indianapolis.
2. I'm making my all-time least favorite Chicago Bears team (to debut this summer) and Cedric Benson v. Curtis Enis is the battle to watch.
3. Cade McNown needn't worry. His spot is safe.
4. So is Adam Archuleta's.
5. So is Dave Wannstedt's.
6. Just look at the NFC North and the Bears defense should have a three-word mantra throughout camp: stop the run. If Kitna, Jackson and Rodgers beat you - it's a deserved beating.
7. If you could sign for ten wins right now, wouldn't you do it? (I would.)
8. How about nine? Think about it. (I wouldn't. But I'm stupid.)
9. When does the official quarterback competition start because from everything I've read, Rex Grossman is the starting quarterback already? Will they fire the gun at the start of the race?
10. Three months, baby. Three months.
I didn't just hate Cedric Benson. I loathed him. He made my eyes sweat blood. Call me crazy but I much prefer to root for a kid from Tulane than a loafing, weak-willed, self-important douche bag who breaks into tears because THREE PEOPLE were taking before him in the NFL Draft. Looking back, it's remarkable that THREE ROUNDS of people weren't taken first.
Don't blame Jerry Angelo. Who among us didn't think Benson had star potential as we watched him compliment Thomas Jones all the way to the Super Bowl?
Don't blame Lovie Smith. For all his coaching deficiencies, Benson is not a product of them. Benson's problems are internal - located near the middle of his chest.
Cedric Benson is gone now and for those who ask the question, "What will the Bears do without him?" - the answer is simple. Find someone else to run a yard and fall down.
Still in rehearsal on a new musical. Ain't nothing better if you ask me.
Two questions to get the conversation going...
1. Would you cut Cedric Benson? Why? Why not?
2. Who would you bring in to add depth to the position?
Me? Benson's already been cut in my mind. I'm happy to never see him in the navy and burnt again. I'm also looking seriously into Kevin Jones' health situation. If he's not going to hit the field until Week 6 or 7, aren't those ten games still worth it?
...and I've got a cast of wonderful actors reading my dialogue and singing my lyrics and it's all terrific and then...
I have to read about this fucking dope running back going and getting his fucking dope ass arrested driving drunk in Texas. All because I wanted to know if the rumor that Casino Drive got sidelined for the Belmont was true. (And it is. Go Big Brown.)
I'd like to officially note that Cedric Benson has now taken the mantle from Mike Green as my least favorite Chicago Bear in the last ten years.
Greetings from theatreland. The following is the long-awaited debut post from our beloved PHIL FROM SATX. Hope you enjoy.
This post has been brewing since our initial QB thread. Even though it's somewhat out of order I have been encouraged to throw it out there - apparently the action has been a bit limp and lackluster out there in these dog days of pre-training camp.
I aim to prove to all unbiased fans why Rex Grossman is definitively better than Kyle Orton and why it's nothing less than a fait accompli that he will be installed as the starter come September.
Unfortunately I need to use the Devil's tool to accomplish this - you know what I am talking about - wait for it -
QB RATINGS! (feel free to now hit "back" on your browser and switch over to the latest drunk celebrity photos)
Seriously, folks, the answers are all there, in the QB ratings, bear with me here. A word about QB ratings - we can argue as to how valid they are, how arbitrary the supposed "benchmarks" are (MikeB HATES the random number 100 as a benchmark), how they are undeniably affected by other factors occurring during the game which cannot be discerned from the number itself - all of this is true.
What is also true is that the number means SOMETHING. I have always felt that the best proof that QB ratings correlate with good QB play is to look at the top rated QBs - you'll quickly see they are, more or less, the ones you yourself would put at the top of the heap just off the top of your head. I will make another bold claim here - YOU CANNOT FAKE HIGH QB RATINGS, at least not more than a couple of times. If you get a very high rating, you played a very good game. For this analysis, and with apologies to Mike, I'm using 100 as that benchmark.
Now we need to go to the scorecards - In 2006, Rex's first real year, he played in (and started) 19 games. He posted the benchmark of 100 or better in 8 games (I'm including a 98.6 game because that's close enough). He also posted two games in the 80's, also considered a very good performance.
In 2007, you already know he was terrible in the first 3 games, which led to his benching. Some of us think that RT had a lot to do with that, but whatever. He played in 3 1/2 games in his return. The 1/2 game was over 100, and two of the full games were in the 80's. The sole sub-80 game was a win over Denver. While his numbers didn't match the 8 best games in 2006, they were high and correlate with the reason why most of us felt that he showed real improvement and a reason to offer him a contract in 2008 - he looked better.
Now Kyle. Kyle had his chance at a full year in 2005. Granted he was a rookie, but he took lots of snaps that year. In 2005, Kyle had ONE game at the benchmark 100, his second game under center. He had 3 games in the 80's, all in the first half of the season. His ratings fell off the wall after that - 60's and lower in the second half of the season. But, you're saying, we still won games under him! Wait on that for a second.
Now fast forward to 2007. The three games at the end of the season that make everyone say "Kyle's a winner!" "Kyle's better than Rex!" He scored terribly in the first game with a 59, loss to Minny. The next game is the real reason for all the excitement over Kyle, the mudder game in Green Bay. He posted the second 100+ game in his career. But there are 100 games and there are 100 games. He got his 100 by completing all of 9 passes for 104 yards, 1 TD. Difficult conditions, sure, but c'mon people. When you drill down to Rex's 100+ games, they were high ratings the hard way - by throwing, and completing, lots of passes. The last game of the season Kyle posted a respectable 78, and a win.
But what was different about those games at the end of the season? You know it, I know it - the reemergence of the Chicago Bear defense is what was different.
Rex's 9 games at 100+ and 4 games in the 80's in two years compared with Kyle's 2 and 0 in roughly the same two years is the reason why Rex is better, and why he clearly has a higher upside. Kyle did show improvement in his last 3 games over 2005, so he apparently has some upside too. But you can't fake great QB games, and being a "game manager" like Kyle really means having consistent but consistently mediocre ratings - high enough to win lots of games with a great defense and special teams, not high enough to win games against tough opponents in the playoffs.
Did I do it? Did I prove it to you? Well I tried, anyway.