Cutler throws to Marshall because he catches the ball!

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by JoeBear, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. Henry Burris

    Henry Burris

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    There are two things to consider when arguing that Jay targeted Brandon too much last year: injuries and incompetence, the former in terms of Earl Bennet and Alshon Jeffery, and the latter notably in the form of two individuals named Kellen Davis and Devin Hester. In the first two games last year when Jay had his entire depth chart to throw to (Marshall, Jeffery, Bennett, Hester, Forte, and Davis), Marshall accounted for 32% of Jay's targets and 34% of his completions. Slightly higher than their old numbers in Denver, but still reasonable.

    In week three, Matt Forte was out with an injury, the first of the year for the offense, but Jay still distributed the ball fairly evenly, targeting Marshall on 11 of his 31 passes while targeting Jeffery on 7, Bennett, Hester, and Davis on 9 total, and Bush on 4.

    Week four, however, is where the trouble started. Earl Bennett missed the game with an injury, and Jay targeted Hester and Davis with a combined eight passes, while targeting Marshall with eight as well. Marshall caught seven of his eight targets, while Hester and Davis caught 6/8. Balance was good, everyone was happy.

    Over the next eight games, however, either Bennett or Jeffery (and sometimes both) were out of the lineup. In that time, with Hester and Davis now serving as two of Jay's top four targets, Marshall's target % shot all the way up 47.5%. The reason? Well my theory is that it had something to do with Davis catching a very mediocre 8 of 19 targets (42% catch rate, and I know you're thinking "holy shit, was it ever that high?") while Hester, who, to his credit, caught 13 of 20 balls, racked up just a mediocre 11 yards a catch in that span and had several absolutely brutal drops. Compared with the absolutely masterful performance of Marshall in that time period (he caught an absurd 63% of those targets while averaging 12.4 YPC, in case you needed me to remind you that Brandon Marshall is fucking awesome), it makes sense that Jay said "to hell with balance." By the end of the season, the ineptitude of Hester and Davis led Jay to simply ignore them, as the two of them combined for just two targets in the last three games.

    It's worth noting that Forte's % of Jay's targets remained pretty consistent throughout the season at about 12% (which is too damn low, but I think we all know Tice is to blame for that more than Jay), and that in the five games where Jay had all three of his top three wideouts, he targeted the Jeffery and Bennett duo (39%) just as often as he did Marshall (39%).

    So does Jay target Marshall too much? It's hard to say that when it works so damn well. It's pretty clear that for the Bears to have a healthy passing game in 2013, however, he is going to have to. I don't think it's fundamentally against Jay's nature to do so. He did it quite well in Denver, and he was always pretty even-handed with all of his shitty receivers in the years before Marshall came to Chicago, so I think he's capable of it. I just think crucifying him based on last year seems a bit harsh, since he clearly started with good intentions and the stats show that he was more than willing to throw to people who weren't Kellen Davis and Devin Hester.




    Not mine, but it kinda makes a lot more sense than most of these other stats threwn about
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  2. Moth

    Moth

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    Wasnt it the season before last that Earl Bennet had the leagues best catch rating? For every ball thrown to him, his catch numbers were amongst the company of Andre Johnson and Wes Welker.

    He throws to Marshall because he is long, has solid hands and not afraid to go up for it. He is the only receiver on the team that you can 'throw towards' and trust he will fight his way to make a play on the ball.
  3. jbunch14

    jbunch14

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    Judging by the responses from both Trestman and Cutler when asked about the ball distribution, I don't expect this is going to be a problem come the regular season. My only caveat to this is if we have the same injury problems we had last year. A difference to me this year if this happens, is we have guys like Anderson, Weems, DA, and Wilson who seem much more capable of catching the ball. I have no doubt that the ball will get spread around this year; Trestman will not accept otherwise.
  4. riczaj01

    riczaj01

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    Moth, yes he did. And Forte is one of the best receiving RB's in the game also, so the idea that Cutler just has no help is blind excuse making, and when compared to other qb's w/great #1's, he's still targetting BM way to much.

