Sunday, January 8, 2012

2011 Chicago Bears Postseason Postmortem, Part One: New Guy Report.

Someone out there is selling Patrick Trahan jerseys for the ladies.

 So here we are, the Bears' season in hell finally officially over about seven weeks after Jay Cutler's thumb unofficially ended it. And with Jerry Angelo finally -thank god, finally - out of the picture, I thought I'd give you people a taste of just how badly this team was managed. I'm too lazy to actually count everybody, but counting Injured Reserve guys, the Bears finished the season with a little over sixty guys on the payroll, and a whopping thirty of them weren't with the team last year. In a normal situation and on a team with any sort of plan for the future beyond the next three days or so, this would sound like some huge rebuilding year, clearing out all the dead weight and laying down the foundation for something special sometime in the next couple years. But this is the Bears, and you should know better than that. When faced with glaring weaknesses and gaping holes, this team had a philosophy of just plug-and-playing the shit out of it, snatching up whoever they could find on the cheap, crossing their fingers, covering their eyes, and hoping for the best; the "best" in this situation being Stupid Angelo getting to pretend he's smart when one of his blind reaches pans out, which he should have figured out never happens sometime around 2005 or so. Don't believe me? Thirty new players, fifteen officially recognized as rookies, ten of those being undrafted rookies, and maybe three or four other guys being blind grabs from other teams' practice squads who might as well be rookies. Add in all the other players already on the team who never should have been more than preseason bodies, (basically every offensive lineman other than Garza and C. Williams, for starters) and you've got a team that seriously might have twenty or less actual NFL-caliber players. Looking back, that this team finished 8-8 instead of 1-15 probably means that Jay Cutler is some sort of destitute man's Peyton Manning. Just look at these motherfuckers:

* = Rookie, ** = Undrafted Free Agent Rookie

Kyle Adams** - TE - This was a fine example of a dude they just sort of plucked out of thin air and threw on the roster. Personally, I'd have just kept Desmond Clark around for veteran presence, or whatever, because hell, if you hit a point where you have to really rely on your #3 tight end, you're probably screwed anyway. I think this guy played special teams, maybe?

Armando Allen** - RB - Once injuries started piling up, the Bears went on this crazy flurry of just signing everyone and their grandma over the last few weeks, and that's how this guy got on the team. Actually didn't do bad against Green Bay, but shit, with newly-shitty B.J. Raji barely even bothering to leave a three-point stance half the time, I could probably get four yards a carry against Green Bay. Either way, I doubt he makes the team next year.

Marion Barber III - RB - Actually was decent here and there in spot duty, where he didn't have as many opportunities to randomly tear a ligament, but FUUUUUUUUCK.

Gabe Carimi* - OT -  Well. This guy was my Only Hope for 2011, and he plays about a game and a half before spending the rest of the year basically just having knee surgeries every few weeks. And with the Lessons of 2008 being forgotten, just like Chris Williams, it was with a repeat of a pretty serious college injury (that went strangely unspoken of until about Week 8) that made other teams pass on him. So this guy is heading into his second year with about half a career worth of wear already on the tires now. Just god damn.

Tyler Clutts - FB - Man, this guy. This guy confirmed everything I ever suspected or made jokes about on the internet about white people as pro sports fans. People just absolutely rave about this guy, even to the point that one guy gave him a Pro Bowl vote, and no one notices that he's completely terrible at everything he does. I'm sure it could be that they're blinded by the smoke-and-mirrors combo of his rags-to-riches story of coming up throw the AFL, CFL, and UFL and the one good block per game he would make, but you know better. He's a blond white guy with a name like "Tyler Clutts" who wears the number 44 and plays what I guess could be called a skill position, and he represents a return to the white man's sport, back before they added all these forward passes and dreadlocked thugs. It's a shame, because once the team decided that Mike Martz was stupid and that they should start doing things Mike Tice's way, they probably could have found an actual decent fullback instead of a whiff-machine like Clutts, but instead went the Jason McKie route and just groped in the darkness for whoever. Stupid Bears.

Chris Conte* - S - You know, once Chris Harris crumbled into dust and Brandon Meriweather did whatever the hell he did, I was horrified at the thought of this guy getting to play, but he was way better than I figured he would be. Sure, he did some stupid crap every so often, but it's better to have a teachable rookie doing that, as opposed to a shitty ten-year veteran, you know? Also, his nickname is apparently "Birdman," and that makes me hope that he becomes a star and that NBC hires more complete dorks for their production crew, so that someday, he'll score a touchdown on Football Night in America, and all of a sudden Koko B. Ware's WWF theme will start playing. I have small dreams, but dreams nonetheless.

Chauncey Davis - DE -  This guy has played for the Falcons for a while and was one of those aforementioned late-year signings. Actually wasn't too terrible, and given the sad shape of the Bears' DE depth, might stick around. Also, his name is Chauncey.

Dom DeCicco** - LB - 

Nathan Enderle* - QB - Okay, I'm going to do a thing here I never figured I'd ever do. Okay, Mike Martz, for once in your life, you were right. Caleb Hanie was not the guy, and you recognized it, and that's why you kept getting the team to draft people like this dude and Dan LeFevour. So there you go. I still hate you though, you cocksucker. Remember, Mike. Fuckin' gut punch.

