- Bears defensive backs coach Jon Hoke discusses his coaching style with Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune :
“The Bears don’t have a more animated position coach on staff. Hoke is firm and firmer when with players on the field in training camp. He’s in the facemask of [cornerback Charles] Tillman, a 10-year veteran, the same way he is with an undrafted rookie free agent. It’s not always an approach that works in the NFL.
“‘That is the way I was raised in coaching,’ said Hoke, who worked in the college ranks for 19 years before joining the Texans’ staff in 2002. ‘I had a guy tell me one time, and I do believe it: ‘Encourage, correct, encourage.’ … When they come off and I am in their ear, sometimes it’s correction and sometimes it’s encouragement. It’s always in that vein, though.'”
Head coach Lovie Smith is smart enough to know that you need coaches who are both calm and fiery on your staff so that there’s a good mix of the two attitudes for those players who require some of each. He’s not the fiery type unless he’s really angry – in which case it has a much bigger impact when he shows it. But he hires coaches like Hoke and receivers coach Darryl Drake to balance the staff.
- Shea McClellin apparently paid for dinner for most of the city during the bye week. From Sean Jensen at the Chicago Sun-Times:
“Bears rookie defensive end Shea McClellin panicked when he was handed a $38,091 bill from Mastro’s Steakhouse on Tuesday night.
“‘I saw it, and I was like, ‘I don’t know how I’m going to pay for this.’ I don’t think my debit card can go that high,’ McClellin said.”
“Fortunately for McClellin, the veteran defensive linemen pulled a prank on him, recruiting the restaurant to doctor the bill.
“Still, Rookie Night is a longtime tradition for the Bears’ defensive line, and the first-round pick had to foot the tab. While he wouldn’t provide an exact amount, McClellin nodded when asked if the bill was more than $10,000.”
So he panicked at $38,000 but thought more $10,000 was OK?
- Mark Potash at the Chicago Sun-Times thinks you’ll be seeing more of the no huddle offense in the near future.
- Defensive end Corey Wootton on beating Jaguars defensive tackle Cameron Bradfield. Via Biggs:
“Wootton said his quick first move was due to reading Bradley, not picking up the snap count.
“‘I felt the tackle leaning a little bit,’ he said. ‘So I kind of figured it would be on one.'”
The guess here is that you can thank defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli for teaching Wootton to pay attention to that kind of detail.
- Former Bears safety Mike Brown is long gone from the Bears. But his influence still lingers. From Rick Morrissey at the Chicago Sun-Times:
“Tillman’s interception was his own; the weaving interception return he gives to former Bears safety Mike Brown.
“‘I know he’s not playing with us, but I learned a great deal from him, the way he scored and set up the blocks,’ he said. ‘That was the only person I thought about as I was running: ‘That’s what he would have done. It worked! Snap! I scored!””
- There was all kinds of happiness amongst Bear fans Monday – as well there should be. But Steve Rosenbloom at the Chicago Tribune definitely has a point when he talks about the first half of the Jaguars game:
“Here’s the deal: A good team will make you pay for such early erratic play.
“You can’t always depend on a second-half rally, even if you’re a streak shooter.
“You won’t always get two defensive touchdowns, even if that’s the norm the last two games.
“Start sooner, OK? Is that too much to ask?”
- Dan Pompei at the Chicago Tribune answers your questions:
“I have noticed that J’Marcus Webb plays much better against powerful rushers vs. speed rushers. He was unable to stop the Packers’ Clay Mathews at all, but plays very well against the Cowboys’ D’Marcus Ware. I personally think Ware is the better player but, Matthews the worse match up. I was wondering if your analysis of his performance says the same? — Randall D.; Kalamazoo, Mich.
“Webb is in the NFL because of his size, not his quickness. He stands 6-7. He ran a 5.28 40-yard dash before coming into the league. He has size 22 feet. He is not going to be able to match up well with smaller, quicker defensive ends who can get underneath his pads. But he is difficult to move, and he can engulf defenders. So I agree with you, the Bears are better off with Webb against a power rusher than speed rusher any day.”
