Quarterback

wk 4_barret

When the season first began, click there was much talk about who each team would have as their starting Quarterback.  Some schools had several options, ampoule whereas others had one sure winner.  Once you add in injuries, all that discussion goes out the door as we approach Week 4 of College Football.

For teams that have strong talent in several of their players, is it really necessary to declare a starting Quarterback?  How do you decide who gets to start?  Who gets how much time to play?  Who gets the most practice time during the week?.  All questions Coach Urban Meyer has had to ask himself since the season has started.  It sounds like he may have a small answer to at least one of those questions, but he’s still not telling who will start.  In an ESPN article, Meyer was quoted in saying that there might be some truth in the fact that you really do need to pick one Quarterback to start.

Coach Meyer had a secret weapon in having two great Quarterbacks.  Opposing teams never knew who was going to start and had to prepare for both Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett.  The suspense of it all worked to the advantage of Ohio State, but when it comes to the game play, that might not be the case.  Coach Meyer is learning, no matter how great a player is, consistency is a factor that has to always be accounted for.  Playing in a consistent manner makes you a better player because it builds your confidence and gets you accustomed to a set style of play and players.

Since Meyers has started the season with 2 Quarterbacks, they have won all 3 games, but Saturday’s win in a very close game against Northern Illinois has put the need for consistency questions on the table.  How well can you expect your players to perform if they’re always ready, waiting, wondering is today my day.  Something tells me that in the next couple of weeks, Ohio State will be forced to pick a starting Quarterback if they want to remain undefeated and reclaim their title!  Having a talented squad is half the battle, but having a consistent squad, gives you extra potential.

What are your thoughts?  Do you think having one main Quarterback is necessary?  I look forward to hearing your thoughts.  My vote, is always for consistency, unless consistency goes bad, then it’s time for something new.  Can’t wait to see what Week 4 has in store!

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Bears vs. Vikings

I could draft a whole post about how or why the Bears have decided to bench franchise QB, illness Jay Cutler in week 16 of the 2014-2015 season… but what’s the point?  Besides, there’s already tons and tons of information out there for you SDI readers to dive into regarding the speculation surrounding the franchise QB, coaching and management.

Chicago Bears v Green Bay Packers

Jimmy Clausen – Courtesy of Getty Images

Instead, I thought I would focus my efforts today on the back-up QB, Jimmy Clausen. If you’re a college football fan you’ve definitely heard the name Clausen before, as Jimmy is the younger brother of two former Division 1 QBs, Casey and Rick Clausen. Side note: both of his brothers played at Tennessee. However, Jimmy has carved quite a name for himself in the football world too. Check out his career highlights below:

  • Pre-college and NFL, Jimmy was already turning heads and gathering media attention in high school.  What I found most impressive about his HS football career is that he never lost a football game in which he was the starter (42-0 record) and he also holds the California state record for career touchdowns (with 146).  In his senior year of high school, USA Today named him the “Offensive Player of the Year”.
  • Clausen moved on to play college football at Notre Dame.  In his junior year and final season with the Fighting Irish, he had 3,722 passing yards and a 68.8% completion rate, with 28 touchdowns and four interceptions.
  • Clausen was drafted in the second round of the 2010 NFL draft by the Carolina Panthers. While in Carolina, he played 13 games in his rookie season (starting in 10 of them) and conjured up a record of 1-9 before the Panthers drafted current QB, Cam Newton and inserted him as the starter. Sad.

This summer, Clausen beat out Jordan Palmer in training camp to become the Bears back-up quarterback. In 2014, Clausen has appeared in three games and has completed three of nine passes. He will get his first start with the team on Sunday when the Bears face the Detroit Lions at home.

While his career in the NFL hasn’t been stellar, I still wish him the best of luck on Sunday. And hey, you never know… Maybe Clausen will take a page of out McCown’s book…

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With his contract up at the end of the 2013 season, unhealthy it was a make it or break it year for Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, prostate  and despite Cutler’s injuries and inability to take the team to the post season, the Bears front office has made it clear that #6 isn’t going anywhere this offseason.

The Bears announced yesterday that they had inked the controversial Chicago QB to a new 7-year contract that will keep Cutler a Bear until 2020. Although financial terms to the deal were not specifically released, it is being said that his contract includes $50 million in guaranteed money…not bad for a sub-par QB who hasn’t led the Bears to a Super Bowl in his five seasons, is 39-28 in 67 starts, and ended this season with a measly 8-8 record.

