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updated: 12/13/2011 4:07 PM

Bears' tough talk shallow and hollow

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  • After struggling for three quarters, Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow completed 18 of 24 passes for 191 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter and overtime.

      After struggling for three quarters, Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow completed 18 of 24 passes for 191 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter and overtime.
    AP photo/The Denver Post, John Leyba

 
 

Maybe the first thing the Bears should do, as they attempt to crawl out from under the rubble of a three-game losing streak, is lose the arrogance.

When asked about the performance of Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, seven-time Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Urlacher said, "He's a good running back."

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That just makes the Bears' defense look pathetic. Because, with the game on the line, Tebow the running back rallied his team from a 10-point deficit by completing 18 of 24 passes for 191 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter and overtime. Those are pretty good passing numbers for a running back.

If a running back can throw that well against the Bears' defense, which is seemingly the strength of the team, it doesn't bode well for what's left of its playoff chances.

And all the Bears' tall talk in the week leading up to the Broncos game about how the Denver altitude wouldn't affect them, and how the no-huddle wouldn't bother them, rings a little hollow in light of their late collapse. They were clearly gassed late in the game, with linemen and cornerbacks rotating playing time.

All week, coach Lovie Smith and his players scoffed at the notion that they might come up short in the conditioning department, but that appeared to be exactly the case as they were outscored 13-0 in the final 2:08 of regulation and overtime.

Starting with 4:34 remaining in regulation, Tebow completed 13 of 17 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown for a passer rating of 117.3.

What is Harrison thinking?

Steelers linebacker James Harrison is a tremendously talented player. He's also a raging lunatic.

How else would you describe a player who, after a vicious helmet to facemask hit on Browns quarterback Colt McCoy, says he doesn't deserve even to be fined?

On Tuesday, Harrison was suspended for one game by the league. Considering he is the leader in illegal hits, that was a light punishment. Harrison was docked $75,000 last season for multiple illegal hits.

What truly makes Harrison appear ignorant is his contention that he has never done anything wrong. The league has made player safety more of a priority in the past three years and has attempted to eliminate the kind of unnecessary and dangerous hits that define Harrison's game.

Last season a distraught Harrison threatened to retire because the league fined him so frequently; a ridiculous stance considering the six-year, $51.75 million contract he signed before the 2009 season.

Well, James, go ahead and leave -- the game will be a lot safer without you around.

Give the rook a chance:

This year has seen more examples than ever disproving the theory that rookie quarterbacks can't be successful in the NFL.

Even without the benefit of any off-season programs, the Bengals' Andy Dalton, the Panthers' Cam Newton, the Texans' T.J. Yates and the Vikings' Christian Ponder have all played impressively this season as rookies.

Dalton (82.1), Yates (82.3) and Newton (81.1) all have passer ratings over 80, and Ponder, playing with a bad team, is at 73.4. Even Jacksonville's Blaine Gabbert (65.3) has shown improvement lately after a rocky start with a weak team.

What's the point?

The point is maybe it's time for the Bears to give rookie Nathan Enderle a shot. All of the aforementioned rookies have higher passer ratings than Caleb Hanie's 48.6, and Enderle has the experience of having started 45 games at Idaho.

Hanie has been in the Bears' current offensive system a year long, but he started just 28 games at Colorado State.

Sure, Enderle was a fifth-round draft pick, but so was Yates, and Hanie was undrafted. Why not see what Enderle can do? It couldn't be much worse.

• Follow Bob's Bears reports via Twitter @BobLeGere and check out his Bear Essentials blog at dailyherald.com.

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