The Play That Wasn't There: Forte Underneath

The Play That Wasn't There: Forte Underneath

This is a new feature on DaBearsBlog to compensate for what is usually the Wednesday doldrums. Each week I will provide a breakdown of a single play from the previous game that didn't work and try to see a bigger picture.

The play:

1st and 10, Chicago at the Bengals 23 yard line

11:59 remaining in the first quarter


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  • Three out wide right with Earl Bennett, Matt Forte and Brandon Marshall ranging from sideline in.
  • Martellus Bennett in the slot (essentially) left.
  • Alshon Jeffery out wide left.


  • Forte is circled above and this is play is designed ONLY for him. He is essentially going to delay for a second or two and then cross underneath the defense.
  • Marshall, in the slot, is going to take his defender towards the sideline/corner and essentially out of the play.
  • Earl Bennett will explode off the line of scrimmage into blocking mode and shield the far corner from making a play on the ball.
  • This leave Bengals middle linebacker Rey Maualuga covering Matt Forte.
  • Garza, Slauson and Long will release into the middle of the field and become lead blockers for Forte.


  • First, the penalty. Slauson & Garza are BOTH guilty of being ineligible receivers down field as the play takes too long to develop.
  • Forte cuts the route too thin and runs into Kyle Long, who is actually caught up with Domata Peko a bit longer than he'd like to be.


  • This is the type of play one expects from a Trestman/West Coast offense, using the lateral crossing routes that made Rich Gannon a league MVP.
  • Look at the rest of this field. Martellus Bennett and Alshon Jeffery have sealed off the deep left side of the field. Garza and Slauson are positioned to take the linebackers out of the play. If the timing is right on this play Matt Forte is going to MAYBE need to shake one tackle to score. It is the kind of play design Chicago never saw in Tice Time and never had time to see in the Martz era.

It is a play that jumped off the screen for its originality and intricacy. It is a sign of things to come.


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  • 1st! Also, interesting point. I remember scratching my head as to how we had ineligible receivers down field.

    Now I knoww

  • How about the play that did work? Fourth and one. The balls on Trestman and the Bungles burn two timeouts. Sweet.

    BTW - catch Trestman in the presser?? He totally calls Forte out!
    'No explosion'. We expect better, yada yada. I see looks for Ford in the near future, and we'll be better for it. He's a better runner. There, I said it.

  • Is there ANY chance Lovie doesn't kick the field goal there?

  • In reply to Jeff Hughes:

    None jeff... none at all.

    Irish, you are getting crazier by the minute mate. The twins and their cuntbag of a mother have finally gotten to you laddy... and trust me, knowing what I know about being a single dad, I don't blame you one fucking bit. You're a saint in my book.

    That said, and I'm a big ford fan... you crazy!

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    I'm surprised Trestman called him out, I am. I had it down to Cincy playing some good D, can't put up numbers every week.. We'll need Ford, Matty and Bush to get us through. Just troops with a single mission.

    Single daddies are ALL sainted.

    Logged in to post this tweet from Devin Hester:

    ISAIAH 54:17 No weapon formed against me shall prosper;

    ROTFL! He still thinks people are scared!

  • In reply to Jeff Hughes:

    Plus he would have blown about two timeouts and a challenge doing it.

  • In reply to Jeff Hughes:

    Hey, Jeff finally changed his "To Catch a Predator" avatar. Hoorah!

  • Martellus be funny!
    (in the presser)
    "I caught the touchdown ... and then got my prostate checked!"

  • Your a little wrong on this. This is a form of tunnel screen, or middle screen. Forte didn't cut the route too short, in fact he was too deep. The fault of this play is on Kyle Long. Kyle's responsibility on this play is to either let that defender go, and be exactly where his guard and center are, or to open his shoulders and drive upfield to the QB. Since Kyle is actually blocking his man, he is in the routes way, Forte has to adjust his route which causes timing issues. If the ball is caught behind the line like it's supposed to be, lineman are allowed downfield and therefore, look at the green grass Forte has with blockers in front. This is simple west coast offense that you see in high school games across the country. Nothing too innovative here.

  • In reply to Johnsonfinance:

    The middle screen is built for Matt. That should be his role - middle screen guy.

  • In reply to Johnsonfinance:

    This is a good example of it being hard to tell what a player's job was supposed to be when the play goes wrong.

    But I tend to think your explanation makes sense. I have a hard time believing that we would risk a flag or sack by sending that many linemen up the field on a slow-developing play.

