I have to admit that I do enjoy watching the Saints. Not so much when they play the Bears, but otherwise they are a joy. Who can forget the NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field when Reggie Bush was taunting Brian Urlacher right before half time when he was dashing into the endzone for a touchdown. That’s okay, the Bears went on to win the game 39 to 14.
How about in 2008 when the Bears played the Saints on Thursday night and some dude asked me, “Why are you wearing a John Tait jersey?” And I said, “It’s a Steve McMichael jersey.” The Bears won that game 27-24 in overtime from a field goal by Robbie Gould. Daniel Manning had a kickoff return for a touchdown and Matt Forte broke Mike Ditka’s record for most receptions by a rookie in Bears History.
For our weekly installment of “5 Questions”, we ask Chris Roling, lead editor of WhoDatDish, five questions about the Bears week 5 season opponent New Orleans Saints.
1. Tell us Bears fans what we can expect from our new left tackle Jermon Bushrod. Should Jay Cutler be excited?
Bushrod is a very, very good run-blocker, which will be great news for Matt Forte and the other backs in Chicago. The only issue with Bushrod’s game is he is inconsistent in pass protection. As a right tackle it’s not a huge ordeal, but one to watch. As long as Jay Culter can get rid of the ball quickly like Drew Brees does then it should not be a huge issue for the Bears.
2. What can you tell Bears fans about Aaron Kromer?
Kromer is a heck of a coach, especially when it comes to dealing with offensive linemen. He’s sent five different players to the Pro Bowl a combined nine times since joining the team and has only allowed 96 sacks—best in the NFL during that time span. It’s hard to tell how he’ll do as a coordinator given the fact it’s his first time at such a high position (unless you count the interim duties last year), but the Bears offense should be in good hands.
3. What did you like and/or dislike about what the Saints did in free agency and the draft?
The addition of Keenan Lewis is going to be huge. It was a quiet signing, but he’s a guy that was essentially the No. 1 corner in Pittsburgh. He’ll resume that role and get Jabari Greer off the field. Kenny Vaccaro is a great addition and will likely start right away. He has a chance to be a special player. The only negative thing so far in New Orleans is the fact the team is trying Will Smith at outside linebacker. It’s just not going to work.
4. What are the Saints doing this off season to shore up their defense?
Well, Rob Ryan is now in town and switching to a 3-4. As mentioned, Lewis and Vaccaro will have a big impact. The good thing is Ryan knows how to get the most out of his players. That means guys like Junior Galette and Martez Wilson could have big years in pass-rushing situations. He’ll play the safeties to their strengths. Just staying healthy is a large part of it as well.
5. I personally think Pierre Thomas is a highly underrated player and that the Saints couldn’t have won the Super Bowl without him. Will Thomas be a large part of the equation this season or do you think his time is up in New Orleans?
Thomas isn’t going anywhere and you’re 100 percent about the Super Bowl. Mark Ingram is going to see an increase in carries, but Thomas is still the starting back and will see the most time thanks to his versatility. He doesn’t get any credit at all in the media, but he’s been a rock for the Saints and will continue to be.
I want to thank Chris Roling for taking the time to answer our weekly “5 Questions”. Make sure to head on over to WhoDatDish to get all your info about the New Orleans Saints.