Chicago Bears special teams coordinator Dave Toub talked about being the number one special teams unit in the NFL for the second straight year. And I quote:
“We’re fortunate to be able to keep a lot of guys,” Toub said. “We did lose some guys, but we kept the major core. Having the same kicker (Robbie Gould), long-snapper (Patrick Mannelly) and punter (Maynard) year-in and year-out, that’s probably the No. 1 thing. And then having Devin and Brendon doesn’t hurt.”
Doesn’t hurt? Doesn’t fucking hurt? Are you kidding me, Dave? I like you and think you do a very good job coordinating, but you have to think that Devin has the most to do with this. He broke the record that he set his rookie year with 6 kick returns for TD’s. He’s the one out there making people miss, running like a fucking cheetah, and watching himself do so on the Jumbotron.
Now don’t get me wrong. Having Robbie Gould doesn’t hurt. Remember his monster season in 2006? And Maynard does his job week in and week out. Ayanbadejo was also a beast this season and really stood out. The Bears also had 8 blocked kicks in 2007, double that of any other team. They also lead in kick coverage, were second in field goals, and third in punt coverage. Besides San Diego this season, I don’t really remember many huge special teams plays outside of our Chicago Bears.
So Mr. Smith, lets make sure we keep these guys around. Toub needs to stay with Gould for sure. Maynard and Ayanbadejo should get comfortable as well. And Hester better spend his entire career as a Bear. Develop him into your deep-threat wideout. Make sure none of this gets to his head. And for fuck sake, don’t trade him for an unproven QB. I don’t care who it is. Look at most of the top QB’s in the league right now and you’ll find there are many gems to be found later in the draft. Find that new Brady. You can do it without dealing Devin.
Archive for the ‘Devin Hester’ category
The 2007 Chicago Bears season, whether it finished 6-10 or 7-9, will be remembered as a colossal failure. Maybe the most colossal in the team’s history. Coming off a runner-up finish in 2006, the Bears were–at the very least–supposed to make the playoffs and have a chance to defend its 2006 conference title. Instead, by Thanksgiving, it was apparent that this team was not only not making the playoffs, but it was just plain bad.
In previous pieces I’ve written about the Bears I feel are culpable in this lost season. While the national media focuses on Rex Grossman, the smart Bears fan realizes that the Bears’ running game and offensive line were the key to this season’s offensive failures. Cedric Benson didn’t have many holes to run through, but when he did, he looked as if he was just waiting to get tackled. The offensive line went from a team strength to its biggest weakness, as many as four of the five slots may have to be replaced next year. While recently Bernard Berrian has made some big plays, lets not forget that he couldn’t catch a fucking cold in the first half of the season. And if Muhsin Muhammed is on this team next year, I’m going to set myself on fire. Defensively, Brian Urlacher suffered though a bad back and didn’t really play well until late in the year. On the flip side, Lance Briggs started out on fire but has vanished recently. Perhaps Lance is taking it easy, knowing he is just weeks away from free agency. And then there’s the secondary.
Wow. I mean, even the Redskins have to be amazed at how bad Adam Archuleta was. When the Bears signed him, I wasn’t a huge fan of the deal, but I had no idea the guy couldn’t cover or tackle anyone. And thats not a fan’s overstatement……he simply does not belong in the NFL anymore. Daneal Manning went from a talented rookie to one of the worst tacklers on the team. And finally, injuries to key personnel ruined any limited chance of the Bears making a playoff run.
But, like the title here infers, it wasn’t all bad. Here are some bright spots from the 2007 season:
Charles Tillman: In his fifth year, Peanut has proven to be the big, physical corner the Bears need in the cover two defense. He has 72 tackles and two interceptions, and has forced four fumbles and blocked two punts. While others get the recognition and Pro Bowl nominations, Tillman has consistently been the best player on the defense (and perhaps the special teams) all year. Hopefully, with the return of a healthy Nathan Vasher in 2008, the Bears defense will be closer to itself.
