Sat practice notes and injuries
Webb studying up on Redskins
Rookie knows Bears offensive line has to get up to speed, and quickly
As instructed, Bears rookie right tackle J'Marcus Webb reviewed last week's game film Wednesday night to determine exactly where he needed to improve.
"I saw a lot of technique issues that I had,'' Webb said. "Ultimately, you have to get better at those things. As a line we need to get better at those things.''
Asked specifically what technique issues he uncovered, Webb responded, "Several things.''
The Bears will need him to be a quick study, with the Redskins sure to bring pressure. Rush specialist Brian Orakpo leads the charge with five of the Redskins' 13 sacks, including one in each of the last three games. And expect the Redskins to blitz, considering the success the Seahawks had bringing their defensive backs at Jay Cutler.
Injury update: Lance Briggs officially is listed as questionable as his sprained left ankle continues to improve. Briggs expects to play, although coach Lovie Smith downplayed the linebacker's status.
Lance made a lot of progress (Friday), but he's not quite there yet,'' Smith said. "We have a lot of time before the game.''
Safety Major Wright (hamstring) also is questionable but is unlikely to play, while guard Roberto Garza (knee surgery) and cornerback Zack Bowman (sprained foot) are doubtful.
For the Redskins, tight end Chris Cooley (concussion) was full go at practice Friday, while fullback Mike Sellers (heel) was limited. Sellers is expected to play Sunday.
Coming around: Receivers coach Darryl Drake was impressed with Devin Aromashodu's attitude despite his being in the doghouse. Aromashodu's playing time was reduced after he dropped a few passes and missed numerous downfield blocks in the opener against the Lions. Now he appears to be back in the rotation.
"Sure, I'm happy with the way he has kept his mind in it, no question,'' Drake said. "I was really proud of the way he played at Carolina, was proud of his effort. That's what it's all about. He'll be fine.''
Aromashodu was on the Redskins' practice squad in 2008 before being signed to the Bears' active roster.
Briggs practices, still questionable for Skins
October 22, 2010 1:25 PM | 1 Comment | UPDATED STORY
By Vaughn McClure
Bears linebackers Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher practiced for the second consecutive day Friday in preparation for Sunday's game against the Redskins.
Briggs vowed to play despite nursing a sprained left ankle, and was listed as questionable on the injury report.
"Lance made a lot of progress today, but he's not quite there yet," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "We have a lot of time before the game."
Urlacher is battling through a groin-muscle strain and also had his sprained right thumb taped.
Cornerback Zack Bowman remained sidelined with a sprain right foot and likely won't play until the Buffalo game in Toronto (he was listed as doubtful for Sunday).
Ex-Rams WR Proehl: Ego can be Martz's undoing
Former Bears receiver Ricky Proehl played five years under Mike Martz in St. Louis, including the Rams' 1999 Super Bowl championship season. Although he benefited from Martz's "Greatest Show on Turf" offense, Proehl believes that ego and stubbornness sometimes get the best of the Bears' offensive coordinator.
"I think Mike, sometimes due to personnel, he's got to be able to adapt to what defenses are doing," Proehl told "The Danny Mac Show" on WSCR-AM 670.
Proehl pointed to something Martz told the Rams during their 20-17 upset loss to New England in Super Bowl XXXVI.
"New England did a great job game-planning our offense and they showed blitz and dropped into zone," Proehl said. "They basically rushed three and dropped eight. His comment was, "We're going to throw the football anyway," and that kind of upset us as players.
"As a receiver I want to catch balls, but I want to win and we have the best running back in the league (Marshall Faulk) behind us, let's run the football. If they're going to bluff blitzing and drop back into zone with eight guys in coverage, we need to run the football and I think that ... his ego can sometimes get in the way of success."
Intensity a must for defense
Maybe it was because Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs was injured, or maybe Bears defenders just weren't as up for last week's game as they needed to be.
Whatever the reason, for the Bears' defense to work, there has to be a high level of intensity, energy and speed. It wasn't there against the Seattle Seahawks. The Bears must regain it to beat the Washington Redskins on Sunday at Soldier Field.
''Playing in this defense, on this team, it's very important to be high-energy, physical, violent,'' Briggs said. ''It's all part of our makeup.''
We've seen it frequently in recent years. When defenders are a step slow, when they miss tackles, the cover-2 defense loses its teeth. The defense has often been rundown late in games and late in the season, which is why it's critical that the offense solves its third-down problems and sustains drives that will keep the defense off the field.
''We missed some tackles in the backfield,'' linebacker Brian Urlacher said. ''We missed some tackles down the field, too. We've just got to be better. We've got to wrap up. We're getting ourselves in position to make plays. We're just not making them. We're good enough to make those plays. We've got to do it.''
Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli admitted he noticed the lack of intensity last week and has made it a point of emphasis while preparing for Donovan McNabb and the Redskins.
''We talked about that and how we play,'' he said. ''We've got one style, and it's full speed and it's got to be that way. That's who we are, and that's what we believe in and that's what our system demands.''
