Has money changed them? Briggs says no
November 21, 2008
BY BRAD BIGGS
One of the big fears in free agency, as Bears general manager Jerry Angelo has testified for years, is writing a big check for the great unknown. (that's a lot different than signing sure-bet draft picks, I guess)
It's why the Bears like to reward their own players (for finishing a fantastic 7-9 in 2007), comfortably investing in what they do know. After the kind of money they spent the last two years, though, the question has to be asked: Have players become complacent after their windfalls? (the HELL you say!)
Something has to explain the same group of players falling from near the top of the NFL in defense to 19th. (yeah. It's called complacency. You answered it in your question, Brad)
''Basically, you're saying that you get some money, so you don't play as hard as you did before you got the contract,'' linebacker Lance Briggs said. ''I've heard it happens. ("What's a murder?" - Fat Tony) I can only speak for myself. I've always played the game the same way (Tasmanian Devil-like). Been no changes -- there's never going to be a change. (..especially after I bitched, moaned, threatened to leave, demanded a trade and, eventually, after holding management hostage in contract negotiations, got my way and a ton of cash thrown at me. Hell NO, you won't see me changin'!I play hard no matter what!)
''I've played with the guys here for a long time (four years), and there's no way you can convince me that these guys are playing satisfied (the preferred euphemism for 'shitty and lazy'). ... These guys, if you even look at the fourth quarter of the last game, getting beat (shellacked) 37-3, there's guys that are still fighting (in compliance with their contract) to get to that ball carrier to make some stops (in order to collect on the incentive bonuses based on number of tackles made in a season.....) . So, no. Poor execution, poor play, yes. But satisfied? Not this group.''
In his weekly visit with the media (that's big of him), Briggs reiterated that the Bears can return to greatness when they have the desire to do so. Why, then, hasn't the defense decided to turn it on yet? (nothing like a legitimate question to bring out the bullshit....here it comes.)
''We know what we have been (7-9 in a shitty division), I know what we can be (6-5 in a shitty division),'' Briggs said, ''and the thing about it is we're fighting for something right now (as opposed to the beginning of the season), and that's what we have to do. I said this defense will play great football when we decide (ooooooooh...thaaaaaat's all it takes? NOW, I get it. It's when you "decide" to play "great football". And, that doesn't seem to occur to you when you cash your payroll checks? I see. Makes sense) . Our problems are not from our coaching (sure), it's not from the technique, it's not from the defense (37 points to Green Bay, Lance, tells a different story). It is within ourselves, and that's something that we have to solve within our own selves, within our group.''
OK, so what's the holdup? (Biggs, stop it! You're making me like a SunTimes reporter....)
''I can't answer that question for you because it's an in-house problem,'' he said. ''That's something that we have to solve among ourselves.'' (Could you repeat that, please? I didn't hear it the first four times you said it.)