Tommie Harris: Harris is basically playing on one leg. Also, he’s been playing alongside 5 or 6 different defensive tackles this year, and has been constantly double-teamed. Other players might have packed it in this year, especially when it became obvious that this team sucked ass. But Harris has 7 sacks and 32 tackles, and is constantly in the opposing team’s backfield. If 100 percent in 2008, the Bears defensive line will be much improved.
Adewale Ogunleye: Ogunleye had not played up to his reputation prior to this season. After putting up a league high 15 sacks in 2003 for Miami and getting traded to Chicago, Ogunleye has had a grand total of 21 sacks in three seasons. However, in 2007, Ogunleye has been the team’s most consistent playmaker on either side of the ball. 56 tackles, 9 sacks, 6 forced fumbles and 4 fumbles recovered later, and Ogunleye has almost been able to make up for the other defensive end’s–Mark Anderson–horrid season.
Devin Hester: I’ve written a few love letters to the guy on this page before, and we all know how good he is. I’ve been able to be present for two of his touchdowns, and for another two that were called back. There hasn’t been anything in Chicago sports, since Michael retired, more exciting to see in person than Hester. I just hope the geniuses on the coaching staff and in management don’t get too cute in the offseason and decide to keep running these little reverses and bubble screens for number 23. Every time they run one of these piece of shit plays I expect some 290-pound lineman to pursue down the line and shred Hester’s knee.
So, yeah, thats about it. Brendon Ayanbadejo had another great year on special teams. I like the work of Greg Olsen and think he will be a really dangerous weapon in 2008. And unlike many others, I think Ron Turner has done an adequate job of calling plays considering he has no offensive line, quarterback, receivers, or running game. Other than that…….when does baseball start?
No really……keep kicking to him.
- Devin Hester is the most exciting Bears player since Walter Payton. I have no idea why any NFL coach would EVER kick him the ball. Maybe you want to kick him the ball once, to see how things go. Like the Colts did last year. But I have no clue how you can kick him the ball, watch him run through your special teams, then continue to kick him the ball. Herman Edwards watched Hester bring back a 73-yard punt in the early 2nd quarter, then kicked to him about 5 or 6 more times. Hester was one broken tackle and one block in the back penalty from three kick returns for touchdowns. Three. In one game. If I’m Dallas next week, I’ll kick it out of bounds on kickoffs and let the Bears putrid offense try from the 40 every time. And on punts, I’d never kick to him. Ever.
- Herman Edwards is a horrible NFL coach. If he had some balls and didn’t call draw plays on every 3rd and more than 6, the Chiefs might have had a chance to score more than 10 points. Also, if he had kicked away from Hester during the game, the score is probably 10-10.
- I’m a Rex backer. And yes, the offensive line has stunk and the receivers are bad. But he has sucked for two straight weeks. The two interceptions he threw yesterday were atrocious. Even with guys in his face all day and bad receivers, Rex has to control the ball.
- On the other hand, Rex cannot win with Bears fans unless he goes 25-for-28 with 410 yards and 5 touchdowns. After throwing his second interception yesterday, Rex had a couple plays were his receivers were totally covered, and instead of trying to force the ball in, he threw it away. Which is what you’re supposed to do up 10 with 4 minutes left. But when he does, the crows goes nuts and boos thinking he was trying to throw it to the receiver but just missed because he sucks. So if he tries to make plays and force the pass in, he sucks. If he plays it safe and throws it away, he sucks. My fellow Bears fans, on the whole, are not smart. That being said, Rex has to be smarter. With the defense and Hester, all he has to do is be careful.
- I can’t do 8 hours of tailgating anymore. We got there at 730 am for a 315 pm start. Thats just too much. It was a great day. 70 degrees, sunny, not a cloud in the sky. But I woke up sore today. It was like I played the game. From now on, only 2 or 3 hours of tailgating is fine.
- Unless the offense can take care of the ball and they get pressure on Tony Romo, the Cowboys are going to beat the Bears next week.