  • But if Kyle Long is where Slauson and Garza are, then you have three ineligible receivers down field.

  • In reply to Jeff Hughes:

    Right, but if the ball is caught BEHIND the line, lineman are allowed to release downfield. That's the definition of a screen.

  • Dear Jamie Dukes,

    Lovie Smith was hired as the Chicago Bears HC based on his performance as the DC of the St Louis Rams in the greatest show on turf era. Yes, he peaked as the Defensive Coordinator on a team whose offense routinely put 30+ points.

    With one year remaining on his initial contract, and a Super Bowl trip in his near future, Lovie's agent took to the airwaves to appeal to the good nature of the public, and parlayed a contract extension, using race as a weapon. (Incidentally, this was the most successfully strategic moment of Lovie's tenure in Chicago.)

    Lovie Smith was responsible for the hiring and firing of his coaching staff on both sides of the ball. I would argue the phrase "self evident" should apply here. (Terry Shea, Ron Turner, Mike Martz, Mike Tice, Bob Babich, Ron Rivera...) Everyone has a bad hire on their resume, Lovie has one good hire (Dave Toub).

    The 7 teams that passed on Lovie this year were wise, not racist. Lovie is being paid by the Bears not to work this year, and are a better team as a result.

    On a personal note, you may want to do something about the centipede on your lip, fat ass.

  • In reply to Viva:

    And you can't consistantly miss the playoffs since giving away the Super Bowl while also constantly losing to your main rival in the process no matter what race you are, Jamie.

    It's 2013, teams are looking for Head Coaches who bring an OFFENSIVE mind set to the table. That HARDLY describes Lovie Smith whose choices for OC ranged from tepid to ignorant to completely whacked.

    Proclaiming Trestman's offiense the same as Lovie's is weak and bespeaks ignorance of the subkect. Obviously, you watched very little of the actual game.

    The left-handed "I'm not gonna go there" race card play was clumsy and insulting.

    Just like name-calling, if you have to go there, you have no real facts to back your position.

    "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool that to speak an remove all doubt".
    -Mark Twian

    Too late, Jamie Dukes.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    Word, Al.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    Meh. The race card stuff is silly attention grabbing. And your posting about it months later shows that it worked like a charm.

    6/7 of the coaches hired this year are offense guys (Gus Bradley being the exception). The league is cyclical; there will be a push for defensive minded coaches again in the near future.

    Lovie will land on his feet. If a couple of good teams this year or next fall apart due to bad defense, expect owners to start looking for guys like Lovie and Rex Ryan to solve the problem. Lovie could easily be the next Jeff Fisher - a coach who had what most considered a middling tenure with a team that suddenly gets romanced by a couple of owners desperate to rescue their programs from the doldrums.

    What happens if Tampa Bay or Buffalo fall apart this year? I could even see Oakland pick up the phone...

  • In reply to Viva:

    Extremely well-put, Viva.

  • In reply to Viva:

    I think he'd be a great DC hire for any team but otherwise, right on.

  • whether Johnsonfinance or Jeff are correct the idea is what is exciting.
    Other teams have to pay so much attention to those receivers that plays like this will result in big gainers all year.
    Trestman will also employ fake screens to open up downfield routes as well as teams scout the Bears and jump Forte short routes in the flats.

    The key change in the Bears game was when the Bears started throwing the balls outside of the tackle box and flats and realizing that the run plays weren't working. The Bengals front 7 were selling out on those plays while the DB's couldn't cover our huge WR's and TE.

    Trestman realized that the passblocking was there so we opened up the pass game and that was all she wrote. Minny game will be 2nd half of bengals game from the start.

    The only thing we have to do is limit AP to under 100yds.

  • In reply to Waffle:

    I believe AP's favorite lead blocker/fullback is serving a suspension.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    I believe you are correct and I believe that I will now have a great Wednesday as a result of that info.

  • In reply to Waffle:

    If we keep AP under 200 we should be good. Fuck it. It's all they got.

  • In reply to Viva:

    I love the guy but he's fucking dead.

  • In reply to Waffle:

    AP can run for 150 yards and 2 TDs and we still win as long as he's the only guy getting any traction. Look at AJ Green last week. He had 160 yards against Tillman, but we still won.

    As long as our offense is productive, we'll be fine.

  • Did the Bears run any successful screens on Sunday? I know they tried a few, but I don't believe any of them worked.

