ESPN 4 downs

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by riczaj01, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/bea...-downs-time-to-worry-about-bears-offense#more

    Chicago Bears Report


    Four Downs: Time to worry about offense?
    August, 12, 2013
    10:21 PM CT

    By ESPNChicago.com

    With just one preseason game in the books, how much do we know about the state of the Bears offense or the offensive line's makeup?

    Our panel weighs in on that and more:

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    Fact or Fiction: Through two and a half weeks of camp and one preseason game, the Bears should be concerned about their offensive execution.

    Jeff Dickerson: Fact: Whenever a new offense is installed there are naturally going to be concerns, especially coming off a disastrous 2012 season on offense. There is ample skill-position talent on the roster for Jay Cutler to spread the ball around to, but for whatever reason, the offense hasn’t looked all that sharp in practice since camp opened up in late July. Far too often Cutler has been intercepted, either due to his error or a miscue by the intended receiver. The Bears can’t turn the ball over if they expect to win. There is also the uncertainty on the offensive line, which will continue to be a cause for concern until the final starting five is set sometime around the third preseason game. And even when the No. 1 line is penciled in, are the Bears comfortable starting two rookies on the right side in the event Jordan Mills hangs onto the job? To be fair, the Bears haven’t really been able to run the ball in the preseason. If the ground game can get cooking with Matt Forte and Michael Bush, then no matter what happens with the other stuff, the Bears will have a chance to be decent on offense. But simply based on what we’ve seen so far, the offense has a long way to go before it will be ready to handle whatever the Cincinnati Bengals offense throws at them in Week 1.

    Michael C. Wright: Fiction. Not any more concerned than anyone else around the league is at this point of the year. It's important to remember that the Bears are executing a brand new offense, and the truth is the first-teamers executed fairly well against theCarolina Panthers. In 10 snaps, Cutler completed 6 of 8 for 56 yards with a passer rating of 54.2, which was knocked down quite a few points due to the interception he threw on the first play of the game. Of those 10 plays, nine of them turned out to be passes, although Bears coach Marc Trestman later revealed that he called more runs than what was actually executed. This could be viewed as a positive. Cutler checked out of some of the runs to put the Bears in more advantageous situations to throw the ball, based on several factors. Judging from his completion percentage (75), Cutler was making the correct checks. So signs indicate Cutler is figuring out things, and that's exactly what the Bears want from their quarterback at this point in the preseason.

    Jeff Dickerson: Fact: Here is the issue with Webb; he’s not getting any better. The Bears know exactly what he is capable and not capable of doing. With Mills, there is still a chance he can turn into an above average NFL offensive lineman, something Webb is not. Mills also seems to care about his profession. He gets mad when he makes a mistake. The rookie even went as far as to call himself “my own biggest critic.” Does Webb really care about football? In three-plus years of covering the guy, I can honestly say I don’t know the answer to that question. It doesn’t seem to bother Webb all that much when he allows a defender to drill Cutler for a sack. For that very reason alone, I give the nod to Mills, who is expected to receive a fair shot to unseat Webb for good in the coming weeks.

    Michael C. Wright: Fact. Eventually, Mills probably will wind up being a better offensive tackle than Webb, who seems to possess the physical tools, but also seems to lack the mentality necessary to excel at his position. It's not quite time to write off Webb, however. One bad play shouldn't banish Webb to the bench forever. A thorough study of film from Friday night's game at Carolina would probably reveal that every starter on the offensive line suffered through a bad play here or there. The microscope on Webb is just more intense because of his past struggles. Mills, meanwhile, probably isn't quite ready to contribute as a starter right now. But he'll get there. The Bears plan to throw Mills in with the No. 1s against the Chargers on Thursday, and after that game we should have a better indication about his potential as a starter. What's promising about Mills at this point is his enthusiasm. It's quite apparent that the desire is there to put forth the work necessary to become a solid starter. Mills projects as a better player than Webb in the long run, but in the short term the latter might be the best option at right tackle.


    [​IMG]
    Fact or Fiction: Jordan Mills will prove to be a better offensive tackle than J'Marcus Webb.

    Jeff Dickerson: Fact: Here is the issue with Webb; he’s not getting any better. The Bears know exactly what he is capable and not capable of doing. With Mills, there is still a chance he can turn into an above average NFL offensive lineman, something Webb is not. Mills also seems to care about his profession. He gets mad when he makes a mistake. The rookie even went as far as to call himself “my own biggest critic.” Does Webb really care about football? In three-plus years of covering the guy, I can honestly say I don’t know the answer to that question. It doesn’t seem to bother Webb all that much when he allows a defender to drill Cutler for a sack. For that very reason alone, I give the nod to Mills, who is expected to receive a fair shot to unseat Webb for good in the coming weeks.

