Expert opinion

Yesterday's game against the Seahawks was clearly a better effort by the team. Yes, I realize that it wasn't a win, but there was definite improvement in many areas, particularly at the quarterback position.

Chris Chandler played a fine game. He knows how to work with this team. He is a seasoned NFL veteran and he understands how to make things happen.

He came back from being sacked three times in the first half and used a quicker release in the second half. It was much more effective. I don't know whether this half time adjustment was all Chandler doing what he needed to do, or whether it represented some input from the coaching staff. My guess is that Chandler understood the necessary adjustments and compensated accordingly.

At Seattle, there was a repeat of what has plagued this team during every game they have played so far this season-a simple lack of preparation. You just can't do that in the NFL and expect to win a game.

The players seem to come out of the locker room completely flat. They had 101 yards of offense in the entire first half with 35 yards in the first quarter and 66 in t he second. The game total was only 211 to the Seahawks 335. The Bears had a total of 19 first downs. Not too bad. But they averaged 3.4 yards per pass and 3.1 yards per rush. Even with a few runs and a pass, you aren't going to make the 10 yards you need to get a new first down.

I noticed that in the second half, Chandler was doing more of his passing in shorter patterns. This proved quite effective and resulted in some nice drives. Part of this might have been Chandler's adjustment to the receivers, who kept changing due to injuries, but I think it was also Chandler's experience telling him how to be most effective. It was good intelligent play.

The interesting thing to me is how the team improves over the course of each game. They don't do much of anything in the opening stanza, but by the third or fourth quarter, they are right in there. This indicates a lot about the players' character. They have grit and determination. They want to win and they never give up.

However the bottom line is that no team should be learning while they are out there during the game. That needs to be done before the game begins. It's always good to raise your level of play as a game progresses, but they should have come out of the locker room with much of this knowledge already in hand. Again, a failure of coaching. These players are not prepared properly for their opponents.

Charles Tillman and his penalties, what can I say? I don't agree with the calls. Tillman is an excellent young player who I believe will become a real force on this team. He has the skills and the desire. Why is he getting called so much? I believe he had at least 5 key penalties in the last two games. It's simple. He is a rookie and the refs are not familiar with his play.

Take a Pro Bowl caliber player. Chances are that he will do exactly what Tillman has been doing but he won't get called for it. The refs will cut him some slack. It's a judgment call and something that is entirely subjective.

All Pro tackle Forrest Gregg was rarely flagged during his playing career, yet I usually saw him go down along with the guy down who was rushing him. Was Gregg holding? Probably he was more often than not. I think as Tillman matures and becomes more of a known quantity in the league, the number of penalties on him will decrease. That's my hope, anyway. In the meantime, he should just keep going and not lose any of his aggressiveness. He has the makings of an excellent player.

The last thing that I want to address is the overall quarterback situation. Chandler is making things work better right now. He is an excellent short-term solution. Chris worked yesterday with a number of rookies on his side of the ball, and he melded them into an effective team. More power to him. Chris' downside is that he is fragile and he is one of the older quarterbacks now in the NFL. The Bears future is with Rex Grossman.

I see no downside in letting Grossman play right now. Perhaps the coaches are trying to save their jobs by putting Chandler in. That might work or it might not. It's a bad situation to be in. What has happened is the end result of 50 years of the Bears front office completely ignoring the quarterback situation. It's just poor team management.

Who could they have gotten to come in and play for this team? There were plenty of big name players available right after Miller was cut. But the problem is, what quarterback would agree to take on a job with the Bears. Not many.

There are too many uncertainties and a definite lack of support from management and the coaching staff here. If any quarterback did agree to come to Chicago, he'd ask for the moon as far as compensation would be concerned. It's a huge problem for the Bears and one that they have let slide for decades.

The bottom line is that without a franchise quarterback, you aren't going to win in the NFL. If your team isn't winning, it's going to be harder to attract a franchise type quarterback. It's a vicious circle and it's simply not fair to the players who are giving an incredible effort right now. Bears management must address this situation immediately.

Beth Gorr contributed to this article.


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