Things are pretty quiet so I kept this short.
- Mark Potash at the Chicago Sun-Times quotes Jay Cutler on “Mike Tice‘s” new offense:
“‘[Bates] has a really good feel of what I like to do and what I don’t like to do,’ Cutler said after the Bears’ second organized-team-activity workout. ‘There are plays out there today that I told him, ‘I don’t like them. Let’s think about getting rid of them.’ He’s fine with that.'”
So correct me if I’m wrong but aren’t you supposed to talk to the offensive coordinator about getting rid of plays? This brings to mind the situation that the Bears were in last year where players talked after the game about offensive line coach Mike Tice diagraming new plays on the sidelines. It appears that there’s no one person in charge of the Bears offense. Instead, one gets the impression that Tice will be sharing the duty with Bates just as former offensive coordinator Mike Martz shared it with him.
- Dan Pompei at the Chicago Tribune writes about the likely characteristics of Tice’s offense based upon what he did in Minnesota:
“Another likely carry-over for Tice is his ambitious use of tight ends. In Minnesota, he used multiple-tight-end formations 43 percent of the time. One of his favorite personnel groupings included one back, two wide receivers and two tight ends.
“Tice didn’t have Pro Bowl talent at the position, but a tight end led his offense in receptions twice and finished third twice. The player who led the Vikings in receptions twice was Jermaine Wiggins, a journeyman who never came close to having the kind of numbers he had under Tice in four previous NFL seasons.”
Sounds like good news for Kellen Davis.
- There’s also this great article by Pompei which breaks down the problem of Matt Forte‘s contract dispute. It seems clear to me that this dispute isn’t going to be solved easily. Basically, Forte’s going rate is about 8.5 million dollars per year on average for a long-term contract. The Bears are paying him $7.7 million this year with the franchise tag and about $17 million over two years if they do it again. The Bears do take care of their players but the never overpay. And there really isn’t much incentive financially for the Bears to come to terms.
- Pompei at, this time writing for The National Football Post, explores the characteristics that make Packer’s general manager Ted Thompson such an exemplary draft guru. Thompson bucked his usual trend of trading down in the draft by frequently trading up this year:
“Trading up felt good this year, but there were some unusual circumstances that led to Thompson changing it up this year. First, the Packers had 12 picks, including four compensatory picks. That was a big wad of cash in Thompson’s pocket. Given where the Packers are as a team, they didn’t need 12 players. They needed impact players.”
- Its worth noting the the Packers weren’t the only ones known for trading down that did the opposite this year. The New England Patriots did the same. This is likely in part because it was a poor draft. Teams who do a good job of evaluating talent usually have multiple players that they feel comfortable with when their time comes. But this year’s draft was generally considered to be poor with little depth. So those same teams found themselves trading up to get one of the few guys they thought were good value.
- Pompei also noted the Bills acquisition of QB Vince Young:
“One of the reasons the Bills were sold on Vince Young is they took the unusual step of putting him on the board for a couple of hours when he visited their facility. It is common for teams to talk schemes with rookies, but less common for them to do it with veterans. Given Young’s history, it was a smart move by Chan Gailey. And Young’s knowledge was sufficient enough for the Bills to take a chance on him.”
You want to know if Vince Young has grown up enough to be an NFL QB? Make him the punter’s personal protector and see what he says then.
- This quote from Peyton Manning is for all of those people who don’t think offseason workouts are important. Via the Chicago Tribune:
”I’ve always believed you develop your timing for the passing game in the offseason. You can’t just show up in September and expect to be on the same page. Offseason workouts, it’s a great time to make an impression on the coaches. Coaches are always evaluating.“
One Final Thought
“[Charger's GM A.J.] Smith notes that [Drew] Brees has become better at compensating for his lack of height as he has become more experienced. ‘With Sean Payton in New Orleans, Brees gets himself back [in the pocket] to get that vision,’ Smith said. ‘The arm is better now, the release better. You can do that as a pro. Drew figured out his deficiencies and improved.’
“You might even say he grew as a quarterback.”