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Changes coming for the Bears

Bears' Cutler is taken down by Lions' Avril and Williams during the first quarter of their NFL football game in Detroit Reuters

It’s desperation time in Chicago.

The Bears were just embarrassed on national television. A loss this week at home to the Vikings would send the season from troubling to nearly hopeless. Expect changes to be made.

“We’re not pleased with some of the performances we’ve gotten,” coach Lovie Smith. “I, of course, never talk about changes we’re going to make, especially before we hit the practice field and we talk to the guys.”

CSNChicago.com’s John Mullin writes that the Bears will shake up their lineup this week.  Right tackle Frank Omiyale is out for good.  Lance Louis will replace him in the starting lineup.

Other possible moves could come at safety (surprise) and on the defensive line.  Second round pick Stephen Paea hasn’t been active at all this year.  Rookie Chris Conte could potentially get on the field more at safety, where Brandon Meriweather and Chris Harris both struggled Sunday night.

Jay Cutler is also hoping for a play-calling shift. He’d like more plays that got the ball out of his hand faster.  That sounds so sensible, we doubt it will happen.

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64 Responses to “Changes coming for the Bears”
  1. woodg8 says: Oct 13, 2011 8:49 AM

    Should also drop Tillman to the bench as he’s not good enough anymore. Let Bowman get some snaps.

    Other changes should be Hester out at WR and used in more of a Sproles role. Also Kellen Davis out at TE and Spaeth in

    Severe lack of talent in Chicago right now outside of Cutler, Forte, Peppers, Briggs & Urlacher. How is Jerry Angelo still even in a job

  2. dfeltz says: Oct 13, 2011 8:53 AM

    Chris Harris was terrible. I don’t know what he was doing out there, but it wasn’t playing defense for the Bears. Meriweather reminds me of a LaVar Arrington type player, tremendously talented but zero discipline.

  3. polarbear71 says: Oct 13, 2011 8:56 AM

    The only change us Bear fans want sounds like Merry Sangelo !!!!

  4. nikkodawg says: Oct 13, 2011 8:59 AM

    Can we replace the 3 stooges, Angelo, Lovie, and Martz?

    Seriously though, they have to shorten up the passing game and start coaching and play calling around the talent (or lack thereof) that they have on the field.

    I can’t believe Martz is as stubborn as everyone said. He keeps trying to put square pegs in round holes.

  5. johnsticle says: Oct 13, 2011 9:00 AM

    *rub hands together, slowly nod as I ponder another Vikings Victory*

    Good…. good…

  6. ajknox88 says: Oct 13, 2011 9:02 AM

    Meriweather is the worst starter in the NFL at any position.

  7. billinva says: Oct 13, 2011 9:03 AM

    And Martz is still the OC? Are you kidding me?

  8. docredskin says: Oct 13, 2011 9:03 AM

    So, the solution on the offensive line is to move a guard no one wants to replace a tackle no one wants?

  9. londonfletcher says: Oct 13, 2011 9:07 AM

    I used to think that Cutler just complained a lot, but if I was on the ground more times than the penalty flag in an Oakland game, I wouldn’t be happy either.

  10. forthand26 says: Oct 13, 2011 9:08 AM

    When Bill Belichek cuts someone (Meriweather) from the Pats’ horrible, horrible secondary, you don’t make him your starter. This is football 101.

  11. blackcatnfl says: Oct 13, 2011 9:08 AM

    Why? It is THE GREATEST SHOW ON TURF!! Yes, if you are the turf, you have a GREAT view of the SHOW!

  12. comeonnowguys says: Oct 13, 2011 9:08 AM

    Anything that isn’t firing Mike Martz and naming Mike Tice interim offensive coordinator is just spinning wheels.

    Not that it will do much, but there will be a lesser chance of your QB winding up deceased by January.