    Jbunch, I agree w/you. I said last week, that although it's worrisome b/c of the trend, i'm not worried yet b/c it was his first chance to throw to him against other teams this year.
  5. Henry Burris

    Henry Burris

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    did you even read my last post?
  6. riczaj01

    riczaj01

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    Did you read mine that broke down Manning/Cutler/Stafford's targetting of their #1's over their career and year by year breakdown? No excuses 46% of the time is to damn high no matter what the issues are; you are aware that Stafford has 2 TE's, no run game and no other WR's right? He still only targetted the greatest WR in the game 28% of the time.
  7. Henry Burris

    Henry Burris

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    Ric, I'm not arguing with you on this subject again. at all. You are dug in on your view, and not willing to see the stats that have a very active correlation to this offense(as opposed to other ones, with numerous factors involved, so much that it makes transferring those to Jay pointless), so you're going out of your way to find just about ANYTHING to use as an argument against Jay Cutler; you're emotionally invested in that argument, so I see absolutely no need to discuss this further with you. He made 5 passes in a preseason game, and the issue of "Jay Cutler throws to Marshall too much" is jumping the gun, by any standard. Preseason doesn't mean anything.

    Done talking to you, now here's a tidbit I've been throwing out all preseason for those who think the sky is falling:

    John Kitna had a perfect QB rating in the preseason in 2008
    The Lions QB had a 153.4 QB rating against the Patriots last night.

    QB stats in the preseason are meaningless.
  8. riczaj01

    riczaj01

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    Break down of weapons and distributions last year by week:

    wk1 BM/MF/EB/AJ full compliment no excuses, red flag BM 9 rec's, MF/AJ/EB 9 combined Hester 2 Adams 1
    wk2 BM/MF/EB/AJ full compliment no excuses, legitimately well distributed, BM 2 rec's, MF 4, rest of team 5
    wk3 BM/EB/AJ missing Forte, full compliment of WR's, legit well distributed, BM/AJ 5 rec each, rest of team 8
    wk4 BM/MF/AJ missing Bennett well distributed, BM 7 rec's, AJ/KD/DH 9, MF/Bush 2
    wk5 BM/MF/AJ missing Bennett red flag, BM 12, rest of team 11, where's forte, where's AJ
    wk6 bye
    wk7 BM/MF/EB missing jeffery, well distributed, BM 6, Forte/EB 6, rest of team 5
    wk8 BM/MF/EB
    missing Jeffery, red flag, BM 9, rest of team 10
    wk9 BM/MF/EB missing Jeffery, red flag, BM 9, rest of team 10
    wk10 BM/MF/EB got hurt won't judge 14 attempts
    wk11 jc no start
    wk12 BM/MF/EB missing Jeffery, red flag, BM 12, rest of team 11
    wk13 BM/MF/EB missing Jeffery, ref flag, BM 10 rest of team 7
    wk14 BM/MF/AJ missing Bennett, well distributed, BM 10, AJ/MF 9 rest of team 9
    wk15 BM/MF missing Bennett, red flag, BM 6, MF 5 Allen 1, Jeffery 0
    wk16 BM/MF/EB/AJ full compliment no excuses red flag, BM 6, rest of team 6
    wk17 BM/MF/EB/AJ full compliment no excuses legit well distributed, EB 6, AJ 4, BM 5, rest of team 3.

    Explain the lack of other targets again? B/c he missed a 2nd round rookie wr in the middle of the season he had to ignore EB and MF? What about week 1 and week 16? Why did they ignore Jeffery/Forte in wk 5?

    I'm not entrenched HB, I'm just not going to ignore stats and facts or make weak excuses for him. Cutler had at least 2 of the 3 2ndry weapons(Forte/Ear/Jeffery) in every game, that is the same # of complimentary weapons as Stafford last year and Stafford only targetted CJ 28%(right now considered THE #1 WR) of the time compared to Cutler targetting Marshal 46% of the time. There is NO excuse for how he played.

    And here's a tidbit about being "entrenched" You are entrenched on this whole pre season thing, no one cares about win's losses or qbr, not a one. It's about how the team is looking, is the team showing the same trends that we have seen in the past, not just THIS reg season.

    Stop making excuses and trying to cherry pick
  9. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston

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    Bottom line... I think we can all agree that Tice was not the best architect of an NFL passing offense. It simply was mismanaged. We have seen the continued singular targeting of Marshall during the preseason, but both Cutler and Trestman achnowledge the issue and say it is not indicative of the regular season.

