Saturday, October 25th, 2014

MAKE THE CHANGE

16

How embarrassing. The Bears got totally pantsed on national TV.

I concede. It’s time. Start Griese. I’ve been a staunch “Rex-backer”. But you have to make the move. If not for the obvious reasons, then how about these:

– The Bears are 1-2, not 9-2. There’s no strolling into the playoffs this year. The Bears are already 2 games behind the Packers. You make the change now and let Griese start against the porous Lions defense.

– The Bears have a weak running game. It’s ineffective, unimaginative and fails to give the Bears defense a rest. You think it’s any coincidence that the Cowboys came out and scored all but 3 of their points in the second half? The Bears’ D was cashed. A team like the Bears need time of possession in their favor to be successful.

– The pathetic fake field goal attempt. You have 4th down in your opponents’ side of the field. You don’t trust that your offense is capable of coming up with those 10 yards for a first down. You don’t even want to give them a shot. You resort to a gadget play. It could not be any clearer. Make the change.

– The Bears offensive line is showing it’s age. And because of that, Grossman’s inability to move the pocket and his shocking lack of instinct have been fully revealed. It’s all too apparent that Rex needs the “perfect storm” to be successful. An above-average running game to allow play-action passing. To allow the receivers to get open. To allow him favorable down and distance. Pass protection that does not allow defenders anywhere near him.

With so much speed at its disposal, I’m miffed as to why the Bears offense is so boring. Again–why not just put Hester in the backfield and throw him a few swing passes? Or Wolfe? Why not a double-reverse with Hester and Berrian or Bradley?

And I’ve yet to even mention Benson. Mercy. The differences between Marion Barber and Benson were stark. Barber bounces off of hits with his head up and keeps running. Benson plods, gets hit and falls down. There was one play last night where Benson got to the outside with some space ahead of him. And he fell down.

Add to that dropped passes, poor tackling and bad coaching and even the most positive Bears fan has lost a lot of faith. Griese may not be the greatest QB. But everyone knows that this team needs a mulligan, a fresh start. He provides that. And how could we possibly think Grossman can keep coming back from all of this torture?

  • http://www.windycitysportsblog.com WindyCitySportsBlog.com

    If you’re going to make a change, I’d rather see Orton than Griese. The media and bandwagon fans can only find Grossman to be at fault instead of looking at the other facets of the game. Grossman can’t catch the ball, pick up a blitz, decide a special teams play, be depended on to run the football or even cover Terrell Owens. Muhammad gave up on an in route that led to an interception, Berrian drops one wide open that hits him just above his number, and Benson fumbles at a crucial moment…again. Like I said on my blog, you can disagree with me all you want, but I thought he had a decent game. The rating is just a stat and the interceptions I felt came due to a young quarterback trying to relive his days in the Swamp by winning a game all by himself. Everyone expected him to flop completely, instead he put together a few good drives that kept the game closer. I was impressed that his accuracy was good for most of his completions and the timing was right to his receivers..well besides Muhammad who is just plain slow. The game could have been won and it usually is lost by the offense…this time it was the defense which was seriously exploited by Jason Garrett.

    If they do make a change, I hope that they have a plan going forward instead of just benching Grossman because if you do bench him, his days wearing a Bears jersey ends with this season. Obviously, Griese isn’t the answer long-term and Orton has been in the #3 spot since Griese came in. Benching Grossman leads to putting your offense back in a rebuilding stage for 5 years or so. Grossman departs, Griese/Orton/etc fight it out for the #1 job for the next few years and the Bears take a QB in this years draft and wait for that person to develop. A majority of the defense departs to free agency and thus we are left with Wannstedt years Lovie style.

    Personally, I say go with Orton rather than Griese. He has a good frame for an NFL quarterback and does well in the pocket, not to mention that he is young. If the decision is Griese, I fear the Bears would be taking one step ahead now and two steps back in the future. I find it ashame that Grossman is the target for a multitude of Bears offensive problems. He’s made mistakes, but what we thought was his fault last year is nothing more than just a piece of the pie in terms of a bad overall offensive team. I honestly believe that a change isn’t going to change anything, but I could be wrong. This could be a first to worst season for the Bears in the NFC North. Angelo needs to seriously look at trading for another running back or picking one up in the 2008 draft. He is deplorable.

  • PV

    John Madden actually made sense last night – well, at least once – when he said that starting Griese is just a band-aid. He’s right. And as Windy City points out, making the change basically hits the reset button and all but closes the window on this team. While benching him might be satisfying, I also agree that it won’t change anything – sure, Griese might give a short-term bump, but it’s not going to make Moose or the O-line young again, or give Ced vision, or cure everyone’s groin. As I’ve posted before, the best solution is Grossman getting better, and that only happens if he plays. As painful as that might be to watch.

    But here’s something to think about it to help you cope – Cubs are in first. Bulls start in 6 weeks.

  • http://zonersports.com The Zoner

    There are always free agent QBs you can sign after the season so even if this signals the demise of Grossman as a Bear, so be it. But I like Griese and he deserves a chance to play. He’s solid at running ball control/west coast offenses.

    “Putting together a few good drives.” Are you kidding me? He needs to put points on the board. He hasn’t. As far as him being a young quarterback, you can’t use that any more. Guy was in the Superbowl last year and is in his 5th season.

  • http://zonersports.com The Zoner

    Teams bring in veteran QBs all the time for “band-aids”. Griese is a proven NFL QB. With such a great D and special teams you don’t need him to be Peyton Manning. You also have to consider team morale. I doubt any of them want Grossman to continue as the starter. If they continue with Grossman you can easily see where the rest of the team could adopt a “why even bother” attitude.

