Archive for the ‘Chicago Sports’ Category

Midway Illustrated

September 13, 2009


Click Here to Experience the New Monsters of the Midway Illustrated, Blog


Phil Simms talks about the Jay Cutler trade

April 3, 2009

Beginning our extended wall to wall coverage of the Jay Cutler trade and getting expert opinion and analysis on the trade and it’s impact. We’ll gather opinions from around the league and multiple media sources and compile them all into this blog.

The first bit of information we get is from one of the most respected analysts in the league and on TV. Former New York Giants and CBS analyst Phil Simms. If anyone is going to give a fair assessment it will be Simms because he’s covered AFC games for CBS for quite a number of years now. Simms has seen Cutler first hand and dealt with the Broncos and Mike Shannahan .

Simms felt after seeing Cutler at Vanderbilt that he was the best player available in the draft. He still wonders to this day why people even argue this point between Leinart, Young and Cutler, because Cutler clearly had all the tools. Cutler has proven himself behind two QBs who came from two bigger programs and had a ton more respect coming out of college. Not coincidentally though the NFL always has a way of evening things out.

Simms brought up what has been talked about regarding Cutler’s nimbleness in the pocket, his athletic ability to extend the play and then how great he is at throwing on the run. This is one of Cutler’s advantages is that with his arm strength he can still make throws while on the run, he doesn’t need to reset his feet and then throw he can just flick his wrist to a receiver who make deek a CB who has his eyes on Cutler and then get open. This will be specifically beneficial to Devin Hester who will be able to use his speed and elusiveness to get open down the field if Cutler is flushed from the pocket.

Simms talked about how Cutler led a great offense with an awful defense and helped his team be successful. The offense the Broncos had was second in the league and none of that was a result of pure passing. Cutler’s passing helped by the running game was still averaging 4.5 yards a rush. When the Broncos’ defense gave up less than 21 points per game Cutler was 13-1 as the starter, and the Bears defense for all it’s shortcomings gave up less than 21 points eight times last season, translating to what would be eight wins for the Bears. From there that would translate to eight likely victories with Cutler possible pushing the Bears over the top in two to four more games, giving the Bears at least a Wild Card berth.

While Simms has not seen a lot of the Bears’ games (covering the AFC) the game he has seen he felt that the offense usually played well enough to win, but that it was the defense that struggled. Most Bears fans would agree with that assessment about the defense which struggled while on the field in pre-season too.

Simms went on to talk about whether or not his attitude would effect things coming into the Chicago Bears. All the drama coming from Denver to Chicago and the two week long soap opera, and Simms was just as adamant about Cutler’s make up as he was his talent. Simms stated that he was still on the Cutler band wagon and that this was a great trade for the Bears. He didn’t understand why anyone would give up a franchise QB. You draft a guy like Mathew Stafford, in hopes that he BECOMES Jay Cutler. Well with Cutler you already have a proven product, and talent. That proven commodity that you hope you get when you draft. Plus you look at the hit and miss parts of first round draft picks and it really opens your eyes.

Simms brought up his conversations with Mike Shannahan and Shannahan never had anything bad to say about his QB. He never had a private conversation that said something like “well yeah he’s a great talent, great arm, good production, but he’s not a leader or a team guy. None of the coaches in Denver, none of the players ever had anything bad to say about Cutler. He was the type of professional you want your QB to be, a leader who doesn’t flinch in the face of pressure.

Simms then went on to speak of his experience of playing under Bill Parcell’s who said essentially you don’t have to be liked by everyone on the team. You don’t have to get along with everyone, your job is not to be the popular guy on the team and even if you try hard not everyone is going to like you. Your job is to be a leader of men and a leader on the field and Simms feels that Cutler has that.

Beyond the overall trade Simms spoke about the new dimension to the Bears offense Cutler brings. The play calling will change, the play design will change the receivers’ production will improve. Different scenarios will be handled better, and there will be a more open play book for the Bears to run. If the defense gets back to being extraordinary the Bears could go far into the playoffs. He already feels they are a playoff team (they were one game away from the playoffs last year).

