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Columnist
All's perfect in world of Bearspeak
By Barry Rozner | Daily Herald Columnist
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Published: 8/18/2010 12:00 AM

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If you've been listening to the Bears' coaching staff and you already vacillate between jabbing a pen through your eye, starting your hair on fire, or knocking your teeth out one at a time with a dull skate blade, take heart in knowing you're not alone.

Congratulations, Lake Forest, you're in midseason form.

Hearing the staff talk about Jay Cutler and the offense like it's the Kurt Warner Rams before Cutler's thrown a regular-season pass in the Mike Martz offense is bad enough.

But we're also supposed to believe that the offensive line was very good last week and will be even better this week.

On top of that, the receiving corps is progressing so fast it could be as good as any in the NFL, the defensive backfield is stronger than ever, and the linebackers will be among the best tacklers in the league.

Seriously, how do argue with this?

You don't. You throw your hands up, turn the sound down, and accept it.

You accept it after seven training camps under Lovie Smith, hearing the same Bearspeak, and shame on any of us who expected anything different this time around.

Credit GM Jerry Angelo, who has learned over the years that you at least occasionally have to give the fans a tiny glimpse at the truth.

He understands that people have eyes and you can't simply hold hands, skip rocks and talk of rainbows when you look up and softball-sized hail is putting holes through your rose-colored glasses.

The Bears have issues on their offensive line, in their receiving corps and in their defensive backfield, to name just a few.

Hey, maybe they'll get them all fixed and help Cutler have a winning season for the first time since he was in high school.

Maybe the Bears will be better than last year and maybe even compete for a playoff spot. This is the NFL, where almost anything's possible.

But based on the very small sample from last week, it's just too early to know, and there's certainly no reason to believe the Super Bowl nonsense already being spewed from Lake Forest.

Is a little reasonable or honest analysis from the head coach too much to ask, just once in awhile?

In Chicago, it certainly is.

Football off-season is way too long, but it sure does give football junkies a chance to forget how much you hate hearing Bearspeak.

First in, first out

Last season the Bears inexplicably spent no time or money trying to find a backup quarterback, relying on the fact that Jay Cutler never gets hurt. They got lucky and got away with it.

Now, suddenly, with the completely unproven Caleb Hanie injured, the Bears are desperately seeking something resembling a No. 2 QB.

The irony is that it no longer matters, because if anything happens to Cutler, the season's over and they're all out of work at the end of the year anyway.

This is truly all-or-nothing time, and without their starting QB the Bears might as well close the doors and reopen in January when they can start stocking the shelves with coaches again.

So instead of worrying about who will play out the string if Cutler gets hurt, how about finding a way to keep blitzing linebackers from removing Cutler's head from the rest of his expensive body?

Just asking

After everyone else they've called, how long before the Bears get to the part of the list where it reads "Vince Evans," since he's only 55 and probably can still fire it through the hands of any receiver they've got?

Brave old world

You have to love the rumors about the Braves being interested in replacing injured third baseman Chipper Jones with the Cubs' Aramis Ramirez.

If that's a guy the Braves want for their stretch drive, we're all for it, since it means getting Ramirez and his $18 million off the books for 2011.

The rumored deal, however, reportedly relies on Ramirez getting through waivers, which shouldn't be a problem, and then Ramirez leaving $18 million on the table and opting out for 2011 since the Braves already owe Jones $13 million in 2011 and 2012.

Ramirez also has a 2012 team option worth $17 million that becomes guaranteed if he's traded and exercises his 2011 player option.

We'd very much like to be wrong about this, but it doesn't seem likely that Ramirez would give up all that guaranteed money, somehow believing there's huge cash waiting for him in free agency.

The campaign

White Sox GM Ken Williams on Alexei Ramirez: "He should really win the Gold Glove at shortstop this year."

Best headline

Sportspickle.com: "Jacoby Ellsbury to be sold for parts."

The quote

Shaquille O'Neal, now with the Celtics, on a new nickname: "So far I like the Big Shamrock. But I might go with the Big Green Mile, too. I'm not sure yet."

And finally -

Miami Herald's Greg Cote: "Karl Malone and Scottie Pippen led the latest Basketball Hall of Fame class. Michael Jordan introduced Pippen. Too bad. Were he alive, the perfect introducer for Pippen would have been Ed McMahon."

brozner@dailyherald.com

• Listen to Barry Rozner from 9 a.m. to noon Sundays on the Score's "Hit and Run" show at WSCR 670-AM.