Chi v Oak post game talk

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by riczaj01, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/bears/post/_/id/4684944/rapid-reaction-bears-34-raiders-26

    Rapid Reaction: Bears 34, Raiders 26
    August, 24, 2013
    12:05 AM CT
    By Michael C. Wright | ESPNChicago.com

    OAKLAND, Calif. -- Maybe Jay Cutler, at least for the time being, put an end to the notion that he’s overly reliant on receiver Brandon Marshall.

    Cutler completed 12 of 21 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown in the Chicago Bears' 34-26 win over the Oakland Raiders on Friday night, with none of those falling into the hands of Marshall, who dropped two balls and had another one knocked away by D.J. Hayden. In a little more than two quarters of action, Cutler produced a passer rating of 93.8, which would have been higher had his targets not dropped a total of five passes over the first two quarters.

    But enough of all that. Let’s take a deeper look:

    [​IMG][​IMG]What it means: Even though the Week 3 game goes down as the most important game of the preseason, the Bears can’t put too much stock in their strong performance against what was clearly an overmatched Raiders team. The Bears operated efficiently in the passing game (3-of-6 on third down), and the rushing attack tore chunks (110 yards in the first half) out of Oakland. The offensive line protected Cutler well, allowing no sacks. Most importantly, the Bears finished the game without any starters going down to injury.

    The Bears can walk away encouraged because of the way they executed what up to that point was the most extensive game plan of the exhibition season. Defensively, the Bears shut down the Raiders, holding them to 0-of-6 on third down in the first half, with Isaiah Frey and Tim Jennings picking off passes.

    So Chicago’s starters ended the exhibition season on a high note, considering they won’t see any action in the preseason finale at Soldier Field against Cleveland.

    Matt Forte to slash through for big yardage. Consider this: Over Forte’s past four quarters of action, he’s averaged 10.7 yards per attempt. He broke off runs of 17 and 35 yards against the Raiders.

    Forte reeled off a 58-yard run against San Diego last week to finish with 74 yards on eight attempts.

    As a receiving threat out of the backfield, Forte caught two passes for 33 yards against the Raiders, including a 32-yard touchdown in the first quarter.

    Rookies poised to start on the right side of the OL? It certainly looks that way. The Bears gave rookies Kyle Long and Jordan Mills their first starts of the preseason last week against San Diego, and then gave them another shot with the first unit Friday in Oakland. The rookies produced a strong showing in their debuts and followed up with another productive outing.

    The rookies never surrendered a sack on Cutler. The defense applied pressure on Cutler only once, but the rookies weren’t responsible. On one occasion, the rush came from the left side. Cutler bobbled a snap on another play and was forced to run up the middle to salvage the play.

    With Long, a first-rounder, and Mills, a fifth-round pick, manning the right side, the Bears rolled up 110 yards rushing (7.3-yard average) in the first half. The staff kept Long and Mills in the game for a couple more series in the second half to give them some extra work.

    Considering this outing likely earned Long and Mills starting jobs, it’s unlikely they’ll receive much if any action next week against the Cleveland Browns as the club closes the preseason.

    If Mills has truly won the starting job at right tackle, it’s worth pondering what might happen with veteran J'Marcus Webb, who opened training camp as the starter in that spot. Webb’s roster spot could be in jeopardy, considering the club has other backup options at right tackle in Jonathan Scott and Eben Britton. Scott’s recent knee issues, however, might make the team think twice about parting with Webb.

    Short-field scores: Offenses should certainly take advantage of short-field situations and put points on the board when those situations arise, but that doesn’t always happen. With the Bears lately, they’ve definitely taken advantage.

    Against the Chargers last week, Chicago’s first-team offense took possession three times on the plus side of the field and turned that into a total of 13 points. In the win Friday, the Jennings interception of Matt Flynn set up the Bears at the Oakland 32. On the very next play, Cutler fired a short pass to Forte, who did the rest of the work en route to the TD.

    Diversity on O: We certainly expected Bears coach Marc Trestman to flash more of the new system, considering the Bears would be using an actual game plan to attack the Raiders. The little glimpse the Bears provided indicated this team will be diverse in terms of formations.

    In the first quarter alone, the Bears lined up in a three-tight end formation and another look in which fullback Tony Fiammetta motioned from the slot into the backfield to lead block for Forte. The club also showed an empty set (no running backs) with Forte lined up in the slot.

    Going into the game, Trestman wanted to be able to attack the Raiders without showing too much of what the Bears will do on offense in the regular season. So keep that in mind. What we saw was only a small peek.

    What’s next: The Bears will take the weekend off before cutting the roster to the NFL-mandated 75-player limit Tuesday. The starters won’t see any time in the final preseason game against Cleveland. But several on-the-bubble players will be given their most extensive action of the preseason in their final bids to secure roster spots.
  2. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    Bears hope to build on strong showing
    August, 24, 2013
    1:44 AM CT
    By Michael C. Wright | ESPNChicago.com
    OAKLAND, Calif. -- Instead of leaning on the basic plays utilized over the first two preseason games, the Chicago Bears dug deeper into the playbook Friday night to execute “more of our packages,” tight end Martellus Bennett said.

