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Old 05-11-2009, 10:02 AM   #1
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4. Chicago
I may not like how Jay Cutler babied his way out of Denver, but by Labor Day, the football world will have forgotten, and by Thanksgiving, the most popular baby name in Chicagoland will be Jay. (Unless it's Jerry, as in Angelo, the man who stuck his neck out and made this deal.) Cutler's a big-time player, and I suspect we'll find out over the next few years if he has nerves of steel and can win the big game.

Now, there's two things we don't know about Cutler and this offense. There's not a great receiver in the house and no promise of one on the way (Angelo should have guaranteed Torry Holt more money to get him to come to the Windy City). So Cutler's going to have to make do with the Devin Hesters and Rashied Davises, apparently. (Not that there's anything wrong with Hester. But he should be a third receiver, using his speed to game-break.)

Two: How good of a leader can Cutler be, coming in with the knock that he chafes on some teammates. It'll be interesting to see if he meshes well with Brian Urlacher; I don't take for granted that he will. Because of the Cutler factor and because I don't love the defense the way I did two or three years ago, I didn't want to leap the Bears over so many other teams. But then I went back and looked at their 2008 numbers. The bedrock stats for a good defense, I've always thought, are opponents yards per rush, turnovers forced and opponents' yards per pass. The yards per rush, 3.4, was excellent, third-best in the league. Turnovers forced, 32, was very good, second in the league. And yards per pass play by foes, 6.20, was eighth in the league. All good. If Cutler can lead an offense that puts up 400 points, only a point and a fraction more than a year ago, the Bears should win 12

7. San Diego

Philip Rivers' great 2008 season was lost in the fog of a weird, controversial 8-8 year. I bet there haven't been 20 seasons -- ever -- as statistically impressive as the one Rivers had last year: 65 percent passing, 4,009 yards, plus-23 touchdown-to-interception differential. Now Shawne Merriman returns with his wacked-out, Seau-like desperation to succeed, and first-rounder Larry English comes from the Mid-American Conference determined to prove A.J. Smith didn't reach for him. This team's good enough to win 13, but it has to survive the toughest road schedule in the league: at Pittsburgh, at the Giants, at Dallas, at Tennessee, all in the last three months.

20. Denver
For years, Broncos fans had to sit back and just trust Mike Shanahan, because some of those weird Maurice Clarett-ish decisions he made were so counter-intuitive. So now Pat Bowlen hires boy wonder Josh McDaniels, and the Broncos fans have to think the same thing all over again. Jettisoning Jay Cutler? Drafting a running back with the first pick when the crying needs are all over the defense? Paying a long-snapper $1 million a year? I like McDaniels. I think he's smart, he doesn't have rabbit-ears, and he's a man of his convictions. He can coach the hell out of the quarterback position, but he may not have a very long honeymoon period.

27. Oakland

In every story about the Raiders' prospects this offseason, there's been some reference to the attitude/work ethic/study habits of JaMarcus Russell needing improvement. That's not good. The quarterback of your team has to know enough to be the hardest worker and the leader, and it sounds like Russell is neither. He's still young enough in his career to become that worker bee, but you've got to have your doubts as of now. I like that Tom Cable doesn't seem to be taking any crap from him, or anyone on the team, for that matter. I just don't think it's enough to get a team with questionable skill players and a mediocre defense over the top.

29. Kansas City

Could the Chiefs be this year's Dolphins, a team that gets a quarterback and magically starts being competent? Don't think so. Not unless the front seven of Kansas City is a lot better than it appears right now. The Chiefs surrendered an alarming 5.0 yards per rush last year, and that's not going to change overnight just because they're playing a 3-4 now and because they picked a couple of big bodies, Tyson Jackson and Alex Magee, with their first two choices in the draft.
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:06 AM   #2
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No way Chicago is that high.
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:08 AM   #3
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Chicago #4?...
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:08 AM   #4
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Chicago 4?!



O.K..
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:10 AM   #5
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IMO he is giving way to much credit to the chefs and faid.
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:10 AM   #6
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I like McDaniels. I think he's smart, he doesn't have rabbit-ears, and he's a man of his convictions. He can coach the hell out of the quarterback position, but he may not have a very long honeymoon period.

True on all counts. People are already calling for his head, and as this board proves... a good contingent of "fans" out there will probably be just fine with him failing if it proves their point.

He'll get NO honeymoon period with the fans/media.

That said, Bowlen is also a man of his own convictions. He doesn't need people's approval to run his business. Don't look for him to overreact to slow start.
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:11 AM   #7
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Chicago at 4 must be their anticipated divisional ranking.
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:12 AM   #8
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This is excellent. I wish he'd put Chicago at #1. Get as much pressure on that team and on Cutler as possible, so that they explode. All the better for us.

Also, put us at #32. Stay under the radar. Get dissed and dismissed. All the better for us.
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:17 AM   #9
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The notion that rankings some how give a perception of what the rest of the league thinks of the Broncos or the Bears is ludicrous. Personally, I like it when the media articulates my teams praises; rather than running with the sensational or feel-good story.

