Quick Comments: Bears Vs Colts


  1. The Colts came out and eventually played pretty standard 3-4 defense. There were some blitzes but nothing really fancy. They did occasionally try to challenge the Bears with tight coverage, especially early. But they were living dangerously and they knew it. They eventually switched to a zone defense and the Bears killed them on it.
  2. The Bears initially had a tough time protecting quarterback Jay Cutler. Fortunately Cutler has the ability to move out of the pocket and make plays and that’s exactly what he did.
  3. Cutler is just wonderful to watch. For a little while early in the game it looked like he was going to have to single handedly carry the offense and I really wondered if he couldn’t have pulled it off. After a rough start I thought his accuracy was pretty good. You won’t see many passes better than the throw to Alson Jeffry for a touchdown midway through the fourth quarter to make everyone a little more comfortable.
  4. The protection eventually settled down and got better in the second quarter. That’s because they got an enormous amount of help with many players being kept in to help in protection. By my count the Bears ran exactly one four receiver set the entire first half. There were a lot of double tight end and two back sets and the offensive line struggled against the blitz without at least two men to help. I think we’re looking at the plan for the year.
  5. It wasn’t obvious and he wasn’t terrible but Gabe Carimi did have trouble. He looked a step slow on occasion and I have a feeling he’s going to struggle with that knee for a while.
  6. New Colts defensive back Vontae Davis played well. I was surprised that the Colts didn’t move him around more to keep him on Bears receiver Brandon Marshall.
  7. Kellen Davis looked really bad out there. There were some awful missed blocks and a couple penalties.
  8. Matt Forte had a great day. He runs with such wonderful vision. Like Cutler, he’s a just pleasure to watch.
  9. Evan Rodriguez did some good lead blocking out of the backfield, for example, on the first Michael Bush touchdown run. I think we now know why Tyler Clutts was released.
  10. The Bears had a very hard time fooling the Colts on play action despite the fact that the Bears were beating them on the run. I can only assume that they decided that they weren’t going to let the Bears passing game beat them.
  11. I like that end around play to Devin Hester that the Bears are running. He needs room to create.I know it didn’t work very well but eventually he’s going to break it.
  12. I don’t guess I have to acknowledge that Marshall was everything he was supposed to be. But I guess I just did it anyway.


  1. The Bears came out with some fancy defense with nine in the box and lots of single coverage in an effort to confuse quarterback Andrew Luck. It became obvious that it wasn’t working so they switched to a more standard form of defense on the second series. Not a lot more blitzing than usual after that.
  2. Luck and the Colts knew how to attack the cover 2. They called all the right plays. It was just a question of execution. When they did, they moved the ball.
  3. Brian Urlacher definitely looked a step slow. I was surprised that they didn’t challenge him more often. In the second quarter he was blocked to the ground on one long Donald Brown run and it was quickly followed by another Brown run for a touchdown where Urlacher both over-pursued and was blocked again. He was definitely rusty after missing almost all of training camp. Like everyone else, I thought removing Uralcher early was a good idea as long as the Colts didn’t manage a come back.
  4. I was happy to see the Bears getting some pressure but it wasn’t consistent. Henry Melton and Shea McClellin both flashed. But there were some periods where Luck looked awfully comfortable.
  5. Julius Peppers also was getting occasional pressure on Luck. Interestingly it was in part because the Bears moved him around so the Colts couldn’t easily develop a consistent scheme to double team him. This will be an interesting strategy to track as the season wears on.
  6. Colts receiver Reggie Wayne looks as good as ever. I’m sure Luck will come to lean heavily on him as he adjusts to the league.
  7. Luck wasn’t all that accurate. He was frequently bailed out with some good catches by his receivers. He got better as the game wore on and he does get the ball out fast and he does move well in the pocket, which is part of the reason why the Bears had a tough time getting to him. He’s going to be good.
  8. Good to see that the Bears cleaned up their tackling for this game.
  9. Generally speaking, I thought the coverage was pretty good today by the defensive backs, especially the corners, who had to compensate for the loss of Charles Tillman.


