Why Didn’t Aromashodu Get a Shot?

| December 14th, 2009

From David Haugh’s biting column in the Tribune:

Similarly, the better Devin Aromashodu looked catching his eight passes
for 76 yards and a TD against the NFL’s best cornerback, the more it
indicted Smith and the coaching staff for not playing him sooner. Is it
fair, Lovie, to wonder why Aromashodu didn’t become a factor earlier in
the season?

“No,” Smith said. “I don’t think you can look at it that way.”

Before I begin to question the decision, a few things should be pointed out.  The media sang Devin’s praises throughout training camp with Hub Arkush calling him the most accomplished receiver of the summer.  The fans, specifically myself, believed he earned a shot on the field.  The quarterback has been his biggest advocate.

What’s the reason it took so long for Aromashodu to play?  Devin Hester.  Lovie Smith and this coaching staff have hitched their wagon to the Hester Experiment since removing the most electric kick returner in league history from his natural position.  They knew – because of their vocal quarterback – that Aromashodu would draw the most attention from Jay Cutler and would subsequently cause them to look foolish.  Mark Anderson foolish.  Frank Omiyale foolish.

Devin Hester is not a number one receiver.  He’s a speedy number two.  Unfortunately the Bears found a better version of even that in this year’s draft.  So Hester – the pronounced top dog – has caused the coaching staff to create a series of bullshit plays.  Think about what we didn’t see this week.  What is that shitty bubble screen but a desperate attempt to prove that Hester is a receiver?  What is the dopey end around but a moronic way of proving us all wrong?  Didn’t see much of either this week, did you?  No.  Because they’re Hester-specific calls.

Jay Cutler has thrown too many interceptions.  They’ve been his fault.  They’ve been the fault of the receivers and the coaches.  But Sunday we saw the beginning of a relationship that should have begun in September.  We saw – for the first time all season – a consistent rapport between the man throwing the ball and a man catching it.  Hester is a good player and an exciting talent but he’s not a go-to option at receiver.  Lovie Smith was simply too stubborn to deviate from a misguided plan.