Preseason Game Two: Rapid Fire Recap

Preseason Game Two: Rapid Fire Recap

I have stated many times that I believe these preseason games to be meaningless. Let me actually take a step back from that statement now. Late in the fourth quarter I watched Matt Blanchard (QB) and Evan Rodriguez (TE) play their hearts out to earn the Bears a win. These were two terrific efforts and they should not go ignored. (I'll have more on each as we proceed.)

Let's go...

  • Not to start negative but if Brandon Hardin's injury is anything near serious, I expect him to receive the Lovie red shirt for 2012. If he can't participate for the remainder of the preseason I can't imagine him on the 53-man roster come September 1.
  • This Bears receiving corps is going to be terrific. I legitimately can't wait until the start of the season. (Side note: I think Chris Summers has a nice talent but you can't put the ball on the ground if you're trying to crack an NFL roster. I'm hoping the Bears practice squad this kid, though, because I think there's something there. Longsho, I know.)
  • What is Evan Rodriguez? He is NOT a fullback. He is NOT a blocking tight end. Is he just a pass catcher? How would he find his way onto the field? (Side note: I thought he looked very small.)
  • Let's hope Chris Conte is okay.
  • Henry Melton is going to have an outstanding season if he brings to the entirety of 2012 what he brought tonight.
  • This is an honest opinion: I think Justin Blackmon was the best receiver in this year's draft but I think Alshon Jeffery is going to have a better career.
  • Devin Hester looked like a professional wide receiver. I was shocked too.
  • If Mike Tice never calls another endzone fade route to Brandon Marshall I won't complain.
  • Michael Bush. Wow. Like Marion Barber but with tons of ability.
  • Yes it took this long for me to get to the left tackle situation. You know why? They both played well. I would be shocked if J'Marcus Webb is not the starting LT against the Indianapolis Colts.
  • Matt Toeaina. Positive.
  • Chris Spencer. Negative.
  • I loved watched Major Wright blitz. If he finishes a few of these he'll be looking at a big statistical year.
  • How about Eric Weems! Not only did he look terrific in the return game but he showed some moves on the outside at wide receiver.
  • While most people will read too much into Lorenzo Booker's return TD, I won't. What I loved? Seeing Rashied Davis leading his path down the field. Rash is one of the better special teamers of the Lovie era and it's great to have him back.
  • I don't care what Sam Rosen says. Blake Costanzo is not going to play middle linebacker for the Bears. Did you see him in pass coverage? Not good. Tough player. Definitely an asset. Not going to make folks forget Urlacher.
  • Jonathan Wilhite. Negative.
  • Nate Collins. Positive. (Watch out for Collins. He is going to be 2012's Amobi Okoye. He is also pictured above.)
  • Did you know Robbie Gould had 57 in that leg? I didn't.
  • I think the Bears are crazy if they let Matt Blanchard leave town in favor of Josh McCown. If this season comes down to McCown or Blanchard, it is over . Done. Dead. So why not allow the kid to get some necessary field time?
  • Hey JT Thomas! Where'd you go?

Okay that's enough for tonight. Bears move on to the Meadowlands Friday night for the meaningless game that means the most. (Just ask a certain former Vikings and Cardinals head coach.)

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  • The Good:

    The Offense. They clearly came out with a gameplan to pass the ball and they executed beautifully. Cutler found Marshall like it was old times. Bush looked like a #1 and the LINE protected much better. Certainly a step in the right direction.

    Peppers looked fresh, Melton played with a purpose and Major looked good blitzing off the edge. Hays looked experienced, Costanzo was a workhorse and McCLellan was the tazmanian white devil spinning over fools.

    The Bad:

    Sexy Rexy not playing.

    But seriously, the injuries to the secondary (Conte, Hardin) are troubling considering the lack of depth. The special teams play very good and very bad. I have confidence Toub will take whatever hand he's given and make it work. Again. The offensive line looked good overall but not eveyone had a good night tonight. There is a ton of depth at guard and some of it looks pretty bad.

