Monday, August 23, 2010

Week 2: Cutler's S.O.S.

It was just the 2nd preseason game. I have to keep reminding myself this. Hopefully, the bears can improve mightly in the 3 weeks before the opener. Here are what I took as the positives (not many) and the causes for concern out of saturday night's game:

1. The bears 1st teamers outscored the raiders first team 14-13 for one half of football. And this was basically without a kicking game because there didnt have a long snapper. The raiders may not be a great team this year but they will be solid and beating them at half is a positive sign for the bears 1st teamers.

2. Brandon Manumaluena can block and is a huge man. Mike Martz wasnt kidding when he described this guy as a 3rd OT at TE. He cleared the way for the bears running game with some punishing pancake type blocks. Matt Forte also showed us the burst that we all remember from his rookie season. Positive things happen in the running game.

VOTE: How many games will the
BEARS win this season? ---->

3. Julius Peppers is as good as advertised. He didnt tally a sack but he did cause havoc in the backfield on a lot of plays and flashed the ability that the bears are paying 13.5 million for.

Definite concerns
1. Is Orlando Pace still available? For that matter, can someone call John Tait and Rueben Brown back from retirement? Chris Williams, Frank Omiyale and Lance Louis got consistently beat in pass blocking. Williams was the worst offender. He made Cameron Wimbley and his speed rush look like oldschool Lawrence Taylor. But, Omiyale got pushed around on pass blocking as well. The 1st team O-line gave up 5 sacks and had Jay scrambling for his life. Now, some of it was Jay's fault as he failed to step up in the pocket and avoid atleast 2 of the sacks. But still, I'm not sure what the answer is to this O-line problems because i dont think a better option exists on the roster. It seems we must cross our fingers and hope for someone improvement from this young line.

2. Chris Harris can't play free safety. Harris can be a valuable player up in the box and near the line of scrimmage but the bears might be better off with me playing the deep safety. There has to be a better option on the bears roster at free safety than Harris even if Major Wright is hurt. Harris was late getting over and he just doesnt have the range to cover the necessary ground. After the game, he said that the safety spots were interchangeable in this defense but clearly they arent when every pass downfield had him getting there late from his deep coverage. The bears traded him 2 years ago because they knew he didnt have the range for free safety, why do they think he can play it now?

3. Someone has to step up on the defense. The Jason Campbell had too much time in the pocket on most plays, receivers were running down the stems open and raiders RBs were making people miss. Peppers looked good, Urlacher, Tillman and Briggs looked solid. But these are guys we know are going to perform. What will make this a good defense is if someone unknown can step up and make an impact. Tommie Harris had some flashes this game. But, I have pretty much given up on Mark Anderson to anything besides celebrate when his teammates do something good or for Danieal Manning to be anything but a confused athlete. Let's hope Irsael Idonije (who showed some flashes this game), Major Wright or Matt Toeaia (who i think can be a DT ala Chris Zorich) or anther defensive player can step up and become an impact player. Because without that, this defense is just middle of the pack.

Stay tuned for some updates on position battles and who to watch in next week's 3rd preseason game.

1 comment:

2j said...

Agree. I only watched the first part of the game, but the O-line looks terrible.

Hard to win many games when you can't black. My only hope would be Forte grinding on teams to open up passing ... but that's not Martz's style at all.

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