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Archive for December, 2007

Where Art Thou, Scott Skiles?

Posted by sportsmaven on December 26, 2007

It’s the day after Christmas and Scott Skiles has left the building, be it the United Center, The Berto Center, or any other official Chicago Bulls facility in the greater Chicagoland area. Fired by the Chicago Bulls on Christmas Eve (memo to Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf: try not to fire personnel on holidays or eve of holidays, it makes your team management look very insensitive), Coach Skiles was spared the agony of having to deal with this dysfunctional Bulls team. Oh, and don’t feel so bad for Coach Skiles — he walked away with $7M in compensation, which negates any ill feelings over the timing of his termination.

Scott Skiles is Fired As Head Coach of the Chicago Bulls

The Chicago Bulls team that Scott Skiles leaves is certainly better than the one he inherited, but the larger question remains — what direction is this team heading? Like the Doug Collins firing in the late 80’s, the Bulls (and GM John Paxson, I might add) are at a crossroads. They have some fine young talent, but no clear floor leader or go-to guy that can take the heat off of everyone else. G Ben Gordon and F Luol Deng look foolish every day of lacksidasical, underachieving day that passes. The extensions that were offered look so much better in the light of poor, uninspired play.

Don’t think for a moment that this is the last move that Paxson makes, because if he doesn’t make wholesale changes to this roster, he may not be around to make any more changes…..oh, and by the way, welcome back to the interim coaching ranks, Pete Myers. Your reward? A date with the defending NBA Champions, the San Antonio Spurs.

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Bears Lay An Egg On National TV

Posted by sportsmaven on December 18, 2007

If you haven’t already realized it, the Chicago Bears are officially a national embarrassment. Tonight’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings wasn’t a decisive Vikings victory in the least. In fact, it appeared to me that the Vikings were a little less inept that the Bears, in pulling out a 20-13 victory on Monday Night Football.

Kyle Orton starts for Bears on Monday night

(AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Tonight was QB Kyle Orton’s 2007 coming out party and he was OK tonight. He didn’t get any help tonight from anyone on the offensive side of the ball. To fully explain how painfully horrible this game was for the Bears, consider the following:

  • The Vikings turn the ball over 4 times, including their first two possessions of the game, with Vikings QB Tarvaris Jackson throwing 3 of the most ugly interceptions seen as well as helping RB Adrian Peterson fumble a handoff.
  • The Vikings muff an extra point attempt after their 3rd quarter touchdown
  • The Bears are +3 in turnover differential and STILL lose
  • The Bears miss 5 tackles on one play, resulting in a 71 yard completion to Vikings WR Robert Ferguson, the longest reception of his 8 year career.
  • The Bears commit 11 penalties for 95 yards, many on false starts and holding calls on the offensive line.

I really don’t know what to say about the Bears team as a whole. This season has been a colossal collapse from all aspects of the game, save the special teams, K Robbie Gould, and WR/KR Devin Hester, most notably. The offensive line is getting worse week to week, not being able to run block all season (the Bears are dead last in the NFL in rushing) and not pass blocking much better. The offensive rushing game lacks explosion, consistency (other than being consistently horrible). The offense on the whole misses too many blocks, too many unforced errors, and mental mishaps. Too many 3 and outs, killing the effectiveness of the defense. Bears offensive coordinator Ron Turner is definitely on the hot seat in Chicago.

On the defensive misses too many tackles, too many undisciplined jumps out of gap coverage, players out of position, too vulnerable to cutback runs and cutback moves, can’t prevent the big plays. The Bears may be looking at the potential of two new coordinators next season.

The Bears are hitting new lows each week and there are so many holes to fix on this team that it’s becoming a full blown rebuilding project. The worse the Bears play, the more the feeling is that last year’s Super Bowl run was a fluke. Next year isn’t looking so hot after a bad Monday night loss to a not so good Vikings team.

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