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Dan Pompei's Bears mailbag
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I've known Mike Singletary for about a quarter of a century, and I believe beating the Bears in his first attempt as a head coach would be a special accomplishment for him--regardless of what he might be telling others or even telling himself.
Singletary is going to be fiery in San Francisco Thursday. It's going to be quite a show.
So let's open up the mailbag with a couple of Singletary questions.
I'm a little confused about your article today talking about Singletary's 'intensity,' especially given the things you mention: He has a 8-9 record as a coach, he adores Ditka, whose fire-and-passion drivel served him well in a 3-13 season with the Saints, he ran Nutcracker drills, which have no real rational reason to be run, he sends off and later, claims he can't coach them, he pulls off his pants when he's angry during a game, he's currently coaching a team that is 3-5, a losing record, by the way. Given all this, can you please explain to me why Singletary's 'intensity' matters? If anything, your own article shows that his 'intensity' is something to be avoided, as both Ditka's and Singletary's records show and may be a bad thing in professional (aka "not acting like a baby") sports. I'd love to hear from you! -- Chris Biberstein
I never said his intensity matters, Chris. But I do believe it is very interesting and very different from what we see from about 99 percent of other head coaches. I've written this before, and I'll write it again: there are different ways to skin the cat. If the 49ers win, it won't necessarily be because of Singletary's intensity. And if the Bears lose, it won't necessarily be because Lovie Smith is too placid. There have been many examples of coaches who have won a lot of games being intense, and many examples of coaches who have won a lot of games being stoic.
First, I truly enjoy your Tuesday Bears film position ratings. I also enjoyed your piece on Singletary today. Did he take off a lot of weight post playing days? Finally, when do/did the Bears fly out to San Francisco for Thursday's game and how much practice time do they get in during a short week? --Jim Gorman
Glad you enjoy the Film Session, Jim. I've gotten a lot of positive feedback. As for your Singletary question, yes, he did lose a significant amount of weight. I asked him about it years ago, but forget the figure he told me. I would guess maybe 25-30 pounds. To answer your other question, the Bears flew out to California Wednesday afternoon. Their practice time was cut short significantly this week--the only full practice day they had was Tuesday.
Dan, if my memory serves me correctly, the Bears had some success in the preseason with corner blitzes, especially with Corey Graham. What has happened to him and do you think we will see more corner blitzes as our sack total isn't getting any higher? Also, with the D-line stumbling, will Gilbert and Toeaina get a chance to provide a spark? --Matt
Graham got a lot of playing time against Arizona because of the injury to Charles Tillman. I thought he did OK. He apparently has moved up the depth chart to the third cornerback position that was vacated when Nathan Vasher was moved to free safety. I'm not so sure about corner blitzes, though. You have to use them sparingly--because they are very risky. The last thing this defense needs is to be giving up 50-yard touchdown passes on cornerback blitzes. As for giving Jarron Gilbert and Matt Toeaina a shot, I'm all for it. They can't do much worse than some of the players who have been getting time ahead of them. Can they?
How does Tom Brady get away with mouthing off to officials and other quarterback like Jay Cutler get penalized for it? --Patti Bianchi
It all depends what they say to officials. Having been around Brady a bit, I would bet that he speaks to officials in a professional, respectful and courteous manner. Brady is a pro in every respect.
Why are the Bears always tackling high and above the shoulders and not wrapping up? -- Tony Jackson
I would agree that defenders definitely had poor tackling form against the Cardinals. No excuse for DBs to be hitting big running backs in the chest. It just doesn't make sense. It's hard to improve tackling when you never practice it though. And like every other team in the league, the Bears do not practice tackling.
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