The Carolina Panthers have placed former Bears linebacker Jamar Williams on season-ending injured reserve with a neck injury.
The Panthers replaced him on the 53-man roster Wednesday by signing linebacker Abdul Hodge.
Williams hasn't played since he sustained a spinal concussion in a collision while playing on special teams against New Orleans on Sept. 26. Williams was cleared to practice on Oct. 6, but was sidelined the next day after more tests and hadn't returned to the field.
Coach John Fox says Williams, acquired from the Bears in the offseason, wouldn't have been able to play for six to eight weeks.
BEARS IN BRIEF: Martz sees possible Taylor-Forte combo
On the first day of free agency, the Bears signed running back Chester Taylor to a four-year contract that includes $7 million in guarantees.
The Bears talked about a one-two punch at running back, featuring Taylor and Matt Forte. But the run has largely been an afterthought, and Taylor's opportunities have been limited through seven games.
Coach Lovie Smith said Wednesday that his offense needs to run the ball more, but also needs to get the two players more involved, in general.
''Just getting the ball into our playmakers' hands, and of course, those are two of them,'' Smith said.
Offensive coordinator Mike Martz took it one step further, noting he'd like to get them on the field together. Thus far, the Bears have fielded two running backs (not necessarily Forte and Taylor) on a play only nine times, according to ESPN Chicago.
''We've got to get them in the game more together,'' Martz said. ''That's a neat opportunity for us. We've explored a little bit of that. Those are all things that we look at over the bye week.''
Taylor isn't going to get too excited just yet.
''All we can do is wait and see and take their word for it,'' Taylor said. ''We've got to just wait until the game time to see if that's going to really happen.''
Taylor's reservations are valid; the Bears' run-pass balance has been slanted heavily toward the pass (58 to 42 percent for the run) this season. The numbers are even worse if you subtract quarterback Jay Cutler's 16 run attempts.
''We want our best players on the field,'' Taylor said. ''And I believe we could get the defense off guard with that.''
Cutler said he was all for giving the ball more to his two backs.
''We've got to get those guys the ball,'' he said. ''They're playmakers out there, and good things happen when we get the ball to Chester and Matt in open space. So it's something we have to do.''
Rest for Cutler
Cutler got a partial day off during Wednesday's wind-blown practice at Halas Hall.
Martz said the decision wasn't injury-related but instead a chance to rest the quarterback.
''Always during the bye week, even though he feels great, like a pitcher, any rest you can give them will pay dividends down the stretch,'' Martz said. ''Even though he feels good, his body needs the rest. He'll throw a little bit tomorrow. It also gives us a chance to look at Caleb [Hanie] and Todd [Collins] and get them going again.''
Smith said the bye will give injured players such as linebackers Lance Briggs (ankle) and Brian Urlacher (groin) time to heal.
''When we play next week we feel like we'll have most of our guys ready to go, if not all,'' Smith said.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The weekly media sessions of Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz are becoming as confusing as the teams' struggling offense.
On a day when Martz said quarterback Jay Cutler had some "outstanding plays" in the Bears' 17-14 loss to Washington -- Cutler finished the game with one touchdown pass, four interceptions and a 54.3 quarterback rating -- the offensive coordinator claimed the offense just has "to clean up some things" before facing the Buffalo Bills on Nov. 7 in Toronto.
"We just have to clean some things up, obviously," Martz said. "I think this is a critical point because of the play of the offensive line was substantially better from even the week before, and that’s going to be huge. What [offensive line coach] Mike [Tice] has done with that group is pretty remarkable when you look at all the different changes, the job he’s done with J’Marcus Webb in particular. We know he’s a darn good pass blocker, but he put his shoulder pads in the running game and did a good job."
However, the Bears only attempted to run the ball 15 times against Washington, while the offensive line surrendered four sacks, the third consecutive game Cutler has been sacked four or more times.
