Upon Futher Review From Dan Pompei........
Film not kind to Bears' receivers
Rookie tackle Carimi has rough night too
http://www.chicagotribune.com/media/...8/64318793.jpg Titans' Chris Hope breaks up a pass intended for Devin Hester. (Grant Halverson, Getty Images / August 27, 2011)
Dan Pompei On the NFL 7:00 p.m. CDT, August 28, 2011
After a closer inspection of the Bears' performance in their exhibition game against the Titans on Saturday, we should give a number of players a hand.
And we should give a number of other players — namely the wide receivers — some hands.
The hands they already have weren't working very well.
Here is what stood out in the weekly film review.
Bears quarterbacks had a fairly productive night throwing the ball with 277 yards, but they could have had close to 100 yards more if the wide receivers had done their jobs on catchable passes.
Of course there was Roy Williams' tip on the second play of the game that resulted in an interception. Jay Cutler hit Williams square in the hands and should have had a 20-yard gain.
We have come to expect that from Williams. We should not have to expect it from rookie free agent Dane Sanzenbacher, who dropped what could have been at least a 14-yard gain. The only reason to keep Sanzenbacher on the final 53-man roster is he is supposed to catch everything.
The game against the Titans provided an opportunity for Johnny Knox to step up, and he failed to do so. On his sideline non-catch that was reviewed and upheld, Knox did not establish possession before stepping out. He also allowed Titans cornerback Chris Hawkins to reach around and break up a pass that hit him in the hands. Knox left at least 30 yards on the field.
Devin Hester added to the trend by dropping two catchable passes.
The only receiver who did his job well was Earl Bennett.
Good news: J'Marcus Webb probably played his best game at left tackle. Bad news: Gabe Carimi might have played his worst game at right tackle.
Carimi got off to a rough start and wasn't as technically sound as he had been in previous outings, but he settled down as the game went on.
He appeared to make a mental error on the first pass of the game, and defensive end Dave Ball subsequently drove Cutler into the ground on a pass to Williams. On the second play, Carimi lost his balance and was knocked to the ground by Ball. Carimi later had a false start.
Carimi was solid in the run game. A highlight was the push he and right guard Lance Louis provided on Caleb Hanie's fourth-and-1 quarterback sneak.
Webb also played physically and avoided the penalties that have been commonplace with him. On Cutler's 18-yard pass to Bennett, Webb blew out defensive tackle Marcus Sheppard.
Lots of encouraging things here. Good to see 33-year-old Brian Urlacher get some extended playing time and make the most of it. Urlacher played with the passion of a 21-year-old free agent trying to make the team.
He read well, got to the ballcarrier and tackled physically. One of his best moments came when he took on center Eugene Amato and drove him to the ground, which enabled Matt Toeaina to tackle Jamie Harper for a 2-yard loss.
On the other end of the spectrum, undrafted Dom DeCicco is making a strong push for a roster spot. He and Urlacher each had four tackles.
DeCicco shows excellent instincts. He nailed Harper for a loss of 3, and also stopped Kestahn Moore for only 1 yard with a head-on collision even though DeCicco had an offensive tackle on his shoulder.
Two players stood out here — Amobi Okoye and Israel Idonije.
Okoye has been the Bears' most productive pass rusher this summer, and should be a lock to make the final roster and get significant playing time.
The only other interior rusher who has shown the same kind of burst Okoye has is Henry Melton.
It was evident in Okoye's fourth-quarter sack when Stephen Paea flushed QB Jake Locker to his left, and Okoye shot past Pat McQuistan. It also was evident when he shot his gap and stopped Stafon Johnson for a loss of 3. And it was evident when he got around guard Jake Scott for a QB hit on an incompletion.
As for Idonije, he wasn't as productive, but he was disruptive, penetrating on run plays and pressuring Titans quarterbacks twice.
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