Simms was also excited about Jerry Angelo and his statement that “if we were going to get into the Jay Cutler trade talks, we were in it to win it.” Angelo became adamant about getting a deal done and not letting this one pass him by. It’s one of the most unique situations in the history of the league when you have a franchise QB entering the prime of his career likely to be a multi-year Pro Bowl selection. Cutler is a proven QB and Simms felt that it’s going to work out great for the Bears and he didn’t really speak to any negatives coming in this deal.

It’s truly hard to argue with Simms’ assessment and I for one have a lot of respect for Simms as an analyst who does his homework knows his stuff and doesn’t run his mouth for the sake of having an opinion. The most important aspect is there is no guarantee the Bears were going to be able to get a great player from their next two draft picks.

You can find successful players in free agency and in the second to fifth rounds of the draft. Angelo has done this time and time again and has built a successful team around it. Plus with 2010 likely to be a non salary cap year the Bears could really be in a position to add to their franchise and solidify it for the next decade. We can sit here and look back at the first month of free agency (it was exactly a month of free agency before the trade happened) and be critical about Omiyale, Bullocks and Shaffer. But the bottom line is Jerry Angelo just made a move that instantly improves the Chicago Bears. He made a bold move that may go down as the most impressive trade in the history of the league.

Angelo becomes the savior of Chicago, Jay Cutler is a Chicago Bear

April 2, 2009

When no one thought it was possible, no one thought Jerry Angelo had the brass sack to get it done Angelo pulled off a major coup today on April 2nd 2009 and traded for and got QB Jay Cutler. No Bears fans it is not a misprint or a 24 hour late April Fool’s Day joke. Jay Cutler is coming to play for his childhood favorite Chicago Bears.

This is a day that one way or another will go down as an earth shattering moment in the history of the Chicago Bears. For better or worse Jerry Angelo has cemented his legacy in the Windy City. The Bears have their future franchise QB and they are now the toast of the town.

While I can wax on about the negatives, this much is clear the Bears got their man, gave up what they felt necessary to get him and they have my full support. I am on cloud nine with excitement at this move because if you’re a long suffering Bears fan you didn’t think a move like this was possible.

Turns out the move is real and the Bears got their man and according to Jon Clayton of ESPN the Bears become the instant favorite in the race for the NFC North. The Bears are now assured a playoff spot with Cutler and depending how things shape up elsewhere in the league it could be playoff games in Chicago at Soldier Field, where as we know ANYTHING can happen.

In the trade the Bears give up their first round pick #18 overall, their first round pick in 2010 their third round pick this year and QB Kyle Orton. In return the Bears receive Cutler and a fifth round pick from the Denver Broncos.

Cutler instantly becomes one of the best QBs in the NFC based on stats alone and youth and potential ahead of him. He arguably is now the most talented QB with potential to be great because of his rocket arm and his level of production. Regardless of my previous feelings on the matter, I can say that Cutler does have a world of potential and some production to back it up.

Here is hoping that Cutler can be the best quarterback in the history of the Chicago Bears.

Mini-Camp Position Breakdown: TEs

March 17, 2009

The only reason the Chicago Bears had an even remotely productive passing game last year was because of tight ends Greg Olsen and Desmond Clark’s level of play. They were essentially the only real threats in the passing game. They were at times under utilized but also at times completely taken out of the game.

Olsen is to date one of Jerry Angelo’s most successful first round draft picks. Which is really saying anything given the inconsistent level of player from Olsen. Why do I label Olsen as inconsistent? Because all to often last year teams were able to shut him down with their nickel back. Yes that is to say typically a CB or a safety shut Olsen down and kept him covered well enough that he wasn’t in a position to consistently be a threat within the offense. For the Chicago Bears’ offense to be successful and consistent in 2009 Greg Olsen is going to have to change that. Olsen needs to use his size to out muscle any player that is trying to make a play on the ball.

