One of the best parts of writing a blog is getting to meet folks around the world that love football as much as you do. Dan Deez, over at beargoggleson.com, is the latest. Deez graciously agreed to answer some of my questions about the Bears, and I’ll be doing the same later tonight. Take a read.
HAWKBLOGGER: Tell me about the Bears offensive line. Are the sacks more about the way they are playing, Mike Martz playcalling, or Jay Cutler holding onto the ball too long?
BEARGOGGLESON: The Bears offensive line boils down to lack of talent. Third year tackle Chris Williams (who will play left guard this week) has never lived up to expectations and has often been injured in his short career. RG Frank Omiyale is often outmanned by defenders and ends up racking up penalties. G Roberto Garza and C Olin Kruetz are past their prime and the rest are mostly young guys. Martz has already shown that he can adjust his playing when it becomes a problem (Dallas game in week 2). Jay Cutler holding the ball too long against the Giants was the product of a concussed man who’s head wasn’t all there. This week the Bears are going to have some young guys in for their second start in a row, T J’Marcus Webb and G Edwin Williams on the right side of Kruetz. Too much shuffling people around has been the biggest problem if you ask me. Now that some youngs guys are in there, I think you can expect better protection that will improve the longer they all line up together.
HB: What’s the take on Lovie Smith out in Chicago?
BGO: Mostly bad. I’ve heard people root for the Bears to have a bad season just so they will have to fire him. He is signed through the 2011 season and unless the Bears win the Super Bowl two years in a row, few people will be sad to see him go after next year (if he’s still here.)
HB: Is there anything about the Seahawks that worries you?
BGO: Marshawn Lynch coming to a new team with a fresh start. I’m sure he will be pumped in his first game with the Seahawks. The Bears have a good run defense, though, so it could go either way. Also, Leon Washington and Golden Tate in the return game could help give the Seahawks good field position.
HB: What do you think the Bears greatest weaknesses are?
BGO: Definitely their offensive line as I’ve stated above, which has also really hurt the running game. Outside of that, their offense has really struggled on 3rd down. I think they have converted something around only 20% all season. Keepting themselves out of 3rd and long situations has been a real problem.
HB: How good do you think the Bears are? How far can they go?
BGO: The second half of the season is going to be tough playing the Vikings twice, the Patriots, the Jets and the Eagles. However, they could finish the first half 7-1. And with the Vikings struggling and the Packers battling injuries, they could be the best team in the NFC North. If Cutler can stay healthy, the Bears are definitely playoff bound and with the amount of breaks they have been catching, who knows. Super Bears, Super Bowl!
HB: Who is your favorite Bear of all time?
BGO: I would have to say Mike Singletary or William “The Refridgerator” Perry. I think those two guys made a big impact on the franchise. Singletary because he is probably the best Middle Linebacker to have played the game and Perry because he was just a big guy who played on both sides of the ball and did whatever it took to help the team.
HB: Do tall receivers 6’4″+ give your secondary problems?
BGO: The Bears have a shorter secondary but the guys are ballhawks. Even when the receivers catch the ball, there’s always a chance of the DBs forcing a fumble. I think the speed and quickness of guys like Charles Tillman and Danieal Manning make up for their lack of size.
HB: Are there any players on the Seahawks you like or follow?
BGO: I’ve always been a fan of Leon Washington. Anytime the ball is in his hands he might take it 50 yards. I can’t see him as a true #1 running back but every offense could find a handful of ways to get him the ball each game and he will always make an impact.