"Anything about any offense is about the discipline of what you do," Martz said. "Offensively, if there’s a breakdown, if there’s just one guy, it’s going to show up somewhere. We’re getting way better at that. The turnovers, obviously, everybody’s gut is wrenching over this. The turnovers, obviously, we’re upset about that.
"But there were some things in that game -- -both those tackles played exceptionally well, Olin [Kreutz] played exceptionally well, Earl Bennett played exceptionally well. There were some strong performances out of guys that we need to have play well, and they did. There are some encouraging things to come out of there that we can build on as well."
On the topic of turnovers, Martz absolved receivers Johnny Knox and Devin Hester of all blame on two of Cutler's interceptions, but at the same time, continued to heap praise on his quarterback.
"Initially, before the injuries [to the offensive line] came in, [Cutler] had clean feet in the pocket and you could see him getting the ball out in good time," Martz said. "Then things got a little [hectic], and he had to move around more a little more than we would want, but that’s what I like about this last game. He had a lot of clean pockets in there. There were some really good things that happened with him in there. He had some outstanding plays.
"If you know Jay, then you’d know not to ask that question [if Cutler has lost confidence]. He’s a strong man. He’s very, very, very strong emotionally and likes what we do, and he’s confident."
Cutler has thrown six interceptions compared to two touchdown passes in his last four games.
"Always in the bye week, even though he feels great, it's like a pitcher or anything else, any rest that you can give them will pay dividends down the stretch," Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz said. "He feels good, [but] his body needs the rest. Now, we'll throw him a little tomorrow, but it gives us a chance to look at Caleb [Hanie] and Todd [Collins] and get them going again in what we do against a defense, seven-on-seven and team. It was a good day for that."
Garza, however, continued to do rehab work on the side with a member of the team's training staff. The veteran offensive lineman is expected to be ready to play against the Buffalo Bills on Nov. 7.
"I feel like I'm getting better every day," Garza said. "I'm fortunate we have the bye week to buy some extra time, and hopefully I'll be back on the field. I just want to get back healthy and then we'll cross that bridge [which guard spot will he play] when we get there."
Meanwhile, cornerback Zack Bowman returned to practice after being sidelined last week with a sprained right foot.
Ya know its bye week, when this is the lead score story..lol
Group Of Chicago Bears Denied Entry To Nightclub
CHICAGO (WBBM) - The owners of a Chicago nightclub say they’ve terminated their relationship with an outside vendor who denied access to a number of Chicago Bears players Monday night.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports the owners of the Angels and Kings club in the 700 block of North Clark Street say they’ll apologize to all involved.
They say they take the incident very seriously and will investigate what happened.
According to the Sun-Times, the group included Brian Urlacher, Hunter Hillenmeyer, Israel Idonije, Corey Wootton, Garrett Wolfe, Pisa Tinoisamoa, Danieal Manning, Khalil Bell, Henry Melton, Barry Turner, J’Marcus Webb, Craig Steltz, Anthony Adams, Frank Omiyale, Earl Bennett, D.J. Moore, Devin Aromashodu, Rashied Davis, Nick Roach, Lance Briggs, Corey Graham, Desmond Clark, Chris Harris, Tim Jennings, Brandon Manumaleuna and other teammates.
The Sun-Times reports no reason was given for not allowing the group to go inside.
The paper quotes a spokeswoman for Angels and Kings: “Every Monday night, operations of the bar are turned over to an outside vendor who hosts special events. We understand that this Monday night, members of the Chicago Bears were not admitted to the venue. We have terminated our relationship with the outside vendor. We take these allegations very seriously, will continue to investigate the facts and will apologize to those individuals who were involved.”
- saying he doesn't really beleive martz will committ to run more, despite what he is saying, doesn't bother asking anymore, because doesn't beleive what he's saying. Thinks Martz maybe changes for one game, but not longer team, got his job because this is how he is, can't change his stripes
- Schedule gets more challenging but saying very possble to get to 9-7 or 10-6 ,but has have serious doubts if will get there because doesn't think martz will change and let the "D" and ST win the games.