    Michael C. Wright: Fact. Eventually, Mills probably will wind up being a better offensive tackle than Webb, who seems to possess the physical tools, but also seems to lack the mentality necessary to excel at his position. It's not quite time to write off Webb, however. One bad play shouldn't banish Webb to the bench forever. A thorough study of film from Friday night's game at Carolina would probably reveal that every starter on the offensive line suffered through a bad play here or there. The microscope on Webb is just more intense because of his past struggles. Mills, meanwhile, probably isn't quite ready to contribute as a starter right now. But he'll get there. The Bears plan to throw Mills in with the No. 1s against the Chargers on Thursday, and after that game we should have a better indication about his potential as a starter. What's promising about Mills at this point is his enthusiasm. It's quite apparent that the desire is there to put forth the work necessary to become a solid starter. Mills projects as a better player than Webb in the long run, but in the short term the latter might be the best option at right tackle.
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    Fact or Fiction: Matt Forte will have a career season in Trestman's system.

    Jeff Dickerson: Fiction: The only reason I’m not convinced that Forte will eclipse the 1,715 all-purpose yards he compiled his rookie year of 2008 is because if the Bears offense is executed properly, Cutler will have so many other options, in addition to Forte. But don’t get me wrong, a healthy Forte should have a monster year in this offense, especially if the Bears throw him the football out of the backfield. Forte has looked outstanding in camp, with a strong lower body that should allow the tailback to break free of would-be tacklers when the regular season rolls around. However, the hope is that Forte stays fresh for the Bears late season playoff push because Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Earl Bennett, Martellus Bennett and Michael Bush shoulder their share of the load.

    Michael C. Wright: Fact. Considering Forte gained 1,238 yards in his best rushing season (2008), it's not out of the realm of possibility for him to put together a career year on the ground if the offense runs through him the way Trestman said it will. The fact Forte will be asked to catch more passes also bodes well for the possibility of him having a career season. But from this vantage point, too much of Forte's potential success appears to be tied to Cutler. What if Cutler puts on the blinders, and forgets about Forte and throws only to Brandon Marshall? What if the quarterback checks out of a ton of called runs, thus taking away some of Forte's opportunities? There are too many questions here and not enough answers. Forte should be able to put together a career year in the new offense, similar to the way Charlie Garner did in the past working with Trestman in Oakland. At the same time, a lot of that will depend on how Cutler will distribute the ball.

    [​IMG]
    Fact or Fiction: Jon Bostic will be starting by Week 3.

    Jeff Dickerson: Fact: This is a tough one. I still haven’t given up on D.J. Williams, whom the Bears really liked in the offseason program, but I just don’t know when the veteran middle linebacker is going to return from a bad calf injury. If Williams can get back on the field for the third preseason game, then I believe he has a shot to win his job back. But the longer Williams stays out, the more chances it gives Bostic to make plays in the preseason. If the rookie can sustain the success he had after the opening drive versus the Panthers and carry that into the next two exhibition games, then it will be difficult for Williams to unseat Bostic in the middle of the Bears’ defense.

    Michael C. Wright: Fiction. Bostic will start only if D.J. Williams is unable to play in Week 3 because of injury or suspension. Bostic put together a promising showing in his NFL debut against Carolina, but Trestman was quick to point out the team isn't anointing him by any means. That's partially because he knows what the Bears already have in the middle with Williams, who has been slowed by a strained calf. Williams put together five consecutive seasons from 2007-2010 of 103 tackles or more, including 170 stops in 2007, before injuries and off-field issues limited his production. Williams never missed a regular season or playoff game over his first four seasons in the NFL, and at one time was considered one of the league's best at his position. Williams didn't all of a sudden age 10 years overnight. He's still got it, and the organization had been raving about that fact just before Williams suffered the injury. Bostic definitely shows potential, and is the future at the position. But he's not going to unseat a healthy Williams.


    Really good questions and some solid answer from both writers for a change.

    Sadly I agree the team should be concerned about the O...well maybe not the O, but the OL, Britton showed that he's not a capable LT, maybe he'll be better at RT(his natural position) but will either he or Mills really be an upgrade over Webb? And is having to rookies on the right side of the line really the best idea? I had concerns when it was Brown/Webb b/c of Brown's youth but the two of them have a combined 5 years, now they are looking at Long/Mills w/a combined 0 years?

    Both I think make good points about Forte, not sure a career year is possible if the O is running right b/c I see a lot of different players having big years, and you still have to make sure Marshal is getting the ball a lot also. 1700+ yards sounds about right in total, which what his rookie season...and I think he had 8-9 TD's, so if he gets 10+ that would make it a career year. But if it doesn't happen he would have hardly failed.

    I still think they'l want DJ playing as the starter. Everything I have heard is that the entire D and the coaches were amazed at how fast he is, now combine that w/actual NFL experience and I think we'll see game day what the players are talking about. Either way I think you'll see a lot of rotation of the players on D regardless. The team will get a lot of looks at DJ and Bostic imo
  2. Jimmors

    Jimmors The Rhymenoceros Staff Member SuperFan

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    Down 1: Fact. Any time you have a new HC, new OC, new OLmen, new Offensive scheme, its going to take some time for everything to run smoothly. Like Jim Miller said in the first preseason game: i wouldnt expect to see it come together until about week 3 of the regular season. I think that timeline is reasonable enough, they might struggle at first, but it will come together after a few weeks. While they may be "Concerned" to start, that should dissipate soon enough.