Turner may get a chance
Although he went undrafted out of Nebraska, Barry Turner didn't allow frustration to get the best of him. He chose the Bears over other teams because they expressed the most interest, and he remained patient when they initially signed him to the practice squad.
But on Tuesday, the Bears promoted him to the active roster after releasing veteran Charles Grant, and Turner might make his NFL debut Sunday.
''When you talk about defensive ends, first off, you say can a guy rush the passer,'' Bears coach Lovie Smith said. ''That's what we've seen from him. He's a live body, athletic, speed off the corner. We don't have a lot of guys like that as far as what he brings to the table.''
Regarded for his speed, Turner said Marinelli ''recreated'' him by eliminating his unnecessary steps and improving his leverage.
''I'm collecting tools for my toolbox, and now I've got a nice, hefty toolbox,'' he said.
Cornerback Zack Bowman (foot) and guard Roberto Garza (knee) are doubtful for the game while Briggs (ankle) and safety Major Wright (hamstring) are questionable. Safety Chris Harris (knee), safety Danieal Manning (back) and Urlacher (groin) are probable.
For the Redskins, tight end Chris Cooley (concussion), fullback Mike Sellers (heel) and safety LaRon Landry (Achilles) were limited in practice Friday and are questionable.
• New and gently worn coats will be collected before the game during the Bears 22nd annual coat drive benefiting Chicago area public schools and the Salvation Army. Coats also can be dropped off at Jewel-Osco stores through Dec. 4.
Urlacher, Briggs stay old school
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- They're not interested in helmet manufacturers which advertise safer headgear.
Just give Chicago Bears linebackers Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs the old-school Riddell equipment distributed by most of the league's 32 teams.
"I don't understand why there are so many concussions with all the technology now on these new helmets, right?" Urlacher asked. "They're supposed to help us not get concussions, and now we're getting more. I think I saw a stat there's 35 concussions so far this year, and last year there were 20-something at this time. I don't think the new helmets are helping very much."
The truth is neither Urlacher nor Briggs have ever tried any of the newer equipment. They're the only two players on the Bears who use the old-school Riddell helmets.
"I've been using the same style of helmet for a long time," Briggs said. "A lot of people bought into the system of all these new helmets everybody is wearing. You're seeing a lot of college and high school kids wearing them, but I'm not seeing any [fewer] concussions."
With helmet-to-helmet hits and concussions taking the forefront in most recent headlines, it's unclear whether players actually know all of the helmet options available to them.
Urlacher and Briggs know of the new options, but find a certain comfort level in playing with the same model of equipment they received as rookies.
"I like my helmet, it fits me," Urlacher said. "It's kind of loose on my head. I don't like a snug-fit helmet. So I don't know. I've used it since my rookie year, and it fits my head. So I like it. I think I've gotten concussed one time. So it works for me."
Tinoisamoa a believer in Skins' Haslett
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Reports of confrontations between Washington Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett and veteran cornerback DeAngelo Hall comes as no surprise to Bears linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa, who played three years for Haslett in St. Louis from 2006-08.
"It's because he was an ex-player, he feels like he can approach you like that," Tinoisamoa said. "For some people it works, and for some other guys, it's like, don't come at me like that. If you don't know Jim Haslett, and you haven't been around him long enough, you can see him as an [expletive], and be like, man, who does this guy think he is? And then you realize he just wants the best out of you. He probably doesn't know any other way to get it out of you, because he grew up in the game when it was old school and hardcore. Coaches asked a lot [back then], so that's all he knew and so that's all he taught.
"He felt like everyone should be as good as he was when he was playing. It was a different game when he was playing, but he swore he could play at this level today."
In their final year together in St. Louis -- Haslett was the Rams' defensive coordinator in 2006-07 and interim head coach in 2008 -- Tinoisamoa led the team with 135 tackles and posted a career-high three sacks.
"He was aggressive and very fiery," Tinoisamoa said. "He was an awesome coach to play for because he was former player, so he knows what you deal with. He requires your everything, every single play. He wants you to get downhill and attack, everything was always attack.
"We used to bring a lot of safeties down [in the box], so he wanted the cornerbacks and everyone to cover, but he would also want us to get home so they weren't covering all over the field the entire game."
The Redskins head to Chicago ranked last in total defense and 31st in passing defense. With the arrival of new head coach Mike Shanahan, the Redskins made a highly publicized switch in the offseason to a 3-4 defense, a move that so far, has yielded few results.
But according to Tinoisamoa, despite the early season numbers, Haslett's philosophies are well-suited to thrive in a 3-4 scheme.
"Absolutely, because his background was with the Pittsburgh Steelers (1997-99), so some of the coverages and stuff he brought over to St. Louis, and it worked," he said. "It was slightly different because our defense was a 4-3 and used one fewer linebacker, so it was a little different, but man, he was a great coach and knows how to teach."
