I shoveled a driveway yesterday, and my neck is currently paying the price for that. Florida is looking more and more attractive every winter; maybe that’s the same way that everyone feels, and most people just hit the tipping point around retirement age, leading to a mass exodus to The Villages. (Or Del Boca Vista.) Shorter bullets today, but a game-preview is coming up shortly, so hopefully that makes up for it.
- Matt Bowen of the Chicago Tribune and Bleacher Report checks in with two relevant pieces; they’re both on the Tribune’s website, and I’m not entirely sure how their paywall structure works, so if you can’t see them I apologize. I’m not a subscriber and I can access them, but if it’s on a per-article basis that might not be the same for everyone. In the first, he breaks down a Gordon touchdown that came against a Cover 2 look from Jacksonville. On the play a safety took a bad angle and Gordon took a relatively simple in-route and turned it into a 95-yard touchdown. This is exactly what I’m worried about from Major Wright and Chris Conte, neither of whom inspire confidence in their fundamentals.
- Bowen’s second article illustrates a play he thinks Marc Trestman might have in store for the Browns. In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m a big fan of his; he has a way of breaking down X’s and O’s that manages to be very accessible without being dumbed down. I think true playbook knowledge is my main weakness as a fan/observer, as I never played organized football. So I’m always trying to learn.
- Thom Brennaman will indeed have the call this week for the Bears game. That is, obviously, a disappointment; over/under on McCown-mentions? 64. Over/under on times Brennaman condescendingly wonders how the Bears could go with Cutler? 40. (Take the over.)
- Mark Potash of the Sun-Times delves into previous Bears quarterback timeshares; he calls them controversies, but considering they’ve all been comprised of mediocre-at-best players, it’s hard to really look at any of them as controversial. He also has quotes from Pat Mannelly and Eben Britton on the current situation, and both say that in their minds, Cutler is the clear-cut starter.
- Along those lines, last night I tweeted out a link to this Deadspin piece from Billy Haisley, who researched which teams have used the most starting quarterbacks since 1999. The Bears finished tied for third-most, with 17. Cleveland’s used 20, the most in the NFL over that 14-year span. If you want a fun correlation, the Patriots, Colts, Giants, Packers, Steelers, and Saints make up six of the top seven teams on the chart. Those six teams have combined to win 10 of the 14 Super Bowls over the same stretch. It gets worse for Chicago fans, though; if you look below the main chart, you’ll find charts organized by division and year, giving you the names of each quarterback to start a game and their record within that season. There are some rough years there for the Bears; for me, 2004 is the low-point. That was the Chad Hutchinson/Craig Krenzel/Jonathan Quinn/injured-Rex Grossman year. How bad was it? I remember being excited that the Bears were turning to Krenzel. Years like that go a long way toward informing my opinion that kicking Jay Cutler out of town in favor of what’s behind Door #2 is not necessarily the smartest course of action.