    Also, why did Trestman keep splitting Maneri out wide? The TE is a blocker not a receiver, so I was definitely confused by that one. Reminded me of the days Martz used Greg Olsen in the backfield. Don't get it.

  • In reply to Shady:

    I would imagine because it spreads the defense out in a way that exposes a soft fleshy point in the D that we then stick our bears shaped knife into.

  • In reply to Shady:

    I was thinking that too. That's where Matty is super dangerous for me. That's his thing. I don't know why they wouldn't do that 6 or 7 times a game.

  • "(Incidentally, this was the most successfully strategic moment of Lovie's tenure in Chicago.)"

    Exactly Viva. Nail on the head my man. LALz

  • now THAT is a car GP:

    "all those feathers and he still can't fly"

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    There is a Top Gear James Bond special for rent on iTunes or Vudu or amazon. It was done last year, with Hammond and May.

    You should rent it, it's great. They interview Roger Moore and the drector about that car and how the guys at Lotus got the car in the film - a great great story.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    nice, i'll check it out. thanks maings!

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Oh hell yeah!

  • In reply to gpldan:

    They just sold the submarine Esprit for 550K GBP. It doesn't work on land! Apparently it was found in a container that was bought for $100. Some people will believe anything.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    See Clarkson talking about the Eagle Speedster? Says it's one of the best rides ever. He said the same about the new Ford Fiesta ST - the new Mini Cooper!

  • Yeah, this is a screen with bad execution. Even if the intent ks to get Forte the ball behind the LOS, the blockers shouldn't be that far out front. Simply from how long it takes for the play to develop--if they get that far downfield, the rush is getting too close to the QB.
    I'm not sure precisely what went wrong, but I think it is related to how slowly the play developed.
    Timing takes some time to get down pat.


    I got this shady, no need to repost in like 4 days and three threads.



    At #8: "Chicago Bears (1-0)
    Of all the Week 1 oddities league-wide, that Jay Cutler was not sacked once on 33 pass attempts, by a tremendous Cincinnati front, is near the top of the list. Give credit to Marc Trestman for going out of his way to keep Cutler on his feet."

    Trestman building confidence early and making sure cutty is secure.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Protecting the franchise. Imagine that.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    What Shady said.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    What Viva agreed with

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Dallas, Baltimore, and Tennessee too high. Atlanta, St. Louis, NYG, NYJ and Arizona too low. I probably wouldn't have put Tampa Bay any lower, but they seem to be headed that direction.

    Stings a bit that the Bears win to be #8 and the Packers lose to be #7, but I think the ranking is about right. Until we notch a win against them, they can sit one spot higher.

  • In reply to NewBearInTown:

    agree on you last paragraph NB. They did lose to the 9ers.

    I do expect to beat them at least once this year, which is once more than I would if it was still lovie's team

  • We do need to run Ford some. Ford is explosive. Might add another dynamic to our O.

    Forte is the screen, outside runner/catcher, pass blocker.

    Bush is the quick footed plodder

    Ford could be our new (young) Barber. The roughneck who can also explode and elude.

    Give the kid like 5 touches.

  • I liked how Trest made a determined attempt to call plays to get the ball in the hands of the playmakers. I think it all starts with Forte, every time he touches the ball it seems he's one missed tackle away from breaking to daylight. Keep finding ways to get him the ball.

    Marshall, Jeffrey and Marty are all clearly part of the gameplan, but if you noticed, Trest wet with Bush down the stretch. Let's not forget how useful this guy is, especially late in games and in short yardage. I think Ford has playmaking ability, but he's too raw and unproven to take touches away from these other guys. He'll get his opportunities this year, but at this point in the season I don't see a reason to give him any meaningful carries - especially this early in the season.

  • In reply to Shady:

  • In reply to Waffle:

    Yes, I'm pretty sure the Bears are going to end Ponder's starting career. Another 3 or 4 picks should do the trick.

  • In reply to Shady:

    I hope not. We play the Vikes again on Dec 1st! Hope Ponder plays every game this season.

  • In reply to Shady:

    Did you say, "Wet with Bush"?

    Nice. Very Nice.

  • I saw that too but was trying to pretend I didn't make the connection.

    I should have known better, I'm not that classy.

  • Bush IS slippery when wet.