- Despite the fact that he didn’t do too poorly, apparently at least one fan is still not satisfied with the Bears left tackle this week. From profootballmock.com:
“Chicago Bears OT J’Marcus Webb has recently been prone to unfortunate false starts, reports Webb’s longtime girlfriend Angela Baker.”
- This isn’t particularly good news for the Bears. Via Biggs
“Jahvid Best could make his 2012 debut when the Bears play next. The Detroit Lions running back has been on the physically unable to perform list but will be eligible to return to practice Oct. 15 and could potentially be in action Oct. 22 when the Lions come to Soldier Field on “Monday Night Football.” Best last played on Oct. 16, 2011 when he suffered a concussion against the San Francisco 49ers. Best, who reportedly will undergo tests this week, rushed for a career-high 163 yards and one touchdown (an 88-yarder) against the Bears in Week 5 last season.”
- Sam Borden at The New York Times illustrates how quickly it can all go down hill as he reviews the Giants-Browns game:
“That’s the number of quarterback hits the Giants totaled against Cleveland’s Brandon Weeden, another alarming performance from a defensive line that is supposed to be loaded, with stars like Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul and Osi Umenyiora. Asked if he was concerned about the pass rush, Tuck was blunt, saying, ‘Yes, I am.'”
- If the Browns game against the Giants is typical, Trent Richardson is going to be a beast in this league. He looks to me like he’s well on his way to being what Cedric Benson should have been with the Bears.
- As I read the Chicago Tribune‘s game story about the Packers loss to the Colts Sunday, this particular sentence stuck out:
“What irked [Packers head coach Mike] McCarthy the most after the Packers’ second loss in the final seconds in three weeks was their inability to hang onto the football – on offense and defense.”
I have a lot of respect for the Packers – it would be hard not to after they went 15-1 last season and basically blew the Bears out of the water already this season. But game after game, last year and this year, they have had a bad habit of dropping far too many passes. You had to wonder when it was going to start biting them in the rear. Apparently it has.
- And finally we have NFL QB’s on Facebook: The Inevitable Sequel. From profootballmock.com:
One Final Thought
Potash talks about GM Phil Emery‘s coming job during the offseason:
“The future of coach Lovie Smith and quarterback Jay Cutler with the Bears will be at the top of the list. Smith was the bigger issue Wednesday, with Emery quashing a radio report that he is negotiating a contract extension for his coach. But the Cutler situation could be much more dicey, a bigger test of Emery’s ability to excel in his self-acknowledged role ‘as an evaluator and manager of people.’
“The decision will come down to this: With Cutler’s great arm and ability to make throws that even Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers can’t make, does he have what it takes to lead a team to a championship — or even just win one?”
No it won’t. You aren’t going to find many perfect QBs in the NFL. Let Jay Cutler go and you are back trying to win with the Rex Grossman‘s and Matt Cassel‘s of the world. Emery is smart enough to know that.
I did think this statistic from the article was interesting, though:
“Numbers can be as blinding as they are revealing. Cutler is second in the NFL in fourth-quarter passer rating this season (118.4), which indicates that he’s at his best when it counts. But Cutler also has a perfect 158.3 passer rating when the Bears are ahead by 10 points or more and a 58.4 rating when they’re not. That indicates he is at his best when the wind is at his back.”
The last is, of course, the most telling statistic. Cutler’s never going to be the kind of QB that is going to lead a team out of a hole. He’s going to take problems and make them worse just as he’s going to take the team when things are going well and make it better. It will always be up to the defense to make plays first and get things going in a positive direction.
But back to my point. No one has been more critical of Cutler’s lack of maturity and leadership skill than I have. But he’s who the Bears have and, as is the case with any player, its up to them to take advantage of his skills and work around his flaws. Leadership skills or not, they’ll work hard to re-sign him for whatever it takes. Don’t doubt it for a second.