Two Years Removed From Super Bowl: Are The Bears Really That Bad?

Your Turn: Bears Blog Post Of The Week From “Blitz65” @ Bear Report (Chi.Scout.com)

What Has Changed During 2 Years: Comparison Of Bears Roster From ’06 Super Bowl Team To This Season’s ’08 Squad:

Team Outlook – Author’s View (Blitz65): Players from the 2006-2007 team that are no longer on the roster:

RB Thomas Jones (he hasn’t done well with the Jets, but he is/was better than Benson in the Bears offense).
OT Fred Miller (he was good until age caught up with him and he hit the wall).
OG Ruben Brown (see: Miller, above).
WR Muhsin Muhammad (decent/average WR at the time, skills diminished).
WR Bernard Berrian ( a legitimate blazer at WR in 06, likely to be better than anything the Bears currently have – they will likely miss his wheels/game-changing speed).
DT Alfonso Boone ( big body who was a player that added depth, could have been useful last year when every DT in sight got injured).
DT Ian Scott (see: Boone, above).
S Chris Harris (head & shoulders above recently dropped Archuleta and more likely better than Danieal Manning as well – playmaker and solid in run support).
LB Brendan Ayanbadejo (caused havoc on special teams and gave the Bears a few key turnovers).

Notable players on the current roster that have been added since 2006 (excluding rookies):

WR Marty Booker (he was good for a few years in Miami, but he is old and the Bears are in trouble if he is counted/relied on as the go-to #1 WR in ’08).
WR Brandon Lloyd (bad player with a bad attitude, although he has always had potential).
TE Greg Olsen (Playmaking TE with size, speed, and tremendous ability).
DT Anthony Adams (street FA DT, looked decent when he played, but is injury-prone).
CB Trumaine McBride (CB that showed some promise, but won’t start over Vasher/Tillman).
RB Garrett Wolfe (fast RB, but not likely to be anything more than a change-of-pace guy 3rd down back that gets a handful of carries per game).
S Brandon McGowan (very inconsistent player, hasn’t displayed the skill that got him a place on the roster and his mistakes far outweight his talent, needs to show that he can stay on the field during passing downs – needs work to improve his technique and better awareness would help).

Players that should be healthier:

  • Tommie Harris
  • Mike Brown
  • Brian Urlacher
  • Nate Vasher
  • Dusty Dvoracek
  • Charles Tillman
  • Lance Briggs
  • John Tait
  • Rex Grossman
  • Mark Bradley
  • Kevin Payne
  • Anthony Adams

Old players that are likely to take a step back:
– John Tait (not sure if he is the same player even with a move back to his original home at RT).
– Mike Brown (all of those injuries may hurt/disrupt his play/quickness, while limiting his ability).
Adewale Ogunleye (he’s getting up there in years (31 in August) and is likely to lose a step).
Brian Urlacher (his nagging back/neck injuries could become legit problems).
Olin Kreutz (he’s on the wrong side of 30 and isn’t quite the force he once was).
– Desmond Clark (getting older and will inevitably get slower, fortunately the Bears have Olsen and rookie Kellen Davis if his level of play declines).

Final Thoughts/Conclusion: Downgrading from the ’06 Super Bowl roster is what people see. Losing 7 significant producers/contributors and replacing them with sub-par players such as McGowan and Lloyd does not do much to improve the team. Rookies such as Williams, Bennett, and Forte could do a lot to improve the Bears, but they are unproven and they could easily turn out to be busts as well; the same goes for second-year players such as Bazuin, Wolfe, and Beekman. Getting Dvoracek, Vasher, and Brown back from injury should definitely help the cause, but that trio, which the Bears depend on defensively, could easily become injured again and it is extremely difficult to count on Mike Brown seriously anymore, with the usual on-going problems that seem to continue from year-to-year.

Need To Bring Your A-Game, Will The “Real” Bears Please Stand Up? Bears 2008 Edition Has To Step Up: I think the NFC as a whole has also gotten a lot better since the Bears went to the Super Bowl and the balance of power is starting to cycle back to the the NFC as opposed to the AFC which has been stronger over the past few years.

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10 Responses to “Two Years Removed From Super Bowl: Are The Bears Really That Bad?”

  1. The Bears have become a disappointment since their Super Bowl run. Losing their star players, and really not replacing them. The Bears organization really needed a QB in the draft or could have settled with a veteran QB in free agency. Dante Culpepper is still available and would work wonders for them at least under a 1 year contract until they are able to do something with Grossman/Orton. Hopefully they can make some progress or they will continue to spiral.

    http://www.nflontap.com

  2. Russ Loede says:

    Juror still out on Rex (understatement, for sure).

