Bears

New Coaching Options for 2010 Bears

New Coaching Options for 2010 Bears

Sunday, November 29th

I am trying folks! Like I stated in an earlier Blog "I'm a glass is half full kind a guy", but it is becoming more and moredifficult drawing positives during a Bears season spiraling out of control. Here's one, "There's always next year"! But I've got one better, there are a lot of good Offensive Coordinators, QB coaches, and even some 'A' lister head coachesavailable this off season if the Bears decide to make some changes.Clearly, the dollars investedin Jay Cutler dictatethat he is the QB of the future. The front office of the Bears now has to build around him and it may start with a new play caller. Here are some early thoughts on who may be available:The 'A' listers we know about. Mike Shannahan, Bill Cowher, Mike Holmgren, Jon Gruden to name a few. They are only coming if they get full power and the Bears organization decides to make a change at the Head Coaching position. Otherwise, forget it.

Offensive CoordinatorsCharlie Weis - Maybe this hits too close to home because of hisfailures at Notre Dame as the head man, but Charlie was one of the better play callers I have ever been around. He is very demanding, detailed, and expects perfection from all offensive personnel. He can be tough to handle as a QB, thus, the Bears would need to hire an excellent QB coach to be a buffer betweenCharlie and Jay. Super Bowl victories are under his belt.Chan Gailey - Former Chiefs OC, Head Coach at Georgia Tech, Head Coach of Dallas Cowboys, Steelers and Denver OC. Chan is an excellent teacher and can bring along young QB's. He coached me in Pittsburgh and I thought he made the game easy how he broke it down. Chan stresses situational play from the QB spot.He worked miracles in Kansas City last year whenhe switched to a "Pistol" offense midseason whenTyler Thigpen became their starting QB. Tyler had never started an NFL game. Look up Tyler's numbers, and how KC performed offensively when he started to play, they are impressive. Super Bowl appearances and victories are under his belt as well.Mike Martz - I thought the Bears want to get off the bus running! I do like Martz'sfast break style and his offense has won Super Bowls as well. The Bears will need to run the football just due to weather concerns late in the year and it is not a priority for Martz. He is another demanding offensive coach, but his stops other places suggest Mike does not work well with others. He's clashed with front office personnel along with his fellow coaches on all his stops.Up andComersDarrel Bevel (Minnesota OC) - That's right! Steal from your enemy the Minnesota Vikings. Darrel has done a nice job with Farve and Tavarus Jackson incorporating what they do well and what to avoid. Also, think of the impact their rookies have made up in Minnesota and how other playmakers have emerged. PercyHarvin and Sydney Rice may both make thePro Bowl. Bevel is aMidwest guy as heplayed QB at Wisconsin and hascoached for Green Bay (QB coach), and now OC Minnesota the last two years. Kyle Shannahan (Houston OC) - This guy is awesome! They have no running game to speak of down in Houston, but Matt Shaub is lighting it up. He has brought the young Shaub along intoa top 10 NFL QB (numbers are sick!)and obviously his ties to Mike Shannahan would go over "Big Time" with Jay. It would be the same offense Jay ran in Denver. Jeremy Bates (OC USC) - This dudes a grinder! He learned underJon Gruden. Jeremy was Jay's OC last year out in Denver. They have a great relationship and Jeremy also brings the offense Jay knows best. Kyle and Darrel would require a new title other than just OC because the NFL does not allow lateral moves.Most teams get around this loophole withtagging a new coach as"Consultant" or "Assistant Head Coach".Is your glass half full yet or did you just slam itto drown your 2009 sorrows?

SportsTalk Live Podcast: How hot is John Fox's seat?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: How hot is John Fox's seat?

Seth Gruen (Bleacher Report/”Big Ten Unfiltered” podcast), Chris Emma (670TheScore.com) and Matt Zahn (CBS 2) join Kap on the panel. If the Bears lose badly to the Lions, should Sunday be John Fox’s last game? 

Plus Bulls Insider Vincent Goodwill joins the panel to talk Bulls as well as the Niko/Portis cold war.

