Bernstein: Coaches Buy Some Trust…For Now

By Dan Bernstein- Senior Columnist

(CBS) “We’ll clean that up.”

That’s Lovie Smith, after a bad thing happens.

Protection problems, ineffective pass-rushing, missed gap assignments, whatever, it’s treated by the Bears’ head coach like a spilled bowl of Apple Jacks on the granite counter, or a spot on the rug where the dog just puked.

Bad football as mess. Not entirely inappropriate, but unsatisfying after the fact to those watching it happen.

He does appear to have his own supply of paper towels, though, that he’s been able to pull out of the supply closet, to unroll as needed to mop up the pessimism (and who would engage in that, dare I ask?) and keep his team from slipping into the abyss.

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3-3 in a typically unpredictable season in a middling NFC is probably enough to still feel OK about whatever the Bears are, even if we don’t.

Mike Tice’s line blocked an established opposing attack, improbably as that seemed. Not having the execrable Frank Omiyale have to turnstile his way off the field – with Lance Louis installed at right tackle — probably helped. How was he not excised sooner, really?

Jay Cutler’s internal clock-voice slowed down from “I’m Going To Die!!,” and past “I’m Going to be Maimed!,” to “Umm…OK…,” enough to play the game as designed. He’s a very good quarterback, and clearly just needs a fair chance to succeed, by actually being able to just make throws.

The plan works when playing from the lead, as it does for so many teams. But few more so than an offense trying to pass only on its own terms. When not behind the chains due to embarrassing penalties, and managing the managables of down and distance, these idiots look far less idiotic. It’s all saved from itself.

Benchings of Chris Harris and Brandon Meriweather look prescient, even if Major Wright and Chris Conte benefited from Donovan McNabb on the downside – and I’m being nice. It will carry weight for Smith going forward that his move looked like it paid off, regardless, because it was inarguably right. “Cover-2” means just that, Smith reinforces, not “Bad-angle-2,” “Shoot-upfield-and-miss-2,” or “Let-the-guy-run-behind-you-2.”

Even Jerry Angelo can sleep a bit better, with Stephen Paea not just dressed, but effective. The tackle for whom Angelo uptraded has been a healthy scratch all year, yet made a handful of noticeable plays, including a sack/safety.

As long as teams are still dumb enough to let Devin Hester return kicks and punts, there’s no reason not to enjoy their judgment. Bring it, dopes.

It makes you want to give Harbaugh-shakes to everybody. Overagressive handstab-back-claps, testosterone issues, and gay overtones for all. Sparta!!!

And upset of upsets, village lunatic Mike Martz got his damn plays called. May that keep happening at home, amid the fans too dumb to shut up, and on the road where fans are smart enough to actually know what to do.

Small victories, folks. Let’s enjoy them.

And that’s what this one probably was.

But it’s better than the alternative, and it was fun.

bernstein 90x130 Bernstein: Coaches Buy Some Trust...For Now
Dan Bernstein has been the co-host of “Boers and Bernstein” since 1999. He joined the station as a reporter/anchor in 1995. The Boers and Bernstein Show airs every weekday from 1PM to 6PM on The Score, 670AM. Read more of Bernstein’s columns here. Follow him on Twitter @dan_bernstein.
Listen to The Boers and Bernstein Show podcasts >>

More from Dan Bernstein
  • Matt Brooks

    I’m glad we get to play the Vikings again.

  • Historical Prespective

    Do we need to get the company Febreze by customs? Or will it be provided by our UK hosts? They’ve had good games before.

  • Steve Frederick

    It was almost one of those games you really weren’t exited for but just kinda interested in the outcome. Had they lost Angelo would have been on the chopping block and you could see the pressure of Angelo on TV. Now that they have won you can look at their schedule and say damn it could get better with all these winnable games.

    To be fair the Bears have had the toughest 5 game start in the NFL. ATL, NO, GB, CAR, DET. Thats brutal. To be 2-3 was about where a logical person would have had them. But people want Angelo fired so bad because of this Oline. My point is the Bears are just good enough to beat bad teams but not good enough to beat the contenders. NFL hell. Angelo escapes again because of this. So I guess now we talk about the wild card until the next loss and the pressure goes back on the GM who somehow escapes into the night…

    • Lovie's Shiny Chin Scar

      My thoughts, exactly! Here we go again. NFL hell.

