Tuesday, December 20, 2005

THE BEARS WITH AN OFFENSE?

One day a few years ago, I got to work and I did the same thing I do every morning when I get to work, grab a cup of coffee and open my newspaper to the Sports Page. This day was a little different than most because the Bears had hired a new coach. I was reading an article by Mike Nadel, bashing Jerry Angelo for screwing up the hiring of Nick Saban and settling for some stiff from the Rams, Lovie Smith. The Defensive Coordinator from the Rams, the Rams are known for their offense, "who in the hell is Lovie Smith" I thought to myself. "What kind a sissy goes by Lovie?" I could only think of Thurston Howell III from Gilligan's Island and how he used to call his wife Lovie all the time.

Well I have been pretty outspoken on my disdain for Bears GM Jerry Angelo, especially on this blog. In fact I have stated that I thought that the Bears would never win anything until this guy is fired. Now, I am not hopping on the Jerry Angelo bandwagon, but I am jumping full force on the Lovie Smith bandwagon, this guy is a really good coach. I give credit where it is due, and Angelo got this one right. Hey, even a broken clock is right twice a day.

There are some things I dislike about Lovie, chief of which is his overly passive demeanor on the sidelines. He reminds too much of Dick Jauron "the way out." When I say overly passive, here's what I mean - it seems he has the same demeanor whether we are winning by 30 or losing by 30. We suffered through the Bobby Wade punt return fiasco all season, and I like to imagine what Ditka would have done to Mr. Wade in that situation. In fact, I wish Lovie was more like Ditka in that regard. Now I give Lovie credit, he eventually did send Wade packing but geez it took bout 6 weeks too long. I would have loved to see Ditka run out on the field and beat the snot out of Wade, after the 5th or 6th time he fielded a punt on our own 2 yard line.

I hopped fully onto the Lovie bandwagon when he put Rex Grossman into the game last night. Now if some readers will recall I was calling for Lovie to just go with Orton when Rex got hurt in the pre season, and he did. It is clear though that when he is healthy, Grossman is the better QB, and he gives the Bears an added dimension on offense. You know, there is actually now a threat that we might throw the ball more than 5 yards down the field and might actually complete one or two of these passes a game. We have an offense!!!

Now granted, I preface this by saying that we are not the Colts, and we are not capable of putting up 30 or 40 to outscore a team. We don't have to be though. Nevertheless, I don't think it is too much too ask for 1 touchdown a half. 1 TD a half - that's not too much to ask, and I think we are capable of that with Grossman in the game. That's 14 points a game. Now I figure the D is good enough to get us a couple field goals via a turnover or two. We have an offense that is capable of converting on third down every once in awhile to extend drives and give the D a little rest. How great would this D have been this year with the help of even a pathetic offense? 17 points a game is now a reasonable goal, and any game we get 17 points, I will take my chances with our defense.

The question is - Rex Glassman has never made more than 3 starts without getting hurt, so it wouldn't surprise me if we go into the playoffs, again with Kyle Orton under center. What does this benching do to his confidence? Well I agree with Lovie and say screw it, go with the guy that gives us the best chance to win, and if Orton can't handle a little adversity, then he will probably not last long in the NFL anyway.

The Bears were winning last night when the change was made, winning in much the same way we have been winning all year, in spite of our offense. I think Lovie realized that we have a Super Bowl D, and with just a little offense we can win this thing. He threw caution to the wind and went for it. That's what I love most about Lovie Smith, he's got stones the size of Texas.