I honestly don't think rankings such as this provide players with any fodder to get fired up one way or the other.
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:26 AM   #10
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Weapon X hears the doubters. Weapon X grows angry.
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:26 AM   #11
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No way Chicago is that high.
King is.
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:29 AM   #12
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Weapon X hears the doubters. Weapon X grows angry.
lol indeed

As does Kyle Orton, and you dont want to see the Orton when he is angry
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Old 05-11-2009, 11:27 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Popps View Post
I like McDaniels. I think he's smart, he doesn't have rabbit-ears, and he's a man of his convictions. He can coach the hell out of the quarterback position, but he may not have a very long honeymoon period.

True on all counts. People are already calling for his head, and as this board proves... a good contingent of "fans" out there will probably be just fine with him failing if it proves their point.

He'll get NO honeymoon period with the fans/media.

That said, Bowlen is also a man of his own convictions. He doesn't need people's approval to run his business. Don't look for him to overreact to slow start.
Yeah...and even King knows, what a dumbass move it was to trade Cutler. He only has himself to blame for not getting a honey-moon period...I hope his sack is big enough to carry through on his ego!

Yeah...the Bears #4? Wow. I guess that's what happens when a franchise QB falls out of the air and lands right in your hands!
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Old 05-11-2009, 11:38 AM   #14
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Yeah...and even King knows, what a dumbass move it was to trade Cutler. He only has himself to blame for not getting a honey-moon period...I hope his sack is big enough to carry through on his ego!

Yeah...the Bears #4? Wow. I guess that's what happens when a franchise QB falls out of the air and lands right in your hands!
You do understand that Bowlen was the one who said 'trade Cutler,' not McDaniels.
Why is that so hard for some to grasp?
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Old 05-11-2009, 11:40 AM   #15
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You do understand that Bowlen was the one who said 'trade Cutler,' not McDaniels.
Why is that so hard for some to grasp?
No doubt, it's getting really annoying hearing pretty much every source for sports news claiming that the first McD did when he arrived in Denver was shop Jay Cutler. FFS people.
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Old 05-11-2009, 11:46 AM   #16
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Wow. I guess that's what happens when a franchise QB falls out of the air and lands right in your hands!
You're right! It's amazing how Chicago went to number 4 without even playing a game. "Franchise quarterbacks" are surely magical. The other teams in their division should flat give up now to avoid the humiliation of having to play against a "Franchise Quarterback."
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Old 05-11-2009, 11:50 AM   #17
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You do understand that Bowlen was the one who said 'trade Cutler,' not McDaniels.
Why is that so hard for some to grasp?
Because some people are just not able to understand concepts like that. It is, for them, much more fun to be a debbie downer than to wait and watch what happens.........
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Old 05-11-2009, 11:58 AM   #18
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7. San Diego

Philip Rivers' great 2008 season was lost in the fog of a weird, controversial 8-8 year. I bet there haven't been 20 seasons -- ever -- as statistically impressive as the one Rivers had last year...
Best 8-8 team ever!
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:05 PM   #19
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Yeah...and even King knows, what a dumbass move it was to trade Cutler. He only has himself to blame for not getting a honey-moon period...I hope his sack is big enough to carry through on his ego!

Yeah...the Bears #4? Wow. I guess that's what happens when a franchise QB falls out of the air and lands right in your hands!
Amen, brother! I know if we could have a Jay Cutler on our team we would be the 4th best team in the league...err wait.
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:05 PM   #20
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No doubt, it's getting really annoying hearing pretty much every source for sports news claiming that the first McD did when he arrived in Denver was shop Jay Cutler. FFS people.

That's right. He readily admitted that it was the 5 other "marquee" FA signings he said he was busy taking care of first that caused him to be "late to the dance" on the Cassel deal.
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:14 PM   #21
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Best 8-8 team ever!
No kidding. I am so sick of the media slobbering over the Chargers year after year. It never ends.
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:19 PM   #22
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People are already calling for his head, and as this board proves... a good contingent of "fans" out there will probably be just fine with him failing if it proves their point.
You're just lying in wait aren't you?

There's no "contingent" of guys wanting the team to fail there, Skippy. Even the most anti-Josh posters like SoCal will be real fans come gameday.

EVERYBODY BE ON NOTICE: If you have questioned McD in any way on this board, at any time, Popps is getting ready to attack you. Probably at the first lead we take in a pre-season game.

Popps' and MileHighMojoe's brand of unquestioning supplication does not make them better fans.
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:20 PM   #23
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chicago, with no true #1 or #2 receiver, questionable oline, average-bad defense, is magically #4 in the league, with the addition of jay cutler and jay cutler alone?

he really is the second coming of unielwavre.
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:23 PM   #24
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You're just lying in wait aren't you?

There's no "contingent" of guys wanting the team to fail there, Skippy. Even the most anti-Josh posters like SoCal will be real fans come gameday.

EVERYBODY BE ON NOTICE: If you have questioned McD in any way on this board, at any time, Popps is getting ready to attack you. Probably at the first lead we take in a pre-season game.

Popps' and MileHighMojoe's brand of unquestioning supplication does not make them better fans.
Does this include me?
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:28 PM   #25
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chicago, with no true #1 or #2 receiver, questionable oline, average-bad defense, is magically #4 in the league, with the addition of jay cutler and jay cutler alone?

he really is the second coming of unielwavre.
It is not just Jay,

They did upgrade their Oline this year in both FA and draft.

They landed 2 WR's in the Draft that they are slobbering over HIXON style.

DA Bears were a QB and 1 WR away last year from going deep in playoffs last year.
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