Offense Bails Out A Shaky Defense, That's A Switch............

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by soulman, Aug 15, 2014.

  1. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Bears defense shaky, but offense bails them out in win over Jaguars

    August 14, 2014, 10:15 pm


    Scott Krinch

    Bend, but don't break.

    It wasn't disastrous, but the Bears first-team defense certainly bent in a 20-19 preseason victory to the Jacksonville Jaguars at Soldier Field on Thursday night.

    The Bears defense struggled against a Jaguars offense that ranked near the bottom in every statistical category in 2013, including last in the NFL in points per game.

    On the very first play of the night, the Bears lost rookie first-round pick Kyle Fuller to an ankle injury while he was being blocked on the opening kickoff.

    Things wouldn't get much better from there.

    Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne engineered a nine play, 41-yard drive on the team's first possession that resulted in a Josh Scobee 49-yard field goal.

    Henne would lead the Jaguars back on the field just four plays later after a quick three-and-out by the Bears offense.

    The Bears starting safety tandem of Ryan Mundy and Danny McCray had no answer for Jaguars tight end Marcedes Lewis, who developed into Henne's go-to-guy on the drive. The mammoth tight end accounted for 26 yards and drew a key holding penalty that put the Jaguars in the red zone. But once again, the Bears defense was able to hang tough at the goal line and hold the Jaguars to another Scobee field goal.

    Chicago's defense would get a short breather after wide receiver Eric Weems fumbled at the 23-yard line on the ensuing kickoff. The Jaguars capitalized on the takeaway immediately when Henne found Marqise Lee for a six-yard touchdown to give Jacksonville a 13-0 lead late in the first quarter.

    “I think we’re a humbled group," Briggs said. "We’re working real hard right now. We’ll keep taking steps in the right direction. You’re never going to know [in the preseason]. It’s good to get tested against an opponent but you’re never really going to know until Week 1.”

    Jay Cutler and the Bears offense would finally get back on the field, and draw Chicago back in the contest. Cutler led a 10 play, 85-yard scoring drive capped off by a four-yard Brandon Marshall touchdown reception. Cutler, who was replaced by Jimmy Clausen after the drive, finished the night with a dazzling 138.7 QB rating.

    "We went three-and-out then and then we kind of had to wait around for a long time," Cutler said. "That was tough. But we bounced back, converted some third downs. The offensive line gave me a lot of time. It wasn’t our cleanest drive but we got the job done.”

    However, the Eagles would respond against a Bears defense featuring mostly reserves.

    Blake Bortles, the Jaguars 2014 first-round pick (3rd overall), marched his team on a nine play, 50-yard drive which resulted in another Scobee field goal to give Jacksonville a 16-7 lead at halftime. The Jaguars finished the first half with 275 total yards.

    The Bears wouldn't find the end zone again until rookie running back Ka'Deem Carey picked up his first rushing touchdown with 7:55 remaining in the contest to cut Jacksonville's lead to 19-14.

    Chicago would get one last crack at moving to 2-0 — for the first time since 2007 — on the preseason.
    Jordan Palmer, who is competing with Clausen for the team's backup quarterback job, ran the two-minute drill to perfection. Palmer found wide receiver Armanti Edwards for a 10-yard reception to put the Bears in the red zone. Rookie running back Senorise Perry finished off the drive with a five-yard touchdown to give the Bears a 20-19 lead.

    C.J. Wilson picked off Jaguars quarterback Stephen Morris on the ensuing drive to complete the comeback for the Bears.
  2. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    First of all you have to ask yourself why is our prize 1st round draft pick covering kicks in a preseason game. Is Joe D so devoid of any ability to find others among the 60-70 he has to chose from that he has to use starters again like he did last year just to get decent coverage?

    I'm beginning to think this guy has to go.

    The D played soft all night. Both the starters and the reserves. They weren't a very physical bunch and they also drew some bad penalties. Maybe the worst was that illegal contact call on Hayden when we had stopped them with a big sack. The guy ran into him for cripes sake! If it was BB it would have been a charging foul. That needs to be corrected or we'll see receivers intentionally creating contact just to draw a penalty. We need the incidental contact rule to stay as it is. If they start calling penalties on stuff like that defense might as well mail it in.

