Bernstein: Bears Coaches Not Insane, At Least

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 (!).

More from Dan Bernstein
  • Chet's Inflated Ego

    But a win is a win.
    Are there any QBs out there unsigned?

  • Denver Smeghead

    That was definitely a cringe-worthy game. The only saving grace is that the Panthers were inept for 2 halves, whereas the Giants a week ago decided to wake up for the 2nd half. If not for those Forte runs, who knows what kind of game this could have been, because this one certainly doesn’t make me feel any better about the Bears as a whole.

    And the Blackhawks game against the Red Wings Saturday night just showed why I shouldn’t watch any hockey until football season is over. The Blackhawks will be good, but they’re going to frustrate people for awhile until they get their lines sorted out. That PP in the 2nd & 3rd periods was Collins-esque bad.

    • Beverly Brewmaster

      Denver- Keep in mind that the Hawks were without both Campbell AND Sharp… That’s 20% of their usual power play personnel and a pretty significant 20% at that. I think if both those guys dress then they convert on at least one of those last three power plays. Plus, if Campbell were back it would mean no John Scott to fall down and allow that last goal. On a side note, if I were master of the universe both John Scott and Todd Collins would be placed on an ice floe to drift out to sea…

      • Denver Smeghead

        Yeah, I know there’s the injuries issue. But it still frustrates me, and I don’t need to be frustrated during game 2 of an 82 game regular season. :)


    I swear Turcco was waiting for a whistle on that goal. A referee actually had sight of that puck? It was a garbage goal. It was a garbage win.
    Right on the nose B.B. (and everyone for that matter).

    Great opening ceremonies, though


    Here’s a thought.

    Fox pulls Claussen, who had a better raiting than Collins and Haney combined.
    Maybe, Claussen was having problems, because he is a rookie, and he was being chased by football Darth Vader all day.

  • Chet's Inflated Ego

    I wasn’t able to go to the UC but the video I saw of the opening ceremonies was awesome.

    I agree with Spaulding, Fox pulled Classen before he got his head handed to him.

  • Lydell

    Fung Lost in Translation, Transit or The Proverbial Shuffle: “First, let me apologize for a tone of voice that’s weepy enough to re-moisten Brenda Lee. Mostly, I, Aramis Ramirez, want to express my profound sorrow to the fans of Chicago for picking up my player option for 2011. I realize my on-the-field approach–indifference fortified by a long-term guarantee–isn’t for everyone, but I’ve got to be me. Understand I was cornered: accept the 14.6 million dollars or try the open market. I just didn’t have the energy to go through that negotiation stuff after a grueling championship campaign. Chicago, in time, I hope you can forgive me. Remember, my half-a-heart belongs to YOU.” Next case…

  • Jaimie in Hoffman Estates

    Great win for the Bears, a game I personally thought they were going to lose. But this is a rarity for me, I’m not exited about this win. Am I the only one?

    • Chet's Inflated Ego

      I was almost as excited as Sam Rosen, pass the latkes please.

  • Chet's Inflated Ego

    Lydell, that was better than any that made Fung.
    That was LOL great.
    From Brenda Lee to half-a-heart I was laughing all the way.

    Another classic Hendry move…..Larry “Throw In The Towel” Rothschild has a coach-option to decide whether or not he wants to come back to The Cubs for 2011.

    • Lydell

      Thanks, Stallion.


    To borrow a common “Boers & Bernstein” term, Bears’ QB Todd Collins & Panthers’ rookie Jim Clausen were “bad at football” yesterday. The Bears did what they needed to do in beating the Panthers last night, running for 218 yards in their 23-6 road win in Charlotte. Had it not been for a very disappointing, inept passing effort from Collins, the Bears would’ve blown the hapless Panthers out of Bank of America Stadium.

    In the event Jay Cutler doesn’t get medical clearance to play Sunday vs. the Seahawks at Soldier Field from his concussion, head coach Lovie Smith needs his head examined if he doesn’t start Caleb Hanie after Collins’ 4 interception disaster yesterday afternoon. Caleb can’t be much worse than Todd, can he?

  • Chet's Inflated Ego

    If Lovie starts Todd Collins again maybe he can get his head examined on a 2 for 1 special from the Doctor who examines Jay Cutler’s head.


    Thanks, Chet’s I.E.

    Anyone else notice this week’s lines were totally skewed? I think the only teams that covered might have been the Colts and the Lions (the Lions should have been 14, though. Panthers by one? how?
    I got skewered in yahoo pick ’em (again). No help from N.O., Cowboys, Green Bay or Tampa.
    And I picked the Lions. I think Vegas is recovering from the Saints Superbowl.

  • mad as hell fan.....

    You know the NFL is bad when a QB/LT duo of Todd Collins and Frank Omiyale can win a football game in this league currently.

  • Chet's Inflated Ego

    Sounds like Carlos Boozer is a WYC candidate.

  • Bob in San Diego

    Does anyone know if Matty or ‘The Goff’ were on this weekend? With the new website it doesn’t yet have a spot for their cast, so I’m not sure if they weren’t on or they don’t have a Podcast up for them yet.

    Thank you everyone

    PS – finally got to see the Chargers play in California this season.

    • CW

      Have you been posting the hours somewhere within the new site? Thanks.

  • Can't Believe Collins

    Are we forgetting Rex Grossman’s game with the famous Bluto Blutarski zero point zero quarterback rating?

    Rex Grossman[64] 12/31/2006 Chicago Bears Green Bay Packers L 26-7 2 12 33 3 Did not play 2nd half.

  • Toeania's Hair

    Collins is garbage, sign Garcia, or Moses Moreno

    I honestly think Olin Kreutz is the worst offensive linemen. Everyone else is pretty bad, but when Kreutz misses, he misses big time.


  • Lydell

    Not too big on invisible friends. Or visible ones for that matter. Still, I like the irony of BF performing in front of a roomful of raincoat wearers. Sometimes, this stuff writes itself.

  • Brian D

    Anyone know if Goff or MattA. will have a RSS Itunes Feed?

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