Mini-camp focus should almost primarily consist of Kevin Payne and Charles Tillman harassing Olsen on everyone of his passing routes in man to man coverage. Given Tillman’s physical play as a corner he would be the perfect guy to help develop his skills. Unfortunately neither Tillman or Payne will be participating in the mini-camp so the staff will have to find more ways to punish Olsen. The most important aspect of Olsen’s game is that he should be nearly unstoppable for a player of his size and athleticism. Olsen ran a 4.5 in the combine workout, he’s 6-foot-5 252-pounds so he should easily be dominating in this league. This will be his chance to show he’s taken his game to a new level in preparation for 2009.

Desmond Clark simply makes plays when called upon. Unfortunately Clark is not called upon all to often so his production is limited. Even though Clark is the past and Olsen the future there is still enough consistency in his game that he could be a weapon to help in the consistency in the passing game. Working both TEs into the rotation and offensive game plan at the same time should be given more consideration by Ron Turner. It adds another dimension to the offense and could give the Bears more consistency on third down.

Rookie Kellen Davis had a pretty remarkable first year. He wans’t expected to even make the team by most accounts. But he fought his way on to the team via his blocking ability and special teams play. What would be nice is Davis developing into a mildly consistent pass catching threat over the next couple of years. Davis is after all a TE that is supposed to catch passes. Though his role will never likely be on the level of Greg Olsen. Running a two TE set of the future with both Davis and Olsen being capable of blocking and catching passes would help in the even the Bears move on from the older Desmond Clark or Clark moves on wanting to seek a chance to start.

Mini-Camp Position Breakdown: O-Line

March 16, 2009

Going into the 2008 season there was a lot of questions surrounding the offensive line after the Bears let go of proven and aging veterans Ruben Brown and Fred Miller. In their place stepped in rookies Chris Williams and Josh Beekman. To be fair Beekman was not in his first year in the league, it was only his first year receiving game experience. Williams was injured about 20 minutes into training camp and barely played the rest of the season. Earning snaps in live game action but nothing more than that. From there the Bears posted a better rushing attack than in 2007 and mediocre pass protection at best. Yet some how with average production and protection at best the line earned somewhat rave reviews after the 2008 season.

Puzzling as it may be the 2009 Chicago Bears find themselves in an eerily similar situation heading into mini-camp this week. The offensive line is a question mark with aging veterans and an unproven second year player at the LT spot. John St. Clair’s unresolved free agency situation also hasn’t provided much comfort to the Midway Monster faithful.

Center: Olin Kreutz is a 12-year veteran who is winding down his NFL career. Kreutz is the glue the anchor and all the other fancy adjectives you can throw out there to describe the best lineman on the team who makes everyone around him better. Kreutz has never been a mauler of a center and by almost all scouting accounts is to small for the position at only 6-foot-2 292-pounds. Funny thing is he has been one of the most effective players in the league at his position over the last 12-years. Kreutz has been to six Pro-Bowls in his career earning all the respect necessary from his peers by achieving such an honor.

Kreutz is perhaps known as a fighter both literally and figuratively and he doesn’t back down from anyone. He’ll be the crusty old veteran out there on the field and while he may not be the player he once was he still plays well enough at a consistent level that he could easily be here a few more years at the right price.

RG Roberto Garza may be the most underappreciated lineman on the team given his tenure on the team as a starter. While Garza isn’t a player on an elite level he has been consistent most of his career. Sure with Pat and Kevin Williams in the conference you’d like to see someone who could better hold his ground against those two, but Garza does well enough.

He has struggled more lately and could be seeing some competition from recently acquired free agent Frank Omiyale. Omiyale is being paid starter level money so the speculation is that he’ll be there to push Garza. Garza doesn’t need much pushing but the additional sure fire competition never hurt any team. Omiyale however has yet to play a down at guard and we’ll see how fast he picks up the blocking scheme the Bears run. Developing chemistry will be the key for Omiyale. My guess though is Garza’s job is safe and Omiyale might better push John St Clair at RT though the front office has stated otherwise.