    That resulted in Chicago’s first-team offense putting up 27 points on the Oakland Raiders over two quarters, while scoring on five of six first-half drives. The showing provided “signals of the kind of team we can be,” Bears coach Marc Trestman said after the 34-26 win, “but we’re certainly not going to get ahead of ourselves, either.”

    Jay Cutler spoke a similar message.

    “It is the preseason,” he cautioned. “You can’t get caught up in that. We start out the season 0-0 like everybody else, and we’ve got to get back to work. I wouldn’t get too high on this game. Obviously, we made some mistakes. We need to go back and look at them. But it’s a good barometer of where we’re at and where we can go.”

    In hitting on 12 of 21 passes for 142 yards and a 32-yard touchdown to Matt Forte on the way to generating a passer rating of 93.8, Cutler helped the Bears convert three of six third downs. Cutler converted the first third down on a slant to Alshon Jeffery that he turned into a 22-yard gain on a nifty spin toward the sideline. Cutler hit Jeffery again two drives later to convert a third down for a 12-yard gain. The quarterback scrambled up the middle for a 13-yard gain to convert third down No. 3 for the team.

    The week before, Cutler had drawn criticism for throwing each of his five passes to Brandon Marshall, leading many to ponder whether he’d become too reliant on the receiver. But in two quarters against the Raiders, Cutler targeted seven different receivers and completed passes to five of them.

    “We’re gonna throw it to the open guy,” Cutler said, “[whether] it’s Alshon, B [Marshall], if it’s Marty [Bennett] -- whoever it is. That’s how we’re gonna operate.”

    The offensive line -- featuring rookies Kyle Long and Jordan Mills on the right side -- bolstered Cutler’s performance by holding its own in pass protection, in addition to paving the way for Matt Forte to run roughshod over the Raiders for 76 yards on six attempts.

    “It seemed that Jay kind of finished the first half clean in terms of not getting sacked, not taking any hits,” Trestman said. “It was encouraging. There were a lot of things there, offensively.”

    They weren’t all positive, either.

    Trestman pointed to the Bears stopping “ourselves in many cases.” During the opening drive, Marshall dropped a third-down pass that forced the team to settle for a Robbie Gould field goal. The Bears settled for three more points when Cutler received a bad shotgun snap on third down that led to just a 2-yard gain.

    Targeted four times in the first half, Marshall dropped two passes, while tight end Fendi Onobun dropped what appeared to be a sure touchdown on a throw that was catchable but fell a little short. Bennett also dropped two passes.

    “We had at least three drops in the first half, maybe six depending on how you looked at them,” Trestman said.

    Added Bennett: “I thought it was a good day for the offense, but we still have a lot of work to do.”
  3. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    Five Things We Learned: Bears-Raiders
    August, 24, 2013
    12:55 AM CT
    By Jeff Dickerson | ESPNChicago.com
    OAKLAND, Calif. -- Here are five things we learned in the first half of the Chicago Bears’ 34-26 win over the Oakland Raiders, when the starters carried the team to a 27-3 halftime lead:

    1. Matt Forte is focal point of offense: Even before Forte’s brilliant performance (six rushes, 76 yards; two catches, 33 yards and one touchdown) versus the Raiders, the tailback had been nothing short of spectacular the entire preseason. Forte seemed to gain lower-body strength in the offseason without sacrificing an ounce of his quickness and agility. Now, it needs to be pointed out that Oakland is terrible (more on that later), but Forte glided with the football in the open field. And he also showed he can change direction on a dime and cut back when necessary. With Michael Bush expected to be used more under Marc Trestman, a fresh Forte will be a nightmare to opposing defenses throughout the season, if healthy. The Bears have made several moves to upgrade the offense the past two seasons, which is great, but the team cannot overlook one of the most tenured guys on the unit. This needs to be Forte’s offense.

    Jay Cutler brought his A-game:
    Cutler had complete command of the offense in the first half, playing with confidence and poise. The quarterback finished the night 12-of-21 for 142 yards and one touchdown despite almost half a dozen drops by open receivers. Cutler moved the ball around to all of the skill-position players, targeting six different guys in the first quarter alone. In an interesting twist, Brandon Marshall didn’t catch a single pass in the first half after being Cutler’s sole target the week before. But Cutler still posted a first-half QB rating of 93.8. Again, it’s just the preseason, but that was easily the most dialed in Cutler had looked all summer.

    3. Alshon Jeffery deserves to be No. 2 receiver: Jeffery had technically been the No. 2 wideout on the roster for quite some time, but the former second-round pick was still in search of a breakout performance after he had to miss six games his rookie season due to a variety of injuries. Jeffery did everything in the first half against the Raiders, leading the team with seven receptions for 77 yards and throwing the key block on the Forte touchdown. Jeffery showed his athleticism when he hauled in a short pass on the Bears' opening drive, stopped dead in his tracks, turned and beat Oakland’s defense down the field for 22 yards. If Jeffery can avoid the nagging injuries, he can be a special player. He wasn’t one of the best collegiate wide receivers his sophomore season at South Carolina by accident.