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty of the deal and also take a look at how teammates, fans and the press are responding to this generous deal.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

  • Cutler ended the season with 2,621 yards passing, a 63.1 completion percentage, 19 touchdowns and an 89.2 passer rating. Those stats are a definite improvement from years prior but, in my opinion, they aren’t deserving of a 7-year contract extension. With a new head coach, who seems to work well with Cutler, and weapons like Alshon Jeffery, Matt Forte and Brandon Marshall, I knew upper management would decide to give Cutty more time in Chicago but as I touched on earlier, I didn’t foresee such a lucrative deal being put on the table. However, the decision is very important to their salary cap, so it makes sense that they made it so quickly.

    Kyle Long responds to Cutler Skeptic

  • Caption read: “BOOM…JAY 7 for 126…Congrats now let’s go Win”

    Twitter is abuzz with reactions to this big decision. Cutler’s teammates seem to be pleased with the contract extension, namely Brandon Marshall, who’s been playing with No. 6 since college. Right after the deal was announced, Marshall took to social media to express his excitement. Even rookie Kyle Long defended his QB. I can’t say that I’ve seen the same reaction from fans though. Many share my belief that the deal is too generous, others have said it’s ridiculous that he’s even coming back and there’s even a few who think backup QB Josh McCown, should have snagged Cutty’s spot. However, the impression I have gotten from the press, is that they agree with keeping the QB around, some citing that it’s just easier than searching for a new franchise QB, and others saying he is just too talented to let go. Bulls reporter Nick Friedell poses an important question below…what’s your response, ladies?

WHAT’S NEXT:

Marc Trestman and Phil Emery, Photo Credit- Jose M. Osorio/ Chicago Tribune

With new Cutler’s contract, the offense is pretty much set but you should expect GM Phil Emery and Coach Marc Trestman to be making a whole lot of changes on Chicago’s defense. So far this off season CB Tim Jennings (4-year deal) and OL Matt Slauson (4-year deal) are the only other Bears’ who have received contraction extensions – both were announced yesterday with Cutler’s extension. There are 25 more players on the Bears’ roster who have contracts scheduled to expire on March 11, including seven first-stringers on a defense that finished last place in the NFL in yards allowed per play (sigh). Veteran guys like Devin Hester and Charles Tillman are on that long list. Going into the 2014 NFL Draft, Chicago will have the 14th overall pick and from Emery’s quote below, you can see that their goal is clear.

“I will just tell you we’re going to be a younger defense. The draft will be focused in that area…Defensively, it was not about, is it D-line, linebacker, safety…it’s about finding the best playmakers, the guys that can make a dynamic difference to our defense.”

Love or hate the Bears decision, one thing is for sure – this team will look much different next season when the Bears take the field. We can expect many changes to the roster this offseason, let’s just hope they are all for the best.

It has been a pleasure chatting about the Bears with all of you this season and hopefully by this time next year, Chicago will still be fighting their way through playoffs. And as always, Bear down, sports divas!

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It was another disappointing loss full of missed opportunities for the Bears on Sunday in Minneapolis. In their final game of the season in the soon to be demolished Metrodome, viagra the Bears lost to the NFC bottom-dwelling Vikings in a bizarre OT thriller that was more or less a snooze-fest until the 4th quarter.

Despite a decent performance by the offense, clinic the Bears would ultimately blow a 10 point lead losing to a floundering Minnesota team, drugstore putting their playoff hopes in serious question.

A series of unfortunate plays and missed opportunities will haunt the team and it’s fans as this loss signals a season that could slowing be coming to a crumbling end. In a game full of head-scratching moments, it was Robbie Gould’s uncharacteristic miss, a 47-yard field goal that would have given the Bears the win.

Bear nation is shaking their heads tonight wondering what our team would be like if we had a healthy defense line-up like last year’s mixed with the amazing offense from this year.  They are also questioning the remainder of the season and playoff hopes with only four games remaining in the regular season.

It was a crazy football weekend and there is guaranteed to be lots of chatter around the Bears latest loss (along with the crazy end to the Alabama-Auburn game) and while I’d like to forget them both – here’s what you need to know to jump in on the conversations tomorrow in the office.