  13. turgidsen says: Oct 13, 2011 9:10 AM

    Suggested changes:

    An offensive line that can block
    An OC that doesn’t constantly leave his QB vulnerable
    An OC who will play to the bears strength which is the Running Game
    A linebacker that’s hungry to play not hungry to get paid or you know wreck his sports car

    A good GM doesn’t have to be great just above average

    Just some suggestions

  14. blackcatnfl says: Oct 13, 2011 9:10 AM

    “Hmmmm, so THAT’S why the defense looked so good in our practices this summer…”

  15. jtbndy says: Oct 13, 2011 9:12 AM

    As bad as the safeties played, I can’t see a rookie helping the situation all that much. Same thing with the Lance Louis change.

    The Bears O-line will continue to be terrible, and probably won’t see improvement until Carimi comes back.

  16. chmba says: Oct 13, 2011 9:13 AM

    AS usual, blame the bad players your team selected – not the idiotic coaching and general managing and ownering!!! This team will not get better without at least cleaning house in the front office and the coaching offices!!

  17. bcar1023 says: Oct 13, 2011 9:13 AM

    Man, I don’t like the Bears at all but feel for the fans. Martz and Pound the Rock Moronelli are wrecking another team in the NFC North. Any chance y’all can send them to Green Bay when your done?

  18. ampats says: Oct 13, 2011 9:16 AM

    Now everyone can see why the Patriots cut Meriweather

  19. grilledjesus says: Oct 13, 2011 9:20 AM

    Merriweather is one of the worst safeties in the league. Natural talent, zero brains.

    Big bang clock should be put out to pasture.

  20. thejuddstir says: Oct 13, 2011 9:21 AM

    If Martz was the “offensive genius” that he thinks he is, he would be able to work magic with any team. In St. Louis he was fortunate to have top wr’s along with with Faulk and 3 All Pro’s on the Oline. I say he is an idiot cuz since then he can’t figure out that it is the players and not his system that makes an offense go. He keeps trying to put that square peg into a round hole and he is going to get Cutler killed……what an idiot, and Lovie deserves to hit the road with him for not reigning him in.

  21. firejangelo says: Oct 13, 2011 9:21 AM

    Fire Angelo now ! Hire a new G.M. now so he has time to get a close up look at the organization from top to bottom and be ready to make the changes needed to get this team on track to compete for a championship! This bears team is terrible in so many ways most of the starters on this team would not even make the roster on teams like the Packers, Patriots, and yes even Detroit. We have become the bottom feeders in the NFC Central. Please don’t let Angelo have another draft ! It’s about winning the Championship not making the playoffs only to get your but kicked by a truly quality team. Papa Bear has turned over in his grave so many times he doesn’t know up from down. This team of disfunctional misfits is going no where fast. The McCaskey Family should be embarressed to show their faces in public. Bear Fans who don’t understand this team is going no where need to wake up and demand more!

  22. bo1210 says: Oct 13, 2011 9:25 AM

    *rub hands together, slowly nod as I ponder another Vikings Victory*

    Keep pondering…Bears may be struggling, but the Vikes are still garbage.

  23. tatatoothy says: Oct 13, 2011 9:25 AM

    Is Lovie still the HC? Until he isn’t, the most important change will not have occurred.

  24. jeromebrown99 says: Oct 13, 2011 9:34 AM

    The bears have a stud safety / defensive back sitting on the practice squad in Anthony Walters from The University of Delaware

  25. jutts says: Oct 13, 2011 9:43 AM

    I hope George Mckaskey is listening…
    Fire Jerry Angelo Now……………………………..

  26. trollhammer20 says: Oct 13, 2011 9:48 AM

    Come on, Jay. You want to get rid of the ball faster? Stand in the pocket and take your beating like a man! It worked for Marc Bulger, didn’t it?

    Didn’t it?

  27. Pacific NW Mark says: Oct 13, 2011 9:53 AM

    The Lions exposed the Bears for what they are – a team with a few outstanding players, but quite a few mediocre ones, and with precious little overall depth.

    It’s popular for Bears fans to call for Jerry Angelo’s head, but backstopping him in the Bears front office currently is Tim Ruskell, the guy that took the Seahawks from Super Bowl to laughing stock – as bad as Angelo’s player personnel decisions have been, Ruskell’s have been worse.