    4. Did Marquess Wilson already make the team?: The first half of the third preseason game is almost always reserved for the players already on the final 53-man roster. Wilson entered the game in the second quarter and created nice separation to haul in a 14-yard pass from Cutler. The Bears liked the 20-year-old Wilson from day one -- that was kind of obvious given his upside. But the question was whether or not they thought enough of him to keep him on the active roster and not subject him to waivers to try and re-sign him to the practice squad. I guess we know the answer. The Bears are clearly not trying to hide Wilson by putting him in the game with the starters, meaning the seventh-round pick is likely going to be one of the wide receivers to make the cut. Undrafted rookie defensive tackle Zach Minter also entered the game prior to halftime, a good sign for him as he pushes to earn a backup spot on the interior of the Bears’ defensive line.

    5. Good luck, Oakland: No. 2 quarterback Terrelle Pryor gave Raider Nation a reason to cheer in the third quarter when he rumbled 25 yards for a touchdown against the Bears’ second-string defense, but, overall, the Raiders looked like a team with a lot of holes. Oakland middle linebacker Nick Roach, who led the team with five tackles in the first half, had to take the money the Raiders offered him in the offseason. But Roach doesn’t have much help around him on defense. And the Raiders offense, yikes. Quarterback Matt Flynn was so bad with a 17.4 passer rating he got booed off the field after tossing his second interception of the night. But to defend Flynn a little, the Raiders’ offensive line is a disaster. This is what happens after years of bad free-agent signings, bad drafts and salary cap mismanagement. Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie has a lot of work to do. And “a lot” might be the understatement of the night.
  4. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    Forte thriving for Bears in early going
    August, 24, 2013
    2:00 AM CT
    By Michael C. Wright | ESPNChicago.com OAKLAND, Calif. --

    With every attempt, Matt Forte’s confidence grows in his club’s zone-blocking schemes, which allow the running back to showcase some of his best attributes.

    Over his past four quarters, Forte has averaged 10.7 yards per attempt, and he finished with 76 yards on six attempts Friday in the Chicago Bears' 34-26 win over the Oakland Raiders.

    “What makes the zone blocking good is those linemen get push off the ball,” Forte said. “When they can do that, I can be patient and just sit back and read the blocking. So [while] there’s a place where the play is designed to go, you can just use your vision. If I want to, I can cut it all the way back. Or I can just pick a hole. That’s what makes it so nice.”

    Jay Cutler popped up and hit Forte on a short pass to the right side, and the running back romped 32 yards for a touchdown.

    “What’s most impressive is the blocks he got on the perimeter on that touchdown by [receiver] Alshon [Jeffery] and [tight end] Martellus [Bennett],” Bears coach Marc Trestman said. “Matt’s an all-purpose player. He’s a three-down player. He can run. He’s a very good pass receiver, and it just helps spread the field even more with the players that we have.”

    Cutler called Forte “scary out there” on the field.

    “I think he’s getting more and more comfortable with the running lanes, the blocking schemes we’re putting him in,” Cutler said.

    Forte has rushed for 150 yards on 14 attempts over the club’s past two exhibition outings.

    “We’ve got to expect to come out and play like that every game, and not just because we had a couple big plays and a couple nice runs we get all out of control like, ‘We’ve arrived as an offense,’” Forte said. “We’ve still got a lot of work to do. We’re looking forward to getting better every week
  5. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    Webb struggles; door open for OT Scott
    August, 24, 2013
    1:50 AM CT
    By Jeff Dickerson | ESPNChicago.com
    OAKLAND, Calif. -- The door is wide open for veteran Jonathan Scott to be the Chicago Bears' swing tackle in the regular season after J'Marcus Webb had problems in the second half of the club’s 34-26 preseason win against the Oakland Raiders Friday.

    Things went bad for Webb quickly after he entered the game. The former starter got called for holding on the Bears’ third offensive play of the third quarter, then later in the fourth quarter Webb committed a false start. Not exactly the kind of performance Webb needed two weeks after being demoted to the second-team and losing his right tackle job to rookie Jordan Mills.

    Webb’s issues occurred a couple of hours after Scott worked out with the training staff on the field pregame, fueling speculation that he could return from a knee procedure sometime next week, and perhaps be healthy enough to play in the Bears’ preseason finale Thursday versus the Cleveland Browns.

    “I’m encouraged,” Bears head coach Marc Trestman said. “I know he worked out tonight but I haven’t talked to the trainers about that. But we’re encouraged by what’s going on with the guys that have (had) medical attention.”

    Scott, a seven-year veteran, started seven games for the Bears last year after joining the club in September. Scott, Webb, Eben Britton, Taylor Boggs and Edwin Williams are all fighting to earn a spot on the 53-man roster while James Brown is secure as the swing guard. It’s unclear how many offensive linemen the Bears plan to keep, but offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer said last week the number could be eight.