    We know it has been a problem and we know they can not make a really deep postseason run by using that strategy. I think we just sit bck and wait until the regular season to see if we continue to have an issue. Cutler knows he is under a magnifying glass. Whatever happens is going to happen. We'll know in a little more than a month what things will look like.
  10. riczaj01

    riczaj01

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    No doubt BiH, but history repeats itself, JC has a problem w/over targetting Marshal, even under Shanny. If Trestman can get him to that 25-27% range the team will be fine, but seeing trends that date back to last year and Cutty's years in Den is worrisome pre season or not, and it has nothing to do w/the OC/WR's/OL. It has to do w/Cuter and his willingness to follow the game plan.

    MB JC
    Rec Comp
    118 255 46%
    104 384 27%
    102 297 34%
    20 81 25%
    344 1,017 34%
    688 2034 34% total
  11. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston

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    Right now Ric, the Marshall targeting thing is one of the two valid serious criticisms of Cutler.

    So, while admittedly, this has been a long term recurring issue, I'm not sure that he has ever had a real qualified QB mentor such as Trestman that has said publicly that he wants o change this.

    I guess what I am saying is that while I agree with you in terms of history repeating itself, this is probably the best opportunity to break the cycle that Custler has had to date. Whether or not that happens is going to play a big part in Cutlers success, and so that is why I say that we really won't know if all of this rhetoric will actually translate into a different way of playing until we see at least 2 or 3 actual season games. I think it can go either way at this point. There is no doubt in my mind that the intention is to curtail it, but whether it happens or not... only the regular season can tell us.
  12. riczaj01

    riczaj01

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    BiH, I agree, and I don't think it will be a problem in the reg season, but it is worth taking note and see what happens.

    I think Shanny is a good enough HC/Omined coach that he would have stressed this to Cutty, which is why it was somewhat limited in Den. I don't think Martz would have put up w/it either. I just hope Trestman can work this out of him.
  13. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 SuperFan

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    I'm watching to see if Jay ultimately follows "The Plan" that Trestman is trying to implement (a more diversified offense) or if Jay, as in the past, just blows him off and does his own thing. Will he finally "listen" to a coach and get rid of the football quicker, or take unnecessary sacks - or worse, continue to throw the Hail Mary passes into the double and triple covered Brandon Marshall that end up as ints?

    Bottom line is that if we are to finally get back into the playoffs and ultimately win a Super Bowl, we need Jay to evolve and improve. The good teams have his number, especially Green Bay, and we lose those games. I'm tired of looking up at Green Bay's backside each year, and ending up in 3rd place in the NFC-N.

    The Cutler to B.Marsh Hail Mary's are only going to take us so far. Not far enough.
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  14. Henry Burris

    Henry Burris

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    Ric, the preseason has consistently given us a bad "feel" for how the team will look. Wasn't it in 2010 that the defense was playing so horribly that we were getting worried about age? I'm saying patience over all else. Have been since before training camp, because this board gets REALLY high on certain players in TC and preseason and, they generally fall flat in the regular season. I've also said that this is mostly getting all the wrinkles ironed out. Also, some players either play absolutely amazing, giving them the nod over players they weren't expected to beat (look at Russell last year, and by and large, Long is looking like that this year). Plays by players that already have their spot well earned is largely irrelevant, as it's mostly about getting them repetitions. Patience is my key word, and god this board is severely lacking it. A few weeks in will prove my point, as it does EVERY year.
  15. riczaj01

    riczaj01

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    Henry how many playoffs have the bears been to in the last 10 years? You can get a "feel" for how the team is going to perform, not by win's and losses or qbr or ypc or td to int...but how the team looks. Does the team LOOK like they deserve to be out there.

    Last year the team had to pull Cutler out of the 1st pre season game before they wanted to b/c he was getting killed. It let everyone know the OL was still an issue...and it was. YOU can see how the team looks, even w/vanilla O's and D's and no gameplans. b/c if everything is vanilla and no one is game planning a competent O is going to look competent, a competent D will LOOK competent.

    Really it proves it EVERY year? How'd that work last year w/the OL? Did the OL look good? Did I miss a few years ago when Roy Williams looked like a stud in pre season and only got his gator arms back in the regular season? Did I miss K Davis lighting up the PS only to fold in the Reg?
  16. Henry Burris

    Henry Burris

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    I was overly vague with my criticism. I'll flesh it out, what I'm meaning.


