Chi v Oak pre game convo's

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by riczaj01, Aug 23, 2013.

  1. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/bears/


    5 Things To Watch: Bears at Raiders
    August, 23, 2013
    9:25AM CT
    By Michael C. Wright | ESPNChicago.com

    For those craving real action, this is the closest you’re going to get until Sept. 8, when the Chicago Bears host the Cincinnati Bengals in the regular-season opener.

    Teams around the league view Week 3 of the preseason as the most important because most clubs play their starters the entire first half and into the second as a dress rehearsal for the regular season. Bears coach Marc Trestman said he’ll play his starters for the first two quarters and possibly a series or two in the second half Friday when they face the Oakland Raiders on the road.

    Here are five things to watch in this contest:

    1. How Jay Cutler distributes his passes: The first two preseason games shouldn’t be a real indicator of how Jay Cutler will distribute his passes among the receivers. But the issue certainly became a topic of discussion when he directed all five of his passes (with four completions) toward Brandon Marshall. With Marshall out of the lineup in the preseason opener at Carolina, Cutler targeted five receivers and completed 6 of 8 for 56 yards and an interception. But once Marshall returned, Cutler fired all of his attempts at the receiver, completing 4 of 5 for 38 yards, a touchdown and an INT.

    With the first group set to see its most significant action of the preseason, it’s expected Cutler will distribute the ball more evenly because naturally, the starters will play more. Running back Matt Forte pointed that out Wednesday shortly after the team’s practice inside the Walter Payton Center.

    “We didn’t play the entire game (in the first two games). So you just can’t say, ‘Hey, how many different passes and runs went to two different guys on the offense?’” Forte said. “Obviously if we would’ve played four quarters, the ball would’ve been spread around. In a game, of course they’re going to be looking at Brandon, and they’re going to be looking at me coming out of the backfield and in the backfield. So other people are going to get the ball, and when they get their chances they’ll excel.”

    It’s truly too early to lend credence to the notion that Cutler has become overly reliant on Marshall. This outing should go a long way towards debunking that.

    2. A more authentic representation of Marc Trestman’s offense: The Bears executed largely no-frills attacks over their first two exhibition outings. But Trestman now needs to see how the team operates some of the intricacies of his offense. Going into this contest, the plan is to put together a minimal game plan to attack the Raiders without exposing too much of what the club will do in the regular season in terms of plays and formations.

    But even with somewhat of a stripped down plan, look for the Bears to provide the most authentic preview to date of what fans can expect from Trestman’s offense in the regular season. The team showcased some of the zone blocking schemes up front last week in its 33-28 win as Forte rushed for 74 yards on eight attempts. Expect to see more of the anticipated quick passing game of the West Coast offense against the Raiders.

    “We’re game planning this a little bit more than the other games that we’ve played in the preseason,” offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer said. “This week we’ve scheduled it out where we’re getting used to what a game week would feel like. So that’s the No. 1 thing we have to get ready for. From there, we’re gonna play the guys hopefully longer than the last time, and we’ll see how that goes. We just want to see a functioning offense. Can we be efficient? Can we call the play, get out of the huddle, quickly get to the line of scrimmage, snap the football and do the right thing? From there, plays will happen.”

    3. The rookie right side of the offensive line: Rookie first-round pick Kyle Long and fifth rounder Jordan Mills receive their second consecutive starts at right guard and right tackle, respectively, against the Raiders. How they perform against the Raiders likely solidifies their statuses as starters on the right side of the line, where they were competing with veterans James Brown and J’Marcus Webb.

    Throughout the preseason, the rookie duo has played in a total of 86 plays apiece, while allowing a combined three pressures and only one quarterback hit. That’s part of the reason for the staff’s optimism regarding the pair, even though that enthusiasm has been veiled.

    “With the new offense, everybody’s kind of working their way through knowing everything that’s going on,” Kromer said. “So (they’ve performed) no different than anyone else. We’re behind. We need to catch up and keep working. They have to continue their development as well as the offensive line in general. There’s a lot of development that needs to be done yet. Luckily we have two or three weeks left before we play Cincinnati.”

    The fact the Bears trust Long and Mills enough to start them in the most important outing of the exhibition provides a strong indication of the team’s plan for the rookies. The key for them now, however, is to actually go out and earn their jobs against the Raiders. More than likely, they will.