    If that happens, Webb could be a casualty just one year after starting all 16 games for the Bears at left tackle.
  6. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    http://www.hubarkush.com/2013/08/24/hub-arkush-heaping-praise-for-what-bears-showed/aqhyo98/?page=2
    Hub Arkush: Heaping praise for what Bears showed
    By HUB ARKUSH - harkush@shawmedia.com - Friday, August 23, 2013 11:24 p.m. CDT

    And you were worried about the Bears' offense. At what point in the first half of the Raiders game did it become impossible to resist the temptation, so you ran to the phone, called your best buddy and started singing the Bears fight song and screaming break up the Bears?
    In the first team's final dress rehearsal for the regular season, coach Marc Trestman finally unveiled his bag of tricks and showed you everything you've longed to see. The first play of the game featured three tight ends, then it was two tight ends, two running backs and one receiver, then three receivers, one tight end and one running back and every other combination of positions you could imagine.
    The first touchdown came with Matt Forte and Michael Bush in the same backfield on a swing pass to Forte that turned into a 32-yard catch-and-run that finished in the end zone.
    With 10 minutes to play in the second quarter, Jay Cutler had targeted seven different receivers on four possessions, the score was 24-0, Alshon Jeffery was the star of the game and Brandon Marshall was an afterthought.
    At times, the game resembled a high school football scrimmage with the varsity taking on the freshmen. But to dwell on that would be to miss the point. The Bears didn't choose their opponent, they just beat the stuffing out of them. How many times did they fail to polish off a cupcake last year?
    More to the point, they accomplished just about everything they could have hoped to in their final prep for the Bengals. The defense looked like Lovie Smith and Rod Marinelli were still orchestrating one of the best units in the NFL, kind of. I'll get back to that in a moment. And Robbie Gould ended the first half scoring with a 53-yard field goal, proving he is fully recovered from offseason hamstring surgery.
    The first-half totals for the first-string offense were 252 total yards, 110 rushing, 142 passing and a 27-3 lead.
    As you'd expect from a West Coast offense a ton of it ran through Matt Forte who had 77 yards rushing and 33 receiving with a touchdown.
    Jay Cutler was 12 - 21, 142 yards, 1 TD and 0 Ints and Alshon Jeffrey had 7 catches for 77 yards. The only slight disappointments were Cutler was inaccurate at times and Brandon Marshall was shut out on four targets including two flat - out drops.
    As I mentioned, the defense was dominant, allowing the Raiders just 92 yards of offense with 40 of those yards coming in the last minute of the half with Terrelle Pryor running a two-minute drill. It took a 58-yard Sebastian Janikowski field goal for the Raiders to dent the scoreboard.
    Picking right up where they left off last year, the Bears had two interceptions from Tim Jennings and Isaiah Frey. Jennings made a spectacular break on the ball but also, much like last year, those picks were very much about terrible throws by Matt Flynn.
    In fact, here it is important to point out it's hard to know if we learned as much about the Bears' defense as we did about how awful the Raiders were.
    But here's what was new and exciting on defense. On successive plays on the Raiders' second possession, defensive coordinator Mel Tucker called a safety blitz from Chris Conte and then a corner blitz from Charles Tillman. The Bears blitzed twice more and made it clear this will be Tucker's 4 - 3 "D" and not Lovie Smith's Cover 2.
    Finally, there were the rookies. Individual grades have to wait for the film but the offensive line gets the highest compliment it can. Jay Cutler never got dirty and not a single O-lineman did a thing to get noticed.
    • Hub Arkush covers the Bears for Shaw Media and HubArkush.com. Write to him at harkush@shawmedia.com.
  7. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    http://www.hubarkush.com/2013/08/24/musick-bears-pass-every-test/a71wspn/

    Musick: Bears pass every test
    By TOM MUSICK – tmusick@shawmedia.com - Friday, August 23, 2013 10:54 p.m. CDT

