Imperfect screen pass turns out perfect for Bears

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by short faced bear, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. short faced bear

    short faced bear Assistant Head Coach DBS Writer

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    Play doesn't going exactly as planned, but offensive line, Forte make it work

    By Rich Campbell, Chicago Tribune reporter

    9:18 p.m. CST, November 17, 2013

    The Bears on Sunday finally succeeded on a screen pass after so many herky-jerky botches this season. The play's true majesty, though, lies in how the Bears' offensive line turned a potential bust into a touchdown.

    Running back Matt Forte's 14-yard catch-and-run with 10 minutes, 33 seconds left in regulation gave them their first lead of a game they won 23-20 against the Ravens in overtime.

    Forte's path to the end zone, as it turned out, was the product of instinctive adjustments by left guard Matt Slauson, center Roberto Garza and right guard Kyle Long — a testament to the offensive line's growing chemistry in the screen game.

    "That particular play was so messed up," Slauson said with a smile. "It didn't happen the way we drew it up."

    Quarterback Josh McCown broke the huddle on second-and-11 with the Bears trailing 17-13. He saw something in the Ravens' defense that prompted him to "alert" to the screen call, though he would not share what. Bears coaches installed the call this week after the Bengals succeeded on a similar screen against the Ravens last Sunday.

    The Bears hoped to exploit an aggressive Ravens' pass rush. Garza and Long were supposed to club the nose tackle to the ground and then release downfield to block two linebackers. Slauson was assigned to peel back and block any defensive linemen's back-side pursuit.

    Immediately after the snap, though, there was a problem.

    Ravens tackle DeAngelo Tyson didn't rush. Either he stayed at the line of scrimmage to defend the screen or the poor footing on the muddy field stalled him. Regardless, that required improvisation.

    Long released to the second level as diagramed, but Slauson did also, instead of Garza, who stayed in to block the nose tackle from chasing the play down.

    "Our guy didn't rush, so it's like, '(Expletive), he's not coming, he's not coming!'" Long said. " You see Garza take over that block a million times, so I had the trust that Garza was going to be able to be there for him, which he was."

    After Long's failed club attempt, he sprinted into the right flat in front of Forte. He blocked linebacker Daryl Smith to the outside, allowing Forte to cut behind him.

    "What an instinctual play on his part to cut back in," Long said. "Usually that screen is designed for him to go outside. I can see the linebacker's eyes, so I knew where Matt was. Matt was pressing it — press, press, press. I push (Smith) out, and Matt cuts in, and it's like, 'Thank you, Matt, for making that play.' If that guy makes a tackle, it's not a good thing in film (review)."

    Meanwhile, Slauson was off-script downfield searching for someone to block. He opted not to target cornerback Corey Graham, which worked out because Forte juked Graham in space.

    Slauson instead blocked cornerback Jimmy Smith at the 3-yard line, securing the final steps for Forte's touchdown.

    "Luckily, I picked the right guy," Slauson said.

    Slauson lifted Forte up from the end-zone turf, while Long squatted in the end zone, shimmied and punched both hands in rhythm. "A dance of pure joy," Long said.

    They had earned the moment after working to correct several mistimed screens from earlier in the year.

    "It just takes repetitions, and that's what we work on at practice for situations like that," Long said, "so when things go awry or don't go 100 percent the way we want, we can have an answer."


    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/football/bears/ct-spt-1118-bears-forte-20131118,0,7507865.story
    • Winner Winner x 1
  2. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Position Coach

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    Sweeeeeet. They are gellin'. By mid next year they will be A LOT better.
  3. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    Forte went into bestmode on that screen for a TD, not sure what his issue was last week, but this week he was back to breaking or eluding that first tackle. He either drove through or broke 3 different D guys and then dove into the EZ w/2 guys on him. It was a great play.
  4. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Position Coach

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    The guy just needs a muddy field to get his best traction.
  5. mdbearz

    mdbearz Veteran

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    I gave Forte the Game ball (another thread) for that play. It sounds like the O-line deserves a CO-Ball.
  6. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Pretty cool. It sure feels a lot better watching this OL, instead of the failed olines of past seasons.

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