Won’t touch on 4-3 Bears today

Since the Bears are in a free-fall…yet again. Let’s set our sights on the Bulls. I said earlier in my blogging history that I would a preview on the starting five Bulls. Apparently, Boozer “fell over his bag” (or punched a wall), so I’m not sure who else to preview. However, I will preview two folks that have a chance to start this season that begins on Wednesday.

Bogans could quite possibly break into the starting lineup

Keith Bogans

Height: 6’5
Position:
SG
College:
Kentucky
Years Pro:
eight
09-10 Stats:
4.4 ppg, 1.2 apg, .6 spg
Pros: a defensive-savvy veteran. Bogans has been apart of many winning teams and brings that experience.
Cons: Not much of a shooter. Bogans has essentially taken the spot of long time Bull Kirk Hinrich.
Outlook:
 Bogans will fill the defensive-minded Thibodeau’s scheme. However, with Bogans filling the Hinrich role, the Bulls have stacked their team with role players to make him have some value. It looks as if Bogans will get the start, for now. However, Kyle Korver or CJ Watson might be the sg after a couple of months, for more scoring opportunties.


Joakim Noah

Height: 6’11
Position C/PF
College: Florida
Years Pro:
three
09-10 Stats:
10.7 ppg, 11.0 rpg, 2.1 apg
Pros:
A player that enjoys working hard inside the trenches. Very good at cleaning up garbage under the rim and tip ins. Noah likes to attack the rim, and adds a little 15-foot shot that he’s beginning to knock down (as of last year). Noah and Rose showed a little chemistry last year as they sometimes went back and forth trading assists.
Cons:
He battled plantars faciitis last season, and was out for 18 games. The injury hopefully is cleared up by this seasons so he doesn’t have to take a trip to the Caribbean midway through the year.
Outlook:
The Bull’s second or third most valuable player. Like I stated earlier, the man loves playing ball in the trenches, and is very physical. His point totals might decrease once Boozer comes back. Noah will always be there to follow-up garbage shots.

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Welcome back

It’s a long hiatus (again), and I had to take a break due to my schedule with the Herald this week.

In the past week, we saw the Bears go 4-2 against a weak Seattle Seahawks, the Cubs still searching for a manager and UIC basketball taking Chicago State off their schedule.

First the Bears:

I know what you’re thinking. That I am going to say that the Bears are an undeserving 4-2 squad standing alone in first in the NFC North. No, but I will requote peer Barry Rozner from the Daily Herald.

After a week off to rest concussed Jay Cutler, the offensive line let up six sacks. But is it all the lines fault?

 ‘The Bears are extraordinarily mediocre.’

It’s obvious that Lovie has had enough with a stubborn Cutler/Martz combo. However, the line is just so dismal.

I understand and respect the effort of flip-flopping the line, to try to get your best five concoction, but there is a time to just let them play.

This offensive has let so much go by, but is it really all their fault? Sure you have nine sacks let up in the New York melee and then six in the Seahawks game, however, don’t you think Cutler holds the ball a little long?

It seems Cutler had Forte and Olsen on the check down, and chose not to throw to those routes. And shame on Martz for being so stubborn in running plays that take an eternity to develop. When your down, you still could use that running game. It’s about a 80/20 advantage to the pass game, proving that Taylor and Forte are essentially obsolete in the rush.

On the defensive side, with Lance Briggs being inactive, we realize how valuable his talent is. Don’t get me wrong, Brandon Iwuh is a formidable fill-in by all means. However, old Beast Mode (Marshawn Lynch) would have been quiet, and Mike Williams wouldn’t have been able to revive his career if Briggs was there.

It makes you think drafting Major Wright was a bad idea, when you’re starting seventh-round/undrafted guards and tackles. If the Bears front office had started Daniel Manning at free safety once Mike Brown left, we wouldn’t be in this predicament in the first place.

But thumbs up to Devin Hester’s 13th record tying touchdown return for 89 yards to make things interesting. Run Forest Run…
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Still no coach?