    Down 2: Fact. A beanbag chair on a skateboard would be a better Tackle than Webb.

    Down 3: Fiction. The only reason Forte put up ridiculous numbers in the past was because he WAS our offense. Thats not a knock on Forte, he is the best all-purpose back in the league, but with Jay's new Offensive weapons, scheme and plays, i think he will spread the ball around a bit more. Forte will have a great season, but he wont have those career seasons of the past, and this is a good thing (both for him, and the Bears offense in general).

    Down 4: Impossible to say. All depends on DJ Williams. If DJ is still injured, Bostic gets the start. If not, then he doesnt.
  3. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Down 1: Concern yes but a high degree of concern no. The pick could have been on Cutler, might have been on Jeffery, but was most likely on both. After that he moved the ball within the framework of the system and made good calls at the line to change out of run plays which were being defensed. When have we ever seen that before? If by the third game when the offense plays at least half the game the offense is not sustaining drives and turning them into scores THEN maybe the worries should rise but right now, no.

    Down 2: Either get that stupid oaf Webb ready to play or pack his bags for him and give him bus fare and a $5 McDonalds gift certificate and say goodbye to him for good. If he can't even win and hold the RT spot I'm done with him. The kid is still talking about improving his fundamental technique in his 4th year???? WTF???? All of the reasons he flunked out of Texas and ended up at West Bumfuck A&M and wasn't taken until round 7 despite his size and legendary athletic prowess are all too obvious by now. He doesn't "get it" and what's even sadder is "he doesn't care". I don't have any idea what he's like in life but as far as his football IQ goes he's a borderline imbecile who lacks any of the maturity needed to grow as a player.

    I would have loved to have watched Carimi have his chance to compete with him for a spot he won before his knee injury but that's water over the dam and maybe another of Emery's bad decisions but that's yesterdays news. Give Mills a shot these next two games and let's see if he shows some improvement and at least enough consistency to leave him there to develop at RT. Webb is a lost cause. Even if he steps back up how long will it stay that way? He can't seem to put two or three good games together consecutively so how's he gonna do it for an entire season? It's tough to believe Mills could be any worse and at least with him we may be making an investment in a future RT. Any further investment in Webb is like sending good money after bad.

    Down 3: If he can avoid injury he'll be fine but it's ridiculous question. How can anyone predict how many yards or TDs he'll have? We haven't even seen the offense yet or what options Cutler will have or how he'll choose to use them. Magic 8 Ball says "ask again later".

    Down 4: I'd have to say that I agree with the Game Three thing. If Williams isn't able to play in that game then he won't have spent enough time in camp playing to deserve the start on opening day. The "you don't lose your spot if injured" thing doesn't seem to apply here anymore. Besides I don't believe either of them had a lock on the starting spot to begin with. As a vet Williams got the first shot at it but it wasn't just gonna be given to him without any challenge from Bostic. It was no ones position to lose and right now Bostic has seemingly won it for the time being. Once D J returns he's the one who'll need to win it back.
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  4. Henry Burris

    Henry Burris Head Coach

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    DOWN 1:
    Been saying it's going to be an issue for a few weeks now. I'll wait until we are 1-2 in the preseason before mentioning how the '85 Bears, or the 2008 Lions did. I will throw this tidbit out, tho:

    Jon Kitna had a perfect passer rating in 2008. What we are seeing now is just the coaches seeing what doesn't work, and ironing out the wrinkles. This likely isn't as much of a preview of the upcoming season as it is cutting the fat. Also, keep in mind, the Bears have had sub-par preseasons and then week one blow out a playoff caliber team (Falcons in '11, Colts last year) and follow that up with mediocre performances. Just saying we really don't know what to expect, but keep in mind that we've improved talent wise everywhere, and the only real talent loss that will be felt is Izzy (Sorry, Urlacher was getting slow, and his pick 6 against the Titans was the only thing to write home about). The o-line talent won't be meshed quite so early, but we have a coaching staff that can think on the fly (fix what's not working, in-game).


    DOWN 2:

    The way Kromer put it earlier, it sounds like it can only be fact

    DOWN 3:

    I'm inclined to agree with Soul on this one. But, I'll stick my neck out and say he'll be used more appropriately as a dual threat back, while not having the best season of his career, yards wise. I'm pretty sure, though, once we get into the red zone, Michael Bush will be taking over, as he's also a dual threat, but while he can also receive, he's significantly better running between the tackles, which is much needed in goal to go situations.

    DOWN 4:

    If Williams can get healthy, fiction. It wouldn't surprise me to replace one of the linebackers on obvious passing situations, at some point in the season, tho.

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