    That went well.
    Really well.
    Yes, I know, the Bears beat up on the hapless Oakland Raiders, a once proud franchise that now is about one chuckle short of a laughingstock. And, yes, I know it’s the preseason, and we shouldn’t read too much (good or bad) into these games.
    But as the following checklist shows, the Bears’ starters on both sides of the ball passed every test in their third game of the preseason.
    Here’s some news that is even better. The real action is only 15 days away.
    Starting offense
    Task: Score at least one first-half touchdown
    Grade: PASS
    Forget one first-half touchdown. Try three. Yes, the Raiders seem to know as much about tackling as Rod Blagojevich knows about ethics, but the Bears’ first-team offense deserved plenty of credit for its sustained drives. Matt Forte dashed down the sideline to turn a swing pass into a 32-yard touchdown, and Michael Bush rumbled forward for a pair of north-south scores. Not bad. Not bad at all.
    Starting defense
    Task: Notch at least one first-half takeaway
    Grade: PASS
    Ho hum. Just another impressive performance by the Bears’ veteran-laden defense. In the first quarter, Tim Jennings stepped forward to intercept Raiders quarterback Matt Flynn. That takeaway set up the Bears’ first touchdown one play later. In the second quarter, Isaiah Frey showed great focus to intercept another one of Flynn’s passes across the middle. After Frey’s pick, a camera showed some of the Bears’ defensive coaches high-fiving each other in the booth. It was tough to blame them.
    Jay Cutler
    Target someone other than Brandon Marshall
    Grade: PASS
    Cutler feigned annoyance during practice this week when he was asked about spreading the wealth – last week against San Diego, he targeted Marshall five times out of five. Based on Friday’s game, someone got the message through to Cutler that he has more than one target on offense. Cutler’s first pass went to Alshon Jeffery, and his second pass went to Martellus Bennett.
    Someone other than Brandon Marshall
    Catch the ball when Cutler targets you
    Grade: PASS
    Jeffery capitalized on his opportunities, catching seven passes for 77 yards before halftime. It’s going to be important this season for Jeffery to gain Cutler’s trust on a full-time basis, particularly if a concussion continues to keep veteran Earl Bennett off of the field. Surprisingly, it was Marshall who struggled to catch the ball, dropping an easy pass on third down that forced the Bears to settle for a field goal.
    Rookies on the offensive line
    Take another step toward starting in Week 1
    Grade: PASS
    Raise your hand if you missed seeing J’Marcus Webb line up with the first-team offensive line in the first half. Yeah, we didn’t think so. The rookie tandem of right guard Kyle Long and right tackle Jordan Mills provided another reason to suggest that they will line up with the starters come Sept. 8 against the Cincinnati Bengals.
    Jon Bostic
    Prove that you’re more than a one-hit wonder
    Grade: PASS
    Bostic flashed in each of the Bears’ first two preseason games, but only for one play apiece. Against the Raiders, Bostic provided several great plays by chasing down Flynn on one run, containing Terrelle Pryor in one-on-one coverage on another, and stuffing running back Rashad Jennings in the backfield for a 1-yard loss.
    Devin Hester
    Earn a spot on the highlight reel
    Grade: PASS
    Hester did not score, but he provided some excitement when he fielded a Raiders punt off of one bounce and darted 19 yards with a (mostly) straightaway burst. There’s no doubt that Hester looks refreshed and confident heading into the regular season.
    All of us
    Be grateful
    Grade: PASS
    Whenever something goes wrong for the Bears this season – and something will go wrong, it’s inevitable – just take a deep breath, unclench your fists, and remind yourself that it could be worse. You could be a Raiders fan.
    • Northwest Herald sports columnist Tom Musick can be reached at tmusick@shawmedia.com and on Twitter @tcmusick.
  8. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    3 Point Stance: Bears' offense mixes it up
    By HUB ARKUSH - harkush@shawmedia.com - Friday, August 23, 2013 10:00 p.m. CDT

    1. Marc Trestman and the Bears answered a lot of questions in Oakland about what their new offense is going to look like. Forget the 17 first-quarter points. With Trestman game-planning for the first time this preseason, the Bears did not run two straight plays in the first quarter out of the same personnel groupings. The first play of the game featured three tight ends. We saw two running back formations that featured both Tony Fiametta at fullback in front of Matt Forte and Michael Bush, and Forte and Bush in the backfield together for a 32-yard TD pass to Forte.
    2. With Fiametta being the only fullback on the roster and the number of plays with the first-team offense that featured the fullback as a lead blocker on the run, it's hard to imagine Fiametta not being one of the Bears' final 53.
    3. On the Bears' first three possessions, the depth chart at tight end behind Martellus Bennett reads Steve Maneri (two) and Fendi Onobun (three). After Onobun dropped a pass thrown behind him, but catchable, Kyle Adams came on where Onobun had been. Maneri is in, Onobun and Adams continue to battle for one spot.
  9. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    Bears-Raiders first quarter review
    By KEVIN FISHBAIN - kfishbain@shawmedia.com - Friday, August 23, 2013 9:49 p.m. CDT
    Marc Trestman (and Bears fans everywhere) wanted to see the offense get off to a good start, and it did in the first quarter against the Raiders.
    On the first drive, Jay Cutler made a great play, appearing to check out of a run on 3rd-and-short and hitting Alshon Jeffery for a slant that turned into a 22-yard gain. A throw over the seam to Martellus Bennett — his first target, and catch as a Bear — helped get the Bears in field goal range.
    A bad drop by Brandon Marshall ended the drive and the Bears settled for a field goal.
    After a Tim Jennings interception gave the Bears great field position, we were reminded of how good Matt Forte is, and can be in this offense. He took a swing pass and ran 32 yards for a touchdown. Jeffery and Bennett did a great job with their blocks in the open field.
    They weren’t done. A 35-yard run by Forte featured a fantastic pulling block by Matt Slauson and a downfield block by Marshall. Cutler hit Alshon Jeffery for a big gain on first down and, believe it or not, there was fantastic protection on a Raiders blitz.
    Michael Bush followed Tony Fiammetta and the O-line into the endzone.
    The Bears outgained the Raiders 146-34 in the first quarter. Here are other notes from an impressive start for the Bears in their third preseason game:
    • Lance Briggs was dominant early on. He got penetration on an early tackle for loss, then made a key open-field stop to prevent a first down. He then made a stop for no gain on the Raiders’ last offensive series. He’s still got it.
    • A tough quarter for Fendi Onobun, who got a few first-team reps but had a bad drop when he was wide open. The ball was a bit underthrown, but when fighting for a roster spot, those plays are crucial.
    • Charles Tillman blitzed untouched for a crushing sack on Matt Flynn. Mel Tucker dialed up a few blitzes on third down, too, one that helped on Tim Jennings interception.
    • Jennings showed great body control to make the pick, as he appeared to lose his footing, but still hauled in the interception as he went to the ground.
    • The special teams remained stout in coverage, even forcing a fumble, until allowing a long kickoff return to Jacoby Ford.
    • We got our first glimpse of that NASCAR package with Corey Wootton kicking inside and Shea McClellin and Julius Peppers playing the ends.
    Terrence Toliver got snaps as the team’s No. 3 wide receiver during a few reps, something to keep an eye on as he fights to make the team.