    This is a proud team with passionate fans, but there are so many things wrong here it’s hard to know where to start to turn things around – quite literally, this franchise needs a makeover from the ownership level on down to the taxi squad.

  28. alewatcher says: Oct 13, 2011 9:53 AM

    Until they change the coaching and front office, the Bears will still suck. Martz was a ridiculous hire for the Bears. How do you hire him and not see this coming?

  29. kalispellmt says: Oct 13, 2011 9:54 AM

    Martz was the third person interviewed, the first two said “No dice.”
    Bears were extremely lucky last year (if they lose the first game in Detroit, as they should have), playing a host of third string QB’s ( I think five games) that would have probably been losses.
    As a Bears fan, I see bad times ahead and not being fixed anytime soon.

  30. tbbucs1638 says: Oct 13, 2011 9:55 AM

    u ppl downing lovie r idiots!! when did the bears start winning?? WHEN LOVIE GOT THERE!!! U PPL MUST NOT LIKE WINNING, AND THIS YEAR ITS MARTZ N THE OFFENSIVE LINE AND THE SECONDARY ISNT PLAYING TO ITS POTENTIAL

  31. kalispellmt says: Oct 13, 2011 9:55 AM

    Please get rid of Lovie and Angelo. NOW!

  32. suhisabeast90 says: Oct 13, 2011 9:56 AM

    For all the Cutler haters…….If it Jay cutler wasn’t as athletic as he is, the Bears would be winless. Would it kill this team to give him at least one above average WR? Greg Olson(TE) was the only guy who could catch a pass and they traded him! Matt Forte is a Great runningback. If the ever had a line that could block for him, he would have 1500 rushing yards to go with his 1000 receiving yards. Dump Martz and Angelo, keep Lovie. Even with all these problems the Bears have, still should be no problem beating the pathetic Vikings. And with the first pick in the 2012 NFL DRAFT the Vikings select….Andrew luck….no wait the vickings ran out of time and missed their pick again!!!

  33. dukemarc says: Oct 13, 2011 9:58 AM

    johnsticle says: Oct 13, 2011 9:00 AM

    *rub hands together, slowly nod as I ponder another Vikings Victory*

    Good…. good…
    ———————————-

    Not saying you won’t win, but I think the Vikings are running neck and neck with the Bears as far as Coaching/Front Office disfunction goes.

  34. klunge says: Oct 13, 2011 10:06 AM

    @firejangelo:
    I’m on board with your comments, but…NFC Central??? Did you just wake from a 10yr coma or come out of stasis? lol

  35. bombacim says: Oct 13, 2011 10:15 AM

    - Should also drop Tillman to the bench as he’s not good enough anymore. Let Bowman get some snaps.
    —————————————————-

    You out of your mind. Tillman is the only defensive back making plays out there. Calvin Johnson only had three catches against Tillman which to me make me think that he had him pretty covered. All of the deeper passes were in cover 2 where Tillman is suppose to release and the safety is suppose to pick him up.

  36. thousandcasts says: Oct 13, 2011 10:16 AM

    People say the Lions haven’t played anyone. They’re probably right, but the Lions just simply beat down and demoralize every team that’s been on the schedule so far.

  37. azchiguy says: Oct 13, 2011 10:27 AM

    Lovie’s statement that some changes need to be made finally admits that he’s been ducking his responsibilities as head coach.

    He ignores Martz’s idiotic play calling until Cutler is beat up & the Bears lose the game. Journalists & fans have been pointing to the weaknesses for months. But he’s only come around this time because the team was embarrassed on national TV.

    I guess we’ll just gave to suffer through another pointless year with this sad excuse for a football team.

    My hope is that the Bears will finish so poorly that even the McCaskeys will have to face the fact that Angelo, Lovie, and Martz need to move on down the road.

  38. textexington says: Oct 13, 2011 10:28 AM

    Go Pack Go!!!

  39. beardwn78 says: Oct 13, 2011 10:31 AM

    I’m actually not as opposed to Lovie being the coach as most Bears fans seem (though the clock/challenge flag management is borderline inexcusable); he has a winning track record and I think they players want to play hard for him. But I do think the Bears will continue to lack young talent as long as Jerry Angelo is GM. And unfortunately for Lovie, no new GM is going to keep him around as HC.