RT Well John Tait retired and John St Clair is unsigned currently visiting the Cleveland Browns so the Bears just may start out with Frank Omiyale at RT for the sake of mini-camp. That would be the smart thing to do is get the younger probably better Omiyale used to playing with the first team. Doing so would also send the message that the Bears do in fact have a contingency plan in place should St. Clair decide to walk.

From my perspective the Bears should most certainly stand pat with their contract offer. St. Clair is not a starter level player. He is a career back up who gets a lot more respect than he deserves for his time as a starter. He is easily the worst OT on the roster and if he decides to walk the Bears would be better off for it. It would easily put the Bears at a point where they would have to draft St. Clair’s replacement amongst their top three picks in the draft. Moving Omiyale over to start or having a solid rookie there to start at RT would make me feel better than having St. Clair back.

I hear the arguments for him being back and if he comes back at the price the front-office wants him back at then fine. But there shouldn’t be ANY movement towards giving St. Clair more money if he gets a better offer from the Browns. The Bears will be able to move on from him, without question. Plus Angelo will look like a genius for letting him go in the long run because building up talented youth will be far more important than caving in to any demand St. Clair would try to make.

LG Josh Beekman came in with not a lot of expectations for 2008. Most everyone figured he would be awful so they had already resigned themselves to the fact that he wouldn’t play at a high level. Thing is those people and myself were wrong and Beekman played well for a second year pro just getting his feet wet. The good news is Beekman will only get better, and he will benefit from playing next to Kreutz for any length of time. Beekman is the heir apparent for now at center but getting him game experience is paramount to his continued development and success. There likely won’t be a lot learned at mini-camp other than developing chemistry with Chris Williams on the left side.

LT Chris Williams is already labeled a bust by some strong opinionated Bears fans for not being a Pro-Bowl starter his rookie year. The demands put on by some in the Chicagoland area both fan and media alike can be at times outrageous. Absolutely it was disappointing that a rookie drafted so highly as Williams didn’t come in and start. But the disdain and worry about Williams didn’t start with his back, it started much earlier when articles popped up about his arms being to short. A simple google search brings up articles on just the topic.

The odd thing is with all the reporting down on Willliams and his arm length no one picked up on the back problems that propped up later on in training camp. Williams states the Bears knew about it, Angelo states the Bears didn’t and the media has a field day with it . Ironically this wasn’t talked about during Williams time at the scouting combine and the media failed to pick up on it then.

So apparently Williams will be an abject failure because a) his arms are to short b) his bad back c) He was drafted by the Chicago Bears and Jerry Angelo. All of which seem preposterous on a whole new level. One thing is for sure it will be great to the Bears earning a return on their investment either way. It’s time to move beyond the short arms, beyond the back problems and focus on what Williams can do from here on out. If he performs as well as Josh Beekman did after sitting out his entire rookie season the Bears will be just fine.

Mini-camp will do a lot to clear the air surrounding both Williams and Omiyale. Chemistry development takes root at this point and that is what is most important for the Bears right now. If the starting five were in fact to be Williams, Beekman, Kreutz, Garza and Omiyale I would be quite confident in that line up being as productive or more consistent than the O-Line of 2008. Mini-camp just may be the start of where this level of play is established.

Western Illinois LB blows up his Northwestern pro-day

March 13, 2009

Perhaps not much is known about a small school LB prospect from Western Illinois. The prospect will be known before to long and should get consideration for being drafted in the NFL after blowing up his pro-day workout. Jason Williams measured just over 6-foot-1 and 238-pounds and get this ran his 40-yard dash time in 4.48 and 4.51. He then proceeded to go and hit 39 inches on his vertical jump and nail a 10-feet 8-inch broad jump. To show that he’s a strength guy Williams pumped out 25 reps at 225-pounds not bad for a LB.

So the question then becomes can you take a flier on a kid who played his football at a small school? Williams’ college stats are impressive, 107 tackles as a senior, 16.5 tackles for a loss, eight sacks, four pass break ups and five forced fumbles proving that he brings the wood when he hits.