    Bears-Raiders second quarter review
    By KEVIN FISHBAIN - kfishbain@shawmedia.com - Friday, August 23, 2013 10:37 p.m. CDT
    The offense wasn’t done after a big first quarter. Matt Forte had back-to-back long runs, showing patience and his burst of speed, setting the Bears up inside the red zone.
    We then saw some creativity in the passing game. Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery lined up on the same side, with Marshall in the slot. He ran a corner route, opening up room for Jeffery, who caught a quick slant to the goal line, leading to a Michael Bush touchdown plunge.
    The setup came from Forte, though, who was the star of the first half. He averaged 12.7 yards a carry on his six first-half carries.
    Here are the other observations from another strong quarter from the Bears as they head into halftime in Oakland:
    • Brandon Marshall had another bad drop, and Martellus Bennett had one, too. Luckily for Cutler, he could keep targeting Jeffery, who has seven catches for 77 yards at half.
    • Cornerback Zack Bowman left the game with a hamstring injury. That could be an issue if it’s serious. He’s not a starter, but depth behind Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings is already slim.
    • Not everything was perfect on offense — rookie right tackle Jordan Mills had a false start.
    • Fellow rookie Jon Bostic made a tremendous read on Terrelle Pryor, who tried to run an option to his right, but Bostic sniffed it out and made a tackle for loss.
    • Linebacker J.T. Thomas made another nice play on special teams with a tackle on kickoff coverage, as he pushes for a roster spot.
    • Undrafted rookie Zach Minter got in with the first-team defense, filling in at defensive tackle. Corvey Irvin’s injury allowed him another peg to move up on the depth chart.
    • Isaiah Frey continued his stellar preseason with an interception. It was a bad throw, but Frey had great position to make the pick over the middle.
    • Marquess Wilson got reps with the first-team offense as an outside receiver and made a nice catch over the middle, high-pointing the ball.
    • Robbie Gould nailed a 53-yard field goal at the end of the half. He is 7-for-7 this preseason.

    Bears-Raiders third quarter review
    By KEVIN FISHBAIN - kfishbain@shawmedia.com - Friday, August 23, 2013 11:27 p.m. CDT
    The first half was enough for Jay Cutler and most of the first-team offense, as Josh McCown took over at quarterback after halftime.
    Kyle Long and Jordan Mills remained with the offensive line for most of the third quarter, and Jon Bostic played the whole quarter, getting some experience calling out the plays with the second unit.
    Here are the notes and observations from the third quarter of Bears vs. Raiders:
    • Taylor Boggs got the nod again as the second-team center, ahead of Edwin Williams, but he had a miscommunication with Josh McCown that led to a lost fumble. McCown was calling an audible and coming in from shotgun when Boggs snapped.
    • J’Marcus Webb and Fendi Onobun, two players on the roster bubble, each got called for holding penalties.
    • Aston Whiteside had a strong run stop from the defensive end position.
    • Terrelle Pryor had a long touchdown scramble on a broken play, and it wasn’t pretty for the Bears’ defense. Both Zach Minter and Kyle Moore had chances in the backfield, and then J.T. Thomas took a bad angle in the open field.
    • Penalties became an issue in the third quarter. Thomas was flagged for a personal foul (late hit).
    • Eric Weems made a nice grab for a first down on a throw behind him. He has as many catches tonight (two) as he had all last season, but could figure to get a few more targets this season.
    • McCown threw a bad interception, targeting Weems on an out route while under pressure. The Raiders capitalized with a touchdown.
    • Personnel notes: Undrafted rookie C.J. Wilson got the nod as the second-team outside corner opposite Sherrick McManis with Zack Bowman out. Craig Steltz and Anthony Walters are still the second-team safeties.
  10. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/nfl/teams/chicago-bears/

    Cutler, Forte strong in Bears' win over Raiders
    CBSSports.com wire reports Aug. 24, 2013

