Monday was a busy news day out of Halas Hall. Chris Spencer, a center who played right guard last year, lost his job at left guard to right guard, who is playing left guard this year, Chilo Rachal. Got it? It seems that Spencer, who was awful last Thursday by the way, is the initial scapegoat on an ineffective offensive line. Many were calling for someone to take the fall, but most expected it would be LT J’Marcus Webb.
But it would have been a difficult sell from a locker room perspective to bench Webb after he was publicly humiliated by another player. That’s probably not the kind of message Emery or Smith want to send to Cutler, or the rest of the team. So they took the easier pill to swallow with the benching of Spencer.
Rachal has been a starter in this league before. From 2008-2010, the 2nd round pick started 35 games for the 49ers, paving the way for some of Frank Gore’s best seasons. He’s a big guy, who by reputation is a solid run blocker. But run blocking isn’t necessarily the problem here is it?
In other news, Matt Forte’s ankle appears to be in better shape than most had feared. Lovie squashed rumors that he suffered the dreaded high ankle sprain in his weekly Monday press conference. But the signing of Kahlil Bell signals Forte will at least miss this week, with the possibility of returning for the Monday nighter in Dallas on October 1st. Michael Bush is a more than capable backup in the running game, but Forte’s absence will most likely exacerbate the problems in the passing game.
Finally, nickel back D.J. Moore spoke out against Cutler & his actions towards J’Marcus Webb stating: “Is it unfair to criticize Jay right now? Shoot, it’s unfair for him to be like that toward J’Marcus,” Moore said. “In every game in every sport, there’s always somebody who has a tough day. For you to come off on the sideline, once you holler at him, it makes it seem like (Webb) is the only reason. I don’t feel for Cut. He knows what he was doing. I don’t think you do that. If you have a problem with (Webb), maybe do that in the locker room or something. It’s like bad-mouthing someone in the media. It’s just weird.”
I’m sure Moore has already been sent to the Principal’s office and scolded for taking his thoughts out of the locker room and to the media. But this was Monday. Four days had already passed since the incident. The Bears PR team missed their opportunity to have Cutler issue some sort of public mea culpa, whether he believes it or not. By letting this linger, they let the insignificant opinions of players like D.J. Moore make headlines and exacerbate the problem.
Don’t get me wrong, I personally see nothing wrong with Cutler getting in a player’s face. But apparently at least one player in that locker room thinks he crossed the line and that’s one too many. His teammates don’t have to like him in order for them to be successful (see: Pittsburgh, Roethlisberger), but they do need to respect him.