As always, the Bears end the preseason with the Cleveland Browns. It’s like when you are in grade school and you get paired up with someone in the 1st grade on your first field trip and you just so happen to pair up with them at every field trip for the rest of you school career. That is what this relationship feels like with the Browns. The last preseason game has no meaning for the guys who have essentially already made the team and out of 53, the coaches have probably decided on 52 players already. This is the game that decides what players the Bears want to keep on the practice squad and it is a final chance for special teams to practice before the regular season. If you have been watching the Bears this preseason, then you know that their special teams unit needs all the practice that they can get. This week we are talking some smack with Jared Mueller from Dawg Pound Daily about the matchup between the Bears and the Browns.
Before we begin this week’s edition of Talking Smack, can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?
I have been the editor of Dawg Pound Daily for a few months now as well as the editor of Fansided Local’s site FactoryOfSadness.co for the past 2 years. Grew up near Cleveland and have rooted on a faltering team since the day I was born. My brother taught me to read using trading cards, so it goes deep. Professional, licensed counselor by trade and hopeful, and maybe crazy, that this new regime is different than the others we have experienced.
So what does it feel like to have a talented QB who seems to care very little about anyone else and is the butt of many, many Twitter memes?
I will tell you it feels awesome having a talented quarterback. The Bears for many, many, many years have gone with mediocre quarterbacks and the results have varied. I will be the first to admit that I am a big Jay Cutler fan. I love the guy. Jay has been improving his image with fans and media over the last few years and I think it has a lot to do with him becoming a father and finally having a head coach who is more than just a coach. You will see Jay smiling more in public, interacting with fans and media. He has his own radio show on ESPN in Chicago and shows his personal side more often. The best is when Brandon Marshall guest hosts his show because we usually find out things about Jay that he would never share. One instance was that Brandon shared that Jay retires, he wants to be a radio host in Nashville. I also think people are learning to accept him since he is going to be the Quarterback of the Chicago Bears for the next few years. As for being the butt of many twitter memes, we could say the same about Johnny Manziel.
So how does it feel to have Johnny Football standing on the sideline holding a clipboard for opening day?
It feels very Cleveland like. Most hyped player on our team in a long time is holding a clipboard and the other is waiting to be suspended, still waiting. From a football perspective it is the right move for now. Like a hot girl who never has to develop a personality, Manziel has to develop more then scramble drill, running around skills. He has to become a QB that defenses fear will beat them with his arm and mind over just physical ability, if not he won’t be successful.
Speaking of defenses, where did the Bears go? The Monsters of the Midway seem more like the Turnstiles on the Midway over the couple years.
Turnstiles on the Midway, nice. So true. Yeah, the Bears defensive line had more holes than swiss cheese last year and never recovered. Running backs probably would have had more trouble running though a wet paper bag compared to the Bears defensive line. The Bears should look better this year with the revamped defensive line that they constructed in the off season. The addition of Jared Allen, Lamar Houston and a healthy Jeremiah Ratliff should create some havoc up front for opposing offensive lines. The Browns were pretty good on defense last year, except when giving up 38 points to the Bears. Do you see the defense getting even better this year?
Adding aging veterans to a defense in a league that more and more relies on speed…
Yeah the shellacking last year was interesting. I have confidence in improvement especially in the one area that the Bears, and other teams took advantage: cornerback size. The Browns added Justin Gilbert and Pierre Desir in the draft to try to deal with some of the bigger guys in the league. Joe Haden has always played well but the Browns gave up yards and points to any team’s big 2nd, 3rd or 4th receiver. Mike Pettine is also more creative with his blitzes then Ray Horton. Last year on 3rd downs Horton sent everyone leaving the middle of the field often unmanned and wide open for easy 10 yard plays. Once all the Browns DBs are healthy that won’t be the case this year.
Speaking of DBs, no not Cutler again, hows the defensive backfield looking in Chicago as Peanut Tillman ages? Also can you teach Browns fans why his nickname is Peanut?
Cutler doesn’t play defensive back. Oh, wait a minute…
Charles Tillman got the name Peanut from his aunt when he was a baby and he was a small kid when growing up. The name just stuck.
The Bears signed Tim Jennings for a few more years and drafted Kyle Fuller to add depth to the defensive backfield. The Bears biggest concern is safety which they tried to fix by moving up in the 4th round to draft Brock Vereen and signing Ryan Mundy and M.D. Jennings in free agency. Because of how bad the Bears defensive line was last year, the safeties were exposed big time.
Off topic real quick, I was just curious how pissed off Cleveland fans were to see the Ravens win 2 Super Bowls?
It sucked. Still does. Especially with what we considered Our players mostly for the first one. Tough to know we were getting close when it all got pulled from under use.
It was very Cleveland though. Kinda like today. We got one day to bask in the glory of the Kevin Love press conference before the Gordon news drops. We had one day to celebrate a first day of the draft before the initial Gordon news dropped on Day 2 of the draft.
What is it like being a Chicago fan with generally good teams in the NBA , NHL and NFL and the up and down Sox and poor me Cubs? We only generally know 1 team at most being successful.
BTW do you care about tomorrow’s game at all?
We are spoiled in Chicago for sports. I’m a Cubs fan so I understand the yearly disappointment and hope that next year will be the year. Hey, at least the Cavs are back on top. And there is always Ohio State. I hear that their QB is awesome. I have to be honest, I’m a little out of touch with college sports. My Dad is an Ohio State alumni. I’ll ask him what he thinks later today.
The only thing I care about tomorrow’s game is watching Johnny Football look awesome against the Bears bubble players. I have been looking forward to watching him play all preseason. I still don’t understand why he is not the starter. It’s not like Hoyer has been lighting it up.
I think the Browns will win the game by at least 14 points. What is your prediction? Will you even watch the game?
Yeah that basically is the only thing that seems like it is worth watching. Very little else can be taken away from the game. I have two players, Isaiah Crowell and Jaccobi McDaniel, that are my guys that I am hoping make the team. Crowell hasn’t played much during the Pre-Season so it will be interesting how much time he gets. McDaniel has been a beast according to most reports but also hasn’t gotten a ton of time in the first 3 quarters of the games.
Besides that I do expect the Browns to win and look significantly better against the Bears 3rd and 4th stringers. Manziel might be able to light it up but will most likely continue to stare down 1 receiver, then when pressured either scramble around or throw off his back foot. Those are the reasons he isn’t starting.
I want to thank Jared Mueller from Dawg Pound Daily for taking the time to talk some smack with us. I don’t know about the rest of you, but this next week is going to drag on until opening day. It’s almost time for some meaningful football everyone. Go Bears!