    The Ugly:

    The specials letting up that horrible kick return to end the half which led to the hip injury to Passover Podlesh. Also, Jim MIller sitting inches from Sam Rosen's face. Miller Time looked longingly like he was going to go down on Sam's schnoz. Aw. haha

  • Also, "If Mike Tice never calls another endzone fade route to Brandon Marshall I won't complain." Please do explain.

  • In reply to Shady:

    Yes, please do. Isn't that a "Bread & Butter" play for an athleltic 6-4 receiver and his soulmate QB...?

  • http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-400_162-57476614/bears-dt-nate-collins-suspended-one-game-for-violating-nfl-substance-abuse-program/

  • In reply to Shady:

    This didn't happen tonight.

  • In reply to Shady:

    Oh well, he'll be fresh come time to destroy the Packers.
    Rodgers=Muerto!

  • I was going crazing watching McCown playing. He hasn't done welll so far. Blanchard was poised for that 2 minute drill. I am also rooting he stay and get more reps which he clearly deserves. I thought JT did his thing. I'm really hoping he will be an active asset this year.

  • WTF? Only ten teams in DYLbear's Pick'um league? No excuse why everyone can't be in this league. It only takes a few minutes a week and the season long smack-talk would make getting involved well worth it.

    http://football.fantasysports.yahoo.com/pickem

    group ID: 19489
    password: jwebbnation

    Side note: We may need to change password to get MB involved....

  • In reply to EnderWiggin:

    Hey Michael L, get in this one too man. Looks like exclusively DBBers

  • Good stuff Jefe, yeah, pre-season or no that offense will be unstoppable once they're rolling. Mac's offense got the job done, Cutler's looks like it's going off the chain. Hatrdin and Conte? That sucks hugely. Hardin was something special for the future, now he might be out of football? Wow.

    Hope y'all hooked up with Michael Bush in FF cos he'll outscore 22 who should be splitting carries with someone caed Lorenzo Booker from what I saw in three quarters of consciousness. No, I was tired, I did not fall off the wagon after three quarters of a pre-season game.

    How good is Alshon going to be for us? For a rookie, that was impressive. Sidenote to Jefe - Blackmon looked unstoppable in week two, his QB seems to getting it together too.

    Weems is as advertised. Dare I say he runs a bubble screen better than Devin ever did?

    Michael Bush also as advertised. I've had a Bush boner ever since I first saw the dude. Matt can't do that ... and did you see him jink in from 8 yards ? Damn.

    Lorenzo, eh? I saw moves in there that I haven't seen Hester make.

    Spencer, Garza, Carimi all look like backups. Left tackles weren't terrible - that's a positive.

    Jay Cutler is a fucking stud.

    Brandon Marshall is a fucking stud.

    Our backfield are a herd of stallions.

    Me auld segosia Sheamus gets a pass for that spin move. That was some good shit.

    Our backup QB doesn't suck. And there's a guy behind HIM that doesn't suck.

    Are we still 25-1 to win the Superbowl? MB, seriously? 25 times your money back if we win the big one? You wouldn't do that? I know it's only PS, but when those boys are firing on all cylinders later on it's going to be record book time methinks. Greatest show on Turf. Mike Tice style.

  • Jeff, I think you didn't hear JT Thomas enough because Costanzo keep beating him to the ball - at least in the 3rd quarter (I did not watch the 4th).

  • I really liked the offensive tempo from the 1st team. I felt like at any moment they could strike deep into the heart of the D. It felta like they were dangerous and they were confident. That is a deadly combo when you have the weapons to go along with it.

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    I'm beginning to seriously wonder if there is a curse on the safety position in Chicago.

  • In reply to Chris Odom:

    "Mike Brown Syndrome" ?

  • Per your Jeffrey vs. Blackmon take, Blogfather. Could that be based on the fact that while they've BOTH displayed NFL TOOLS, Blackman has also demonstrated that he IS a "Tool" ? Call a cab, or a LIMO, ya Moron, lord knows you can afford it. Surprised he didn't wind up in Detroit where they already have quite a "Tool" Shed.

