To get an idea about what Bears fans are thinking, I corresponded with one of our Fanball Bloggers for the Chicago Bears, Adam Oestmann. I also sent over my answers to his questions that you can find here.
There seems to be a lack of trust/confidence in Lovie Smith and his coaching staff. At the same time, there appears to be excitement about Mike Martz. What is the general feeling about the state of the Bears right now, and do fans really expect the playoffs?!
In one word, apprehension. Lovie Smith made some poor decisions since the Bears lost in Super Bowl XLI. Some of those decisions are a big part of the reason why the Bears have missed the playoffs for 3 straight years. We know the system works. We’ve seen it work and be dominant but fans have to wonder if the all pieces are back in place for it to work this year.
As for Martz, we’re excited about the possibilities. He’s been able to improve offenses in relatively short order everywhere he’s gone. He made your boy John Kitna look like a Pro Bowler for crying out loud! So I’d say yes, the fans really do expect the playoffs. Anything short of that would be very disappointing.
Mike Martz and Jay Cutler are both known for INT’s. What will the Bears do to negate the Detroit pass rush against their weak o-line while still cutting down on Cutler’s risks (both INT’s and sacks)? Do you honestly think Martz will stay away from his favored 5 and 7 step drops to dink and dunk it all day long?
The same thing you’re going to do about Julius Peppers, get help. The Bears will use their running backs to come up and block for Cutler, and it’s something Chester Taylor does very well. Suh will be double teamed in some way, shape or form all night. If the Bears can contain him, it shouldn’t be too hard for Cutler & Martz to “dink and dunk” all over the Lions suspect secondary.
Chicago’s defense is aging and hasn’t had an infusion of talent in quite some time – Can Julius Peppers alone really make enough impact to stop Matthew Stafford, Jahvid Best, Calvin Johnson and the Lions offense?
No. But how about Brian Urlacher (Pro Bowler), Lance Briggs (Pro Bowler), Tommie Harris (Pro Bowler), Charles Tillman (Pro Bowler), AND Julius Peppers (you get the idea…). What makes you think Peppers isn’t enough “infusion of talent” among company like that? Believe me, I know what you’re getting at and I have a lot of respect for what I’ve seen from Best, Stafford, and obviously Johnson. But your looking at this defense in the wrong light; the’re not aging, they’re veterans. They will be just fine, believe me. Give me a young offense and a veteran defense any Sunday!
What are your thoughts on Chicago’s skill positions. Are the WR as talent deficient as the national media portrays, or just unknowns (outside of Hester)? Is Taylor going to cut into Forte’s playing time significantly?
The Bears wide receivers are anything but “talent” deficient. Size and experience deficient, maybe, but these guys are as naturally talented as they come! Johnny Knox, in just his second year as a starter is poised to be the number 1 guy in Chicago. He’s exactly what Martz looks for in a wide-out. Hester has improved each year as a receiver and teams still fear kicking to him. Devin Aromashodu has proven himself as a threat and he has an opportunity to be the more physical receiver the Bears need in redzone situations. The wide receiver position will be a strength of the Bears.
Taylor will definitely cut into Forte’s play time but it’s a good thing. The two of them are practically inseparable on and off the field and they’ve really bought into the 2-back scheme. I think we will actually see more Chester Taylor than Forte on Sunday just based on his match-up capabilities against the Lions.
Right back at you: If you had to bet $500.00 on a straight up winner this Sunday in Soldier Field, who do you pick Bears or Lions and why? Be honest now…
Easy, Bears. That’s not to say this will be an “easy” game for the Bears but if I have to bet, the choice is easy. The Lions are improved, they’re not a 2 win team this season, but Cutler should be able to connect with his receivers against the Lions secondary fairly easily. I’ll go Bears 24, Lions 17.
How long before Cutler’s improvisational QB style drives Martz nuts and they trade for JT O’Sullivan?
Bonus question? I thought we agreed on 5 questions Josh…? LOL
Jay’s not going anywhere. Martz called him the most talented quarterback he’s ever worked with. He’s the first guy in the building and the last guy to leave. He’s going to get back to Pro Bowl form, I promise you that. The key here is trust. Cutler needs to trust in the system or it will fall apart. Jay recently told the Sun Times that one of the 1st things he and Martz discussed was trust, and he says he fully trusts and believes in what the Bears offense is going to do this season.
I think someone has bought into the Matrz hype… Of course, us Lions fans have been there. We’ll see how it all turns out on Sunday.