I won’t touch on the lovely Chicago Cubs for very long, but need I remind fans that they still have no manager.

Eric Wedge signed with the Seattle Mariners Monday afternoon, and it looked as if he was a lock for the Cubs all week after a second interview.

It’s pretty much unknown who the Cubs will sign as manager, but if you want my opinion (which you’re going to get whether you like it or not), is signing interim coach Mike Quade. Why not?

He knows the system, knows the big city pressure and is very vocal with and about his players on not settling for mediocrity.

Maybe it’s just not me being ready for a Ryne Sandberg era (or they’re just praying for Joe Girardi to leave his cushy Yankees job).

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Finally according to sources @ espn.com, the UIC Flames cancelled their game  against the Chicago State Flames on their schedule. Normally I wouldn’t care, just because I don’t follow college basketball until the conference tournaments start, but apparently Chicago State head coach Tracy Didly had a lot to say to this. 

 

“For a team to call in September and give up a home game, there’s something to it.” Didly said to ESPN’s Scott Powers. “I have no doubt that [the Flames] were scared they would lose and it would hurt them in recruiting. I have no doubt. They have lost the last two times against Chicago State – the scrimmage and at UIC. Those are the facts.”

Didly was an assistant coach for the Flames, and when he heard he was out of the running to take over UIC (after Flames head coach Jimmy Collins retired) Didly jumped on the opening at Chicago State.

I think this is too good to be true, however no one will care about it because both teams are pretty weak. UIC loses their prospects to Loyola and Depaul (and Loyola and Depaul lose their prospects to everyone else who has D-I notoriety. But for some reason, Northwestern always brings in Europeans which is interesting as well), while Chicago State picks up the scraps from all of the above.

His confidence in his new program makes me admire him, even though they went 9-23 last season. I have become a Chicago State fan instantly.

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Bears (Judas’s revenge) win/Boozer loss/possible Blackhawks post?

You essentially have to be a high school team to lose to the Carolina Panthers especially with Steve Smith out. I mean sure you got D’angelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, but when you let up 17 points (which should have been 24) in the first half, even Jon Quinn could play qb and win. For those of you who don’t know who Jon Quinn is, he is one of many Qbs for the Bears that was terrible.

So the Bears are sole owners of the NFC North at 4-1 after a Packers loss. It was an ugly 24-3 victory (the Bears’ way), I’ll take that

How about that Matt Forte. After no rushing touchdowns were scored since week 13 of LAST SEASON, Forte broke out for 20 carries and a career high 166 scoring twice.

And that Peppers. He had one of the best picks of the year already for the Bears. I tell ya, the Bears defense is looking as good as I’ve seen them in years. Peppers stuck it to the angry Panthers where it hurt, and the rest of the Bears wanted to do the same.

Is it safe to say that we can count our losses in Todd Collins being a mistake? He really shouldn’t play football anymore. A 3.6 qb rating? A high school quarterback could at least throw for more than 36 yards.

Yes, Caleb Hanie is not great, but he’s head above shoulders better than Collins. Lord have mercy he was god awful.
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Wish I could still spin the ball with that hand

I have to say my buddy Jacob Bauer was correct on  his call about Boozer. Bauer told me that he thought Boozer punched a wall breaking his hand.

Last week, Boozer explained his bogus reason of breaking his hand. I don’t know how many times I’ve tripped, or on how many occasions I have landed on my wrist playing football to brace my fall, but it sounds phony. Even though Bulls coach Thibodeau says it’s a non-issue, the New York Times, just reported that through a source John, Gar and the gang want to investigate the issue.

Even though I am 95 percent of the time against the Bulls front office (with the exception of drafting Rose and Noah, which you couldn’t really mess up drafting Rose with the number one pick), it is good they are trying to find out the truth.

Grabbing that 14.4 mil makes me want to check up on a bag trip right?

However, the Bulls offense looks pretty strong as they began preseason ball last week and stand at 1-2 in the preseason. They look a little flat on the offense, but the way the offensive scheme is run, the Bulls look as if they will be successful (even sans Boozer).