  • In reply to Shady:

    The thing I worry about Forte is the short yardage. The Bengals should have known that Forte is horrible inside the tackles. Forte always seems to bounce it outside and is more of a glider (which fits nice with the zone scheme).

    But much like Bryce Brown last year, teams eventually spot tendencies. Brown blew up the first game, but once Ds realized he ALWAYS tries to bounce it outside, they simply adjusted and shut him down.

    And for a big man, Bush doesn't run all that violently, nor does he display any acceleration (though he has more wiggle than you'd think).

    That's where Ford can provide some value sort of how the Saints used Ivory. Ford has the size/speed/acceleration/wiggle/banger mentality to break big plays.

    Forte is great for some chunks, while Bush is good for short yds, but Ford looks like he can make his own yards and score a TD on any play.

    Ford just needs to work on his pass blocking-catching and probably ball security (most rookie HBs do), but I say throw him in on some first downs, even if they're playaction. Get his feet wet.

    Hopefully, we blow out the Vikes and see some Ford Tough.

  • Forte was able to move the pile and punch it in on the goal line last week. That was certainly fucking awesome to watch.

    I don't think Bushy gets enough credit/opportunity. He's a proven back in the league and the Bears are lucky to have him.

  • In reply to Shady:

    I loved that play. Kyle Long gave himself a high five.

  • Ford is like the balance between Bush and Forte. He can run it anywhere, juke it, spin it, jump it, catch it, whereas Bush is better at screens and between the tackles. Matty's good outside. I like our backs, and if the line keeps gelling and their timing improves on things like screens, we are just solid all round.

  • Gawd... you're sounding like Irish. So he looked good against 3rd stringers in pre-season?

    I'm good with the concept of 3-5 touches per game and see what Ford does in the big league.

  • In reply to SC Dave:

    Dave, what's your take on Coach Trestman saying it wasn't good enough from Matt? His own coach called him out.

  • I'm also thinking about how a lot of SB teams have had a 3HB rotation essentially. The Pack, Saints, Pats. Even the 9ers and Ravens last year used their 2nd HBs a lot in the playoffs (when the cowbell backs are worn down).

    I like Forte, but we best give the rook a few reps cause we're probably going to need him down the stretch. I'd rather have some experience early as opposed to just throwing him in a do-or-die game, and he becomes shell shocked.

    Like I said, 5 touches. Give me 5 touches Trestman!

    (That sounded wrong).

  • You mean him saying "we have to do better for Matt"?

  • In reply to SC Dave:

    I do agree with Irish that ford def looks the part in limited time. He's fast, shifty, and a little bowling ball.

    I would def like to see him worked into some interesting and creative plays.

    That said, matty is the man... we just need to get comfortable so that trestman's offense can really showcase his talents. I think we'll get there once the rust is off and we're firing on all cy-landers.

  • In reply to Shady:

    Share the ball around. Alfred Morris and Stevan Ridley both coughed up the rock twice each. Durability, longevity ... we should share it out amiongst the three, committee style. None of these guys is Walter, and if there is one who's close then it's Ford. There's no reason to feature any back - they're all capable.

  • Hey, GP, you're into cars.

    Check out this Constanzo's awesome ride.


  • Well he gets 3 blog points for it being an El Camino.

    Everything else is herinous.

  • The screens were not working all day, but good point on this one...could have been a big gainer at the very least.

    Hey guys, I have a podcast called The Bear Garden. Google it if you want to check it out. It's a little explicit so be careful.

  • In reply to Perno:

    Dude, I got a link for "UK's leading teddy bear experts" and something about fat hairy guys? Got a link?

  • In reply to 505 Bears!!:

    Search for "the bear garden podcast" and it shows up first

  • In reply to 505 Bears!!:

    While I am a far hairy guy, we have some stiff competition from hairy man-on-man podcasts. We will prevail!!!

    Yeah you have to be pretty specific, Google "The Bear Garden Podcast". I don't know if posting the link is overstepping boundaries otherwise I'd do that.

  • Haha...funny stuff. Where are the best McD's in Chicago? HAHA

  • In reply to 505 Bears!!:

    yeah, that deep endeavor will take all of about 2 minutes.

    Picking his brain. BAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAH!


    Thought you guys would enjoy this - read it all the way through, the best stuff is the end.

  • In reply to MikeBrownhadaPosse:


  • In reply to MikeBrownhadaPosse:

    Good read, and way to throw in a gulch zinger from the last thread. Got a chuckle from that comment.

