Monday, September 30, 2013

Firing Sveum the Tough, But Right, Choice

From the moment Theo Epstein was hired two years ago, the two operative words on Clark and Addison were "process" and "development." It was stressed to Chicago media members and Cubs fans everywhere that this process of developing a championship caliber - scratch that, even just contending - club would take time and effort. The same was said by Epstein when he hired Dale Sveum to be the Cubs manager. It was made clear that Sveum would not be judged solely by wins and losses, as it was expected that the Cubs would struggle mightily in the coming years. Instead, the Cubs had their own in-house criteria on which to judge the coaching staff and players. Essentially, it was Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer's responsibility to acquire top young talent, and Sveum and his coaching staff's job to develop it. Based on today's decision to fire Sveum after two seasons, it's clear that Epstein feels Sveum isn't the man to develop his talent.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Exploring the 2013 Chicago Bears

We've had two weeks to soak it in. I didn't write a 2013 Chicago Bears preview because I wanted to see a little regular season product. And what have we seen? An offense that when clicking can be methodical, efficient, and - dare I say - explosive. There are receiving options in Brandon Marshall, Martellus Bennett, and Alshon Jeffery that I don't believe the Bears have ever had, with their ability to put pressure on defenses with their athleticism, size, and physicality. There's a running back perfect for the hybrid West Coast offense Marc Trestman is running, with a multifaceted approach that is seen in both the rushing and passing game. And leading the charge on offense? Jay Cutler, still throwing some bad balls like he always might, but confidently running a scheme suited to his talents with a coolness and clutchness not seen around these parts in some time. With the protection up front, the weapons in front of him, and a coach who allows him freedom and instills confidence, Cutler has the opportunity to have a career year.