If it were a regular season game the headlines would fill with searching questions to find reasons but since it is preseason one has to wonder if the Chicago Bears threw their opener against the Denver Broncos. If so, was it smart?
Jason Campbell offers insight to Lovie Smith and Mike Tice strategy
Olympians can get expelled for throwing a match and teams can have championships voided. The beauty of preseason games is nobody cares about them. When a game doesn't matter no one will raise a fuss. Legendary college coach Mike Krzyzewski believes the late coach Chuck Daly threw a meaningless scrimmage so his famed 1992 "Dream Team" squad would lose to an All-Star group of college players. Hall of Fame guard Russ Grimm believes his Hall of Fame former head coach Joe Gibbs threw preseason games constantly with the Washington Redskins. Why would coaches do this? Put simply it puts a bad taste in the mouths of players and makes sure they don't get complacent with their work. While it is just a theory there are a few unusual signs pointing that way from the Denver Broncos game. The biggest was during an interview with backup quarterback Jason Campbell. When asked why the Chicago offense struggled, the veteran didn't mince words saying, "You really don't want to show a whole lot of things we've been doing in training camp. We're an explosive group. Tonight it didn't seem that way because tonight we didn't do a lot of those things." It is strange why offensive coÃ¶rdinator Mike Tice called such a vanilla game. Lovie Smith contributed by holding out stars like Julius Peppers and Matt Forte. No one can say if it was on purpose or not, but what Campbell said is interesting.
Jay Cutler return will tell the real story on how the team plays
Fans forget the Bears had a forgettable preseason last year. They allowed nine sacks in a pitiful game against Buffalo and then got run over by the Giants the next week. Many started predicting doom and gloom right before Chicago came out and hammered the Atlanta Falcons 30-12 in the season opener. In truth Bears fans won't know what kind of offense their team has until triggerman Jay Cutler is back on the field. He is the leader and the reason the team was winning last year before he broke his thumb. That he didn't play against Denver showed how much coaches Smith and Tice value him. All reports from camp hint Cutler has the skill players like Matt Forte and Brandon Marshall looking brilliant. If Tice can get his message across to the offensive line for protection there isn't any reason Cutler won't have a really good year.
Saying the Chicago Bears may have "thrown" the preseason game against the Denver Broncos is a little ugly of a phrase. Jason Campbell merely hinted that coaches Lovie Smith and Mike Tice want the team to remember they have to keep working. If throwing a meaningless game helps Jay Cutler reach his potential, then there's no reason to stop.