    4. Rookie linebacker Jonathan Bostic: The latest timetable given by Trestman on the potential availability for veteran middle linebacker D.J. Williams is approximately two weeks, which means the Bears would be pushing it to thrust him into the starting lineup on Sept. 8 when the club hosts the Bengals.

    That’s why it’s important for Bostic, a second-round pick, to put in some quality work in what will be his most extensive action of the preseason.

    “We think eventually he’ll be back,” Trestman said of Williams. “We just don’t know when. We’re getting close to the season. His conditioning now becomes an issue.”

    So, internally, the staff at this point seems to be pondering the possibility of going into the regular season without Williams in the starting lineup. Bostic can make that decision easier for the coaches with another strong performance against the Raiders.

    Bostic returned an interception 51 yards for a touchdown in the exhibition opener at Carolina, and followed that with a two-tackle performance against the Chargers, in which he laid down a bone-rattling lick that broke up a pass and resulted in a $21,000 fine from the league. Bostic continues to make minor mistakes that will only be corrected with more playing time. But he’s left little doubt about his ability to start as a rookie. The staff has a difficult decision to make. Bostic will make it even tougher with another big game.

    5. The preseason debut of defensive end Julius Peppers: Peppers hasn’t played a down throughout the preseason, and although he’s a perennial Pro Bowler, it’s important for him to get in some snaps to prepare him for the regular season; especially when considering the starters likely won’t even play in the exhibition finale against the Cleveland Browns.

    The Bears expected Peppers to play last week against the Chargers, but the defensive end -- after doing some work on the field during pre-game warmups -- approached Trestman “and said he didn’t feel right,” according to the coach. Peppers experienced tightness in a hamstring during an Aug. 3 practice, and the team has been cautious about subjecting him to further injury by giving him days off and keeping him out of preseason games.

    The good news, however, is that Peppers participated fully in practice all week leading up to the matchup with the Raiders.

    “Every player needs to work, and needs to play. We’ll do the right thing for Julius,” Peppers said. “He’s been doing this a long time. Every player needs the work. He’ll get a chance to play if he’s 100 percent and believes he can go.”
    Tags:
    Michael Wright, Chicago Bears, Oakland Raiders, 5 Things to Watch
  2. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    http://www.hubarkush.com/2013/08/22/five-bears-to-watch-in-oakland/ag2dc3/

    Five Bears to watch in Oakland
    By KEVIN FISHBAIN - kfishbain@shawmedia.com - Thursday, August 22, 2013 1:51 p.m. CDT

    The Bears Kyle Long lines up for a Robbie Gould field goal in the fourth quarter during the Bears win over the Chargers 33-28 during the NFL preseason game Thursday, Aug. 15 at Soldier Field. (H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com )
    Of the 16 quarters played in the preseason, about four of them allow us to glean something about the first-team units on both sides of the ball. Two of those four will come on Friday night when the Bears head to Oakland to face the Raiders.
    While our preseason previews of the “5 players to watch” have generally focused on the fringe roster players, Friday night will be all about the players we’ll see most often when the Bears start the regular season.
    This will also feature two starters that we spotlighted prior to the preseason opener, Kyle Long and Jon Bostic, but their expectations are much different now than they were two weeks ago.
    QB Jay Cutler: Through two preseason games, Cutler has thrown only three incomplete passes out of 13 attempts. The problem is that two of those are interceptions, and what everyone’s been talking about. We still haven’t gotten a good gauge on how Cutler will fare in Marc Trestman’s new system, and if it will really help elevate his game. Not a lot looked different last week when Cutler threw all five targets in the direction of Brandon Marshall. Everyone has been downplaying that, but with plenty of reps against a Raiders defense that features nine new starters, this is a big game for Cutler to get the offense going.
    DE Julius Peppers: Marc Trestman is not concerned about Peppers, who has yet to play in a preseason game after being a late scratch prior to last Thursday’s game against the Chargers. Still, with a veteran like Peppers who has had some nicks and bruises during his time with the Bears, it’d be nice to see how he fares with some important reps. Peppers will also be rushing against Raiders left tackle Alex Barron, who is far from a standout at the position.
    TE Martellus Bennett: The big free-agent signing has yet to see a target this preseason, a fact significantly downplayed by everyone involved (Cutler, Trestman, Aaron Kromer and Bennett). We saw what Bennett could do in training camp, now it’s time to see it in a live game before the meaningful ones count. Plus, for the sake of Bennett, Cutler and Trestman, the more targets Bennett can see against a questionable Raiders defense, the fewer questions we’ll all have about it next week.
    ORG Kyle Long: After putting together a much-discussed standout performance against the Chargers, Long needs to show he can be consistent and do it again in Oakland. Same goes for Jordan Mills, who has the edge to start at right tackle, but would put everyone at ease with another solid outing.
    LB Jon Bostic: We’ve gotten a nice glimpse of what Bostic can do on the field, but, like Long, it’s important to see consistency from the rookies, especially if Bostic is going to start at middle linebacker on Sept. 8 against the Bengals. The other thing to monitor with Bostic is how he reacts in the open field after his first fine. Bostic was docked $21,000 for his hit last week, and the Bears don’t want to see any change in his play, but something like that — the financial hit and the attention — could affect a young player.
  3. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    5 things to watch: Bears vs. Raiders
    BY MARK POTASH AND ADAM JAHNS Staff Reporters August 22, 2013 10:25PM
    Updated: August 23, 2013 2:34AM