    First, I will start with where you and I agree:

    Even a few years ago under Martz, Cutler in/famously threw at a tent during TC because of the line. The line was trash, pure and simple. Yes, you can get a certain feel for things, such as the fact that Bostic has shown to be rough thus far in the passing game.

    Now where it seems there's a disagreement, but there's really not:

    Flaws, and I mean FLAWS are what we should be looking for. Also, I've been saying that every year, some rando comes out and plays pretty well, preseason, and everyone thinks he's going to be great. Everyone falls for it, I have, you have, everyone. My point with that criticism is that you really don't know what you're going to get from the preseason, unless it's an obvious flaw, which the majority of the time has been the offensive line. Quarterbacks don't really matter in the preseason, save for getting reps and not getting injured. Only when you have a Russell Wilson, in an open competition, are you going to get anything worth holding onto. I personally think Long is that guy this year, but again, he's only seen vanilla defense, and where we both agree again, he's not going against any real competition anytime soon, so a grain of salt does need to be taken into account there.


    Where we disagree:

    You've brought up Jay's tendencies in the previous preseason game as a further sign of his over confidence on his ability to get the ball to Marshall. It's more than likely a minor point in your argument, as it was only 5 passes, but, I've thrown up many other stats to show that what a QB does in the preseason doesn't necessarily correlate to how he will perform in the season (Although you will get no argument from me that Jay was STARING down his targets thus far). Also, you really can't get a feel for how a team is in the preseason, case in point, New England's destruction at the hands of the Lions last night. New England's got a really good defense, and it wouldn't worry me in the slightest, wouldn't be an omen to me, that they're going to suck this year.

    Where I don't know if we agree or not:

    TC and preseason are where the kinks are getting ironed out. Before TC, it looked like Webb vs. Carimi, and now it looks like Mills vs. himself. There's absolutely no need to panic about anything up to this point. The coaches NEED to expose their own weaknesses, so they can try to fix them before the regular season starts. Likewise, this coaching staff seems to be focusing on the offensive line very heavily, and the many uses they had for Long were to find out what he can and can't do (so far, he can do more than not).



    Now, If Jay comes out tonight, plays multiple series, stares down every target he intends to throw to, I'll concede, he'll have given us a legitimate reason to worry.
  17. riczaj01

    riczaj01

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    HB I think we agree on more then you think. I, nor anyone else, is saying JC starring down his or over targeting Marshal is a sign of things to come, merely a concern to keep an eye on. I've actually stated I don't think it's that big of a deal since it was Cutlers first in game action w/BM this preseason. But it is worth keeping note that not only did he only target him, but he did so in an obvious double team/bracket coverage where he HAS to throw to someone else, and this is a trend he has shown throughout his time dating back to Den. Those are the classic bad jay throws that everyone is hoping Trestman is working out of him.

    TC/PS are where you are trying to get things ironed out, but that doesn't mean you should start your drives w/sack sack fumble int. Remember it's not just Chicago running vanilla/no game plan, it's the team they are opposing also. Im pissed I don't get to watch the game tonight, I'll have to wait until it's no NFL network. I was going to goto BW's and hope they had it on, but alas my dog needed a $300 er vet vist so that's just out of the question.

    BTW, good observation about Bostic, seems people are only looking at 2 plays to decide that he's somehow made it, he has looked very poor in pass coverage, and has lined up incorrectly on multiple plays according to reports. He is very green, much line Long and Mills...and NFL teams are going to see what they do well and poorly and exploit them. That all being said all three have a nasty demeanor and if they can learn and develop into starters that's a hell of a trait to have.
  18. zelezo vlk

    zelezo vlk

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    Well, there wasn't a problem with Marshall being the only Bear able to catch tonight...
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  19. Henry Burris

    Henry Burris

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    I really hope DJ Williams is healthy for week 1. We'll be ok with Bostic, but opposing defenses are gonna attack the middle of the field, relentlessly if he starts.

    EDIT: One positive I need to add is that, on Pryor's TD run, he went from playing the other side of the field to close in on him pretty quickly.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2013
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  20. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 SuperFan

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    Kudos to Jay Cutler last night. He did what many of us were hoping - spread the ball around, get rid of the ball quicker. He protected the ball beautifully (no ints or fumbles).

    If Jay can perform like this, then I'm a happy camper.

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