    I think the Bears need a complete sea change of culture. We as fans have to move beyond the ’85 Bears and stop chanting “defense” and “run the ball,” we’re just enabling the front office to sign players to a scheme that doesn’t work anymore. Cutler is and should be the central building block going forward, and we need a new front office to recognize that and build around his strengths. That means a competent offensive line, legitimate, threatening wide receivers and a defense that can generate constant pressure the QB. Modern football is about passing to win and pressuring the QB, and it’s time for the Bears to evolve or die.

  40. aldashex86 says: Oct 13, 2011 10:34 AM

    Their trenches are terrible on both sides excluding Peppers. But, aside from that, Martz needs to run his offense the right way. Quick slant routes and out routes are needed….so are better WR’s.

    They are starting the 2 worst WR’s on their team in Roy Will and Hester. Knox and Bennett should start with Sanz and Hester in the slot. I would put Forte out wide before Roy Williams right now.

  41. TheDPR says: Oct 13, 2011 10:47 AM

    There is talent on that team but horrible GM and coaches have squandered it. By the time they get their OL right and put in a scheme that works in today’s NFL, Forte and Cutler will be past their primes and not able to execute it.

    Gerry Angelo and Mike Martz are the worst offenders but Lovie Smith has to take some responsibility, too.

  42. beardown4me says: Oct 13, 2011 10:50 AM

    Wow, for first time in years all these posting on bears are dead one people! It simple, cut off the head of the monster itself. Jerri and take Rick your future replacement with you too. The time to act is now. If the Bears lose Vikings this weekend , then for the love of god Virginia pull the trigger. Make Jerry retire now. HIRE BILL COWHER, PARCELLS, MIKE LOMBARDI, etc…. AS GM mid season.

  43. MichaelEdits says: Oct 13, 2011 10:59 AM

    Fortunately, they’re only playing the Vikings, as opposed to an NFL caliber team.

  44. vesselsk says: Oct 13, 2011 11:00 AM

    If nothing else, the Bears front office should all be fired for making the deals for Julius Peppers and Cutler. They essentially gave away 75% their 2009, 2010 and 2011 drafts to get these guys and neither has been worth the price. Instead of having their higher-round draft picks for talent upgrades, they’ve had to settle for mediocre (at best) free agents like Meriweather, Kellen Davis and Roy Williams.

  45. grogansheroes says: Oct 13, 2011 11:05 AM

    How’s that “pro bowler” safety working for you? Ha ha.

  46. kappy32 says: Oct 13, 2011 11:10 AM

    The worst thing that can happen to a mediocre team is one year of lucky success because the entire fan base expects more. Once more isn’t delivered, heads are called for. The Bears were the worst number 2 seed in recent memory last season. The only reason they made it as they did was because they played the Packers at the right time during the regular season then got the touch of Jesus, Yahweh & Allah all in one by getting the God awful Seahawks in the Divisional Round. Had their schedule been a little tougher, they would have been out, the Packers winning the North & the Giants in the Wild Card. The problems this team is facing this season is no different than last. They’re giving up the big play on defense & can’t block a stone on offense. This team gave up, I believe, 10 sacks to the Giants on national TV last year & all they did to fix their line was cut ties with their best offensive lineman in Olin Kreutz. This team was average last season & they’re average this season. The only difference is that the aren’t getting the lucky breaks they got last year and, more importantly, the teams around them improved & got healthy while the Bears maintained the status quo. Don’t take it out on Lovey that he got his team to overproduce last season.

  47. 303bengalguy says: Oct 13, 2011 11:24 AM

    I feel for the Bear fan… and on this rare occasion, I can say “for once!… it’s not us!!!”, about my Bengals. Hate if ya want to (but we have a winning record, the #1 defense, and lost 2 games by a total of 8 points, one of which was to everyones favorite bandwagon, the 49ers), but I’m just offering my condolences to a team where they suffer from a blatantly obvious set of problems that the team seems intent on avoiding addressing. It’s maddening I know… trust me!