    OAKLAND, Calif. — In a perfect world, the NFL preseason would exist in a vacuum, shielded from scrutiny, because most of what happens is more likely to be insignificant or misleading than an indicator of things to come.
    Jay Cutler admonished the media for making too much of his interception and his reliance on Brandon Marshall against the San Diego Chargers last week. But let the record show he did not want to make too much of a positive aspect of the preseason — that the Bears’ first- and second-team offensive lines have had no pre-snap penalties.
    ‘‘I think it’s too early at this point to really tell anything,’’ Cutler said when asked if that might be an indication the line play will be better this season.
    So while Cutler will be the focus in Friday’s preseason game against the Oakland Raiders, analyze his performance at your own risk. The Bears are game-planning only slightly for the annual ‘‘dress rehearsal.’’ Likewise, the Raiders are less likely to show stunts that will test rookies Jordan Mills and Kyle Long on the right side of the offensive line. And the Raiders are banged up, with six starters either injured or returning this week. They’ll be starting a third-string left tackle against the Bears. That further complicates the evaluation process.
    Cutler’s expectations seem like a good, simple measuring stick of success: ‘‘Get in and out of the huddle, limit our penalties and hopefully move the ball,’’ he said.
    That said, anytime the Bears are on television (9 p.m., Fox-32), it’s tough to look away.
    Staff Reporters Mark Potash and Adam L. Jahns offer their top five things to watch against the Raiders:

    JAY CUTLER, QB: After targeting only Brandon Marshall on his five passes against the Chargers, Cutler knows he needs to spread the ball around. Can he do it within the context of Marc Trestman’s offense? The key for Cutler is not whom he throws to but that he goes through his progressions to get there.

    MATT FORTE, RB: The Bears aren’t likely to show off what they can do with Forte in the passing game (he has one catch for five yards in two games), but outside of his 58-yard run last week, Forte has gained 15 yards on eight carries in the preseason.

    ALSHON JEFFERY, WR: The second-year wideout from South Carolina is the most likely beneficiary of Cutler’s need to spread the ball around. He’s their second-best receiver and — more important — Cutler’s second-favorite receiver. ‘‘I love throwing it to him,’’ Cutler said.

    JULIUS PEPPERS, DE: He has been cruising through training camp since tweaking a hamstring in the first week and has not played in the first two games. He’s usually ready to go no matter what, but let’s see just how well he’s moving against a real opponent. And how long he plays.

    KHASEEM GREENE, LB: The rookie from Rutgers didn’t make much of an impact in his second preseason game last week. He has a long way to go but still could be a factor this season, so it will be interesting to see how quickly he learns from his mistakes.

    JORDAN MILLS, RT: It’s not crazy to think the fifth-round pick could solidify himself as the starter for Week 1 against the Cincinnati Bengals with another strong performance. The Bears need to see how Mills does more as a pass protector than as a run blocker. He’ll get that chance against the Raiders.

    JON BOSTIC, MLB: The rookie will be the Bears’ starting middle linebacker when the regular season begins, and it’s apparent some fine-tuning is needed when it comes to reads, assignments and coverages. It will be interesting to see if his recent fine for his big hit against the San Diego Chargers will hinder his progress. His teammates maintain it won’t.

    SPECIAL TEAMS: The Bears had a very strong game against the Chargers from a special-teams perspective. But special teams have been an issue for the Chargers.

    SECONDARY RECEIVERS: Coach Marc Trestman said this week that more balance is a goal in the passing game. He and his staff will be evaluating what receivers Alshon Jeffery and Joe Anderson accomplish against the Raiders when plays are called for them.

