Pyle Ponders

Although the Bears are just one game out of first place in the weak NFC North, Mike Pyle wonders if it's time to backup the truck.

How's your plan going now, Mr. Angelo? Remember when you wrote me that note last year saying that you had everything under control? Guess what? It's still not happening.

The defense did the best that it could on Sunday. They kept the Browns point total down, at least until those last three minutes of the fourth quarter. There were a couple of nice interceptions and for the most part, Cleveland was out of the red zone. But take a look at the stats. The offense clearly is where the problem lies.

Coming away with 266 total yards? That's embarrassing. You're never going to win with a number like that. I heard during the television broadcast that 38 of the Bears last 54 points came as a result of the defense's efforts. That pretty much says it all. Without those turnovers and takeaways, the Bears season would have been far worse than it is already.

Once more, the Bears seem to be caught in a worst-case scenario as far as play calling is concerned. What's going on with that? As I watched, I was simply incredulous when I'd see things like a run called when the Bears were backed up near their own goal line and had a third down play with four yards to go. If any situation called for a deep pass, that would be the one. The conservative game plan also the Bears a chance to build a lead.

In the second quarter, another bad play call when Chicago missed getting the first down by inches. A drive by Chicago at that point could have given the team a nice cushion. That never happened. I thought Ron Turner would be an upgrade over Terry Shea, but so far that hasn't been the case.

Penalties were a game killer for the Bears, particularly when special teams were out on the field. Again, poor coaching. If there's one part of the game you can't afford mistakes, it's anytime this group is out there. Field position is key and the Bears just couldn't get anything advantageous.

I am still optimistic about the quarterback situation, however. Kyle Orton has poise and skills far beyond what would reasonably be expected from a rookie. Even better, he seems to understand the game. What was Ron Turner at Illinois, 0-11? I know that Orton's record at Purdue was a lot better than that. I know this is extreme, but let Orton call some plays. Whatever he'd come up with couldn't possibly be worse than what's happening right now.

And what about the $17 million RB who had a total of six yards on five carries? Horrible, but I don't blame Cedric Benson. I do blame the coaching. The Bears bring in players with tremendous potential, then give them absolutely no direction. Benson seemed confused, and no wonder. Who is working with him? There has to be much more to this kid than what we've seen so far.

One of my main concerns right now is about the head coach. What's Lovie Smith doing out there? An example of why I'm so worried: It seemed as if he was taking a quick sideline nap when the Benson fumble was called. Anyone would have seemingly objected to the call. I can't imagine that play not being challenged, but Lovie just let it slide right by as he stood there writing on his clipboard.

Overall, I found the game to be boring, sloppy, penalty filled football and that shouldn't be tolerated at this level. There was no entertainment value whatsoever. It's not a lousy team, but it does have coaches that aren't getting the job done. It isn't fair to any of us when there's an outing like that.

Find something that works and use it, Lovie. Show us that you deserve to be an NFL head coach. Put your so-called plan in place right now, Jerry. Ron Turner, so far you're not giving us much more than John Shoop or Shea did during their short tenures. Dave Toub, get your Special Teams group in order. You're all running out of time to get this right. Bears fans have had enough.

Mike Pyle played for the Bears from 1961-69, including a Pro Bowl selection following the '63 season.


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