  • I honestly hope Hardin will be okay. I think he could be our next Mike Brown. Okay, I don't know about that. But I sure as fuck know he won't be our next Adam Archuleta.

    Cutler to Marshall is almost boner inducing. If I was watching youporn on my phone while watching that first drive I would have orgasmed and not know what to blame it on.

    If Michael Bush is still available in your fantasy draft, fuckin' draft him NOW.

    Peppers ran down that fumble like a homeless man seeing a money and booze fountain in the distance. Yeah, you've got that mental image in your heads now. You're welcome.

    Alshon Jeffery is obviously a huge talent. You know what I like about him the most? He keeps his mouth shut and works his ass off. A lot of WR's need to learn that. Word.

  • In reply to Grizz33:

    Sigh.Unfortunately, that was Hardin's M.O. in college.

  • In reply to Grizz33:

    I mentioned before the draft that Alshon was the guy to get. And so far, I still believe it.

  • In reply to Grizz33:

    I also liked the fact he ripped Deangelo Hall's helmet off - the rook wasn't taking shit from nobody. He is for real.

  • Oh yeah, one more thing: Nate Collins looks like a nice young fella.

  • In reply to Grizz33:

    Yes he does. I wonder which Dlinemen we're gonna keep.

    Pepp, Izz, Paea, Toe, Shea, Melton locks. That's 5.

    Wooten, Collins, Price - next tier. That's 8.

    Then there's everyone else. We've kept 10 in the past, but with so many WRs/TEs/Fbs/Olinemen in flux, it'll be interesting to see which we keep.

    Also, we almost always pick up another team's roster cut.

  • oops, that's 6.

    Damn math.

    Most likely keep Woot. that's 7

    It'll prob come down to Collins and Price for that 8th spot.

  • fb_avatar

    I watched the game live, and then watched the replay on NFL.com (yes I bought the preseason package). The Bears will be cutting some quality players. That is nice statement about our depth. TE/FB/WR all have too many good players

  • In reply to Big Mike:

    So are there any teams around the league that will be cutting decent offensive linemen or safeties, but have a need for offensive skill position guys? There's nothing that says we can't trade with another team for what would essentially be first dibs on preseason cuts.

  • In reply to NewBearInTown:

    Hear hear!

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    In reply to NewBearInTown:

    Excellent thoughts on safeties. No oline talent available.

  • Game replays today at 3pm CDT on NFL Network.

  • Three drives, three scores for Cutty and the first string O. Gotta love that. All the receivers looked good. Michael Bush looked good. Forte still has that quick cut up-field and looks healthy. I think He and Cutty will have MVP type years.

    Three drives and three scoreless drives for the Urlacher-less D, but that WAS against a rookie QB and a less than stellar Redskin offense. Saw some legit pressure last night. Melton, Pep, Idonije, all had pressure. Izze had 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble! Way to go Izzy!

    As for the young and unproven, I didn't watch the later quarters as closely, but like Jeff said, I was really impressed with both Evan Rodriguez and the rookie QB Blanchard. Cut McCown. Blanchard for third string. I don't really know all the much about Rodriguez, but I saw a playmaker out there and he NEEDS to make this team.

    Robbie Gould! 57 yards! Nice work for one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history. Anyone remember that he was cut by the infallible Patriots? That's right, The Bears developed a player that the Patriots couldn't. How bout that for a change?

    Game two's in the books. Two more and the long Lombardi Journey begins. Should be one fun season.

  • In all fairness, the Patriots had Adam Vinatieri at the time. However, the Ravens cut him after the Pats let him go.. That was the fourth and last year in the NFL for the kicker the Ravens decided to keep instead (Aaron Elling)...

  • In reply to tobijohn:

    Whoops, the Ravens has two kickers on the roster in 2005, the previously mentioned Aaron Elling and Matt Stover. Stover was their primary, and I'll assume he must not have been 100% hence a second kicker...

  • Is it too early too start looking at FA Safeties? Well, here's a link anyways.

    http://walterfootball.com/freeagents2012S.php

    According to that list, Melvin Bullit from the Colts who played our system is still available. Most likely because they switched to a 3-4. He's only 27. I think, if I remember correctly, he's had injury problems. Might be looking into.