The main complaint scouts had at Williams’ pro-day was he ran his 40-yard dash in a hard rubberized surface inside on a basketball court. So they added a tenth of a second for the surface putting him in the 4.58 to 4.6 range…..okay that was at WIU. So what does Williams do for an encore? He attends Northwestern’s pro-day and follows it up with a 4.42 4.45 on a much slower field turf artificial surface.

Have your attention now? Good because if you love decent size, fantastic speed (speed better than just about all the safeties at the combine) and production you likely do take a gamble on a kid who already has his college degree. What do you have to lose? He’s smart, tough, productive and brings the wood. So what if he wasn’t invited to the NFL combine, had he been invited he would have embarrassed all of the kids from the defensive heavy SEC.

Every year kids like this fall through the cracks but given his local Chicago ties, (Bears scouts were in attendance) and the Bears need for a strong-side LB candidate I’m for drafting this kid late. Groom him on special teams where you can get the most out of his speed early and often and see where his ability takes him. He’ll be tutored by two of the best LBs in the game in Urlacher and Briggs so he’s worth the risk. If he does slip through the cracks and into free agency, hope that he loves Chicago and wants to stay home.

Mini-Camp Position Breakdown: RBs

March 12, 2009

The Bears start mini-camp in six days and we’re bringing you position previews and expectations for this one of the earlies mini-camps in NFL history. Today we profile the RB position which is a solid position right now, provided Matt Forte doesn’t get hurt.

Matt Forteis the best thing to happen to this Bears franchise in a long time. Arguably since Brian Urlacher’s draft selection and that was nearly a decade ago. However the biggest fear we all should have is of a sophomore slump. Not because Forte’s prone to lapsing into laziness or anything negative on his part, but because of the number of times he ran with the rock last year whether it was with a carry or a reception. 373 touches and countless hits, shots, tackles, dog piles and anything else you can think of. Forte took a pounding for a first year rookie, more than just about any one else in the league.

While Forte is well built for the pounding at 6-2 217-pounds there is always a concern anyway you look at it. Given the average life expectancy for an NFL RB is at best four years it wouldn’t hurt to ensure Forte’s health for the long term.

Which brings us to Kevin Jones the anointed back up after re-signing for two years to be Forte’s backup. Jones did barely a thing to take the pressure off of Forte last year. Whether or not he does this year will be determined by the strength and health of his knee. Jones’ performance may literally be the most important aspect of this offense. He needs to take carries away from Forte to help preserve him for the long term. The better Jones peforms the better it is for the future of this franchise.

Jones should have one goal and that is beating out Forte for the starting job. His goal should be I am a veteran, I am back healthy from my knee surgery, I have a chip on my shoulder, I want to stay in this league and earn a big amount of money so I don’t want to be just a backup. His stated goal should be to supplant the second year pro. It won’t happen Forte is the entrenched starter, but Jones was willing to play special teams at the end of last year he should be gunning for Forte’s job. That level of expectations for himself will lead to the type of production the Bears need out of a backup option behind Forte.

For a third round pick you would hope the Bears would get more value out of Garrett Wolfe than they have. That being said Wolfe is not built to come in and light the world on fire, he’s a fairly one dimensional player who should try to round his game into better shape. He improved somewhat last year from his first year and if he gets behind an improved run blocking O-Line he could turn into a strong scat back contributor ala Darren Sproles or arguably Maurice Jones Drew. He may not ever be on the same level as those two but his ability to contribute could be enough to be a back up option to Forte.

It’s of note that Sproles didn’t light the league on fire in his first three years and only emerged in his fourth year for the Chargers. Given that Wolfe is the same type of player as a Sproles there could still be a bright future ahead for Wolfe. Some Bears fans have lacked patience with a guy entering only his third year in the league.

Adrian Peterson hangs on and keeps his spot on the roster not because of his production but because of his value on special teams. Peterson has proved himself worthy on special teams and because the Bears value special teams as such an important aspect of their overall game plan, he will likely stick around. There’s not much more you should ask or expect from Peterson. If he doesn’t keep up a certain level of production the Bears will give him his walking papers. For a sixth round pick that has been on the team since 2002 it will have been a productive career.