      • Denver Deadite

        It’s more than just the Oline. It’s a lack of good receivers. It’s an aging defense that is failing spectacularly. It’s a lack of depth at many positions.

        Basically, it’s some of the worst drafting imaginable in the last 10 years, and it falls in Angelo’s lap.

      • Spoon


        Damn it was fun to watch though! :)

      • Larry Horse's Arse

        As usual, Deadite is right on target.
        FAs and trades are not the route to building a solid team, that’s how to fill-in pieces. The draft is the way to build a great team and JA stinks at the draft.

  • dave


  • Larry Horse's Arse

    So, how do you really feel about Omiyale?


      Is that Dan Marino I see in a blue uniform? I think the other story is that the Lions played like they should be playing. This has the looks of two teams being 5 and 5 in the NFC North.
      In yahoo pick’em, they cost me a lot of points. I, actually, picked Dallas over New England, and those hapless Giants found a way to beat the Bills.
      Did I just hear Pat Boyle right? First safety since Fran Tarkenton? guwhah?
      I don’t want to think about the tilt on the Wembeley pitch.

      • SPAULDING!

        And, Dan’s right, it was fun last night.

  • Denver Deadite

    Heckyll and Jyde.

    If you want this coaching staff & Angelo gone, last night was the last kind of game that you wanted to see because, yes, it does just that: it buys them all a little more time.

    The more I think about it, the more I believe that the worst thing that could’ve happened to the Bears last year was for them to make it to the NFC Championship game. Because it basically took everybody off the hot seat that they so richly deserved to be sitting on.

  • Michigan Bear Fan

    Good Martz…Bad Martz?

    Just like Rex you never know who’s going to show up to the party.

    • Satan

      Why does our coordinator need to constantly be scolded into calling plays that his players are capable of executing? It’s unsettling.

  • Satan

    This column was kinda punchless and disjointed… not one of Dan’s best.
    You almost get the feeling that he woulda rather been writing about a loss, no? And what’s with calling the o-line idiots?

  • BWhite

    The Other Sideline
    Let’s hope that the view of Donovan McNabb last night was not a preview of the future of Jay Cutler. He was, in his day, an exciting and athletic quarterback that was very fun to watch. His organization could never make the last few personnel strides to the summit of a championship. They even added locker catastrophe T.O. trying to get their offense, that was never quite good enough, over the hump. The defense carried them to 4 NFC Championship games and 1 Super Bowl in four years. Those four seasons ended in losses. Each with a renewed commitment to find the missing piece to the offensive puzzle. The 3 point loss in Super Bowl XXXIX to the Patriot juggernaut is forgivable, I suppose, but not very palatable as a swan song to the championship runs of the early decade for the perpetual bridesmaid Eagles. McNabb eventually was reduced to blogging that his offense was devoid of play makers after the 2007 season. The 2008 NFC championship game against the surging Cardinals was the dying playoff gasp for a Chicagoan that deserved better but never got there. The regrettable end in Philly was a delusional fan base that turned against their perennial star with a mob rules flavor of jade that was inexcusable. Misplaced frustration with an organization that could never get a deserving QB the supporting cast he deserved.
    Chicago…take a long hard look at one of your own on the other sideline on this relatively inconsequential Sunday night in the Jay Cutler journey. If this Bear organization crashes and burns in the Cutler era let’s hope the Chicago meatballs don’t repeat the error of the mob of brotherly love. Turning against the one that gave the hope of a championship in the first place is self-indulgent stupidity.

    • BWhite

      McNabb is with his 3rd team in three years and is obviously done in the NFL. Do you think he regrets never becoming a Chicago Bear? That is what he always wanted. I suspect his ending would have been much the same had it worked out but he/we will never know.
      Let’s hope the Bears find a way to give Jay a chance. I’m skeptical in a division with the Lions and the Packers…they’re both gonna be good for a long time.


      I like Donovan McNabb, also.

  • Spoon

    Chris Harris goes from saying he’s a professional, to demanding a trade for a one game benching. Makes sense…

  • Paul in Yorkshire

    Perhaps there has been a re-establishment of the mid week draining of excess Martzyness Cerebrospinal fluid.

    At any rate I am looking forward to watching the Bears at Wembley, where the field is usually as bad as Soldier Field. Advantage Bears!

  • Puddin Head

    i just don’t see greatness when i watch the Detroit Lions play

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