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Offensive line anywhere in Bears' plan?
By Barry Rozner | Daily Herald Columnist
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Published: 2/11/2010 12:00 AM

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Beyond the comic relief they provide, there is one very good thing about the Bears again becoming a league laughingstock.

It puts them in total desperation mode, and that's never bad for a franchise so traditionally predictable.

It means that anything's possible. Witness the crazed hiring of mad scientist Mike Martz, who from week to week is as capable of getting his QB killed, or having an altercation with any of the 14 head coaches on staff, as he is of having his QB throw for 400 yards.

By allowing this hiring, it also shows GM Jerry Angelo knows it's one and done for all of them unless something spectacular occurs.

And maybe, just maybe, that allows us to dream of the Bears acquiring the likes of Julius Peppers, Darren Sharper, Vincent Jackson or Brandon Marshall.

As ridiculous as it seems, it was no more ridiculous a year ago to think the Bears would get their hands on Jay Cutler.

Even the McCaskeys aren't immune to feeling the heat, and they're getting more of it today than at any time since the butchered Dave McGinnis hiring, which came while trying to secure public money for a new spaceship.

So, yeah, anything's possible right now, including the McCaskeys giving Angelo piles of money to spend.

No one's holding their breath, but if that's possible let us not overlook the overwhelming weakness of the team, which under Angelo has almost always been the offensive line.

He has neglected this group to the point where the new offensive coordinator has confidence in exactly one member of the unit.

"Chris Williams at left tackle is worth getting excited about," Martz told the Bears' Web site this week. "The rest of the group is going to fall into place."

How's that for a ringing endorsement?

Martz isn't wrong for knowing only one name, because even if you grant them Williams at left tackle - and he wouldn't be a given in many NFL cities - the rest of the line is a mess.

"For us, it all starts in the offensive line," Martz said. "That's the center of the universe in football for any team."

You know that and Martz knows that and playoff teams know that, and certainly the final two playing in that thing called the "Super Bowl" knew that.

But Angelo apparently never took the offensive line course in general manager school.

So we can dream about what Martz may be able to do with Cutler and fantasize about how the Bears can fill holes on defense and at wide receiver, but if Angelo doesn't fix the offensive line, like yesterday, it's all a futile exercise anyway.

With the added bonus of getting your franchise QB beaten to a pulp in the process.

Bearing down

You know the story of Saints coach Sean Payton giving up $250,000 of his own money a year ago to help secure the services of defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.

The most incredible aspect of the story is that after New Orleans started 9-0, ownership gave Payton his money back.

Can you think of any local pro football teams that have a head coach or owner willing to make such statements?

Second chances

E-mailer Sanjay H., my favorite GM not working in baseball today, continues to believe second baseman Felipe Lopez would be a good gamble for the Cubs at about $3 million in 2010.

Can't argue with the idea, even though it appears the Cubs are hoping Starlin Castro will be ready to play short sometime in April or May, when they can move Ryan Theriot to second.

For a team trying to win a World Series, it's a lot to ask a rookie shortstop - turning 20 in a month - to lead you into the playoffs.

The good guys

Due to the snowstorm, anyone who purchased a ticket for Tuesday's Wolves game can bring a used or unused ticket from that game to the Allstate Arena box office and redeem it for a free ticket to any one of the team's remaining February home games.

For more info, visit


Orioles sign left-hander Will Ohman to a minor-league contract.

Fat Sunday

ABC's Jimmy Kimmel: "The Super Bowl is a day that Americans celebrate the physical accomplishments of world-class athletes by dipping fried chicken in ranch dressing."

Fooled again

S.F. Chronicle's Scott Ostler: "I love The Who, but why did they let the Budweiser frogs sing their songs at halftime?"

Just wasted

Best of David Letterman's Top Ten Colts Excuses for losing the Super Bowl: "Wanted to get home in time for 'Undercover Boss.' "

Best headline "Bud Selig statue to be erected, (bleeped) on."

And finally -

Comedian Alex Kaseberg: "On Bourbon Street in New Orleans, partyers swigged and smashed bottles, women tore off their tops, and they all danced together in the streets. When asked about the Super Bowl celebration, a reveler replied, 'What Super Bowl celebration?' "