And so, I presume that Phil Emery told Lovie Smith that his defensive line is nowhere close to that belonging to the Super Bowl champion Giants.
It might be too simple to watch the Super Bowl and compare the strengths of the winners to the crud the Bears have, but tough. The NFL is a copycat league, and the Bears have to copy because they are no threat to innovate. No one will ever accuse them of league-changing geniusness. I mean, they can’t even run a basic top-down business structure because it appears as if mom has spoken.
Anyway, copying is fine, as long as you know what to copy. It seemed to so obvious in the Super Bowl that even the Bears got it.
The Giants’ defensive line made Tom Brady look ordinary again overall. Ordinary for what you hear about the so-called Brady magic that hasn’t produced a Lombardi Trophy since the calendar year 2005.
Yeah, Brady hit 16 passes in a row, a Super Bowl record. I know that. I also know that almost all of those throws came on two drives, and that was it. Legends produce more than two Super Bowl drives, don’t they?
Sure, Brady was betrayed by some drops from his targets. But Brady was worse than his intended pass-catchers. Stop saying that Wes Welker cost the Patriots when he couldn’t bring down that fourth-quarter pass unless you want to rip Brady for his horrible aim and throw on that play that might’ve sealed a Patriots victory. Sorry, but if we’re talking about sealing the deal, then Brady has to make a better pass. That’s what legends do.
Legends also don’t commit intentional grounding in the end zone on the first play of his, what, fifth Super Bowl. Rookie mistake.
But Brady couldn’t do it. Brady couldn’t do a lot of things because the Giants’ line wouldn’t let him. The line made him move, and when he didn’t move, the Giants got him. The Giants drove him to the ground and hurt him. The Giants got Brady’s left shoulder, and Brady was miserable after that.
Jean-Pierre Paul was getting all the attention while Justin Tuck was collecting two sacks and a safety, or the closest guy to forcing Brady into a stupid play. Israel Idonije, meet Justin Tuck.
Not only do the Bears not have the guy opposite Julius Peppers to make plays, they have nothing up the middle that you worry about. Henry Melton? Haven’t heard from his since the opening week.
Is that Smith’s lack of coaching and development? Is that just squat for talent when compared to real contenders? All I know is the Giants have so much pass-rushing talent that they have a so-called “NASCAR’’ unit where they line up four defensive ends and drop the flag.
You watch the Bears, and it’s like they have “Segway’’ group.
Playmakers. That’s the word Emery used. Playmakers. The Giants had them on the defensive line and at wide receiver. Omigod, wide receiver.
Giants wide receivers caught 19 of the 26 passes they were targeted for. Victor Cruz, the top receiver who was supposed to be taken away by Bill Belichick, caught a touchdown. Hakeem Nicks, a first-round draft pick, if you can imagine that, Bears fans, caught 13 passes. And Mario Manningham made the catch of the Super Bowl.
I’ll ask the question again: Would you take any Bears receiver over any of those Giants today?
Tip to Smith: This would not be a good time to remind us that you think Devin Hester is your No. 1 receiver.
Another tip to Smith: This also would not be the time to remind us that you think all your receivers are No. 1s.
Unless you want to offer more evidence why you might’ve been canned if Virginia McCaskey didn’t make you untouchable to create a cockamamie management setup.
For those of you keeping score at home, the Bears can’t get past the Lions, who can’t get past the Packers, who got spanked at home by the Giants. All those teams have at least one great receiver, sometimes as many as five great pass-catchers, while the Bears have Earl Bennett and Dane Sanzenbacher.
Say this for the Bears: In a league that emphasizes speed, they’ve cornered the market on slow wide receivers.
I hope Emery can find the playmakers he talked about. I hope he can stock the Bears roster with the kind of game-turning headaches that other teams fear.
But if not, the upside is that the Bears would have to fire Ted Phillips, or at least remove him from any part of the football operation after hiring a GM from a team that missed the playoffs while not even giving a second interview to a guy from the team that won it all.