    NATE COLLINS, DT: The veteran has backed up his strong training camp with a strong preseason. Collins has been playing like a starter in the three-technique spot — and he has to, with Pro Bowl defensive tackle Henry Melton’s status unknown because of a concussion.

    Email: ajahns@suntimes.com
    Twitter: @adamjahns
  4. Henry Burris

    Henry Burris Head Coach

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    Keep in mind, everyone, the Raiders were almost as bad as the Jags last year in terms of sacks. The only things that should bring worry are injuries, or the rookies getting manhandled. Seeing as Oakland's rush sucks (IDK if Avril is playing, but still), they SHOULD be able to hold their own.
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  5. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    This is a biggie for me. I'd really like to see if Cutler can use this weapon, or if it's just gonna continue to be a 2-man team of Cutler-to-Marshall all season.
  6. ChiCityBears

    ChiCityBears Veteran

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    I would like to see Cutler use his weapon too. After he uses it, we can see if he used it well if his wife is smiling the next day.
  7. Henry Burris

    Henry Burris Head Coach

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    Well, the largely unspoken reason of why he was brought here is that he could block as well as catch, making both of our TE's from last year superfluous, and given that we have 2 rookies on the right side, he may be asked to block a lot more than we'd like. Sure, the rookies look great in preseason, and can hold their own in one-on-one situations, but when we start to face complex blitzing schemes (in the regular season, of course), Bennett may not be as available as we'd like.
  8. Jimmors

    Jimmors The Rhymenoceros Staff Member SuperFan

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    Cant wait to see Peppers in the Lineup. And really hoping Long+Mills are the answer to the right side of the OL. Bostic needs to have another stellar game to solidify his starting spot as the season begins. Definitely a very important pre-season game, which is why they play them. Doesnt matter who wins or loses, but it is important to answer these questions when you have so many going into the regular season.
  9. zelezo vlk

    zelezo vlk Veteran

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    Pep should have a good game since the Raiders are on their Backup LT. For the other side of the ball, I kinda wanna see Roach get owned...
  10. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I have a feeling Hester could be exciting to watch tonight. Hope he gets a lot of touches in this game.

  11. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    What time is kick off? Isn't it 8:00 PM CDT?
  12. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    That's what I'm gonna be watching as well and holding my breath that they look even better tonight than last week. These two are rookie roomies and if that kind of camaraderie can contribute to their communications and their efforts to support one another we'll have come a very long way from last year on that side of the line as well. These guys should play at least three quarters tonight so it should be a good test. Pray for no injuries along that line. We can't afford any.

    I think Bostic proved he's the guy at MLB with that one hit last week and the NFL should have their heads examined for fining him. To begin with the receiver actually had possession of the ball, tucked it under his left arm and took a step before Bostic nailed him. At that point he's a ball carrier and not a "defenseless player" and he's fair game. If they'd reviewed the play they'd also have seen that it was a fumble not an incompletion. Man I'm getting sick of the incompetence of the officiating and the NFL front office over this bullshit. IT'S NOT FLAG FOOTBALL! Players are gonna get nailed and players will be injured because it's a violent game and you can't legislate that away!

    Jeezus if Butkus would have played under these rules they only position he could have been used at would have been the holder for PKs and XPs and the half the 85 team would have been suspended or fined out of their game checks before they even got to the Super Bowl. This whole thing with Goodell is ridiculous. Bostic, the Bears and the NFLPA need to appeal that fine. I don't know how you lower a shoulder and separate a guy from the ball any better than that. It was a text book hit.
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  13. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    9pm Chicago time.
  14. BearJim

    BearJim Veteran SuperFan DBS Writer

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    11PM Eastern on NFL network.
  15. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    OK, that makes it 8pm my time. Thanks brother. Got an hour to get primed for the game. Should see the starters for half the game of more tonight so we'll have a good look at what the offense has been able to accomplish. I think the play calling will still be very vanilla but that's good. More emphasis on execution and avoiding mistakes.
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  16. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Wow, very late for you Jim.
  17. zelezo vlk

    zelezo vlk Veteran

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    You sure that's not 10 PM?
  18. Akuma2000

    Akuma2000 Veteran SuperFan

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    Bears playing good on both sides of the ball.
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  19. menacemanic

    menacemanic Guest

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    yea loved the protection of the line :)
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  20. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Damn, who snuck the Packers offense into Bears uniforms tonight? LOL

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