    I saw a couple of good plays from our young LBs but again for the most part they were playing backwards or lateral not downhill. They aren't aggressively attacking gaps to make a tackle. They're waiting for the ball carrier to come to them. Not much of a pass rush tonight either although Henne and Bortles were getting the ball out pretty quickly.
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  3. DaTreeBears

    DaTreeBears Pro-Bowler

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    The people getting payed the least on that football field are having way to much impact on this game. I'm pining away for the replacement refs after all these useless yellow flags. The commissioner is so clueless does he not see this is hurting the game? Time to teach the receivers the bump and flop after 10 yards call in some world cup soccer players.
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  4. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Position Coach

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    I feel the same on all points. When I him get hurt, the first thing I thought was why in the hell is he out there on ST?
    The D was not the agressive D that Tucker was trying to sell us. He stayed based on the promise that his own D would be implemented, and he implements the same D we had before... the cover 2. I don't even begin to try to understand that.
    Lots of talent... no pass rush...
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  5. B-ell-y-iot

    B-ell-y-iot Veteran SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Slow down with the pessimism. First off, who says Fuller's a starter? The last consensus I heard here was that he's a nickle back. Now he's the #2 corner next to Tillman? Even so, he's still a rookie who needs to be assessed at every position. All the other rookies are out there on ST and no one's upset. Ego's out there. Sutton's out there. Carey's out there. Why not Fuller? Joe D's playing everything he can to get some game tape on these young gents so he can field a good STeam unit come game 1. This week clearly was an improvement from last and to make that improvement he's got to put guys in on special teams to get tape on them to eval. So when he tries our rookie corner out we're gonna call for his head? Come on man. Joe D wants to make STeams work. He's sifting through this roster playing everyone he can to get game tape on these guys to make improvements. The last thing he needs is message board Bears fans getting all uptight about his game - give the dude due process before asking for the scalp. I think things progressed and even if they haven't, he needs time to get acclimated to a new group of players. It is only Preseason Week 2 (the first preseason game of week 2 none-the-less).

    Game 1 STeams had a blocked FG, shitty punts a kickoff return for a touchdown... None of these issues surfaced in the game this week. Our punt and kickoff return coverage units were superior than those of the previous week. Our punting was improved. There weren't any blocked kicks or field goals. We had some muffed punts but that's a product of the men we have on the field. Williams is out with a hammy and other than him we have Weems, Ford and Bellamy to return punts/kick offs. They all fucked up. Is that the STeam's coach's fault? Is it the fault of the GM? Is it the fault of the players? I think it's a personnel issue. The fans don't want someone star studded back there for the same reason they are upset that Fuller was issued but when depth is played and experimented with everyone's uptight.

    I think STeams looked better this week than last and I think next week will look better still. Joe D is still getting a sense for who is best suited to play there. He's working with the scraps of the 53 (right now the inflated 53) and he's doing his best. The time will come for harsh critiques of coaches - the reg season. Right now, it's unproductive to be calling for heads. In the off chance the coaching staff reads message boards and is swayed by the opinions or consensus of the online community we need to be productive in our assessments of players - not the coaches.

    If I were calling for heads I would keep the pressure on Weems and Ford. Neither of which has done anything productive. They should be benched to allow others the opp to compete. It's clear there's no standout PR/KR and we know what we have with Weems and Ford (and possibly Bellamy) that means the coaching staff should be accelerating the competition. There's a spot to be earned on STeams for KR/PR who's gonna get it? Morgan? Perry? Carey? someone else. See what they've got. Clearly KR/PR is a weakness that needs addressing. I want to see Joe D. address it. He's not going anywhere for awhile, so I want to urge him to go for the fix at the positions of needs. KR / PR and coverage. Keep at it Joe. The talent's there, you just have to put them in the right place.
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  6. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    The Bears D starting unit looks pretty rough right now. Tonight I watched the Seattle D rip San Diego. Earlier I watched the Patriots D look pretty decent also. Watching the other D's in the league makes you realize just how crappy our Chicago D looks by comparison. We have light-years to go before we're a decent defense IMHO. Can we do that this season? Sure. But so far I just see players out of position and that "deer in the headlights" look from Shea, and QB's on many plays just getting too much time to pass, and even mediocre QB's like Chad Henne cutting up our D and moving the ball pretty easily on us. If this is the best we have when the regular season begins then seriously we're in for another 8-8 season at best. The Packers and Detroit will rip this D bigtime if this is as good as it gets. And that's just division foes. Others will feast on us too. And here's the scary thing. This is how it looks with a healthy D, before the injuries begin to mount up in the regular season.
  7. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Point #1; The coaches say he's a starter at LCB when Jennings moves into the nickel which may happen on half the defensive snaps. He's not playing NB, Jennings is. In my book and the coaches book that makes him starter.

