Pyle Ponders

Thank you, Lovie Smith, for sounding sensible and for standing by your new quarterback Jonathan Quinn. You've said he hasn't had many NFL starts and that he needs time to mature. I heartily agree.

The talk around town has to blame Quinn entirely for the loss to the Eagles. Get real, and listen to the coach. This is a young inexperienced team. And, hey, who had the better quarterback rating, Donovan McNabb or Quinn? Not who you'd think-it was Quinn by a score of 81.1 to McNabb's 78.5 Does that sound like a bad quarterback to you? He's ahead of the second quarterback in the entire NFL.

In reality, neither team played all that well. The Eagles had 222 net passing yards, the Bears 192 although the difference between the abilities of the two teams was much greater than those stats would indicate. The Bears held Philadelphia out of the end zone most of the time. That is some progress. But McNabb was able to get the deep passes and move the line far enough for the field goals.

Quinn had a slow start. The entire offense seemed slightly off during much of the first half. There were a total of 25 plays for our offense during the first half. 32 yards of rushing offense is terrible. It's next to nothing. Weren't they listed as 4th in the league in rushing offense just a week ago? What happened to the offensive line? Were the Eagles so good that they could shut down the Bears entire running game? I realize their defense is tough, but that doesn't make sense.

It takes 5 good men to have an effective offensive line. Unfortunately, the Bears only have 4 strong players. Hugh Douglas outmatched Qasim Mitchell play after play. But it wasn't all Mitchell's fault. Where were the other linemen? Olin Kreutz, they needed to be there helping out.

And what about the second half's two-point attempt? It should have worked. Where were the blockers? Who were the blockers?

Obviously, not everything Quinn did was perfect, but isn't that what we expected? He's been on the sidelines for months. There was one draw play that was the worst example of that scheme I've ever seen. Quinn dropped back to make the ‘secret handoff' but when he looked up, the entire Eagles defensive line was standing there in front of him.

You need to have a little subtlety on offense. You don't move all your guys to the left side hoping to surprise the defense. They'll figure out that they need to be there too and your play is dead. But again, that all comes with experience. The Bears are the youngest team in the entire league.

Surprisingly enough, the time that the offense looked to be at its best was during the last two minutes of each half. Plays were run faster and better. At least that gives us hope. It will be nice when that happens during an entire game.

The bottom-line on Quinn as I see it is this: he's not doing a bad job. He'll learn how to improve every time he is out there.

If there is any blame to go around it should be point at the inexperience coaching staff.

Many are coaching at this level for the first time in their lives. They a re learning along with their players. They need to see how plays are going and get an idea of the flow of the game. If you don't like what you see while you're on the sidelines, Terry Shea, go upstairs to the press box for a bigger view. You need to learn how to adjust the offense quickly.

So here we are with a badly needed bye week. Hopefully some of the veterans will be returning against Washington. That should help the overall outlook for the team considerably. But in the meantime, give Quinn a break. He will progress soon enough and should be effective for this team. We all need to be a little more patient. Even though the Bears as a team have a long way to go. It's way too early in the season to give up.

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