Monday, March 8, 2010

Bears Set Stage For Hilarious Collapse

- NFL Free Agency started last week, and while the gathering shadow of the impending 2011 NFL Doomsday put some shackles on would be big spenders, that didn't stop the Chicago Bears from going completely coo coo bananas in a Dan Snyder-esque attempt to prove their managerial competence. They landed the big prize of this offseason, former Panthers DE Julius Peppers. Peppers is a 5 time Pro Bowler, 2 time first team All Pro, and has 24 1/2 sacks in the last 2 seasons. That's the good news. The bad news is that he has a reputation for taking plays off, backed up by Brentson Buckner, who used to play with him, and seems like a perfect candidate to take even more plays off now that he has his big money contract.

You just can't buy or trade your way to success in the NFL. It's never been done. God knows the Cowboys and Redskins have tried. The Bears tried it last year with Jay Cutler and failed miserably, and now have doubled down on their own idiocy by throwing a bunch of money at Peppers. Peppers is a better player than Cutler. I know you can't really compare a defensive end with a quarterback, but Peppers is better. Does he make the Bears a Super Bowl contender in a division where they still have to face Packers and Vikings team that are much better than them twice each. Hell to the no! We may as well just dress the Bears up in blue pinstripes next year because when it comes to trying too hard desperation they are putting even the Cubs to shame.

- The Bears weren't about to settle for just Peppers in their quest for relevance. They also signed former Vikings RB Chester Taylor. Taylor is 31 but is seen as "low mileage". The trouble with that is, yes he's "low mileage", but it's not a Thomas Jones low mileage where he has also shown he can carry the load as a feature back. Chester Taylor has never really shown that. He'll probably split carries with Matt Forte. It might be a slight upgrade over whoever was the Bears backup RB last year, but really, it just doesn't move the needle all that much.

- Remember when "Ben" Roethlisberger had that whole romantic misunderstanding in that hotel where he had a broken TV last year? Well, Mr. Pump Fake is at it again. A 20 year old Georgia college student has claimed "Ben" sexually assaulted her in da club . "Ben" has hired Ray Lewis' old double murder attorney to clean up this mess. I'll say this, if this really happened, Plaxico Burress is sitting in jail right now for shooting himself in the leg. If Plax is in jail for that, Ben deserves to do some time for this too. If he doesn't, that's some serious double standard going on. A racial double standard.

- Let's run thru some of the other comings and goings.

- Anquan Boldin finally got his wish and has been traded from Arizona. The perenially unhappy wide receiver brings his long face to Baltimore, who gave him a nice fat extension. The Ravens got him for a third and 4th round draft pick. By way of comparison, the Bears traded their second round this pick for Gaines Adams, who was horrible and then died. Some teams play Candy Land, others play Chess.

- The Lions signed WR Nate Burleson and his giant feet to play opposite Calvin Johnson. They are giving him $11M guaranteed. Burleson had a 1000 yard season. Six years ago. Great signing, Lions, way to be the Lions. I was wondering when you were going to start throwing all kinds of money at mediocre WR's again. Have you fired Matt Millen yet?

- Just to show they are totally cereal, the Lions also gave former Titans DE Kyle Vanden Bosch a bunch of money to come play for the Washington Generals of football. KVB played for the Titans when Lions headmaster Jim Schwartz was their DC. He was good then. Last season, not so good. He had 3 sacks in 16 games. In 2008 he played in only 10 games and had 4 1/2 sacks.

- Dunta Robinson has been kind of an underachiever since being the 10th overall pick in the 2004 draft. He's been OK though, probably has the talent to be better. If it happens, it will happen with the Atlanta Falcons, who signed him to shore up a pass defense that was 25th in Y/A against last year.

- The Browns re-signed excitement maker Josh Cribbs, giving him $7M guaranteed. In a related story, last night I dreamt I was backup QB for the Browns. True story.

- Denver signed former Ravens lineman Justin Bannan to be their nose tackle. Profootballtalk says he's a good value. I guess I'll buy that.

- Antrel Rolle was the 8th pick in the 05 Draft, and now he's going to get a big payday from the NY Giants. Big Blue gave him $15M guaranteed and an additional $22.5M in the first 3 years (not guaranteed).

- Arizona lost another member of its defense when Miami signed LB Karlos Dansby. He's a very good all around linebacker who the Cardinals will miss, and he'll help the Dolphins.

- Jacksonville landed former Packers pass rusher Aaron Kampman. Kampman was one of the best in the league at what he does in 2006-2007. But he didn't do alot before then, and hasn't done alot since then. Plus he hurt his knee last year. His best days probably are behind him.

- The Saints lost one of the mainstays of their defense, LB Scott Fujita, who has started for them since 2006. Fujita's always been solid but unspectacular. He should be a useful piece in helping the Browns regain some self respect.

- Antonio Cromartie has freakish talent, but his performance hasn't always matched that talent. It will be up to Rex Ryan to realize that potential now, as the Chargers have traded the corner to the Jets. That's potentially a really, really scary defense. Revis at one corner and Cromartie at the other. I don't know how you throw against that.

- Steve Spagnuolo will have one of his guys from the Giants SB team on the Rams next year. Run stuffing tackle Fred Robbins signed with St. Louis.

- Still have your old Antwaan Randle El Steelers jersey? You're on luck, he's a Steeler again!

Ohhhhkay. That's alot of football stuff, on to a quick futbol update.

- What looked like a two team race in the EPL is now very much a three team race, with the third team, Arsenal, being the hottest of all. The Gunners easily took care of Burnley on Saturday, 3-1. An onion in the ointment though, is an injury to Cesc Fabregas. His injured hamstring is going to prevent him from playing this weeks second leg of their Champs League matchup with Porto, who they trail 1-0.

- Arsenal now trails the league leaders, Man U, by two points, and is tied with Chelsea for second. United held serve with a 1-0 win over Wolves thanks to Paul Scholes 100th Premier League goal.

- The race for La Liga's title is also tight as can be. Real Madrid has caught Barcelona, and the two archrivals are tied for first place following Real's thrilling 3-2 win over Sevilla. Real fought back from a 2-0 deficit with goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos, and a game winner late from Rafael Van der Vaart. Barca, meanwhile got just 1 point out of a match at 13th place Almeria. Ibrahimovic got a red card, but Lionel Messi got 2 goals to salvage a 2-2 tie in an ugly match.

- Lots of ties and no goals at the top of Serie A this weekend. League leaders Inter remain 3 points up over AC Milan. Inter had a scoreless draw at home against Genoa, while Milan and third place AS Roma stalemated 0-0.

- Sunday saw a couple of FA Cup Quarterfinal matchups. Reading looked set to claim a 3rd Champions League victim when they went up 2-0 on Aston Villa with 2 goals from Shane Long. John Carew answered with a hat trick though, and Villa advances to the semis with a 4-2 win. They'll be joined by Chelsea, who is scuffling in the Premier League but is still alive in the FA Cup after a 2-0 win against Stoke. John Terry scored. Not sexually this time.

- Liverpool's fugly season took another turn for the worse today when they lost 1-0 at Wigan. They're still playing for 4th place and a Champions League spot, but they finish February with just 1 Premier League win during the month. They are still alive in the round of 16 in the Europa League.


Patrick N said...

Oli is really sad right now. :(

Everyone on radio shit on the Bears. I dunno, at least they're trying? :|||| no locker room presence for Bears right now.

Oli Porter said...

I'm pretending futbol doesn't exist till the World Cup.