What You Need to Know:

  • Let’s Start With the Bright Side: Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery had a career game with 12 catches for a franchise-record 249 yards and two huge TDs – most notable his sick 46-yard TD catch over Vikings cornerback Chris Cook.  Jeffery also broke his own single-game team record for receiving yards.  Bears quarterback Josh McCown, was 23 of 36 for 355 yards and had two touchdowns.  The offense has immensely improved and is reliable with or without Jay Cutler, so it is unfortunate that our defense could not step-up more today.

    Robbie Gould

  • Goulden Boy Falls Short:  Unfortunately, reliable Robbie Gould missed two major kicks that cost the Bears.  One of them was a 66 yarder with 2 seconds left in the 4th (I was having flashbacks and panic attacks reliving the Alabama-Auburn game during this kick) and the second was the controversial call made by Coach Trestman to send Gould out for the 47-heard FG attempt on 2nd down  with 4 minutes left in OT. ???  The first miss was completely understandable, however the second was all around strange coming from one of the most accurate kickers in the league.  Robbie and his wife welcomed their first child less than 24 hours before kick-off, at 1:00 a.m. on Sunday. Perhaps it was lack of sleep or concentration, but you can’t blame Gould’s misses as the sole reason the Bears lost the game.  There were enough flubs to go around.
  • Same Old Problems for the Bears Defense: While there were glimpses of kick-ass play defensively (i.e.: Julius Peppers two sacks in the 1st half and Jon Bostic’s crazy good tackle in the 4th), the Bears D simply wasn’t enough to stop Adrian Peterson who rushed for 211 yards. Throw in some costly penalties (taunting = 15 yards), and the Bears simply didn’t have enough to get past a motivated team with nothing to lose.

My Take Away Piece:

“Are our playoff hopes lost?  Are the Bears the Cubs of football?  Will Jay be back on Monday?  Why was Kyle Long wearing a cast on his ankle after the game?  So many questions, so few answers.  The season isn’t over yet, but with the Bears now down two games to the Lions with the Lions owning the tie-breaker, things aren’t looking so good.  My hope is that the defense finds some new momentum (and gets back our boy Peanut) to finish the regular season out stronger…  I’d like to see Jay Cutlercome back and play like he never missed the last couple games.

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In general, I really only foresee a playoff run if we secure a W with every regular season game left… And even then, it might not be enough.  The eternal optimist is also being realistic because we do have a tough remainder of the season, including another match-up with our arch nemesis, Green Bay Packers – who are hoping for a healthy Aaron Rodgers by that time.

What’s Next:

Next Monday, Chicago will take on “America’s team”, the Dallas Cowboys on primetime Monday Night Football via the lakefront in Chicago.  This will be a special night, as the Chicago Bears will retire Coach Ditka’s number prior to the game.  Hopefully they will make DA COACH proud with a victory against the tied for 1st place NFC East (7-5) Dallas Cowboys.  It might be rough, but Dallas has a weak defense just like Chicago and Romo can be inconsistent.  Let’s hope for a healthy Cutler and a solid D to squeak out a victory in attempt to salvage anything that is left of this season.

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Screen Shot 2013-10-05 at 1.06.30 PM

The New Orleans Saints are currently undefeated. Can the Bears serve them up their first loss of the season Sunday on the lakefront? Not if the Saint’s star players have anything to say about it. With a very deep roster, decease the Saints have a more than a few standout players that made it difficult for me to pick just one enemy this week. It came down to choosing between quarterback Drew Brees and tight end Jimmy Graham, try both of whom have had incredible seasons so far.

THE SAINTS ENEMY 

Jimmy Graham

After much deliberation, viagra I’ve decided to go with Jimmy Graham, since we all already know how productive and talented the veteran QB Brees is in the pocket. Let’s find out more about Graham and why he is a giant threat for Chicago this Sunday.

  • Graham is a freak of an athlete. The 6-foot-7, 265-pound tight end only had one year of college football experience under his belt before entering the NFL, but don’t let that fool you, Graham spent most of his time at University of Miami competing at a high level as a power forward.
  • Graham can run, he can catch, he can score. So far this season the exceptional tight end has entered the end zone six times. He’s made 27 receptions for a total of 458 yards. On those receptions he is averaging 17 yards, with his longest, 56 yards, coming early in the season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Over his career Graham has racked up 238 receptions, 3,006 yards and 29 touchdowns.

    Drew Brees

  • Graham was named last week’s NFC Offensive Player of the Week and guess who won award this week? None other than the man putting the ball into Graham’s hands, Drew Brees. The Saints are certainly on a roll and to say that this dynamic duo will be dangerous in the coming game against our beloved Bears, would be quite the understatement.

