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updated: 10/17/2010 8:05 PM

Smith, Cutler finally as mad as fans about offense

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Matt Forte, Brandon Manumaleuna and Greg Olsen all broke the huddle together, just an instant after getting the call from Jay Cutler.

Inexplicably, they all strolled into the backfield together.

And then as if the Three Stooges themselves were smiling down upon the Bears, all stood together looking at each other, until they turned to Cutler and wondered what was wrong with that picture.

Cutler said nothing. He just looked at his teammates in disbelief and shook his head.

You have to think Cutler would have laughed if he weren't already sick of picking himself up off the ground, not to mention tired of missing wide-open receivers.

So he just turned around, matter-of-factly signaled yet another wasted timeout to the referee and walked slowly toward the sideline, shoulders slumped and beaten up, if not entirely beaten.

There was still 12:51 left in the game and the Bears were only down 10, but Cutler had thrown in the proverbial towel having watched his teammates make enough mistakes for one day to know the offense was not going to save this day.

True, Cutler who hasn't converted on third down since the Green Bay game Sept. 27 was as bad as anyone in Sunday's 23-20 loss to Seattle at Soldier Field, but he also was sacked six times and hit 10 times to run his season total to 48 hits in 4 games.

Postgame, he was tired, whipped, disgusted and limping, crabby as a 2-year-old needing a nap, and snotty as a 7-year-old demanding candy on Halloween.

He was every bit the brat his Denver colleagues assured us he would be if things didn't go his way.

And he had every right to be angry.

Mike Martz was as stubborn as ever, refusing to settle for the quick, short strikes that have been unstoppable.

Instead, he opted to try for huge plays, the kind that make Martz famous and get his quarterback destroyed, even when his star player is returning from concussion.

That couldn't have pleased head coach Lovie Smith, who might finally be angry enough to do something about it, though he's at least a month behind Bears fans on that one.

Maybe Smith will let Martz know his offense is too complicated for a group clearly unable to grasp it, and his insane tactics are endangering Cutler's career and the Bears' season.

One thing was certain: In his seven years here, Smith has never been as honest and never blistered his team the way he did postgame Sunday, calling out every player in every facet of the game.

And he wasn't wrong.

The only manner in which the Bears were consistent was that they didn't do anything well.

Maybe they made the mistake of believing all they read and heard about how there was no chance they could lose to Seattle, not when everyone was crowning them Super Bowl champs already.

And this dynasty was based on what evidence? Beating a horrible Carolina team?

Was the offensive line suddenly going to pass protect, something it hasn't done all season, as it made more changes and shuffled in new bodies, against a team that likes to attack the QB?

Was it going to suddenly open holes for the running game against a team that stops the run, when it also hasn't done that in 2010?

Anyone who actually watched tape of the Panthers game will tell you that the Bears didn't block well at all. They got lucky on a few big plays when Forte ran into a wall and bounced it outside.

Yet, even given that Cutler was supposed to return from the unmerciful beating he took two weeks ago and while getting hammered again look like John Elway.


And the Bears' defense wasn't supposed to miss their best player, Lance Briggs, because the Bears are so dominant and Seattle so dreadful that they would get by fine without him.

Seriously, you wonder what games people have been watching this year.

Despite the best efforts of Bears apologists and cheerleaders to convince the Bears they are the best team in NFL history, the fact is the Bears haven't been good this year.

They also haven't been terrible. What they are is extraordinarily mediocre through six games, which is good enough in a nauseating NFC to be at the top with a 4-2 record.

And when it's all said and done, they might yet survive this sickly conference, where no team can pretend to be any better than average.

But we can guarantee that won't happen unless Cutler and Smith convince Martz that the QB can't throw touchdown passes while planted face down in the dirt.

And when they deliver that message, let's hope they send it with clarity, and that on this most important call there's finally no miscommunication at all.