9:30 AM CST, December 13, 2011
The Bears’ offensive game plan was nearly perfect against Denver on Sunday.
The Bears did everything to prevent Caleb Hanie from doing something stupid.
Mike Martz figured it out. After saying he wanted to be more aggressive, the pass-happy Martz limited Hanie’s throws and tried to run the ball 40 times.
Problem was, of course, the guy running the ball did bad, stupid and costly things.
Still, the plan was perfect.
Hanie appears to have little feel in the pocket. He also appears to have no ability to generate a consistent rhythm. He holds the ball too long and has yet to figure out that shuffle-slide move in the pocket that Cutler uses to keep plays alive.
But wait. There’s more. He’s regularly high and wide over the middle. He regularly overthrows wide-open pass catchers.
Hanie can’t play in the NFL. Not for a team that has playoff hopes, anyway. Martz apparently figured this out a lot sooner than Angelo. How did Angelo play this one so idiotically? How long have the Bears been feeding Hanie?
Bears coach Lovie Smith, of course, thought Hanie showed improvement Sunday. What Hanie showed was he could play less badly. He threw for 115 yards on 12-of-19 passes. There was not a 20-yard completion in the bunch.
“They weren’t terrible (numbers),’’ Smith said, and I’m thinking, that’s like focusing on the interesting green hue of the road apple in question.
But I guess anything short of three interceptions counts as improvement in Smith’s half-full glass of hemlock.
So, Martz has been forced to design a game plan that directs the player in the most important position on the team not to lose the game.
Interesting timing for that story about Jerry Angelo’s potential retirement, huh?
Angelo’s choice to back up the most important position in the game is someone who has forced the coaches to resort to a game plan that cannot score. Hanie Bears have one touchdown in the last two games and have converted two third downs in the last two weeks. Just to clarify: not a good thing.
Angelo’s choice to back up the most important position in the game is someone the coaches cannot trust to win a game. Hanie’s Bears have lost three in a row.
If you want to blame Hanie’s tools, then you can nail Angelo for failing to assemble a respectable corps of wide receivers, too. I mean, Devin Hester as a No. 1 receiver is a joke, and a joke seems like a probable Angelo legacy. We're fidning out hows much better Jay Cutler made those mediocre receviers and deodorized Angelo's awful personnel decisions.
And then there’s Angelo’s choice of a No. 2 running back who doesn’t know how to stay in bounds or hold on to the ball when it matters most.
And don’t forget that offensive line. High draft choices on the line get hurt or stink, or both. The rest of it looks like Angelo was playing Rubik’s Cube. Or maybe he was seeking draft advice from a Magic 8-Ball.
How embarrassing has it been that Angelo could be smart enough to make the deal that landed Jay Cutler and repeatedly prove dumb enough not to ensure he was protected? You don’t buy a diamond and then try to have it set at White Castle.
Quick, someone tell Angelo there’s no rule against drafting capable backups. T.J. Yates and Tyler Palko have won more games than Angelo’s No. 2 quarterback. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.
Angelo tried to knock down talk of his potential retirement Sunday morning, but by Sunday evening, the Bears offense that reeks of Angelo’s geniusness promptly put a jet pack on it.
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