Alabama OT Andre Smith bombs at Pro-Day

March 12, 2009

So I’m really beginning to question if Andre Smith is the byproduct of Alabama’s successful season more than he is a product of his own play and ability. Smith had his pro-day workout yesterday and completely flopped in the process, sending up even more red flags in the lack of athleticism department as he already has in the character department.

These things we know for sure,

a) He has severe motivation and laziness problems,

b) He decided to put himself ahead of the team heading into the biggest Bowl the Alabama football team has been to in nearly a decade by having illegal contact with an agent.

c)He wasn’t all that in shape at his pro-day

d) His erratic behavior at the combine with honesty about why he wasn’t going to work out and then just up and leaving and not showing up for the combine for the second round of questioning etc also posed a problem.

So what precisely is Andre Smith and just how much of his hype is a product of playing for the University of Alabama and Nick Saban as much as the hype of the kids who come out of USC who don’t pan out to be much of a player in the NFL?

If Smith played at Ball State, UConn or Troy would he be receiving the same level of confidence from scouts that he does by coming out of Alabama? I mean the argument appears to go as such, Smith was one of the best players on one of the best team’s in all of college football so that automatically means he’s going to be a great player to select in the draft.

What’s the most intriguing to me is how Smith has gone from possible top overall pick to possibly being available to draft for the Bears at 18. Followed by questions of what to do if Smith falls there to the Bears at 18. My response is simple and quick, pass on him just like the 17 teams in front of him have passed on him.

Smith did nothing at his Pro-Day to improve his standing, granted we should not completely put to much stock in what he did in T-shirt and underwear, but his questionable work ethic really stymies any glow he has.

Smith’s 40-yard dash time was in the 5.3 range, his broad jump vertical and 19 reps on the bench press weren’t anywhere near being in the top-10 of performers at the combine, and he looked just average in his position drills. Suddenly there’s a little bit more tape watching being done on this kid, suddenly teams are taking better stock of his actual performance on the field and slowly he’s starting to fall.

To top it all off Smith’s size doesn’t really evoke images of a dominating presence anchoring the left side of an O-Line for years to come either. Smith is 6-foot-4 325-pounds, too heavy for his height, especially when you see pics of him and there appears to be a bit of an inner tube around his waist.

My opinion is that the Bears shouldn’t even bother with a kid who doesn’t have dominating size, gifted athleticism, a glowing work ethic or character, or phenomenal strength. When you put it all together, you get an average prospect who plays on one of the most storied programs in the country.

Chicago Bears more focused on draft than free agency

March 9, 2009

Much to the chagrin of Bears fans, it appears the franchise will not be making anymore moves in free agency. Money is being allocated on the teams’ own free agents and the likelihood the Bears pursue a Terrell Owens or Marvin Harrison or Torry Holt appears to be slim and none.

What we do know though is the Bears have gaping holes at multiple positions on this team and they will likely live and die with who is on this team. If the Bears do address it through free agency the one advantage they have is the longer specific players stay on the market, the lower their price will automatically fall.

So what’s a Bears fan to look forward to? College Pro Days and lots of bickering by Mel Kiper Jr and Todd McShay. They fight like your average message board poster who have a disagreement and you’d like to see them get involved in a celebrity boxing match.

Making an attempt to stick up for Jerry Angelo is not very easy on the stomach. It really hurts to try and defend the lack of effort Angelo has made in signing any free agents. Trying to find the logic in his methods is very hard to.

For the sake of argument let’s try and put a method to Angelo’s madness by pointing out a few things:

The Bears have in the past have spent quite a bit of money on free agents. Usually money goes as a reward to players who have performed at a high level for the franchise.

The Bears have always been a family owned franchise with the main source of income being the revenue generated by the team. To take money and spend it hurts the family income especially in these trying economic times.

As mentioned by numerous media outlets in the Chicago area the free agency pool was a puddle at best. Sure there were a few big name free agents, but not any that you’d particularly want to get in a biddindg war over, or mortgage the future of your salary cap on. Sure 2010 looks like it would be an uncapped year, but one year uncapped isn’t going to simply be a way to buy this franchise a championship no matter how bad the fans want it.