    OAKLAND, Calif. -- Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears look ready to start the season. The Oakland Raiders look ready for a quarterback controversy.
    Cutler led five first-half scoring drives, Matt Forte gained 109 yards from scrimmage and the Bears beat the Raiders 34-26 Friday night in the final big dress rehearsal for the regular season.
    "It was a good outing for everybody, but it is preseason," Cutler said. "You can't get caught up in that. I don't think we can get too high on this game. We made some mistakes and we need to go back and look at them. But it's a good barometer of where we're at and where we can go."
    Cutler and Forte connected on a 32-yard touchdown pass, former Raiders running back Michael Bush added a pair of touchdown runs and Alshon Jeffery caught seven passes for 77 yards as the Bears (2-1) broke out to a 27-0 lead in the first half.
    This was likely the last full test for Chicago's first-team offense before the season as the top stars will play sparingly -- if at all -- in the exhibition finale next week against Cleveland.
    The Raiders (1-2) might need to use next week's game against Seattle to figure out who their quarterback will be.
    Matt Flynn threw two interceptions on just six passes before being pulled in favor of Terrelle Pryor in the second quarter to the delight of frustrated Raiders fans. Oakland's first-team defense was shredded and the usually reliable Sebastian Janikowski even missed a 49-yard field goal before connecting from 58 yards out on the final play of the first half to get Oakland on the board.
    "We were very frustrated with how we performed," Flynn said. "Watch it, correct it and you have to move on. We'll move on from this."
    Pryor electrified the crowd by leading a late field-goal drive in the first half and then running and throwing for scores in the third quarter. Pryor finished 7 for 9 for 93 yards passing to go along with 37 yards rushing and led Oakland to 20 points on five drives and made a case that he should be the starter when the season starts.
    "What I want to look at is who gives us the best chance to move the ball down the field and score points," coach Dennis Allen said. "Obviously I'm not going to look at one night and base any type of decision on one night. I'll go back and I'll look at it and we'll see where we go from here."
    The Bears came into this game looking to show their passing offense was more than just Brandon Marshall after he was targeted on all five throws by Cutler last week against San Diego. Cutler managed to do that on the first drive with long completions to Jeffery and tight end Marcellus Bennett that set up a field goal by Robbie Gould.
    "We just called more of our packages and everybody got a chance to get the ball," Bennett said.
    Both those completions came against Raiders rookie D.J. Hayden, who played his first game since a near fatal practice collision last November in college at Houston. Hayden recovered from that scare and was picked 12th overall by Oakland, but was not cleared for contact until this week. He missed a tackle on Jeffery's 22-yard gain, but later on the drive broke up a pass to Marshall.
    Cutler continued to spread the ball around on the second drive after a Tim Jennings interception. Forte took a swing pass on the next play and went in for a 32-yard touchdown.
    Cutler led three more scoring drives in the half and finished the night 12 for 21 for 142 yards with the touchdown. He completed passes to five players with none going to Marshall on four attempts in that direction.
    "It was kind of imperative to do that, come out there and get everything going efficiently," Forte said. "We started off fast. It was good to get that continuity going."
    The Raiders' first-team offense had no bright spots with Flynn throwing as many interceptions (two) as first downs produced (two) in five drives, leading to frequent boos from the home crowd.
    Pryor led a late drive for a field goal at the end of the first half and then showed his athleticism on the opening drive of the third quarter. He hit Rod Streater on a 19-yard pass after scrambling out of pressure and then scored on a 25-yard run.
    Pryor then threw for a score when he threaded a 19-yard pass to rookie tight end Nick Kasa on third-and-16 before sitting for the rest of the game.
    "I love to throw the ball," Pryor said. "I find joy in throwing it. I also find joy in making plays with my feet too. It's definitely something the defense has to look out for and it opens up a lot of things. But I'd rather throw a touchdown then run it."
    Notes
    Streater (concussion), CB Joselio Hanson (groin), S Usama Young (hamstring) and WR Brice Butler (hamstring) all had injuries for the Raiders. ... Oakland RB Darren McFadden sat out with a shoulder injury but could have played if it was the regular season. ... Chicago CB Zach Bowman tore his hamstring.
    Copyright 2013 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
  11. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    Haven't got to watch the game, between a late night and early morning yesterday and an early morning today I went to bed well before the 10-11 pm showing of the game down here. I have it recorded, cannot wait to watch it, but some things I got from reading this morning:
    Good to see a nice spread of the ball, if Cutler can learn to do this all the time, good things are going to happen.
    Bostic is still real raw on pass D, and I suspect that DJ Williams might well end up being the starting MLB b/c of it...but no idea until he gets healthy.
    I feel bad for Allen, I think he would have got that 3rd rb spot if he stayed healthy. Gonna be hard to unseat a younger RB though and Ford looks like a solid 3rd.
    See ya Webb, if you cannot even play vs the 2nd's then you do no good as backup; same goes for McCown, but somehow he'll find a way to slime his way onto the team.
  12. Tarkus

    Tarkus Veteran

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    As it's always said, it's preseason...

    Still, gotta like seeing the OL, no matter who they're against, do what's expected. Good chemistry forming pockets giving Cutler time, sealing the edges on runs, moving the LOS, etc. Also love the Long facepalm of the Raider messing w/Manon. lol

    Everybody wants Jay not to target just Marshall & what happens? Everybody but Jeffery drops the ball. *sigh* Marshall had an especially terrible time from drops to slapping the water bottle from the kid's hand on the sideline. See Bennett channeling his Dallas drops. WTF...

    A lot of drops but this receiving corp blocks...period.

