10:39 AM CDT, April 4, 2012
Football never has an offseason, and there’s always a way to make it about the Bears, whether the news comes from drugs, fashion or potential litigation.
F’rinstance, Bill Parcells coming to the NFC North.
That was the story from the New York Post this morning. Vikings owner Zygi Wilf reportedly contacted the Bloated One about running his organization.
A radio station in Minneapolis, however, reported that the Vikings’ interest is not new and the team isn’t believed to be chasing Parcells to coach in place of Leslie Frazier and serve as general manager in place of Rick Spielman.
But with the flighty Parcells, you never know. He’s always in play because he’s always unretires. And he knows how to play leverage, you bet.
Remember, the Saints first floated Parcells’ name as a placeholder while dirty, lying arrogant Sean Payton serves his suspension for New Orleans’ bounty program. Parcells used to be Payton’s boss in Dallas. Now the idea would be that Parcells would work in Payton’s job and fail to win a Super Bowl the way he has failed the last two decades-plus.
That’s some warranty you get in the Legends Club, huh?
The 71-year-old Parcells supposedly wondered aloud among friends whether the game has passed him by. Here’s a tip, Tuna: There’s a better chance of the game passing you by than the Vikings passing, period.
This would be a treat for Bears fans, seeing the pear-shaped coaching Hamlet blow up over an offense with a gimpy running back, bad line, surgically altered top receiver, and inexperienced quarterback.
Geez, the Vikings’ starting offense looks similar to the Bears’ disastrous brigade of backups led by pick-six Caleb Hanie, bumbling and fumbling Marion Barber and Kahlil Bell, and those wonderful folks who brought you Dane Sanzenbacher.
Can I just say this: If Phil Emery lets Lovie Smith bring back Sanzenbacher or Roy Williams, who not only had the worst hands on the Bears but some of the worst in the league, then Emery has to fire Smith right then and there.
And can I also just say this: If Smith lets Emery bring back Sanzenbacher or Williams, then Smith has to fire Emery right then and there. Smith has the authority to do it, I believe. After all, Smith hired Emery, right? Approved it, anyway. Told Virginia it was OK with him, at least. So, the coach firing the general manager would fit the Bears’ upside-top-down management structure.
Anyway, watching Parcells coach a 3-13 Minnesota team that figures to be just as bad this season would be a stitch. Or if he milks money out of the Saints with the Vikings story, then fine. The sanctions against the whole cheating Saints program help the Bears because a 13-3 team is being shredded into an 8-8 team at best.
So, either Parcells rumor helps the Bears get back to the playoffs, and they have to get back there, believe me. That’s how Smith saves his job. Emery was forced to retain Smith for this season. But Emery will have a choice next year, Virginia permitting.
What you’re seeing in 2012 is a replay of 2010. The Bears were coming off one of the many recent non-playoff years fashioned by Smith. The 2009 season devolved into a 7-9 mess that prompted the head coach to add to his world indoor record of firing assistants.
The pressure to win --- the pressure to justify his big contract --- seemingly became so great that Smith was demanding accountability. It was public and it was surprising. I mean, Smith cutting a defensive lineman after a win?
The Bears won enough to reach the the NFC Championship Game, and then Jay Cutler got hurt and Hanie threw a pick-six to the fattest guy on the field, and that was that.
Can I just say this: After rightly getting run out of here for stinking it up, Hanie signed with Denver and said he’s not going to try to be Peyton Manning, and I’m thinking, who thought that would be an issue?
Anyway, the Bears enter 2012 with the playoffs-or-fired expectations they seemed to enter 2010.
No, wait, they enter 2012 better off.
Cutler has an actual threat at wide receiver. He’s not all dressed up with no place to throw. The new general manager dealt with the Bears’ most embarrassing issue quickly and in a big way. Thank goodness somebody in charge knew what to do. I mean, the only thing Smith seems to know about top receivers is his secondary usually can’t stop them.
Then Emery found a backup quarterback not named Hanie and a backup running back not named Barber. Actually, he found a couple former starters at those positions. If disaster strikes again --- the odds say it will, what with Cutler suffering season-ending injuries the last two years --- then the team shouldn’t curl up into the fetal position and cry for Mommy again.
Emery has made the Bears better in places that obviously needed to get better. It might seem excessive to praise someone for simple improvement, but these concepts were nuclear physics to the last GM and the current coach.
For a guy who has never done this job before, Emery has had a great pro personnel start. He’s actually a college scouting director, so the upcoming draft is where Emery ought to make a greater impact.
Which is a natural segue to football jerseys because everything comes back to the Bears.
While modeling the new Nike version of the Bears jersey that looks a lot like the Reebok version, Brian Urlacher described the Bears as having no pressure in the draft this month. No pressure for him, maybe, because he’s not doing the choosing.
And can I just say this: It’s not the uniforms, Nike. It’s what’s in them. And it’s certainly not those uniforms. Maybe it’s me, but those allegedly new jerseys are about one stripe from design piracy.
Anyway, Urlacher’s point was that Emery filled so many needs in free agency that the Bears don’t have to make the killer mistake of drafting for need, which leads to reaching for a player, which leads to bad evaluation, which leads to empty drafts, but enough about Jerry Angelo.
The Bears’ offensive line remains an issue, but if Emery spends his first-round pick on a left defensive end who can feast on the triple-teaming of Julius Peppers, then the new GM will have taken a big step toward Lovie-proofing the roster.
I know it’s still early and J’Marcus Webb hasn’t given up a sack yet, but I see a lot of Bears momentum right now. The arrow is pointing up for a team coming off a death spiral. I don’t just see them as a playoff possibility, but I expect them to challenge Green Bay and the Packers’ sloppy defense atop the division.
No, Stevie Sunshine isn’t smoking anything. Fortunately, the Detroit Lions are.
For the second time in a week, a Lion was busted for pot possession. Mikel Leshoure, a former Lighting Illini, tried to eat the evidence several days ago, and then Tuesday, defensive lineman Nick Fairley was busted in Alabama.
Between their silly, antagonistic coach, cheap-shot defensive tackle, and now the pot heads drafted in the first two rounds last year, the Lions apparently decided they’d rather go through life stupid, dirty and stoned, which is something else that helps the Bears.
Who knows, maybe the Lions got their stash from the Sam Hurd cartel. Maybe something good came out of that debacle. That’s how good the Bears’ offseason is going.
See? Everything comes back to the Bears, from Tuna to tunics to tokers.
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