Injury report: Sellers, Landry among questionables but expected to play
The Redskins listed eight players as questionable for Sunday's game, all of whom are likely to play Sunday at Chicago. The team's questionables for the Bears game: Trent Williams (knee/toe), DeAngelo Hall (back), Mike Sellers (heel), LaRon Landry (Achilles), Chad Simpson (hamstring), Carlos Rogers (shoulder), Rocky McIntosh (head) and Chris Cooley (head).
All eight practiced fully on Friday except for Simpson, Landry and Sellers, who were limited, according to the injury report. Sellers guaranteed he'd play on Sunday and Coach Mike Shanahan said Landry is fine. The coach did not mention Simpson during his media availability on Friday afternoon.
Redskins' mission: Get to Bears' Cutler
By Barry Svrluga
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, October 23, 2010; 12:12 AM
In 2006, Mike Shanahan, then the coach of the Denver Broncos, thought enough of a young quarterback from Vanderbilt named Jay Cutler that he didn't schedule a pre-draft workout with the kid, lest other teams sniff out his interest and trade up to beat out the Broncos. Shanahan made Cutler the 11th pick of that draft, and by the end of his rookie season, Cutler was starting.
But as Cutler said this week, "The NFL is a funny league," and so it is that Cutler finds himself quarterbacking the Chicago Bears and Shanahan finds himself coaching the Washington Redskins, two teams that will play each other Sunday at Soldier Field in Chicago. It was not by accident that, when Shanahan was asked this week to look back on his time with Cutler in Denver, he immediately pulled out one stat from 2008, their final year together, when Cutler threw for 4,526 yards.
"I think he had 11 sacks in 616 throws," Shanahan said.
That was not only an accurate recollection, but a pointed one. This season, Cutler has been sacked more than any other quarterback in the NFL: 23 times, despite his missing all of one game and half of another after suffering a concussion. That fact points to perhaps the most significant aspect of Sunday's game: Can the Redskins' pass rush, which has struggled to consistently bring down quarterbacks, right itself against an offense that can't protect anyone?
"We'll let sacks take care of themselves," said Redskins outside linebacker Brian Orakpo, who has five of the Redskins' 13 sacks this season. " . . . We're going to be in a situation [where we need to] just execute the game plan and be relentless out there, and not get confused and worried about all the sacks and all the big numbers."
Against Chicago, though, there are big numbers to be had. Not only have the Bears allowed more sacks, 27, than any team in the league, but it's not even close. That average of 4.5 per game is far worse than the closest competitor, Arizona, which gives up 3.8 per game.
"Their line has been struggling a little bit because they've been changing guys in and out," Washington defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said.
In six games, the Bears have used four starting lineups along the offensive line. Their starting right tackle is a rookie seventh-round pick out of West Texas A&M, J'Marcus Webb. Their starting right guard is Edwin Williams, the University of Maryland product who spent two seasons on the Redskins' practice squad before injuries forced him to start two games last season. Their starting left guard, former first-round pick Chris Williams, began the season as the starting left tackle, then missed three games because of a hamstring injury. Their starting left tackle, Frank Omiyale, began the year at right tackle before replacing Williams on the left side.
"We have two young guys on the right side and a whole overhaul on the left side," Cutler said. "Those guys are trying to gel together and mesh, and all the while we're still playing games. . . . It's kind of a work in progress."
Given the numbers, it's a wonder the work in progress has enabled the Bears to win four of their first six games and sit atop the NFC North. In a loss to the New York Giants on Oct. 3, Cutler was sacked nine times in the first half and was knocked out with the concussion. Last week, he returned against Seattle and was sacked six more times. The consensus is that this is more than just the line's problem. There are times, some Redskins said, when Cutler fails to get rid of the ball in a timely fashion. That can be deadly in the new system of offensive coordinator Mike Martz, the former St. Louis coach who loves to throw the ball downfield.
"It's a combination of both, him holding on too long, [and] the line's not picking up a lot of these stunts, a lot of these blitzes," Redskins cornerback Carlos Rogers said. "So it's a combination of both. Until they get that down, I think sometimes he got so many routes where they're stretching the field so vertical, he's going to have to hold onto the ball longer
Run, Martz, run. After all of the heat he took for abandoning the run game last weekend against the Seattle Seahawks, you wonder how much Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz will be tempted to use it Sunday against the Washington Redskins. The Redskins have the NFL's second-worst pass defense. They're allowing an average of 298 yards per game, and opponents are averaging an NFL-high 43.8 attempts per game against them. If they keep up this pace, the Redskins will break the NFL record for most passing yards allowed in a season. Will Martz try to capitalize on that apparent vulnerability? Or will he recognize his offensive line's inexperience, play it safer and limit the Redskins' opportunities to rush the passer? Ah, temptation....
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BTW here are the top Drops of receivers for 2010( beas not there):
Trouble Holding On
Team Targets Rec. Drops
Lions 248 158 19
Rams 227 133 16
Patriots 164 112 16
Eagles 198 130 15
Seahawks 163 103 14
Colts 252 171 12
Raiders 185 104 12
Packers 189 129 12
Chargers 208 138 11
Source: ESPN Stats & Information