Super Bowl championships have never been bought through major free agency moves. They’re always built through the draft and focusing primarily on the draft is head and shoulders more important to the Bears than free agency. Whether the fans like it or not this team needs to build around Matt Forte rather than Brian Urlacher. If the Bears are fortunate enough to win a championship during Urlacher’s final few years great. But the focus should be building a competitor around the strong youth. Kyle Orton is only in heading into his fifth year, Devin Hester his fourth year and so on down the line.

The Jets were the most recent team to try and buy their way into the playoffs and possible Super Bowl championship by spending an exorbitant amount of money in free agency in 2008 on Alan Faneca (most Bears fans wanted to sign him) trading for Brett Favre (the idea of landing Favre was tossed around heavily as well) and LB Calvin Pace. Pace was good for 7 sacks and $22-million in guaranteed money, Favre 22 TDs and 22 INTs (a far cry from his one last major hurrah season in Green Bay) Faneca got his big contract but is also 32-years old and a 12-year vet easily on the downside of his career.

Then cycle through the Washington Redskins’ putrid attempts to buy themselves a championship with spend anything at all costs, resurrect Joe Gibbs from the coaching retirement graveyard owner Daniel Snyder. Add in any owner that’s signed Team Obliterator (Terrell Owens) to try and turn in an instant championship and you can easily see the reasons why spending out of your minds and irresponsibly is not a sure fire recipe for success.

So the question is what should the Bears do?

Updated Free Agency Report: Bears may have interest in Kyle Boller

March 4, 2009

After reading this headline a collective groan just went up from the Windy City faithful. You can hear the groans, the sighs and the Miller Lite mugs being slammed down all across the city with this report.

ESPN 1000’s Jeff Dickerson today reported that the Bears may have interest in former Baltimore Ravens starting QB Kyle Boller. Boller is well-known throughout the league for how bad he’s bombed as a first round draft pick for the Ravens. He was drafted to the be franchise QB and not only lost faith from his teammates but the staff and fans in Baltimore. In short Boller is the Ravens’ version of Rex Grossman.

So why in the world would the Bears have any interest in Boller? Well he could benefit from a change of secenery by moving on from Baltimore to Chicago. He is a veteran with starter experience that could push Orton to better succeed. The likely number one reason is he can be had at a bargain basement price, probably a lower cost than any other veteran out there.

Also most other veterans like Jeff Garcia, and others probably want a fair shot at starting. Angelo has stated that Orton is the undisputed starting QB so it wouldn’t be fair to change his stance and make a drama in the media about an impending QB competition.

You’d like to think that the Bears’ management would go for a little bit better player than Kyler Boller as his career stats leave a lot to be desired. He has a career 56.9% completion percentage, and has 45 touchdowns to 44 INTs far from the minimum desired ration of two touchdowns to every one INT.

This is however what we have come to expect from the Bears and it shouldn’t be to surprising. Can the Bears do better? Yes they can, should the Bears do better, you bet. But they are going to do what they have said all along they are going to do. Not spend a lot of money in free agency on a big name player, and certainly not start a QB competition between Kyle Orton and free agency acquisition A.

If any further developments come from report, MMI will have full additional updated coverage in this blog.

Updated information provided via the Chicago Tribune confirms that the Bears still have interest in upgrading the QB position after the draft. The likely scenario is that they’ll look for a veteran with experience which further strengthens ESPN 1000’s initial report that the Bears have interest in Kyle Boller. Boller would be a nice fit for the departed Rex Grossman, because like Grossman Boller has the arm strength that Orton lacks.

With all that said after Caleb Hanie’s performance in the team’s recent mini-camp it seems the Bears plausible the Bears could stick with Hanie as their number two. Hanie has not disappointed since his arrival as an un-drafted free agent last year. Mel Kiper Jr. made the proclamation that Hanie could be the heir apparent for the starting job in two to three years. So far Kiper has been on target in this assessment. It will be interesting to see if Hanie picks up where he left off in the pre-season games last year where he showed his most ability and consistency.