Bernstein: Bears Coaches Not Insane, At Least
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We will never know the method to the absence of madness.
Mike Martz may be a changed man. Jerry Angelo may have delivered an edict. Lovie Smith may have asserted control of gameplanning, playcalling or both.
The strategy may have resulted on the fly after the early lead and the “performance” of Todd Collins (one that will place him alongside Rusty Lisch and Jonathan Quinn in franchise lore), but it was proper and effective, if hideous to watch.
An online passer-rating calculator I found tells me that Collins, Caleb Hanie, Jimmy Claussen and Matt Moore combined for a mark of 10.95, which has to be some kind of NFL record for total futility. This was a three-hour affront to modern football.
The first-place Bears still have concerns that mitigate any euphoria brought on by yesterday’s win or their 4-1 start. Specifically, the suspect pass-protection means Jay Cutler is in danger with each dropback. His already-bruised brain is particularly susceptible, now, to an impact that could sideline him for several games, if not the season. The line is a patchwork of no-names, has-beens and bust-outs that remains in flux. And they still need a backup quarterback. Collins should be instructed to retire today.
But the good news is that the Bears are clearly not horrible. They may be bubbling to the top of the NFL’s Blob of Same due to some luck and some good-enough-so-far defense, but here they are on a path to the playoffs.
The spasm of coaching sanity was welcome.
Notes: Rod Marinelli was able to deploy Chris Harris as a de facto linebacker, clogging the running lanes and short-pass areas. It is what Harris has always done best…Israel Idonije did what was expected of a linemate of Julius Peppers, who is a one-man brute squad…Danieal Manning and Devin Hester once again are seeming dangerous on each return, affecting opposing kickers/punters…the expensive Brandon Manumaleuna finally made a significant, noticeable block (!).