    I'm also gonna be keeping a close eye on back-up safeties on other teams who look good and are on the bubble.

  • Just out of curiosity... what is the difference for a safety or cornerback between a 4-3 and 3-4 system?

    Seems to me that it is possible to play something like a Cover-2 out of the 3-4 set. The advantage would be alternating on which OLB to rush and which to drop into coverage. The disadvantage is that you don't have the same size on your 4 man rush, and you don't have the same coverage skills in LB group. But the DBs can still have mainly the same responsibilities. Or am I not understanding something?

  • In reply to NewBearInTown:

    To me, it's a huge difference, but some don't think so (I guess Lovie found out the hard way with Merriweather last year).

    You're right, 3-4 Safeties do play zone, but really, their bread and butter is blitzing, man-to-man (usually on TEs), jarring hits and ball-hawking (which requires a certain gambling mentality).

    Merriweather is exhibit A. The Bears thought they could re-program him. They couldn't. Billichick couldn't do it, so I don't know why Lovie assumed he could succeed where Bill failed, but that's another issue.

    That's probably why we didn't go after Laron Landry this year (glad they learned from their mistakes).

    Our base Cover-2-3 Safeties don't need to be great blitzers or man coverage players, don't need to lay the wood, (just wrap up and tackle) and can't really gamble.

    Safeties in our scheme need to know how to play well in space (zone), and know the intricacies of where they must be on the field (angles/reads).

    It's kind of why Asamougha sucked last year. He's a man-to-man guy. The Eagles tried putting him in zone, and it didn't turn out well. This year, they're putting him back to man.

    Naturally, the Greats can do it all, but there's not many of those in the NFL. Maybe like 6 in total.

    The rest must play to their strengths in a scheme.

  • Also, I know Asamougha is a CB, but just illustrating that even elite players can be made mediocre, and vice versa, by the system.

    BTW, how much are we missing Daniel Manning right about now?

  • So it seems that pretty much every player in the 3-4 needs to be more comfortable blitzing than in the 4-3, with the exception of the D-linemen. I suppose that's really it... in the 3-4, you play heavy pressure with 8 guys and rely on the front 3 to consistently stop the run. In a 4-3 cover-2 system like we play, you rely on the front four to create the pressure and everyone else is out to cover as much as possible to give time to the line.

    I still don't see the 3-4 safety lacking in zone coverage skills since so much of the 3-4 is having a DB or two play odd zone assignments to mask the blitz. But I do see that the 3-4 safety can cover up sub-par coverage skills through the many scheme possibilities. 4-3 cover 2 is all about technique. If you've got great technique, you are unstoppable. If you show a weakness, its all out there on the table.

  • In reply to NewBearInTown:

    I would have thought little to no difference in the passing game, with different assignments in the run-game? A corner has to be responsible for his receiver until such a time as he is not responsible for him, so the passing game can't change too much.

  • that's a relief:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/football/bears/chi-bears-hardin-released-from-hospital-20120819,0,3928441.story

    Oh and I think I just watched Austin Collie's last game in the NFL. The kid keeps getting concussions and just suffered another. Give it up kid. Start your late 20's with a little coin in the bank and don't look back. Your body wasn't meant for this game.

  • I'd started drating him too, he was a good receiver and Luck seemed to be making him his go-to guy.

    Good news on Hardin. Fuck IR.

  • Offense looking good, defense is rounding out...Good deal!!

    With that said, looking at ticks for Rams game, but damn, $175 on up?! Is it worth the price for a 400 level seat, or am I better off taking that money to a bar and watching there? Damn, I was able to grab 5 yard line, 1st row, section 100 seats to the Denver game last year at Mile High or whatever they call it now for $200. Any feedback would be great....Bear Down!!

  • We've got a few injuries. But it can always be worse...

    http://rotoworld.com/teams/injuries/nfl/all/

  • A true warrior never dies easy:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9q52pUl8vZM

  • In reply to Waffle:

    I know it's early but Jeffrey seems to have some of that in him as well.

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