Bears' communication issues now making sense
Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2010
While it’s more than apparent that the Bears did not pick up blitzes against the Seattle Seahawks, the reason is more interesting. Coaches made a major change in protection scheming Saturday before the game and that appears to have been at the root of some problems, particularly with picking up defensive backs.
The change involved who was to pick up blitzing defensive backs, the scourge of the afternoon for the Bears. Assignments were completely altered to make a blitzing DB the responsibility of a back, where previously it was not. As a result, to use one example, a defensive back comes on the blitz, right tackle J’Marcus Webb lets him go because it’s the responsibility of Matt Forte or Chester Taylor, but the back didn’t make the switch from what had been coached to the new way.
Why the change was made is one thing. The positive is that this kind of situation, while a head-scratcher, is fixable. But the “communication” problems that so many players were alluding to now make quite a bit more sense.
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The Bears released Mark Anderson two weeks ago and Anderson was on the active roster every game. He had five solo tackles, a sack and six quarterback pressures, deemed not enough for the Bears to keep him around for the rest of year in which they were paying him $1.75 million.
Will Anderson be the last surprise or significant roster slicing done this year?
Marcus Harrison has been a major disappointment after a promising 2009 and has been active only one of six game days. He had one quarterback pressure and zero other tackles, assists or other in his one appearance, the Monday night game against Green Bay. But Harrison likely gets some game-day chances to prove he warrants being retained.
A bigger question may be Tommie Harris, who has dressed for five games but making under the four-year, $40 million contract he signed in June 2008. Harris already has played to a level that coaches saw fit to bench him for one game. Plus, he has virtually zero chance of being a Bear past the end of this season, and he is due a $2.5 million roster bonus and $500,000 workout bonus next June. Harris has five tackles this season, two solo’s and three assists.
Given that Israel Idonije can play inside as the three-technique and likely net out with production comparable to Harris or Harrison, a decision could be made to continue to keep rookie Corey Wootton active as the end along with Julius Peppers and release a non-producing defensive tackle. The production could not be a whole lot less.