    Point #2; He played on STeams in college so they already have tape on him in that regard. IMHO the DO NOT need more of it in preseason instead of trying to find that 5th or 6th CB
    who'll stick because he can cover kicks and punts. They already know Fuller can so what's the point?

    Ego and Sutton are not playing on coverage teams that I've seen. That's a spot for DBs, LBs, TEs, RBs and smaller DEs who can run. If you can show me examples of those guys on coverage units I'll believe you but it's rare. Very rare. Carey yes, but not Forte right? Not the starters if you can avoid it and sure as hell not in preseason. A few years back we lost Wootton for a second season because they had him on kick coverage in a preseason game when we were thin on DE talent to begin with. IMHO it's dumb.

    I'm not denying Joe D wants to make it work but he isn't is he? And in fact he didn't do very well at it last year either. I see a pattern developing I don't like and I'm not big on his complaints about trying to find Sunday players. He as far more talent to choose from than Dave Toub ever had and I never heard those words come out of his mouth. He found them, he coached them, and we had some of the best ST units in the NFL.

    The very fact that he even started with Weems ahead of CWill as a KOR/PR guy causes me huge suspicions about what's going on in his head and I'm not alone. Biggsy called him out on it too. He has other choices but he's not using them first. If anything Weems should be his very last choice, not his first. I'm seeing bad decisions and bad coaching and I'm seeing it for the second time. This guy is not as good as he was advertised to be.

    You're more forgiving of this than I am B- so I guess we're gonna have to disagree about Joe D as a coach.
  8. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Position Coach

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    Surprised no one is coming to Joe D's defense with the tried and true "look what he has to work with" defense that was used with Tucker.

    This is like porn. It may not have a definition, but I can recognize crappy coaching when I see it.
  9. B-ell-y-iot

    B-ell-y-iot Veteran SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Point 1: True. He is a starter or a rotational starter / schematic starter. This prereq. doesn't draw ire from the fans when other 1st team players/rotational players get the start on STeams. Consider Bostic and Smac. Both of them play multiple roles in the special teams game, and both of them are in the starting rotation. Smac right now is the 1st team SLB, should he be pulled from STeams? Bostic is the starting LB in the nickle? Should he be pulled from STeams? I think if we want a strong ST, we allow Joe D to make some personnel decisions. Few rookies, in my opinion, should be excluded from the ST rotation. Fuller should not be excluded. It's a shame he got hurt on that play but in the game of football there is a risk of getting hurt every day. I think the reps AND value he brings to STeams outweigh the risks.
    Starting Players on STeams.png
    Point 2: This point is not very strong. By this logic, we have tape on Fuller as a CB so why should we play him at that position? They already know what he can do...
    No they don't. This is a different game. This isn't hometown heroes, this is the big leagues and Fuller hasn't proven shit on STeams in the pro game. Even if he had proven himself, he would still need the reps with the coverage team to understand the system.


    Point 3: ...
    KR Steams Ferguson and Sutton.png KR STeams Ferguson.png


    I'm not denying Joe D wants to make it work but he isn't is he? And in fact he didn't do very well at it last year either. I see a pattern developing I don't like and I'm not big on his complaints about trying to find Sunday players. He as far more talent to choose from than Dave Toub ever had and I never heard those words come out of his mouth. He found them, he coached them, and we had some of the best ST units in the NFL.[/quote]

    Our special teams unit is not a finished product. I understand that the NFL is a cut throat league and that coaches need to act quick to fix their responsibilities or they are sent away, but there needs to be time and space for them to make these improvements. I could talk about injuries to the team on last year's defense, which affects special teams play dramatically since a lot of your ST starters are your defensive back-ups. I could talk about the loss of Pat Mannely, I could talk about the loss of Hester. I could talk about the high number of new players on the team this year, you could call all of these excuses.

    I guess I am more inclined to call them adjustments the ST coach is trying to make. I am willing to give him the pre-season to make the adjustments before I call for his head. Like with any job, it takes time to adjust to your team members, to the scheme, and to the new year. Joe D. hasn't had long.

    I will be an adamant opponent of his if he doesn't continue to show improvement (which he did from this week to last) and if he doesn't field a good team come Week 1 against the Bills. Until then, I'm gonna stay optimistic because this is their training time.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014
  10. omc1969

    omc1969 Veteran

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    I'm going to wait and see how this progresses as it is afterall pre-season, however I think that Weems needs to be shown the door if he doesn't deliver in the next game. Different combinations of players at most of the positions will be sorted out in the next two weeks THEN we will see just where all the chips fall. JMHO though.

    :wink:

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