THE SAINTS EYE CANDY

Kenny Vaccaro

I am beginning to think hotness should be a stat on team rosters along with receptions, yards, tackles, etc. to make this choice a bit easier for me but I don’t foresee that happening anytime soon (or ever). This week’s eye candy is rookie safety Kenny Vaccaro. New Orleans selected the University of Texas safety with the 15th overall pick in the first round of the 2013 draft. In his four games with New Orleans he has tallied 21 total tackles, 19 of those being solo tackles and has also grabbed one interception. Vaccaro definitely has a bad-boy look with two full tattoo sleeves but I think it’s his eyes and smile that make him a real hottie. Vaccaro wears #32, so keep an eye out for him ladies.

Kenny Vaccaro

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Reggie Bush Lions vs Bears

The perfect start to the Bears season ended on Sunday with a 40-32 loss to Reggie Bush and the Lions in what can only be described as a “wake-up call” type of game.

After three straight weeks of watching the Bears win, patient this game was painful to watch, order as the Lions’ Reggie Bush dominated the rush and Cutty finally cracked under pressure.  By halftime, the Lions had 260 yards, 17 first downs and 30 points (including three TDs in a span of 3 minutes, 26 seconds in the 2nd quarter).  I tried to remain positive, since the Bears have seemed to shine in the 4th quarter this season, but this time they could not gain enough momentum to defeat Detroit.

If you’re suffering from the Monday morning blues after a the end of a gorgeous weekend capped off by a Bears loss, cheer up, it’s still early in the season, but yesterday’s loss did teach us a thing or two about the 2013 Bears. The Bears fall to 3-1 after yesterday’s loss and now share the lead of the NFC North with the Lions.

The Cubs and Sox officially wrapped their forgetful seasons yesterday and the Hawks kick off their new season at home tomorrow, but there still is no bigger story this a.m. than what went down yesterday in the Motor City.  Here’s what you need to know before heading into the office.

What You Need to Know:

    • Move over Megatron, there’s a new man in the Motor City: The ever famous Kardashian ex and former Heisman trophy winner, Reggie Bush was the star of the show on Sunday. After sitting out last week due to a knee injury, the Lions new RB rushed for 139 yards with 18 carries and 1 TD initiating conversations all over Twitter of just why the Miami Dolphins would’ve ever let the crafty RB go. Bush proved to be just too much for the Bears D as he broke through the Bears line and out-shined every other player on the field. Our very own Matt Forte only had 95 yards on 14 carries. Overall, the Bears D just couldn’t compete with Bush’s quickness on the field and he was the key component in the Lions victory.

      Reggie Bush

    • The ‘old’ Cutty Rears His Head: After stringing together three impressive performances this season and throwing only one interception in the last three starts, we finally saw flashes of the old Cutler yesterday – the one that makes bad decisions under pressure and makes us pull our hair out. Cutler had 4 major errors that basically cost the Bears the game as his three interceptions and one fumble led to 17 Lions points. Cutler almost redeemed himself in the 4th quarter when he threw a pair of touchdown passes and 2-point conversions in the final 4 minutes to bring Chicago within eight points of the Lions.  Unfortunately, it was not enough this time.  Overall, Cutler went 27 of 47 and threw for 317 yards for 2 TDs and 3 INT.

      Same old Cutty?

    • Oh, Henry!: The loss of Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton, who’s season ended last week with a torn ACL, was definitely felt yesterday as Reggie Bush easily ran down the middle of the field. On a positive note for the defense, Lions’ star WR, Calvin “Megatron” Johnson was held to only four receptions and 44 yards thanks to the Bears reliable secondary.

Your Take Away Piece:

“While some fans are down and out about this loss, I’m actually not one of them.  We knew a loss was coming at some point this season and I think this helped bring a healthy dose of reality to the team (and fans); just a friendly reminder that offense has clearly improved this year but there’s still room for improvement. This loss also indicated that the Bears’ D simply isn’t what is was last season either.  There’s still a lot of football to be played and I’m confident the Bears can get back to their winning ways.”

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What’s Next: 

The 3-1 Bears will spend the week strategizing and recovering in preparation for the (3-0) New Orleans Saints, who play the Miami Dolphins tonight on Monday Night Football. The Bears need to fine-tune on both sides of the ball before Drew Brees and the boys roll into town on Sunday for a 12:00 p.m. NFC showdown on the lakefront.
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