Reporting Nick Shepkowski
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By Nick Shepkowski-
(CBS) Is this even worth my time?
A 38-14 shellacking at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks at Soldier Field on Sunday and you can officially put a dagger in the Bears playoff hopes. We knew it would be tough once Jay Cutler went down to injury did anyone suspect it would be this ugly?
I’m not going to waste my time on the normal “Good, Bad and Ugly” of this Sunday’s game. There were flashes where a nice play or two was made but outside of maybe Adam Podlesh does anyone think a single Bear played well? Does anyone think the coaching staff did anything worth a damn?
That was as ugly as it gets. It feels like I’ve said that three weeks in a row now but the Seattle Seahawks looked like world-beaters at the hands of the Chicago Bears Sunday.
Can’t move the ball, can’t keep possession of the ball, can’t even throw interceptions without them being returned for touchdowns. Without Jay Cutler and Matt Forte this football team is flat out pathetic.
In the four games Caleb Hanie has started the Bears have scored a grand total of four offensive touchdowns. It’s an average of one per week, nowhere near enough to win in the NFL with the way offenses are scoring.
After four starts Hanie has a quarterback rating under 50, a truly pathetic number. It’s hard to be mad at Hanie for his performance. Sure, he can get rid of the ball sooner, he can learn to not throw a screen when a defense reads the play and he can stop throwing into coverage whenever he likes. At the end of the day he’s an undrafted free agent, what did you really expect him to be able to do?
Take your blame for this year-end disaster elsewhere than No. 12.
It seems like the Bears would get Cutler back if Minnesota were a must-win game. Heck, according to Chris Myers on the FOX broadcast there have even been rumors of him starting next week had that game mattered.
Imagine if there was a quarterback on the roster at the start of the year that would back up Cutler but that had actually taken more than a couple dozen snaps in an NFL game. It’s incredibly easy to get mad at Caleb Hanie for his incompetence as a quarterback but what did you honestly expect from an undrafted quarterback who was brutal when given snaps this past pre-season.
I’m not saying that names like Derek Anderson, Jake Delhomme, Jeff Garcia or even Vince Young are superstars or anything great, but you can’t convince me that any of them would have been a worse backup option than Caleb Hanie entering 2011. All were available when free agency began but no effort was made to bring any in.
Much of the reason would be because they don’t know the “Martz system”. The same “Martz system” that fails to put up points, demands worthless free agents and that doesn’t allow your franchise quarterback to audible.
Jerry Angelo’s senses on the offensive side of the football are truly pathetic.
He traded for Jay Cutler in April of 2009 but has failed to put anything around him to help protect him, has failed time and time again to give him targets and hired an offensive coordinator who has far too much say in personnel and doesn’t care if teams only true “franchise quarterback” of the Super Bowl era gets his brains beaten in on a weekly basis.
The last two offensive players Angelo has drafted in the first round missed significant time in their first seasons with injuries that were around before the Bears spent draft picks on them while he’s also fallen victim to Martz demanding the likes of Brandon Manomaleuna while not having a use for Greg Olsen.
Martz’s “unique” offense also requires a quarterback that “knows the system”. Well guess what, if an offense keeps you from signing more talented players and makes you fall back on Josh McCown once your starting quarterback goes down with a broken thumb then your system sucks.
The Bears will miss the playoffs for the seventh time in Angelo’s eleven years as Bears general manager. It didn’t seem likely even at the time of Cutler’s injury that the Bears could catch the Packers or Saints in the NFC but it still would have been a chance.
Even with their first franchise quarterback that anyone actually remembers having watched play in a Bears uniform, the offense is a joke compared to the majority of the NFL.
Its been eleven years now and the Bears have finished in the top 10 in scoring just once during Jerry Angelo’s tenure as general manager. With the current state of the NFL that has seen the pass happy Packers and Saints win the last two Super Bowl’s, it’s impossible for me to give Angelo a pass any longer.
You can go “whistle Dixie”, Jerry, I’m not afraid to “get into that hand basket”.
Oh and before I forget… take Mike Martz with you.
Nick Shepkowski is the associate producer on the McNeil and Spiegel Show, weekdays 9a-1p on 670 The Score. You can follow Nick on Twitter @Shep670.