- think its the right move to put garza at RG, because gets vet next to webb, likes the development of webb, and having a vet next to him, will help the delveopment and cut down even more on the mistakes.
good breakdown for the people liking football talk and scheming:
the playbook: Jennings beats the Vikings
Breaking down the Double Post on the chalkboard and video. Matt Bowen
Today: The “Dino” Double Post Click here to read the entire Inside the Playbook series
Let’s go back to the Packers 28-24 win on Sunday night at Lambeau over Brett Favre and the Vikings. Down 14-10 in the 3rd quarter, Green Bay had a 2nd and 5 situation at the Minnesota fifteen-yard line. Bring Posse personnel (3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB) onto the field against Vikings’ base nickel package and align in a 2x2 formation. Plenty of route schemes to work with that can beat Cover 2 and Cover 1—the two most played defenses (outside of pressure) inside the 20-yard line.
The Packers run the “Dino” double post. Two post routes run from the same side of the formation with No.1 (the open side “X” receiver) widening the cornerback to create separation down the field. The Vikings are playing “Cover 1 Robber.” Think of your base Cover 1 scheme with a single high safety in the middle of the field. Outside leverage technique on the receivers and the Mike Backer (the “robber”) dropping to theshallow hole to cut off any inside breaking routes. Let’s check it out on the chalkboard…
As we can see from the chalkboard, Green Bay is running the double posts to the open side of the formation with a basic Smash-7 (or Smash-Flag) combo on the backside. The RB, John Kuhn, will check release to the closed side and run the swing route to give QB Aaron Rodgers a check down option. However, once Rodgers reads that Minnesota is playing Cover 1 by identifying the drop of the FS to the deep middle of the field, he knows that he is going to read to the open side of the formation.
This is where the route comes to play. Once we look at the video replay, you will see that Jennings is able to create that extra separation vs. CB Asher Allen—opening up a nice throwing lane for Rodgers. And all of the pressure now falls on the FS—who is stuck playing two routes in the middle of the field. Let’s check out the TV tape and break down some coaching points…
Coaching points 1. The route: Run two routes towards the middle of the field. The first, from Driver, requires the slot receiver to release with a hard inside stem. Get vertical and break to the post—in front of the free safety. Driver wants to force that FS to either hesitate in the middle of the field or take a false step. Basically, occupy the free safety. The theory behind the underneath post is to allow Jennings to now essentially work one-on-one vs. the CB.
2. Jennings vs. Allen: The matchup the Packers’ want. Just as we said above, the FS has to honor Driver’s route. Asher Allen, the Vikings’ CB, is playing off-man technique, but as we can see from the video replay, gets too high and takes the bait when Jennings shows him he is going to the 7-cut. Overplays to the outside and opens his hips—and that gets you beat every time when we discuss man-to-man techniques. Was it a great move? Without a doubt. But, as we broke down yesterday, it still comes back to technique. “Open the gate” and you are beat as a DB. With the FS still playing the middle of the field, Jennings can keep Allen on his back shoulder and finish the route.
3. The Free Safety: In a tough spot vs. the “Dino” route—especially with limited space to work with in the red zone. As we have talked about before, playing in the secondary inside of the red zone allows for little or no margin of error. As a FS, you have to split the two post routes. Easier to do in the open field when you can open your hips and either drive downhill on the shallow post or “head-whip” and run with the deep post route. Sitting in the end zone, however, you almost have to play with flat foot read technique (no backpedal) and break on the throw. On this play, he is late and can't help out Allen.
4. How you defend the “Dino” route: Any form of Cover 1, Cover 3, or any defense with a single high safety, is going to stretch the open side CB and the FS. No way around that. I don’t like to see man-coverage in the red zone unless the ball is inside of the 10-yard line. Too much field to cover in my mind. I am a big fan of Cover 2 in this situation. The underneath post (Driver) is carried by the Mike Backer running the inside vertical seam, while the deep post (Jennings) is run to the FS playing the deep half.