Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Your 2014 Bears Training Camp/Roster Breakdown: Special Teams and Coaches

So now we reach the end. The special teams. The other third. Those guys that you usually ignore until they fuck up, at which point you're incensed because even though you get winded carrying groceries up the stairs you wonder aloud how hard it can be to cover a goddamn kick returner running a 4.3 forty. This year the Bears have actually had some unusual turnover on what has typically been a solid unit for them, with Devin Hester moving on, Adam Podlesh getting his walking papers, and, sigh, Patrick Mannelly retiring.

I haven't really addressed it yet so I'm just going to take a sidebar here to say goodbye to Mannelly. He was awesome, he was always great to fans on Twitter and in any other interaction (from what I've heard), he had great hair, and, most importantly, he was ruthlessly efficient at his job. The Bears may have more bad snaps this season than they've had since I was nine years old, and that would be true even if they had all of three of them all year. Pat never got it wrong. It was a joke of mine during the Jauron Era that the best player on the Bears was the long snapper, and while that's nothing for an organization to hang their hat on, at least in Pat's case it meant that he was one of the best in the league at what he did. I will miss him.

THE KICKERS:
#9 Robbie Gould
Yeah, there's just one. It's Robbie. He's great. If you don't think so, regardless of whether he missed that kick in Minnesota or not, you can rot. Robbie was actually accurate on a career high 89.7% of his kicks last year despite having his most attempts since 2006. That happens when your offense actually moves the ball, apparently. You get more kicks and stuff. It's great. He did miss an extra point though, so you know the end is nigh.

THE PUNTERS:
#16 Pat O'Donnell, #1 Tress Way
O'Donnell apparently launched a couple of punts the other day that were so impressive the crowd gave him a standing ovation. Bears fans know good punting, that's for sure. Still, the question will be which of Way and O'Donnell looks more impressive as a directional punter, regardless of how strong O'Donnell's leg is. I still assume Pat wins the job, though.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Your 2014 Bears Training Camp/Roster Breakdown: The Defense

The Monsters of the Midway. The fearsome guardians of the line of scrimmage. The bringers of the black and blue to the black and blue division. The defense! The pride of the Chicag-

What  the hell that's not BEAR FOOTB---

                             
                                                               Oh goddammit.

NOW I remember. This defense was ass last year. It was worse than ass. It was boils on ass.   It was the worst defense in franchise history, and it ruined all of the unreserved joy we should have had over the offense's progress. Such is life.

So here we are now, with a defense that will, at the very least, look very different this year. Will it play better? Well, yeah. That's not that hard to do. Will it be good enough to make the playoffs? I say yes. What did you really expect?


Monday, July 28, 2014

Your 2014 Bears Training Camp/Roster Breakdown: The Offense

FOOTBALL IS BACK. Sure, we're a few weeks away still from a meaningless exhibition game that will serve the purpose of angering all of the wrong people in all of the wrong ways, but people are out there, RIGHT NOW (depending on when I post this) hitting each other in football pads. We have almost made it through the tyranny and oppression of that terrible no man's land where no sports are played except for something called baseball, which I'm told is a pastoral game not unlike cricket. Football has come to save us all, as it always does, until the terrifying, heart-attack inducing reality that is football season actually sets in and my wife spends every Sunday trying to cool me down as I sweat like an Illinois governor at an ethics hearing and my skin turns redder than than Krypton's sun. 

So now it's time to do the breakdown of what is, honest to God, the strongest unit on the Bears this year: the offense. There's going to be some breathless, erotic analysis coming here so I warn you, you may want to loosen the pants. I certainly did.

QUARTERBACKS:
#6 Jay Cutler, #8 Jimmy Clausen, #2 Jordan Palmer, #12 David Fales
There's a lot of talk this year about Cutler maturing, finally being at peace with himself and his surroundings, taking on the true responsibilities of leadership and well, OK. Here's the thing: all of that may be true. Hell it probably is true. He's got a lot to feel comfortable about as he's finally entering year two of a system he likes (and that he knows actually fucking works), he's got everyone back on offense around him, and in a nice change of pace that's actually a really awesome thing. But there's probably not much of a difference personality-wise in this year's Cutler than in last years. The people writing those stories just know that Jay was doing damn well last year before he got hurt, and there's nothing but injury that's going to stop him from having the best year a Bears quarterback has ever had at the minimum (and probably a hell of a lot more than that). They just don't want to be caught hanging onto their manufactured Jay Cutler bullshit from years past when it happens.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Season Two, Episode Seven: You asked, we (kind of) answered!

There is a freshly decanted episode of Start Kyle Orton in the study if sir or madam is so inclined, and I've taken the liberty of drawing you a bath.

You gave us questions, we picked some of them, we further modified some of those ones that we picked, and then we answered them! And it only took me like two weeks to post, which is very nearly a record.

Download this episode (right click and save)

Friday, July 11, 2014

A very special non-football shoutout to Rated M for Marathon

ATTENTION READERS AND/OR LISTENERS. This weekend, I am participating in Rated M for Marathon, a 72-hour marathon of superhero video games to benefit Child's Play. Child's Play provides books, toys and games to children in long-term hospital care and domestic abuse shelters. Join as at twitch.TV/ratedMFormarathon, where our dignity is for sale! Currently, we are doing shots for dollars. Every ten dollars allows you to force me to do a double shot. We are also singing, reading fan fiction, and being tazed. Our dignity is for sale!

Now back to your regularly scheduled HOT SPORTS TAKES.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Engage Subliminal Programming Alpha

Attention SKOdcast listeners: The moment is upon us. The first official test of the Start Kyle Orton Football Pedantry Hypnotism Initiative™begins now. Fortunately for you, we just want you to request topics or questions for discussion in this week's episode instead of, say TOPPLE THE GOVERNMENT.

So if you would all kindly post your requests to this article, leave one in the SKOsbox to the right, or else get at Kyle on the Twitter that graces the top of our page, or else e-mail us at startkyleorton@gmail.com (full disclosure: I don't actually know if Travis ever checks that e-mail), we'll endeavor to hit as many as we can.

And now I'm hearing sirens. Did you guys... the government thing was a joke. No, stop! Stop! ENGAGE COMMAND OVERRIDE NECKBEARD-THREE-SEVEN. Oh, of course that's the part that didn't work.

Ex-Bears Quarterback of the Day: Rick Mirer

Twelve years before Jay Cutler, the Bears traded a different first round pick to a different AFC West team to acquire a strong-armed mobile quarterback. The man was to be the 9,787th attempt at finding a savior at the most important position, and he was also supposed to the person who saved Dave Wannstedt's ass. He failed epically at both.

This man, of course, was Rick Mirer.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Skodcast Season Two, Episode Six: In Which Kyle Dies

 There is a new episode of the Skodcast with which to massage your cochlea, if that's the sort of thing you're into. And you read it right, Kyle does indeed die at the end of this episode. From now on it's just Travis and I, and we're mostly going to grunt at each other over Skype while playing video games.

But for now, feast your offseason-addled brains on our riveting discussion of Jimmy Clausen, the tandem evolution of the nickel corner and slot receiver roles, and probably a bunch of other shit I dunno. These things are like an hour long, I'm not going to listen to the entire thing before I do the write-up.


Download this episode (right click and save)