  1. Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf were solid if not spectacular. No earth shaking insights but all the importnat information was conveyed.
  2. I thought Dierdorf’s observation that Cutler will force the ball in to Marshall whether he’s double covered or not in the second quarter was a particularly good one. I think we all remember Cutler trying to do the same thing to Greg Olsen his first year with the Bears. He’ll be more successful doing it with Marshall but I still see trouble in the future.
  3. I wasn’t too thrilled with the offensive interference call on Hester in the second quarter. I wasn’t too thrilled with some of the pass interference calls on both teams. In fairness, the tight coverage the Colts occasionally tried to challenge the Bears with led to quite a number being on them and many were justified.
  4. Other than that, I thought there were too many penalties on both teams, especially early. I think everyone settled down a bit as the game went on so hopefully it isn’t a long-term problem. Notably there were no penalties on J’Marcus Webb.
  5. Too many turnovers by both sides but especially by the Colts. The pick six thrown by Cutler in the first quarter would have been a killer against a better team.
  6. Tim Jennings had two great interceptions on under-thrown Luck passes. But I’ve got to say that on the first one, safety Chris Conte nowhere in sight. A well thrown pass would have been a TD. Conte might have suffered a bit from last time in camp. Hopefully he’ll clean things up. However, Conte notably did manage to intercept a pass so maybe I shouldn’t bee too tough on him.
  7. To my eye the Indianapolis special teams are much improved this year. The Bears were unspectacular and the offense was starting in very poor field position much of the time. Adam Vinatieri‘s miss wide right at end of first half and LaVon Brazill‘s fumble marred the effort.
  8. Adam Podlesh looked good with no apparent effects from his injury.
  9. The Colts drop the ball too often. Donald Brown really hurt the Colts with his drops. The Bears receivers were solid in this respect.
  10. This was a good start for the Bears. They took care of business and all credit to them for that. But many of my concerns remain about them. All that help they’re leaving in for the offensive line could eventually stunt the progress of the offense and I think we’d all like to see more pressur from the defensive front. I can’t help but think that a better team would have given them a tough time.


D.J. Moore is Grateful for that Vanderbilt Education He Received and Other Points of View


  • The Chicago Tribune writers make their season predictions. The majority of the Super Bowl predictions makes this list darned depressing but you can always count on Steve Rosenbloom to liven things up.
  • Apparently the Bears think the home crowd is going to be pretty noisy today. Apparently they also think the fans won’t have the common sense to pipe down when their own offense is on the field. Via Brag Biggs at the Chicago Tribune:

“The Bears piped in crowd noise at practice this week, something they have done in the past. Typically, teams only prepare for loud environments when they go on the road. But obviously the Bears feel the Soldier Field crowd doesn’t create ideal offensive working conditions.”

  • Dan McNeil at the Chicago Tribune thinks Brian Urlacher might be within sight of the end. It’s way past time time to start taking a serious look at improving the depth at linebacker. He also thinks the Bears will go 9-7 and miss the playoffs. I generally agree primarily because of this point:

Julius Peppers had an uneventful summer, save the plantar fasciitis from which he has been hobbled. Peppers had 101/2 sacks last year and it wasn’t enough because the Bears weren’t steeped in pass rush threats.

“They still aren’t. Israel Idonije is back. So are Corey Wootton, Henry Melton, Stephen Paea, Matt Toeaina and Amobi Okoye, who was re-signed as the Bears cut Bucs castoff Brian Price, the early-in-camp media darling. First-rounder Shea McClellin is what most of us thought he would be on draft night — a project.”

Skill position players are great. You need them and the Bears are definitely improved on offense with the addition of Brandon Marshall. But football is still played at the line of scrimmage.

  • On a related note, Biggs takes a shot at people like me who think the Bears should have built the offensive line in the offseason:

Those who protested that the Bears needed to add playmakers for [quarterback Jay] Cutler cannot call into question the team’s inability to upgrade the offensive line simultaneously. It was one or the other, and the front office finally answered pleas Cutler had been making since shortly after he arrived.

That’s fair enough though I still maintain that the real problem was that there really wasn’t anyone to add that would have helped. They need a left tackle. Those don’t grow on trees and there was reasonable doubt about whether drafting Riley Reiff would have given you one.

“Since leaving the Bears a cone of silence has descended around former GM Jerry Angelo. As far as I know, Angelo hasn’t uttered a word about his dismissal and he’s given no interviews. Have I missed anything? Does anyone know what Angelo’s thoughts were? Or has he totally fallen off the radar? Bob J., Camarillo, Calif.

