Posts tagged ‘Review’
by Sean - posted Saturday, January 12th, 2008
Well mercifully the 2007 season came to a close. It ended about 3 or 4 weeks earlier than most of us expected but at least the torture is over. Looking back with some perspective has only proved more frustrating for me personally. It was a year with so many missed opportunities, so many games that should’ve been won. There were still plenty of heart pounding moments, and Devin Hester is still ridiculous, but if it doesn’t get you to the playoffs it doesn’t really matter.
Offense—D : Considering the carousel at Quarterback it’s impressive the Bears scored as many points as they did. Then again there is no excuse for a “running team” to average 3.4 yards per carry for an entire season. There are too many frustrations to go into but for some personal therapy I am going to list a few: Rex throwing into double coverage, Mushin Muhammad, Benson falling down on his own, Brian Griese “protecting the football”, Hester’s “involvement”, Fred Miller pretending to block, dropped passes, Greg Olson’s “involvement”, and Kyle Orton not being able to find a razor blade. Whew… ok I feel a lot better now. Looking towards the off-season the Bears need a lot of help. Orton will be in the discussion but I doubt he’s the solution, who else can we bring in? Berrian is likely to walk and Moose is past his prime (putting it lightly) so we need something at WR and for Bradley and Hester to step up big in the offseason. Benson got hurt the moment he finally showed some promise and Peterson and Wolfe are both 3rd down backs so we should be looking 2nd or 3rd round for some competition like Steve Slaton or Ray Rice. And as for the offensive line… just a major overhaul. Fred Miller and Ruben Brown both need to go and probably will or be reduced to backups. Then somehow, by some unforeseen miracle, Ron Turner is going to keep his job. This team must be able to run the ball. Our running game probably cost us 3 wins this season and even more than the Quarterback situation that MUST be fixed.
Defense—C+: Amazingly enough even with how bad we played I almost gave them a B-. I guess perhaps my judgment was initially clouded by our improved play the last 3 weeks. Then I remembered this laundry list: Adrian Peterson’s 224 yards, letting Eli Manning engineer a game winning drive, giving up 34 fourth quarter points to Detroit, losing to Tavaris Jackson TWICE!, allowing six 100 yard rushers, giving up 30+ points five times, and losing to Todd FREAKING Collins. Again, I feel better but not by much. I give these guys a lot of slack for the injuries they endured. At one point Bob Babich’s defense was a complete shell of itself. Still that does not justify the above list. The loss of Mike Brown does not excuse Adam Archuleta and Danieal Manning’s in ability to tackle. That aside some guys did have outstanding seasons. Charles Tillman was a beast and should’ve been a Pro Bowler. Adewale Ogunleye had his best season in Chicago and was downright dominant at times. Tommy Harris managed 8 sacks on one leg. And Lance Briggs proved to be worth every penny of the franchise tag. The pieces for a dominant unit are still there. Harris needs his sidekick, Dvoracek, to stay healthy. Jamar Williams need to prove to be a competent replacement for Briggs. Vasher needs to come back at 100%. And we need a safety who can actually make a tackle, but compared to list of needs on offense this unit really isn’t all that far away. It’ll be interesting to see if Mike Brown comes back and how much of their resources they can afford to put into this defense. But just with a little better luck on the injury front this group should be a lot better next year.
Special Teams—B+: This is the hands down, no doubt, no argument, not even a discussion best part of this team. Unlike the other 2 phases of the game this is one the Bears not only won but routinely dominated. Hester was somehow even more ridiculous managing to take back 6 kicks for TDs even with how much teams were trying to stay away from him. Maynard had another solid season and in my opinion could’ve warranted a trip to Hawaii simply for how he handled the weather in the second Packers game. But there were some things that we not as good. Gould had a good but not great season and missed some makable field goals. And most glaring of course were the coverage units. Our punt unit it was outstanding again but we gave up too many big kickoff returns, including one to Adrian Peterson that cost us a victory. But even with those negatives this was by far the most fun part of the team to watch and grade.
So there you have it. Some final thoughts on a completely unfulfilling season.