Monday, February 07, 2011

Pack Wins - What it Means for the Bears

Clearly, the Packers are the best team. They have a great, young franchise QB and a lot of youth at key positions. They are deep at all of their positions and it is a true testament to their scouting and front office work that they could overcome so many injuries without really missing a beat.

The Bears have a lot of talent and a solid D that is able to contain Rodgers, but they need more speed and they need to get just a bit better. If the Bears are going to contend in the North and for the NFC title, they have to draft well, add a couple of key free agents, and get better play from their QB.

1. Cutler needs to continue to make strides. He'll be in his second year in teh Martz offense and he needs to make better decisions - especially against the Packers. I expect that to happen.

2. The Bears need to upgrade their O-line and get better in the interior D-line. Both were solid units by the end of the year, but the O-line needs some mauler types to play in the interior O-line spots. I'd like to see them sign a player or two in free agency. If Chris Williams grades out well at guard then leave him there. He is a big, athletic lineman, but I am not sure he is really a mauler. He may be better suited at LT. If the Bears improve their O-line it will go a long way to being a better, more consistent offensive team.

3. The interior D-line was not disruptive at all. Peppers and Idonje had great years but the interior linemen were average at best. The Bears need to find a truly disruptive force inside - like the old Tommie Harris. They could also use another big, athletic corner. Both are needed to get pressure on Rodgers and to match up against their great receiving corps.

4. The draft is going to be critical. The Packers are deep all around and the Bears need to improve their depth to protect against injury.

I expect the Bears and Packers to again battle it out for the North - obviously the Packers have to have the edge now. The Queens and Lions will both be better, but they are still a notch below the Bears in my opinion. It's just too bad we have to wait until the end of summer for the next season.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Dan Snyder Should (but Won't) Sell the Deadskins

The dude has really lost it. He is suing City Paper for an opinion piece that appeared in the paper last November that he says constitutes defamation and libel. I'm sure very few people even read the original piece, but now it is probably the most read article City Paper has ever published.

Frankly, he's just plain wrong on the merits and I'm sure he knows it. He threatened a lawsuit if City Paper didn't apologize and retract the story. The reporting is sound and is fully protected under Freedom of the Press rulings in the past. His real goal was to force the paper into long litigation that would bankrupt the paper. Basically it was him being a selfish, childish, overly-sensitive bully.

Now the city is even more against him. He is getting hammered in the press and in local sports bars worse than ever. The Post runs stories and opinion pieces every day. Brett Haber gave his take and I think it is pretty telling. If Brett Haber is going after Snyder then it is clear that Snyder made a mistake.

As long as Snyder owns the Deadskins they will never win. Just too much bad karma around the dude. Deadskin fans have suffered through years of Snyder already and given his age they can look forward to decades of his nonsense.

Friday, February 04, 2011

O'Reilly is an Idiot

This clip is just hilarious and it demonstrates what I think is a common problem among many conservatives (not all - so please don't put words in my mouth) - their inability to understand and/or accept science.

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Unemployment Hits 9 Percent

The unemployment rate dropped dramatically in a surprise. I'm not really surprised, but I'm also not that encouraged by the figure. The fact is that the economy has been growing and the jobs figures have been improving over the last two years - so this just continues the broader trend. Remember, unemployment is always a lagging indicator. The improvement in the economy (i.e., GDP growth) is now translating into better unemployment numbers.

That said, the skittish economy will likely remain so until there is serious efforts to reign in the deficit - and this will require some tax increases. People may not like it, but it is absolutely necessary if we are going to get serious about fixing the structural imbalances in the federal budget. Only when this is resolved can we have longer term, sustained economic growth. Investors will see that the government is serious about its own longer term fiscal discipline and private sector investment will increase.

We needed the infusion of stimulus dollars to fund a moribund economy, but now that we are achieving relatively healthy growth, the government needs to dial it back to show that it is on solid footing.