Defense Helps Offense and Other Points of View
- Rich Campbell at the Chicago Tribunenotes a few observations from Hall of Fame reciever Michael Irvin:
“Irvin pointed out how Marshall uses his size and speed to separate on horizontal routes. At 6-foot-5, Marshall is imposing. So when Marshall bears down (pun intended!) on a cornerback at the top of his route, a cornerback has to respect Marshall’s physical presence, sometimes by backing off. That often helps Marshall create space coming out of his break.
“He lauded [Alshon] Jeffery’s fluidity and spatial awareness after Jeffery caught a deep pass from quarterback Jay Cutler near the right sideline at the end of practice. From a wide split, Jeffery drove his route up the field, pushing rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller inside. That created space for Cutler to target his pass toward the sideline. Cutler exploited the space with an accurate throw that Jeffery ran underneath and caught. Irvin appreciated how Jeffery created the space for himself with his route direction and then smoothly got back to the outside.
“After practice, Fuller said he must be more aware of the space between him and sideline and narrow that to limit Cutler’s margin for error and Jeffery’s range to catch the ball. Such lessons are part of his daily development at this point.”
- I found this statement from Irvin via Patrick Finley at the Chicago Sun-Times to be easy to believe:
“Irvin joked there was one thing Marshall and the Bears’ receivers do better than he did: block. He praised the Bears’ receivers ‘fervor’ for blocking.
“‘I’ve always found that part difficult,’ Irvin said. ‘It was nowhere in my contract that (owner) Jerry (Jones) was willing to give me any incentives for blocking.'”
- Campbell continues with this observaion of rookie quarterback David Fales:
“When he was pressured during team drills, he climbed the pocket to extend the play. He kept both hands on the ball — a technique coach Marc Trestman and quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh want their quarterbacks to prioritize in the pocket — and maintained a sound, athletic base. That enabled him to keep his eyes downfield and complete a pass to Chris Williams over the middle.
“On a similar play earlier in camp, Fales’ legs were too close together as he shuffled forward. That resulted in him being too upright. He had to quickly reset into a throwing position, but the awkwardness resulted in an errant pass.”
It wouldn’t be right to do it or I would have quoted most of this article for the blog. It’s recommended reading.
- Fred Mitchell and Campbell note that Danny McCray took the first team reps in place of rookie Brock Vereen at safety yesterday. Adam L. Jahns at the Chicago Sun-Times elaborates:
“With only 10 career starts, McCray was considered just a special-teams addition. But the Bears have lived up to their promise that the competition would be wide open.
“‘Everyone has an equal chance,’ McCray said.
“‘Danny has worked to an extent that he gets a chance to get some work there,’ [head coach Marc] Trestman said.
“‘We just wanted to see how Brock handles the situation. And how does Danny handle moving up? It all goes into the gathering of information to make decisions at the end.'”
- Though offensive guard Kyle Long has been cleared to play by doctors, Mark Potash at the Chicago Sun-Times notes that the two days of noncontact work before he actually practices in pads Saturday night is required by the collective bargaining agreement.
- Potash also says that “Will Sutton continues to look like the rookie DT who will make the most impact this season. But it’s early.” I would say that Sutton is more likey to appear to make the most impact. The position of nose guard isn’t very glamourous, especially if Ego Ferguson‘s primary responsibility will be to keep the offensive lineman off of the linebackers. But its probably going to be darned important.
- Kevin Fishbain at chicagofootball.com makes an interesting point I didn’t find elsewhere:
“Linebackers coach Reggie Herring and defensive backs coach Jon Hoke worked with the offense — Herring with the tight ends and running backs and Hoke with wide receivers — in a ball security drill. Marc Trestman is very vocal about ballcarriers putting the ball away. Herring and Hoke can offer pointers from the perspective of having coached defensive players on stripping the ball.”
- Another interesting observation from Fishbain:
“Trestman praised second-team left tackle James Brown for his block out in front of a run play.”
It’s the first mention of Brown, whose roster position I think is in serious jeopardy, that I’ve found since camp began.
Another name I haven’t heard much is “Isaiah Frey” as Fishbain states that “Kelvin Hayden played first-team nickel with Tim Jennings limited”.
- You people need to settle down. From csnchicago.com:
“According to the online sports book Bovada, 95 percent of the money wagered on the Bears’ upcoming season has Chicago favored to win more than 8.5 games, meaning only five percent of the public is betting they won’t have a winning record after going 8-8 last season.”
- Shame on Tony Andracki at csnchicago.com (or whatever editor is responsible for the assignment) for drumming up this non-story so early in the year.
- Michael C. Wright at ESPN.com makes an interesting observation:
“Trestman spent several minutes after practice working with backup quarterbacks Jordan Palmer and Jimmy Clausen, putting the duo through rope-ladder drills. Holding the ball, the quarterbacks simulated their drops through the ladder. It appears the coach is working to improve the quarterbacks’ footwork.”
Not to be too critical but I would have liked to have heard that Cutler was doing it with them.
- More hand wringing over the linebacking corp on Sports Talk Live:
One Final Thought
I love the fact that the Bears managed to get not just one but two sponsors for Saturday night’s practice by calling it the “Meijer Family Fest presented by Chase”.