“If they’re not going to make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent fearful white people and racists?”—Aasif Mandvi on The Daily Show
Interesting article by Robert Reich with two interesting examples. Bill Clinton managed to serve two terms by ignoring the advice that Reich gives here but Carter also ignored this advice on his way to becoming a one-term punchline. Of course there are more differences between Clinton and Carter. For one thing, Clinton has always been charismatic and calculating while Carter has always been earnest, boring, and politically naive. Still, it makes for an interesting counterpoint for the near universal calls from the media for the president to “move towards the center.”
If Republicans succeed in taking over the House and come even close to gaining a majority in the Senate, expect calls for the President to “move to the center.” These will come not only from Republicans but also from conservative Democrats, other prominent Dems who have been defeated, Fox…
I don’t get the Bears coaching staff. Specifically, I don’t get Offensive Coordinator Mike Martz. The Bears seemed to open this game having addressed their problems. They began by establishing the run and allowing Quarterback Jay Cutler to take fewer steps when dropping back in the pocket which allowed him to get rid of the ball more quickly. And it worked well, allowing the Bears to jump to an early lead against the Seattle Seahawks. And then the Bears stopped trying to run the ball and returned to the same passing game which had allowed Jay Cutler to be knocked out with a concussion for a game.
But the Seahawks do deserve a lot of credit for this win. When the Bears jumped out to an early lead, they moved to a no-huddle offense which threw Chicago’s defense off its game and allowed Seattle to tie the game. When the Bears offensive line gave Jay Cutler time to throw, they cranked up the pressure by blitzing their safeties. And when the Bears failed to make any adjustments to these tactics, the Seahawks sacked Cutler five times (including a safety) and put 23 points on the scoreboard. Other than a lone touchdown on a kick return by Devin Hester, the Bears produced little offense after the first quarter.
While it’s popular to blame the players when a team loses, it’s pretty hard to escape the conclusion that the Bears biggest problems right now are on the sidelines rather than on the field.
The Bears are now 4-1 having beaten the weak Carolina Panthers offense. The changes to the offensive line seem to have helped as did a determined effort to establish the run early on in the game. Still it is worrying that once the Bears had safely established a 17-3 lead, the “unconventional” play-calling which has consistently hurt the Bears inside the 20-yard line returned.
Usually successful a goal-line stand is a rare and dramatic thing. Against the Bears it has become commonplace. When a team frequently passes in a 4th and inches situation, it screams, “We lack confidence in our offensive line and our running game!” And the Bears are sending that message on an almost weekly basis. Now that lack of confidence is understandable given the weakness of the running game and the beating that Chicago quarterbacks have taken recently. But this time around, the Bears established the run early and they still went for a pass inside the 1-yard line.
And it doesn’t help when the Bears quarterback must take a seven step drop on every pass. Even when the offensive line does hold its own against the defense, when the quarterback waits so long to pass, defenders are going to break through and sack the quarterback. Which brings me to the real crux of the matter. To paraphrase a former defense secretary; you go into the game with the offense that you have, not the offense you would like to have. The Bears’ offensive coordinator seems to be calling plays for a Bears offense that does not exist. They don’t have the best offensive line in the NFL, so they can’t defend the quarterback for the duration of a seven-step drop and they can’t pass on every play.
When the Bears pulled back on their offense and give the ball to Matt Forte, they scored three times. When they made their backup quarterbacks drop back and throw long passes, they got sacked and threw interceptions. Even as the Bears keep winning, they need to rethink their offense. They need to establish the run and train their quarterbacks to get rid of the ball more quickly.
And the Bears have a pretty good template for what they need to do in this game. They need to combine the hard running first quarter dominated by Matt Forte with the conservative, poised fourth quarter performance by Caleb Hanie. If they do this the Bears will do well as the season progresses.
Every time I see a story like this one I’m glad that my Pre doesn’t require any of this silliness. I don’t need to jailbreak my Pre or root it in order to do whatever I want with it. I can just put it into Developer Mode by entering a simple code. Best of all, unlike Apple which tried to outlaw jailbreaking and Google which has issued legal threats of its own against rooting software developers, Palm has actually made it easier to modify your webOS phone.