    Forte seems to see the seams better this year. Gone, at least for now, are the happy feet he was acquiring from last year. I'm sure it's from holes that weren't there before for the most part but his indecision wasn't there.

    Hope this showing solidifies a spot for Ford. Love this kid...

    Love seeing some blitzs. Almost forgot what those were like...

    McCown... Oh dear God...

    But still, it's the preseason...
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  13. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    See Bennett channeling his Dallas drops. WTF...

    I'm glad you pointed that out Tarkus, people want to pretend that his problems in D were b/c of Witten, but in reality he was given many a chance to earn playing time there, and he never earned it. And he was very average in a TE friendly NY system and in a contract year. I know he's an upgrade from what we have had since Olsen, but I'm not sure that he's quite what everyone is expecting.

    any kind of agressive D will be a nice change of pace from the Lovie system of bend/break.

    Keep telling people that McCown sucks, and suck does not make you BU QB, it makes you bad qb.
  14. Tarkus

    Tarkus Veteran

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    Seems like we're going for a solid TE with the mortar fire approach...1 landing here, 1 way over there.

    Either we have a hybrid in Greg Olsen who can run/catch but not block or Martellus "Manos de Piedra" Bennett (hands of stone) who can block. Maddening...

    Amen...

    Always been a disciple of a D makes offense react, not the other way around.

    This guy has heartache written all over him. He has to go in for some reason, we better have the tissues handy cuz we'll be cryin' a river...
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  15. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Hall of Famer

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    I didn't see the game, but from reading, my impresson was that the pressurethat Cutler was used to having to work with moved from the 1st unit to the 2nd and third units. In other words, the 1st unit can nowprotect Jay effectively (lets see what the Giants and Txans can do to them), but now the 2nds and 3rd units are porous and still can't protect even against 2nd and 3rd DLs. So without seeing the game, I an't say if McCown sucked because he sucks or he sucks because he was running for his life all the time.

    Every QB looks different when they feel they have time to work. Manning is not a very effective QB under pressure. Neither is Brady. They can pull a few Houdinis under pressure, but for the most part they don't get much done either when the are getting pressured.
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  16. Henry Burris

    Henry Burris Head Coach

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    Nothing against the guy (he hasn't lost a game for us), but Onubun has GOT to go.

    Jay impressed me with the spreading of the ball, but that defense was total trash. This game was virtually no test to see if he's improved from last season, other than to spread the ball around. Given off of play last year, I'm going to assume the defense is really both awful while playing vanilla. They executed the passing game, with several athletic plays perfectly. The Bengals, week one, will show us how effective the passing game can and will be.

    Dat Running Game. How sad is it that 2 rookies and a coach that know football were what it takes to get the best use of running backs?

    Honestly, I don't know ANYTHING about Blanchard, but seeing that we don't know his ceiling or floor, I'd take the gamble, because Josh McCown just can't throw accurately, and the coaching staff drew back the offense, considerably. Either way, if Cutty goes down, we're screwed, but I'd take an unknown over that.
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  17. Tarkus

    Tarkus Veteran

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    Off the top of my head, can't say exactly when the OL 1st string left but they played well into the 2nd half & there wasn't any great breakdown in protection compared to the 1st half IMO. Part of the problem is obviously that McCown is just not that good, in reading Ds to throwing. I also understand working with new WRs & such, which you have to give some leeway on but reading pro Ds is something he should have already mastered. He looks rookie-ish too many times out there.

    Gonna take another look at the game but I just didn't see the pressure as being that great to explain his play away.
  18. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    "Honestly, I don't know ANYTHING about Blanchard, but seeing that we don't know his ceiling or floor, I'd take the gamble, because Josh McCown just can't throw accurately, and the coaching staff drew back the offense, considerably. Either way, if Cutty goes down, we're screwed, but I'd take an unknown over that.
    "

    Hmmmm where have I been hearing that since before the draft?
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  19. WearyBear

    WearyBear Rookie

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    Yep. Jay was impressive but that was because he had time to throw. I was impressed overall with the first half although Marshall seemed to have a bad game.
  20. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I agree with all of that.

    1. Onobun is not NFL material. Period.

    2. Even though the Raiders were not a solid test for our offense, I believe it was the PERFECT team for us to play. The 3rd game of the pre-season is the tuneup for the regular season for the starters. Last night's game allowed our #1's on offense to gain confidence in the Trestman offense, because they got to beat up on a weak team. They were able to get timing down and the confidence gained will make them a better unit going into the season. If we had played a super-solid opponent last night, we may have seen the offense look more out-of-sync and struggle. Some will say that we need those great tests now, but with a new coach, playbook and some key new players, I believe the confidence/timing thing is more important than a "Great Test" at this early point. They'll have plenty of opportunities to face great teams down the road.

    3. I absolutely loved the blocking and running. The starting OL imposed its will on that defense. We had surge in short yardage situations and at the goal line. I haven't seen that in a Bears offensive line in years. It was a thing of beauty to watch.

    4. The only decent receiving TE we have is Bennett. The others are pretty mediocre receiving. We need to draft a young stud next year who can catch the football.
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