  48. asublimeday says: Oct 13, 2011 11:25 AM

    If nothing else, the Bears front office should all be fired for making the deals for Julius Peppers and Cutler. They essentially gave away 75% their 2009, 2010 and 2011 drafts to get these guys and neither has been worth the price. Instead of having their higher-round draft picks for talent upgrades, they’ve had to settle for mediocre (at best) free agents like Meriweather, Kellen Davis and Roy Williams.
    ———–

    They signed peppers as a FA and didn’t give up anything.

    Complaint fail.

  49. sikoix says: Oct 13, 2011 11:29 AM

    While I’m not forecasting a Viking win, it does strike me as odd Bear fans think the Vikings are far inferior.

    Sure, the Bears have quite a record advantage over the Vikings (2-3 vs 1-4), but the Vikings have scored more points this season AND allowed fewer points than the Bears over the first 5 games. If the Vikings win on Sunday, the Bears will be the new team in the NFC North basement.

    Not that I think either team is going anywhere this season…

  50. The Phantom Stranger says: Oct 13, 2011 11:35 AM

    People ripping the Vikings have obviously never seen a game. When it comes to terrible teams, Chicago is well below Minnesota. We’ll see that Sunday night.

  51. bradymancrush10 says: Oct 13, 2011 11:52 AM

    Lovie’s problems began when she divorced Thurston Howell III, then got into coaching….
    What, wait!?! thats a different Lovie? oh , never mind.

  52. tshirttom says: Oct 13, 2011 11:59 AM

    Not sure it can be blamed on Martz. You need some WR’s with talent. Cutler and Forte are excellent. Pay Forte, he is worth keeping.

  53. jtsel81 says: Oct 13, 2011 12:00 PM

    The worst front office in the NFL!!!! Thanks for nothing Jerry, please leave…. Oh and take Martz with you!!!!

  54. thridandlong says: Oct 13, 2011 12:23 PM

    We’re off to see the Wizard for…..

    Angelo…Brain
    Lovie….Brain
    Martz…Brain

    Courage and Heart, we’ll that up to the McCaskey family….get rid of these clueless Wannstadt replica’s.

  55. tombradyallday says: Oct 13, 2011 12:55 PM

    no wonder belichick let merriweather go

  56. jsalis13 says: Oct 13, 2011 1:10 PM

    @nikkodawg

    I agree with you on two out of three there. Mike Martz and Jerry Angelo need to go. Lovie smith has shown that he can motivate his guys and get them ready to play, the players love him, and removing him would cause a massive wave of unpleasantness from the locker room and might well pit key leaders on this team like Urlacher and Briggs against the new coach.

    Martz however has to be lossing his hold on the players quickly. This Bears offensive line isn’t very good(who am I kidding they are, with the exception of Chris Spencer, utter trash), the the offense that Martz runs basically exposes all of their weaknesses(sustaining blocks for Cutler to get a 5-7 step drop) and rarely highlights any of their strengths(they can run block with some effectiveness). The Bears do not have polished hall of fame receiver like Torry Holt or Issac Bruce, but what they do have is 2 guys in Devin Hester and Johnny Knox that have tremendous speed and acceleration. If a short to intermediate passing game were implimented that focused on getting them isolated and simply having too much burst off the line they could run an effective offense. This is just so counter to the Martzian system that he won’t even consider it. The plays that infuriated me the most were watching Cutler line up with an EMPTY backfield, but do it from under center. with that offensive line if they don’t have a RB in on the formation keeping him out of shotgun is just irresponsible and if I were him I’d have gone back there regardless of what my OC called.

  57. philtration says: Oct 13, 2011 1:15 PM

    Chris Conte even being on the team is a fine example of what is wrong here.
    The Bears needed help with the O line and WR positions in the worst way and Jerry drafts this guy with his 3rd pick.
    No one else would have taken him higher than a 5th rounder but Jerry had to get his man.
    Conte is nothing more than another version of Adam Archuleta, Craig Steltz and Al Afalava.
    It is like Angelo believes that if he picks up a guy that kind of looks like John Lynch that will be enough.

