Welcome to the first edition of the 2013 CCS Film Room! This article will focus on the play of the rookie Offensive Lineman of the Bears, both Kyle Long and Jordan Mills.
Having a rookie right side of an offensive line is typically a nightmare scenario for NFL teams, but given the Bears recent lack of success at, well, everything involving the OL from the last few years, it’s plausible to consider the rookies an immediate upgrade. Matt Forte has often been criticized for his lack of production near the goal line, but he may have found some saving grace from the new guys. Let’s look at both the play before Forte’s score, and the TD scamper itself. On to the stills!
The Bears lined up with 3 WR and a TE to the right side of the line on 1st and Goal from the Cincinnati 5-yard line on the first play. The play is a designed run behing LG Matt Slauson. Shortly after Forte gets the ball, the line stacks up. As you can see in this first shot, both RG Long and RT Mills have moved behind the pile (helmets circled), attempting to push it forward. Four Bengals defenders are on the other side of Forte (with a 5th coming in shortly after) trying to stop the momentum. At the point the scrum initiated, the ball was at the 4-yard line.
With an incredible push from the rookies, Forte kept his feet moving and gained 3 additional yards, finally falling at the 1-yard line. An elated Long has lifted his arms in celebration of the push, and Mills appears to continue blocking Bengals LB Burfict.
On the next play, most Bears fans noticed Cutler signaling a touchdown while the ball was still at the 2-yard line. Why? Let’s take a look. On this still, you see the play is designed for Slauson to cut behind Garza and block Cincy DT Still, whom Long has shot past off the snap.
By the time Forte has made the first player miss with his speed, Slauson has destroyed Still (on the ground), Mills has picked up Cincy LB Mauluga, Garza has created the lane with an incredible block of two men, and Long is standing a foot inside the endzone, waiting to “clean up the slop” that never materialized thanks to Mills. Cutler sees that Long is the only man between Forte and pay dirt, and celebrates the unavoidable TD.
As happy as QB Jay Cutler was with the result of the play, no man on the roster can be more excited about the re-worked Offensive Line than RB Matt Forte. The rookies can play, the new guys (Slauson and LT Bushrod) are established vets, and Garza is enjoying having some of the load taken off his shoulders this season.
Cincinnati has an incredible front 7, and although they limited Forte’s overall numbers throughout the game, the Bears showed they have the man-power to run the ball in while inside the redzone, and the overall outcome was the first W of the season. Well done, Rookies. Well done Trestman. And maybe most of all, well done Emery.
Here’s to hoping this line only improves, and the Bears continue to look like a 21st century offense in the 2013 season!
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