    Is he capable of leading the team back to the Playoffs?

    I’d easily take #8 or Daunte because he knows the offense and has more to lose/and more to prove – so he’s Hungry, more so than Culpepper.

    Also add the fact this QB Competition/Battle with Orton will bring the best out of him – though mainly I don’t see Cul coming in and taking the starting role just because he’d need to have so much going for him in order to do so and I know Angelo (GM) will not settle for Culpepper because of his past/recent injury history – also he did not perform so well in Oakland.

    With Rex/Orton, I believe Grossman will come out and prove doubters wrong and put together a good season – not the Franchise QB he once was slated to be but he’s gone through it all (Media, Pressure, ect) and will overcome the adversity this season and do well because he has everything to lose yet all to prove!

    Thanks

    Russ

  3. Yeah, I agree. Competition would help with their QB problem but for the sake of seeing an overall strong league this year I’d love to see one of the two step up and lead the Bears to a great season.

  4. Barry Yerington says:

    I think the bears are going to have a break out year. Forte rushing over 1000 yards and grossman finally stepping up.

  5. Russ Loede says:

    Any chance Matt Forte gets Offensive Rookie of the Year Honors and is the best runner out of all the backs in the Draft this season?

    Consider the awful, yet improving O-Line…

    Well, let’s just say Forte doesn’t adjust to the game speed of the NFL and doesn’t do much. Good chance that scenario might occur instead.

    OL will determine the play of Rex/Forte period.

    If the OL is #1 in terms of the most key, important position that will either make/break the Bears season – then who’s more vital to the offense after the OL – QB or RB?

    Thanks

    Russ

  6. #1bearsfan says:

    I agree with you on Rex starting for us this year.this kid has potential,we have seen it.we have all wowed over it.he has never really had good protection or a great O-line.he has only had average play at R.B as well.I look forward hopefully to get to see him operate with time to find his receivers,with that big arm!If Forte emerges,that would be huge,it would open up our passing game.It all starts up front,so i am hoping the O-line is improved! there are alot of if’s on offense.But if our “D” is healthy this year,we wont need to score that much to win! We are strong at special teams as well! We just need to get this offense clicking a little bit.I believe,even with the changes.the offense will be better this year!GOOD LUCK BEAR’S IN 2008!!!!

  7. Waddle874life says:

    Are u guys crazy I have been a die hard fan 4 over 20 years and am an eternal optimist, but even I can see that counting on 2 QB’s that only won game by not losing them(relying heavily on D), a second round dradt pick as a savior for the running game, and the hope that an awaful o-line will some how get better by replacing starters with back-ups and draftpicks rather than free agents agents can not possible improve our pathetic offence, Not to mention we don’t have 1 legitimate WR. We have the worst offence on paper in the entire NFL open your eyes people! The D will Have 2 put up 10-11 shut-outs 2 get us to the play-offs!!!

  8. Russ Loede says:

    I understand were coming from on this one Waddle. The angle you take is valid and displays the truth and nothing but the truth! The offense is one of the worst, if not THE worst in the NFC, if not THE NFL.

    The problem about our way(s) of means in going about to fix the offense was to address our needs via the Draft offensively because we are trying to win games now, yet at the same time prepare for the future and re-build with good, wise investments/choices which could be a sticky situation and a “risky” move. Planning for both the present & future is smart but will it take away from the present and the upcoming ’08 season to an extent? Can you win now with these young rookie players, who may be relied on to contribute when the pressure moments call? Are they going to be able to produce and come through in the clutch and help us win games on the offensive end or is this offense going to back to its old way/form of ’05 as “caretakers” of the football? Is this the right formula to success? Are the Bears taking the right plan of action towards getting back atop the NFC as one of the elite teams? Is the Defense going to leaned upon too heavily like it was in ’05 and times in ’06? Is it still “great” enough and level of “greatness” left in ’em to get the Bears back to the PostseasoN? Are the moves made by GM Jerry Angelo going to result in disaster and is this too “safe” of a plan for ’08? Anyhow, the method of madness is going to be questioned and who knows if it will work out because it has more flaws and chances to fail than to succeed, yet still a chance to succeed, and frankly that’s all that matters…