    Jerry also blew his 2nd round pick on a short DT that has been inactive for the first 5 games and of course he has a history of knee problems.
    Jerry loves that!
    Draft damaged goods because you believe you are getting a deal and everyone else will be sorry later.
    He did it with Corey Wootton, Chris Williams, Tommie Harris, Marcus Harrison, Dan Bazuin, Dusty Dvoracek…. it goes on and on.

    Jerry and Lovie NEVER deveate from their plan.
    They are NEVER wrong.
    They NEVER learn from their mistakes because in their minds they NEVER make any.
    It is someone else to blame because they could not make their flawed system work.
    Their management style is like a bottle of shampoo.
    Rinse and repeat.
    Rinse and repeat.
    Rinse and repeat.

  58. jsalis13 says: Oct 13, 2011 1:30 PM

    As for Jerry Angelo, I don’t even know where to begin. So I’ll keep it short by saying this. He knew that this team and gigantic holes on the offensive line and with 19 million in cap room, something that could also have gone towards locking up Daniel Manning(who has developed into one of the leagues better safeties), he failed to do anything about it. His talent evaluation has been terrible, Matt Forte was a deffinate hit, but looking at the RBs from that draft taken in the first and second rounds of the draft that could just be the odds stacked in his favor(10 of the first 13 have started multiple games, a list that included p4Darren McFadden, p13Johnathan Steward, p22Felix Jones, p23Rashard Mendenhall, p24Chris johnson, p44Matt Forte, p55Ray Rice, p73Jamaal Charles, p139Ryan Torrain, p149Tim Hightower)

  59. blackqbwhiterb says: Oct 13, 2011 1:40 PM

    Something about Martz’s offense this year reminds me of Patrick Ramsey being left for the vultures every down by Steve Spurrier….”Just drop back and fire it downfield somewhere” .

  60. blackqbwhiterb says: Oct 13, 2011 1:42 PM

    Goes to show you- if you don’t have a good center, 2 good guards and 2 big time tackles, you ain’t got nothing!

  61. cliverush says: Oct 13, 2011 2:09 PM

    The Bears quit in their game against the Pats last year. They quit in the first half. Why would anyone who witnessed it think they would be capable to play competitive football this year. A little snow on the ground and these players folded up and stop trying.

  62. oregonbear says: Oct 13, 2011 2:44 PM

    The Phantom Stranger says:
    Oct 13, 2011 11:35 AM
    People ripping the Vikings have obviously never seen a game. When it comes to terrible teams, Chicago is well below Minnesota. We’ll see that Sunday night.
    _________________________________

    ROTFLMAO. You mean the game against Tampa that you lost after being ahead 17-0 or the game against Detroit that you lost after being ahead 20-0?

  63. bearswinby1 says: Oct 13, 2011 3:24 PM

    Everyone is overreacting as always…you sound like Michael Irvin screaming and shouting over the the other guys with visceral, knee-jerk reactions.

    The fact of the matter is that the NFL is a very competitive league, and while the Bears aren’t going to be favored from week to week, they are the type of team that will likely win about half of their games.

    Last season, they took advantage of opponents injuries and a weaker schedule and came out above average. This season, a tough early schedule and some key injuries have put them below .500.

    They look like a lot of other teams: NYJ, NYG, ATL, HOU to name a few. The only difference between Chicago and these teams so far…schedule. Chicago has lost to the 3 best records in the NFL.

    The Bears always perform better late in the season as an outdoor team, a veteran team, and a chip-on-the-shoulder type team. Let the season play itself out before you determine how horrible this team is.

  64. Dr. Kronner says: Oct 13, 2011 6:33 PM

    bearswinby1: Very astute commentary.

    I’m a Lions fan, and reading the comments on here it sounds just like when we had Martz. He is making your O-Line look worse than they are. Everyone wanted the whole line cut, and then I remember how much better our line looked as soon as Martz left.

    Dump the whole Coaching staff. This is karma for hiring the old Lions staff in the first place.

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