If you spot Pernell McPhee, please tell him to report to the quarterback

Pernell McPhee (right) of the Chicago Bears rushes against Bryan Bulaga of the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.
Pernell McPhee (right) of the Chicago Bears rushes against Bryan Bulaga of the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. (Jonathan Daniel, Getty Images)

This is, what, Tuesday, and the Bears still haven't touched Aaron Rodgers.

Waiting. Wait. Ing.


In the Packers' 31-23 win in the opener on Bears sod Sunday, the home team's defense registered no sacks, no quarterback hits, and no takeaways.

No surprise, really.


Last season's defense stunk. Ditto the season before. Two years running, the worst in franchise history. Two years running, nearly the worst in the league. Two years running, vomit-inducing.

This season's defensive roster is a lot of last season's defensive roster with some random placeholders.

Cornerback Alan Ball can't cover, and I'm not sure Kyle Fuller can, either, right now. The safeties, whoever they are, go into the second regular-season game looking to make their first big plays.

It's not Shea McClellin's fault he can't make plays as middle linebacker. It's the Bears' fault for putting him there.

The interior of the defensive line was about what I expected. Without Jeremiah Ratliff, who was suspended after pleading guilty to a DWI, the remaining draft choices and free-agent signings helped Eddie Lacy average 4.5 yards per carry.

But when assigning blame, start with the Bears' so-called pass rushers. If you can find them.

I couldn't find Pernell McPhee. Same goes for Jared Allen and Lamarr Houston.

They're listed as outside linebackers. A couple used to be defensive ends. They're all pass rushers. That's what they get paid to do.

Setting the edge with a thundering runner like Lacy is fine, but sacking the quarterback is the job. That's the deal. That's where the money is.

But the Bears' big-money guys came up small.

McPhee, Houston and Allen own three of the Bears' five richest contracts. That was a combined average salary of more than $22 million not making big plays Sunday.

Houston played little, Allen played a lot, but I'm most disappointed with McPhee.


When he signed, he talked about being "violent.'' When training camp opened, he talked about being a "dog.'' When the season opened, the Bears would've settled for a football playmaker.

McPhee made zero impact against the opponent that demands it.

The Packers converted a stunning six of 10 third downs, went 1-for-1 on fourth down, and scored four of five times in the red zone.

Those failures aren't all on one guy, but McPhee was the first player signed to make the defense better. Dangerous. Intimidating.

Rodgers scrambled seven times for 34 yards, so somebody created some kind of pressure and somebody else supplied surprisingly close coverage.

But when Rodgers can run away from McPhee and the rest of the guys paid big money not to allow that, then somebody needs to stay after school and write his name on the blackboard 100 times.

Are we going to have to search for McPhee every week?

Whether the Bears play 4-3, 3-4 or a hybrid, McPhee is getting paid to make plays. Be violent. Blow up somebody.

Carson Palmer should be an easier target Sunday. The Cardinals quarterback doesn't have Rodgers' release. He doesn't have Rodgers' elusiveness. He's not as good as Rodgers, period.

What's more, Palmer's offensive line is a bit patched together.

If there are no sacks, quarterback hits or turnovers again this week, it might be the fans who get violent.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun