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Time to peer into Bears' near future
By Mike Imrem | Daily Herald Columnist
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Published: 9/11/201 8:34 PM | Updated: 9/11/2010 8:34 PM

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Some NFL seasons are easier to forecast than others.

Like, anyone can foresee that missed tackles will reduce the Bears' defense from the Tampa-2 to the Tampa-tutu.

Bears head coach Lovie Smith will keep talking without speaking and critics will keep hearing without listening.

The second-most compelling employment story of the next few months will be who replaces Richie Daley in City Hall, right behind who replaces Smith in Halas Hall.

Ryne Sandberg will be the front-runner for both jobs.

Ted Phillips' popularity rating will plunge lower than that of a certain other president from Chicago's.

Offensive coordinator Mike Martz will nominate Jay Cutler for the Hall of Fame one week and bench him in the middle of a game the next week.

The over-under on Cutler's reality-TV girlfriend dumping him will be 20 interceptions.

She'll be gone by November.

The Lions' boy named Suh will be a man among men in the Bears' must-win season opener Sunday.

Rookie safety Major Wright will receive two field promotions to the status of Colonel Klink and General Disarray.

The key to the season will be whether cornerbacks Peanut Tillman and Zackary Bowman stay healthy beyond Sunday morning's pregame introductions.

Julius Peppers will think the official coin flip is supposed to determine whether this is one of the days he wants to play hard or slack off.

The Bears will respond to a lackadaisical effort by saying they were getting a jump on the NFL's 2011 work stoppage.

The offensive line will struggle, including when they try to explain what part of "serve and protect" the quarterback that they don't understand.

Rod Marinelli will say, "You see now that third downs are why I didn't want to be defensive coordinator."

Dick Stockton will be assigned to broadcast a Bears game and refer to Lance Louis as Louis Lance, Louise Lancer and Sir Lancelot de Louisville.

The Bears' schedule frequently will make them look like the Cubs in a room full of Yankees.

Off the field Bears management will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the club's Super Bowl XX championship.

On the field Bears players will finish 7-8-1 to honor the 50th anniversary of the club's 5-6-1 season.

Mike Martz will escape Soldier Field the way Cubs managers escape Wrigley Field: "Too much external negativity - Wahhhhh! - Too much public pressure - Bawlllll! - "

Briefly around the NFL, Pete Carroll will coach the Seahawks onto probation.

Reggie Bush will be told to return his Heisman Trophy for breaking NCAA rules at USC and his Super Bowl ring for dating Kim Kardashian in New Orleans.

Matt Leinart's attempted coup to replace Kurt Warner on "Dancing with the Stars" will fail miserably.

Sheriff Goodell will suspend six Bengals just because he can.

Tim Tebow will be the most popular of all the popular backup quarterbacks never to play in a game.

Super Bowl week will feature Jets coach Rex Ryan and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones jack-jawing at each other.

Ryan will win the blabber-off, but Jones will win the championship.

Finally, the Bears will complete their chairmanship transition from Mike McCaskey to George McCaskey.

Or as analysts will put it, from white to vanilla.