  • In reply to Cormonster: are you going to the damn GB-CHI game in December or what?

  • In reply to MikeBrownhadaPosse:

    Doubtful. I'll probably be hanging with the family up north if it doesn't snow. Too close to xmas.

  • In reply to Cormonster:

    I'm sure MB, Waffle, Shady (you're going, you bastard), and myself will drink in your honor.
    Should be another epic visit to the Chi.
    Gotta score tickets first.

  • In reply to MikeBrownhadaPosse:

    So who's coordinating? I think I'm in.

  • In reply to SC Dave:

    ha! Coming out to the big city Dave? It will be fun. If you let MB coordinate you'll be at a techno dance club on ecstasy watching asian twins dressed like schoolgirls with huge fake bombs make out. It will be during the game but don't worry, they have awesome phones so you can watch the game at the club.

  • In reply to Waffle:

    Bang! Bang!

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    i've already set aside cash off the balance sheet for debauchery. It's going to's budgeted.

  • In reply to Waffle:

    I'm there. I'll bring the girls. Do any of you guys bring containers into the country? We can do this.

  • irish, i know a coyote, come up through mexico.

  • In reply to SC Dave:

    Holeeeee-shit. I think Waffle wants to be chairman of the events committee. Which makes absolutely no difference in the scenario he painted - except that Waffle will bail at the door to the techno dance club.
    Oh, yeah, van surfer, I remember that.

  • In reply to MikeBrownhadaPosse:

    Bang! Bang!

  • In reply to MikeBrownhadaPosse:

    haha! I did bail. I should have stayed. I had a previous engagement where I eventually lost my coat and then later that night somehow quit claimed a russian stripper onto the title of my house.

    I'll make up for it this year.

  • jag, getting into the suv biz:

  • this dude is either crazy a moron or both

  • Ok, I have a daughter... I have something in both eyes BAD right now. fuck me.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Damn you.

  • In reply to MB30SD:


    Stupid allergies.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    I felt this a pretty touching video until I saw the top comment...

    "This commercial reminds me of my Dad. My Dad used to make me little octopuses out of his used condoms. Come to think of it, my Dad was a sick bastard and was nothing like the guy in the commercial. Never mind."


  • In reply to Scharfinator:

    Present company excluded, internet comment sections are the overflowing gutters in New York City after a July thunderstorm.

  • In reply to Scharfinator:

    Thanks for bringing all we sentimental old bastards back to reality. Some day, it will be your turn.

  • In reply to Scharfinator:


  • In reply to MB30SD:

    I don't get it, MB - she's a replicant? They're both replicants? That's Pris as a little girl?

  • stop it. You cried too.

  • Here you go MB:

    Definitely NSFW.


  • In reply to Shady:

    my gooooooodness. Jesus maingses.

    I see your vid (yes I did), and I raise you:

    (bro....ken. Can you imagine ol' achy breaky? poor fucker)

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    (paces the courtroom)

    I put it to you MB, that on September 12th 2013 you did put forward a 'video clip' of Miley Cyrus ... holding her up to be ... sexually attractive ... yes? Is that a fair statement?

    (faces the jury)


  • In reply to SC Dave:

    I didn't think it was super funny until the end, then it was fantastic.

  • Very enjoyable read and I learned something, thanks!

    Trestman's offense is all about timing and spacing. Bears are not going to master it overnight but once they do, watch out!

  • Okay, so it's not football

  • In reply to SC Dave:


  • I just watched Remember the Titans for the first time. Damn good movie.

  • In reply to Cormonster:

    It's kind of a religious movie, but Facing the Giants was fun I thought.

  • Did anyone post this one yet?

  • In reply to SC Dave:

    that was a solid article Dave, thank you for posting it. Nothing would make me happier than to have a guy like that succeed and for Marc, Phil and Jay to spend the next 8 years winning and growing the organization into a perennial contender with a culture of balanced football success.

    I feel that Jay may have already seen the writing on the wall that this is his opportunity to do great things and make his mark on the game.

  • In reply to Waffle:

    +1 like crazy

    If Jay, Marc, and the rest of the Bears can have some solid successes, it would be righteous vindication against the asshole media pundits.

  • The evolution of endzone dances. Fallon and Timberlake.

    Old-Timey Railroad car....MWAH!!!

  • I thought of this today, let this be my daily bread.

    The problem when you're younger is that you can't do whatever you want. The problem when you're older is that you can.


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