“I think it would be safe to assume Angelo has chosen to take the high road. What was it your mother told you to say if you had nothing good to say? You haven’t missed anything, Bob. By the way, with all due respect to Phil Emery, who I think has done an outstanding job, it’s interesting that either 20 or 21 of the 22 Bears starters on opening day will be Angelo acquisitions. That is a credit both to Angelo and Emery, who has been wise enough and secure enough to acknowledge the existing talent on the team. Not all new GMs are so open-minded. The only certain Emery acquisition to start will be Brandon Marshall. Evan Rodriguez also is a possibility.”

Its also worth noting that the one way to ensure that you never get a job as a GM again is to trash your former team. One one is going to hire you only to wait until its their turn when they have to let you go, too.

  • Vaughn McClure at the Chicago Tribune says that Devin Hester will be returning kicks today. It looks like Dave Toub is trying to throw opponents off balance by giving them a look at two different running styles, similar to what a team might do with to different running backs:

“Toub previously explained how Weems’ straightforward style can be more beneficial, but it’s hard to argue
with Hester’s elusiveness.”

  • I thought at the time it was kind of odd that the Bears released Matt Blanchard before the last preseason game rather than afterwards. But it makes sense in light of this comment from Potash

Blanchard, the rookie quarterback from Lake Zurich High School and Division II Wisconsin-Whitewater, was cut before last week’s final preseason game. The Bears knew they wanted him on their practice squad but apparently didn’t want him to put anything on tape that might interest another team.

Potash goes on to say that the Bears almost lost him to the Dolphins as it was.

  • Former Bear Tyler Clutts compares and contrasts Matt Forte and Texan’s running back Arian Foster. From the Tribune:

“Asked to compare Foster to Forte, Clutts told Houston reporters, “Just seeing Arian Foster on film and being around him these last couple of days, they are very similar because they can both do a lot, they both run hard.

“‘Matt Forte is a little more shifty, he’s not really going to put his head down as much as Foster is, which is something you really like to see. You like to see your running back really kind of put his head down and fight for those yards.'”

  • Hey, who said new offensive coordinator Mike Tice won’t be creative? From The Onion
  • If you want to know why head coach Lovie Smith is so close mouthed about injuries, comments from Amobe Okoye about rookie Tampa Bay head coach Greg Schiano demonstrate one good reason why talking about them can only get a coach in trouble. Okoye was released by the Bucs before signing with the Bears in part because he missed much of camp recovering from knee surgery. From McClure:

“‘It didn’t reflect his statement about T.B.A., and it shocked me when I heard that,’ Okoye said. ‘He said the same thing to me during the exit meeting. I reminded him about how I never missed a practice due to my right knee since I’ve been in the NFL. So how is that a history?

“‘I feel like, don’t try to put stuff out there that can mess up my livelihood. I thank him for the opportunity to be a Buc. I just wish the things he said could have been rephrased.'”

  • Former Bear defensive tackle Anthony Adams continues to explain why not having a job in the NFL isn’t that big of a deal:

  • The Sports Pickle asks “How the Rest of the Nation Perceives Your Favorite NFL Team’s Fans”:

“Chicago Bears: Exactly like everyone on the Da Bears sketch, but dumber and fatter.”


“‘I’m in a good place,’ [Maurice Jone-Drew] said. ‘I did something I felt was right, and I’m always going to feel right. I’m not going to feel wrong for what I did it at all. And that’s why I can come back and not have a negative attitude. I think if you regret things, you’re going to come back salty, be a distraction, things like that.

“‘I don’t feel that way ’cause what I did was right. No one can tell me it was wrong. Not one person here can tell me what I did was wrong.'”

Jones-Drew went back on his word and let his teammates down by holding out of training camp. Thank heavens he’s not a Bear.

  • The Sports Pickle asks, “Which of last year’s non-playoff teams has the best chance to win the Super Bowl?” Here’s my choice:

“Jets – teams with a bad quarterback rarely win a Super Bowl. But TWO bad quarterbacks? No one has tried that before.”

  • Good question:
  • And here are some helpful flash cards for those replacement referees today:

One Final Thought

Joe Cowley at the Chicago Sun-Times quotes defensive back D.J. Moore:

“’I didn’t go to school to learn too much, to be honest with you,’ Moore replied when asked which school was better for an education. ‘Once I got to school and got good, I was like, ‘Man, this is for the birds. It’s time to leave.””

“Asked if he was being overly honest about college athletics, Moore then said, ‘Well, I mean, I’m smarter than some of the kids that went to Florida State or those types of schools, now. Some kids get in school with a point-nothing (GPA). They didn’t even go to high school.'”