We will see in 2 months how the Bulls have improved.

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Blackhawks won their first game this season.

P.S. Who wants to write about hockey for Chicagodeepdish?! (That wasn’t condescending at all, I really want to have a hockey enthusiast writing for the blog).

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Quote of the Day

“How could you get rid of Alex Brown, and then let go of Marc Anderson. Then we signed a person who lost their job to Alex Brown. I don’t think the Bear’s management knows what they’re doing.”

– Commenter on DailyHerald.com

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Luol Deng Preview

Luol Deng

Height:6’9

Position: Small forward/Shooting Guard

College: Duke

Years Experience: six years

09-10 stats: 17.6 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2.0 apg

Pros: He is a great player to have, if he’s not your number one scorer. He works well with other players and it’s evident that he plays best as a swing player. Deng is almost automatic with the corner three-point shot, and a stellar 15-18 foot shot at the top of the key. Last year, played in 70 games. Deng has not played a full season since 07-08 and last season was his best since 2006 where he averaged 18 points a game. He attains a great driving ability, and can score 30 points a game when he wants to.

Cons: He doesn’t utilize his great driving ability and can score 30 points when he wants to. The fact that we add him with another injury-prone Boozer could display big problems to the meat of this order. With his size, by now, he should be able to play the four position as well. He also doesn’t obtain the greatest three-point shot.

What to look for: With Hinrich gone, we don’t have to worry about Deng getting the ball back 2 seconds before the shot clock is about to expire to chuck up a Hail

Deng steals a ball last season against the Wizards

Mary. Look for him to mesh well with Boozer as another inside presence. If Deng can last a full season, we will see the Bulls move up in the top four slot in the playoff picture. Less pressure will be on him (which we found doesn’t work for him well). Even though he’s 25, his IQ is 30 years old. However, his body is aged 34.  His defense also stepped up last season. As we look into the defensive guru’s plans (Thibodeau), look for Deng to maybe average 1.5 steals a game.Maybe he could get add another good sportsmanship award to his resume.

 

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Bears fall 17-3. Get rid of the ball Jay!

Nothing was there on the offensive side.

It was disappointing and embarrassing for the whole team they only registered three measly points on the scoreboard.

Splitting headache in the Meadowlands as Cutler finally gets hurt (not that I wanted it, he's just been beat up in four games)

To add insult to injury (speaking of which) we had a lovely hometownie (Chris Collinsworth) announcing the game. It is quite obnoxious for your team not to do well, however it is terrible to have the media always take sides of a falling New York team.

The Giants were as bad as the bears (whoever said that Eli Manning was a top ten quarterback, is an idiot). The Bears defense played as good as they could, and still lost.

Does this worry you for the future? A tad due to the lack of growth we have seen in Cutler. His football IQ is simply lacking. He never reads the blitz before snap. I bet if you looked at stats, a good portion of sacks from a defensive back.

Cutler had multiple times where could avoid sacks (a lovely record-setting nine in the first half) and either throw the ball away, or make his decisions faster. He tends to always be so vain in trying to complete the long ball. I would say yes the line is in shambles, but it is partially on Cutler. Get rid of the ball!

The run game looks horrendous. Forte is averaging a dismal 2.2 yards per carry. We have Chester Taylor (a great third down back) who gets rarely any action. Taylor is a good asset and this love affair of Martz and Cutler is ruining the calling card of the Bears (That would be the run game folks).

They still have a chance to go 6-1 by halfway point as they compete against high school football teams Seattle and Carolina. Washington shouldn’t be much trouble anyway.

That being said, the Bears have the Bills after the bye week. I’m not worried about the Bears, I’m worried about Cutler getting me negative 2.4 points and forcing me to lose by .3 points. For shame Cutler.

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Grab some bench

My Bears round-up/Luol Deng Preview will be up tom.

If you enjoy talking soccer/hockey, please contact me @ jsjones1985@gmail.com.  Or contact me there and tell me what you think of the blog.

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