This week’s matchup is a great one for all Twittering Rams fans, because our hosts at Bears Hibernation are mad with tweets. Feel free to look up the tags #RamsAtBears or #4thPhase (referring to Bears fans as the fourth element after offense, defense, and special teams) for in-game chatter. Meanwhile, @BearsSTH and I exchanged some pregame Q&A. Here’s a summary, and links to more Bears pre-game reading from his site:
RamsHerd: 1. Why can’t the Bears run the ball this year?
More on Pace and the Bears’ misplaced linemen here: “Rebuilding around Cutler begins now”
RamsHerd: 2. Is the Chicago defense getting healthy again?
RamsHerd: 3. Does STL-CHI rivalry matter in football?
I personally think this is a shame, considering the strength of the rivalry between these cities in other sports, especially baseball. Of course, both cities are still living down the shame of introducing the football Cardinals to the NFL.
RamsHerd: 4. How would you fix the Bears? New HC? New OC? New QB? New O-line? Or do like STL and blow it all up?
@BearsSTH @RamsHerd If Lovie stays then new OC, Cutler is the future of the team – rebuild around him, find quality OL and real No. 1 WR #RamsAtBears
Bears Hibernation offers a lot more on this subject, but their most recent post samples reactions from Bears fans: “4th Phase takes a stand: Time for a Bears Coaching Change”
Rebuilding sucks … we know it all too well. But if you’re stuck with a weak offensive line, then a new coach offers little more than window dressing, a new reason to keep fans at the gates. And rebuilding the offensive line requires high draft picks — the picks that Chicago traded way to get Cutler.
The Rams O-line sucked (even with Pace playing decently) in ‘07, so we spent big bucks on Jacob Bell, with absolutely no effect. After sucking through all of ‘08, we cut Pace and drafted his replacement #2 overall, and signed a true-blue center off the Ravens. The line play has really improved this year, until the last few weeks when we lost three starters. Hopefully Incognito’s return will make a difference for us, but Brown is the guy who makes it all happen. His absence takes a huge chunk out of the Rams’ effectiveness.
Now it’s the D-line that must demand the Rams’ attention this offseason. Get both lines functioning and you have the basis for a true rebuild. Whether you have Cowher or Lovie (or Spagnuolo or whoever) at the reins is kinda beside the point until you get that figured out, right?