    As for it not changing anything I think you’re insane. On one hand you say you want Grossman to learn to manage the game and the like but that’s exactly what Griese can do. It doesn’t close the window. It keeps it open for a year or two.

    If there was ever a time in the history of the NFL to make a change at QB it’s right here and now.

  • dhaab

    Well, if the Bears do go with Griese, the downfield passing game will become extinct (even though it’s barely breathing now). I do agree that Griese won’t really change much in the way this team does things. I don’t see them scoring that many more points with him behind center. As for throwing Hester in the offensive mix, you have to wonder how much a player like that can actually digest of the offense. I’ve heard many inside people comment on his lack of understanding of the game. Also, it isn’t as if he is a sure-handed player. He has a tendency to cough the ball up at times.

    This teams window is closing VERY quickly. That’s why they call it “Not For Long”. And to all of you Bears fans who said “every team besides the Bears is horrible, who else is going to win this division?” Well, guess what?

    PV, why all the hate for Madden? The guy is one of the best color commentators in the history of the NFL. He makes good points quite often.

  • PV

    Dear Zoner – Reading is a skill (!) I only said that Grossman needs to learn to manage the game so that the deep balls open up again; in that same post, I explained that I think Griese’s inability to throw deep will have the same effect as Grossman’s intermediate deficiencies – defenses can take away one thing and not be worried about being burned by the other. What we need is a quarterback that can do both. Shocking, I know. And it’s not as if Griese’s arm is going to get stronger in his old age, ergo, the best chance for this balanced QB is for Grossman to improve. Also, how great is this defense, right now, really? They’re gonna need more points to win than they’ve needed the last couple years, especially if the recent injuries are serious.

    Dear dhaab – I wouldn’t characterize my comments about Madden as hateful. Just poking a little fun. I mean, if you really listen to the words and sounds he strings together, they’re very often not real sentences. Though Al Michaels had his own difficulties last night as well.

  • http://zonersports.com The Zoner

    Downfield passing isn’t all about arm strength. His arm is not really much stronger than Griese’s. Decision making, selling the fake, etc.–Griese is nothing if not a fundamentally sound QB. He can also make plays down the field–and actually lead RBs in the flats.

    I’m not sure where the lack of confidence in Griese comes from. He’s had a nice career with some cruddy teams. I’ve always been a fan. There are many teams that wish they had him in the mix.

    I was all for Grossman when he was making plays. He’s not now. Have a seat. It’s really that simple. Let’s not get all crazy–it’s just a change at QB and you can always change back.

  • PB

    I am a huge Rex Grossman fan mang! FIRE MILLEN!

  • dhaab

    Griese’s played for some “cruddy teams”?? Some folks might say Mr. Griese helped make some good teams kind of cruddy.

  • http://zonersports.com The Zoner

    Some folks would be wrong.

    84.5 career passer rating. 104 TDs/80 INTs. 7.0 yds per pass attempt. Has completed 60% or more of his passes in every one of his full seasons except his rookie year.

  • dhaab

    Statistics don’t ALWAYS tell the entire story, my friend.

  • http://zonersports.com The Zoner

    What are you, Tim Mc Carver?

  • dhaab

    Actually, that should say “Who are you, Tim Mc Carver?” :)

    My point is that Griese hasn’t exactly been known as a great leader on the field.
    I don’t think he’s a bad player, but there are reasons he’s a backup player at this point in his career.

  • http://www.windycitysportsblog.com WindyCitySportsBlog.com

    Dude, do you read what you write? Your post indicates making a change yet it focuses around issues that have nothing to do with Grossman. A fake field goal, Cedric Benson, offensive line, etc…Okay, now i’m confused.

    I don’t necessarily think that benching Grossman is a bad idea, however, fans (like yourself) need to realize that a move like that symbolizes Grossman’s departure. That’s fine, but what’s the plan? Brian Griese? Are you serious? Would it be to develop Kyle Orton and look for a draft pick or find someone in free agency? Whatever the case may be, I’d like the Bears, Lovie Smith and Jerry Angelo to seriously lay out a plan before just letting him depart. It was a considerable investment and should be evaluated closely. Unfortunately, people focus on the QB and rest the blame on his shoulders. This time, it should be on guys like Cedric Benson and Bernard Berrian.

    This sentence was the craziest thing I’ve seen in a long time:

    Downfield passing isn’t all about arm strength. His arm is not really much stronger than Griese’s.

    Yeah right…Griese’s arm has been damaged after holding Vitalis in the commercials he did. By the way, Brees, a candidate for MVP last year has one touchdown and seven interceptions. I’m sure lynch mobs from the lower 9th ward are gathering to bench him in favour of Jamie Martin.

  • http://zonersports.com The Zoner

    Oh I knew the inevitable Drew Brees comparisons would come. Please. Stop yourself.

    Yes I read what I write. You could try to read the post again–and this time with understanding.

    And since you read this blog regularly you should know that I obviously “realize” what it means if Grossman is benched & I’ve been supporting Rex as late as last week. What do you want–a long term deal for him?

    Here’s what “you people” don’t realize–forget the fans–the TEAM doesn’t want him as the starter anymore. Smith’s motto is to always play the person to give them the best chance to win. It ain’t Grossman right now.

    As for why Griese is a backup, first he got an excellent deal to come here and second with the way Grossman was oft injured, I’m going to bet he was certain he would be the starter at some point.

  • http://completesports.blogspot.com twins15

    I’ve said all along I thought Griese should be starting, so obviously I think they are making the right move. Obviously Griese is not a star, but he is simply the best option at this point, which you have to go with considering this defense. I think this will give them the best chance to win. With Grossman and a running game that is not as good as last year, I’m honestly not sure the Bears are a playoff team.

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