Thaddeus Gibson - DE - I... Don't remember a goddamn thing about this guy. He might just be a fictional dude made up by the webmaster to test us. What if nothing is real? Whoa.

Ricky Henry** - G - Oh man, this guy, too.

Max Komar - WR - This guy played in a couple games for the Cardinals last year and was apparently half-decent, but it couldn't get him anything better than a practice squad spot in 2012. The Bears signed him to their roster, but apparently didn't feel strongly enough to actually put him on the field, even after all their other receivers were either injured, heading to federal prison, or Roy Williams. As for me, I could have sworn he was a quarterback.

Chris Massey - LS - An era ended when Patrick Mannelly went down in week 11, and it illustrates just how crazy good he was as a long snapper. Like this Massey dude had been a pretty good one for like nine years, and whoever he had played for just cut his ass loose, because long-snappers are a dime a dozen, but Mannelly had stuck in one place for fourteen years. Damn. his will be the most ignored intense position battle of 2012 in the entire NFL.

Josh McCown - QB - Hey, he played well enough to be a backup quarterback in the NFL, which is more than could be said for Hanie. The Bears might have lost in the playoffs this week if someone had thought to sign him or someone similar about fifteen weeks earlier.

Brandon Meriweather - S - Well, I guess the Adam Archuleta fiasco had been forgotten. You'd think that when a team that actually wins games more often than not just dumps a guy following the preseason, it might mean that his actual real-life performance doesn't live up to his reputation. But nope, Lovie and Jerry knew better, so this guy got paid several million dollars to blow a bunch of coverages, miss a bunch of tackles, and spend the last part of the year buried on the depth chart behind Craig Steltz and Winston freaking Venable. BUT GUYS, GUYS, HE MADE A PRO BOWL!!! Ugh.

Jordan Miller** - DT - This is another one of those dudes that I think was just made up for the website. You're not real, Jordan Miller.

Amobi Okoye - DT -Hey, this guy was alright. Never broke the starting lineup, but that was more because of what Henry Melton did than because of anything Okoye didn't do. Why do the Bears always seem to have like thirty defensive tackles? Hey, speaking of which...

Stephen Paea* - DT - He never wilded out and ripped everyone's heads off like I figured he would, but in limited action, he was alright.

Adam Podlesh - P - Okay, okay, I admit it. I always knew his name, and that thing where I would just say I forgot it and throw in some crazy made-up name was just a joke for the internet. But for the record, in addition to Chuck Balls and Dirk Buttocks, other names I figured I would use eventually included Craig Testicles, Jake Taint, Duke Titties, and Slade Van Der Butt. But it's over now. Anyway, I didn't really notice how much Brad Maynard had regressed over the last few years until I saw the kind of things this guy was doing with the ball this season. So good job, Pete Hooters.

Dane Sanzenbacher** - WR - I really don't know if there's anything left to be said about racist football fans and their undying love of the white wide receiver, so I'm not going to go headfirst into that again. But while he was filling in as the Fake Earl Bennett, you have to wonder if there all those dropped passes would have been ignored as much as people tended to ignore them if his name had been Tyrone Jenkins. People tried really hard to make this guy out to be the diamond in the rough undrafted sensation of the early NFL season, but really, he was kind of terrible.

Andre Smith** - TE - Yes, alright.

Matt Spaeth - TE - There's not much to say about a blocking tight end. This guy sure did block. Yes.

Chris Spencer - C - With the worst offensive line ever and Gabe Carimi being the only major difference from 2011, this was supposed to be the signing that turned it all around. A first round bust, cut at the end of preseason, and playing out of position at guard all year, while a guard played center. Still, there were times when he looked like the team's best lineman, but on the Bears, that usually means giving up two sacks to J'Marcus Webb's five.

J.T. Thomas* - LB - Seems like a nice fellow, but has spent his entire career on injured reserve.

Patrick Trahan - LB - I could have sworn this guy was a rookie, but I guess he was a 2010 guy. Huh. Speicial teams dude, I think.
Winston Venable** - S - I saw this guy try to murder one of the Browns in the preseason, so I know he exists. That's all I got, really.

Anthony Walters** - S - They cut Winston Venable to sign this guy, then re-signed Venable when this guy got hurt. That had to be awkward.

Jabara Williams** - LB - For some reason, his first name always looks misspelled to me, like it should be "Jabar" or "Jabari." Other than that, I got nothing.

Roy Williams - WR - I remember that smug prick Martz practically guaranteeing that Ol' Roy would do something like catch eighty passes for twelve-hundred yards, and in the end, I think he maybe had a quarter of that. He was the worst player ever, but he was still listed as the starter, by god, even if it meant just throwing him out for one play and then getting Johnny Knox out on the field as soon as possible. No one outside of Martz could have possibly seen this move panning out, and that's why this franchise needs to be blown up and rebuilt from the inside out. And he wants to be a Bear next year, which is like the funniest thing ever.

Mansfield Wrotto - G - Holy shit, that is a crazy villain name and completely makes up for not keeping  Tressor Baptiste on the final roster. Like this guy should have pulled some crazy evil shit in a Disney/Pixar movie, probably.

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