    Need less to say, tell me all the good FA’s out there this off-season that we could’ve gotten to improve our pathetic offense…? I couldn’t find any and counted maybe two… or so? Other than the highly overpaid back-up Michael Turner (not a sure thing, even though I would’ve loved to acquire him) and the aging, yet talented Offensive Guard Alan Faneca, who has been/still is/one of the best interior OL in the NFL (for the last 5-7 years) – but for how long will he continue to be – would that have been a good investment for the future? How could we’ve bolstered the QB situation in FA or via Trade…? By getting an eventual replacement for Rex/Orton? There were no viable, legitimate options out there unless you think Donovan McNabb was surely reachable/tradeable/available for the Bears to go wheel ‘n deal…

    Other than McNabb, no was out there for the taking to beat out Rex/Orton for the starting role this year. RB – Only Turner was there – maybe D.Rhodes, but he wanted to go back w/ the Colts. WR – Berrian wanted too much and is a 1-trick pony. OL – I would’ve liked to ink J.Scott, S.Olivea, who by the way is still avalb., or J.Bell at OG… because that’s our weakest link on the OL and the entire offense. We need a left guard and maybe two moblie-enough “pulling” guards to orchrestrate a consistent, power rushing style that will lead to a productive ground attack that is able to move the chains in short-yardage situations when the game is on-the-line because our interior OL/Run game was awful in ’07. Hopefully Beekman (’07 4th round), Metcalf (underachieving, injury-prone bust 3rd rounder back in ’02), Garza, St. Clair, Adams, or Barton steps to fill the two guard spots if we don’t act in FA to pick up Olivea, Gandy, or someone else.

    The real point I’m trying to get across is that the FA class was “Slim Pickings” for us in an attempt to revive our Offense as we still look to find new life/answers from old faces in old places (or the other way around – in old faces from old places…) for this unit that needs to STEP Up if we want to have any chance in ’08 to get back to the Postseason. If we so desire to play late in January many things have to work out on offense (almost too much realistically) or our DEFENSE, which isn’t out of the possibilitiy, has to SHOW up like it has before in the past – like we Witnessed it in ’05 and ’06! Our D still has the capability to DOMINATE and it very well may have to! We can still win the NFC North, and not so fast… Speaking of “FAST”… Don’t forget for one second that we still possess the most electrifying and explosive playmaker in all the NFL in #23 – “Windy City Flyer”!

    Devin Hester on ST/Offense + HEALTHY DEFENSE + Offense that has a good Red Zone Efficiency + Winning the Turnover Battle = 10-12 Wins.

    More Injuries + Bad DL play + Banged up Secondary + Same Old QB Play + OL Play of ’07 + Turnover-Happy Offense = 5-7 Wins

    Good Post Waddle and Thanks for your Feedback/Comments (I was getting a little sick of reading all the “unrealistic” high hope talk for an anemic offense which is still in disarray). You are unbiased and we need some more of your posts here at Bears Gab! Thanks for putting some of these posters back into their right place and unleashing the proper perspective. Your “outlook” of the Bears is not the most encouraging, though is has to be the most correct and precise. You really hit the nail on the head and brought the responders who comment back to reality! It was well worth it and much-needed, yet let’s hope this offense works out in ’08 – like you, and all of us here at Bears Gab want it to! Keep writing back and giving us your input…

    Thanks

    Bears Gab Site Editor
    Russ

  9. leevo says:

    Football is primarily won and lost on the line of scrimmage. The D-line is good (if healthy), and worth a couple extra wins this year. BUT, considering they only got one O-line replacement this year, I count two or three more are needed. Until the whole O-line is upgraded they’re going to sit right around that 8 and 8 record mark.

  10. Russ Loede says:

    Bulls Eye!

    Bingo!

    Yahtzee!

    Football Is A Game That’s Won Up-Front!

    It’s A BATTLE In The Trenches & The BEARS Need
    Their OL To Excel (At Least Take It Up A Couple Of Notches From ’07) If They Want To Improve Their Chances Of Going Places (Postseason)!

    They Need BOTH LINES To Do The Jobs They Are Called Upon In Order To Succeed!

    It All Starts & Ends With The Play/Productivity Of The Lines!

    The DL Needs To Be More Consistent & The OL Needs To Shore Up Their Interior Run Blocking To Open Holes For The Runners!

    And Of Course Like Always – Both Lines Need To STAY HEALTHY!!!

    Thanks For The Post Leevo

    Bears Gab Site Editor
    Russ Loede

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