It’s lovely that i still work on a DSL connection at the homestead. Hence the slow progress I am making on this website. But, without further adieu, here is the remainder of the Chicago Bears Progress Report.
Defensive Line: B
Obviously the big offseason move had to do with getting five-time pro bowler Julius Peppers to Chicago. However, with the addition of the 02 Defensive rookie of the year, play has risen from the likes of Israel Idonije Matt Toeaina and even nearly obsolete Tommie Harris.
Even though they totally redeemed themselves this year (sort of), the line still has problems getting to the quarterback. Hopefully in the second half, we can see more than one sack (by Tommie Harris against the Bills FOX’s amazingly proclaimed Ryan Fitzpatrick).
It really shows that Rod Marinelli has made an impact on these guys. Idonije leads the team with 4.5 sacks, while Peppers has two.
Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher against the Cowboys
Arguably the best phase on the Bears as of now. Briggs, Urlacher and Tinoisamoa all have been essentially flawless on all assignments.
They are starting to blitz Urlacher, who is also arugably having one of his best season for a while.
With Tinoisamoa back from injury, I now see why the Bears got him. He is a great asset to the time at the strong side. Briggs has been hurt for maybe two or three games, but you can tell how much the Bears miss him when he’s gone.
Hunter Hillanmeyer, who was pretty much a back-up for all these years got a season ending injury to introduce Brandon Iwuh. He is another solid attribute.
Sure you don’t get EVERY tackle in the National Football League, but the three starters are playing as good as any other linebacker tandem out there.
Charles Tillman against Detriot in Game one
Critics did say that this was the weakest link on the defensive end, but that’s hardly true.
Peanut Tillman (who I think is my favorite player) was demoted to number two corner for Zachary Bowman, but that didn’t last long. Tillman leads secondary in tackles (second in the team with 41 behind Urlacher’s 48) with three forced fumbles.
Then enter nickelback D.J. Moore who has been in the right place at the right time. Moore and Tillman both have two interceptions on the season. Tim Jennings also has played great defense as well as the two safeties (Chris Harris and Danieal Manning).
Finally Manning has a home at free safety (which he should have been playing initially when Mike Brown left).
However, the Bears still let up a lot of long plays which proposes trouble. But they do force many fumbles.
Special Teams: B +
Devin Hester Returning a punt against the Seattle Seahawks
Like the Bears ‘D,’ the special teams is always a powerhouse. THere is always one player that either is a step away or make the pro bowl on a yearly basis.
Special teams have impoved even from last season, after seeing two Deon Sanders ‘Prime Time’ dances into the endzone off a punt return. We all thought Devin Hester had lost it, but he’s back this year tying the all-time record for most punt return TDs.
DB Corey Graham seems to always have a big hit on someone off punts, kicks or anything else (as he leads the special teams taking over Adrian Peterson’s role).
Robbie Gould is almost automatic, only missing one kick this year, while Brad Maynard struggles getting punts inside the 20-yard line, he still is one of the best punters in the league.
Danieal Manning also gets significant yardage off of kickoff returns for a depleted offense to start in good field position.
Head coach Lovie Smith and Offensive Coordinator Mike Martz
We all know about the coaches so I won’t touch on that. They would have received a worse grade if it weren’t for the defense.
All I have to say is Lovie, you need to tell Martz to remember who is boss.
I don’t know about you, I’m worried about the eight remaining games, but it will surely be enough to talk about.
Bear Down Chicago!