Listen to the full SportsTalk Live Podcast right here:

Collecting some final thoughts on if Tarik Cohen isn't getting enough snaps for the Bears

Collecting some final thoughts on if Tarik Cohen isn't getting enough snaps for the Bears

John Fox on Friday sought to clarify some comments he made earlier in the week about Tarik Cohen that seemed to follow some spurious logic. Here’s what Fox said on Wednesday when asked if he’d like to see Cohen be more involved in the offensive game plan:

“You’re looking at one game,” Fox said, referencing Cohen only playing 13 of 60 snaps against the Green Bay Packers. “Sometimes the defense dictates who gets the ball. I think from a running standpoint it was a game where we didn’t run the ball very effectively. I think we only ran it 17 times. I believe Jordan Howard, being the fifth leading rusher in the league, probably commanded most of that. I think he had 15 carries. 

“It’s a situation where we’d like to get him more touches, but it just didn’t materialize that well on that day. But I’d remind people that he’s pretty high up there in both punt returns, he’s our leading receiver with 29 catches, so it’s not like we don’t know who he is.”

There were some clear holes to poke in that line of reasoning, since the question wasn’t about Cohen’s touches, but his snap count. Cohen creates matchup problems when he’s on the field for opposing defenses, who can be caught having to double-team him (thus leaving a player uncovered, i.e. Kendall Wright) or matching up a linebacker against him (a positive for the Bears). The ball doesn’t have to be thrown Cohen’s way for his impact to be made, especially if he’s on the field at the same time as Howard. 

“They don’t know who’s getting the ball, really, and they don’t know how to defend it properly,” Howard said. “… It definitely can dictate matchups.”

There are certain scenarios in which the Bears don’t feel comfortable having Cohen on the field, like in third-and-long and two-minute drills, where Benny Cunningham’s veteran experience and pass protection skills are valued. It may be harder to create a mismatch or draw a double team with Cohen against a nickel package. It's easier to justify leaving a 5-foot-6 running back on the sidelines in those situations. 

But if the Bears need Cohen to be their best playmaker, as offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said last month, they need to find a way for him to be on the field more than a shade over one in every five plays. As Fox explained it on Friday, though, it’s more about finding the right spots for Cohen, not allowing opposing defenses to dictate when he’s on the field. 

“We have Tarik Cohen out there, we're talking about touches, not play time, we're talking about touches so if they double or triple cover him odds are the ball is not going to him, in fact we'd probably prefer it didn’t,” Fox said. “So what I meant by dictating where the ball goes, that's more related to touches than it is play time. I just want to make sure I clarify that. So it's not so much that they dictate personnel to you. Now if it's in a nickel defense they have a certain package they run that may create a bad matchup for you, that might dictate what personnel group you have out there not just as it relates to Tarik Cohen but to your offense in general. You don't want to create a bad matchup for your own team. I hope that makes sense.”

There’s another wrinkle here, though, that should be addressed: Loggains said this week that defenses rarely stick to the tendencies they show on film when Cohen is on the field. That’s not only a problem for Cohen, but it’s a problem for Mitchell Trubisky, who hasn’t always had success against defensive looks he hasn’t seen on film before. And if the Bears are trying to minimize the curveballs Trubisky sees, not having Cohen on the field for a high volume of plays would be one way to solve that. 

This is also where the Bears’ lack of offensive weapons factors in. Darren Sproles, who Cohen will inexorably be linked to, didn’t play much as a rookie — but that was on a San Diego Chargers team that had LaDanian Tomlinson, Keenan McCardell and Antonio Gates putting up big numbers. There were other options on that team; the Bears have a productive Howard and a possibly-emerging Dontrelle Inman, but not much else. 

So as long as Cohen receives only a handful of snaps on a team with a paucity of playmakers, this will continue to be a topic of discussion. Though if you’re looking more at the future of the franchise instead of the short-term payoffs, that we’re having a discussion about a fourth-round pick not being used enough is a good thing.