AL HAMNIK: Bears leave us looking ahead to the 2014 season

2013-10-22T17:45:00Z 2013-11-07T00:12:05Z AL HAMNIK: Bears leave us looking ahead to the 2014 seasonAl Hamnik Times Columnist nwitimes.com
October 22, 2013 5:45 pm  • 

Bears football is like that guy at the end of the bar, holding court and sounding off like he knows it all.

Talk, talk, talk.

But when it's time to man up and deliver, the self-appointed "expert" can't. Turns out, he's just a big bag of wind.

That's Bears football: Empty promises, exaggerated claims, lofty goals and ambitions, often followed by disappointment and heartbreak.

Here we are again. General manager Phil Emery and new coach Marc Trestman had us believing this could be a special year; that key personnel needs had been met; holes had been filled.

That was the ongoing message at training camp, where fans and media dared to whisper "Super Bowl" while scanning the 2013 roster.

Well, the joke's on us.

The aging defense, a legitimate concern, is giving away points like the Salvation Army gives away free meals.

Quarterback Jay Cutler, seeking a blockbuster contract, is hurt again. To break the bank, you must be reliable and he's far from that.

If the NFL draft were held today, Emery and Trestman would be frantically shopping for a quarterback, safety, defensive end and defensive tackle. There is no priority. All are sorely needed.

We didn't see that coming in Bourbonnais.

Turns out many of the Bears, young and old, were over-rated.

The team started 3-0 and is now 4-3. It can probably forget winning the NFC North and securing a playoff berth with Cutler and linebacker Lance Briggs out four to six weeks and cornerback Charles Tillman barely able to move with a bum knee.

The bigger question is, will the Bears quit after a likely loss in Green Bay on Nov. 4? Sorry, but I wonder.

"You ask me about moods? I don't know about moods," Brandon Marshall said after Sunday's tough loss in Washington. "This is professional football. You know, (injuries) happen. You lose some and you win some.

"(Sometimes) you make plays, sometimes you don't. This is professional sports. Guys get paid to get up and dust themselves off."

With Baltimore, Dallas, Cleveland, Detroit, Philadelphia  and two games against the Packers still remaining, there may be enough dust to choke on.

Trestman continually says he likes his team, so he must see something we don't. We can only hope.

Josh McCown is now behind the wheel and the Bears could do worse, given their history of backup QBs.

"He's got the confidence of his team," Trestman said at his Monday news conference.

If you watched that wild 45-41 loss to the Redskins, you have to agree McCown didn't embarrass himself considering he did not get practice reps the week of the Washington game.

"That's uniform throughout the league," he said. "I've been at a lot of places and reps are at a premium, especially when you carry the volume of offense that we carry.

"A lot of times, you only get one shot to play. That's the nature of being a backup."

Once again, the season is coming apart like a cheap suit and Bears fans are left looking ahead to 2014.

If it is unofficially over, thank goodness for the Bulls and Blackhawks.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at al.hamnik@nwi.com.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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