A Man’s Got to Know His Limitations

Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune writes about the possibility that the Bears will start two rookies, Jordan Mills and Kyle Long, on the right side of the offensive line. This quote from offensive cooridnator Aaron Kromer stood out as being odd:

“’There are a lot of good players picked late in drafts, and the biggest key is if a guy knows his limitations,’ Kromer said. ’If a guy is smart enough to know what he can’t do, he can be effective at what he can do. That’s the No. 1 thing a young guy has to learn. What you physically can’t do, don’t put yourself in that position.’”

What, exactly, are the limitations that Kromer is thinking of in this case? Is he talking about Long or Mills (more likley) or both? Or is talking about seventh round pick J’Marcus Webb?

Teams do limited game planning in pre-season game 3. Whether its this week or the season opening week, it will be interesting to see what happens when other teams try to take advantage of this situation.

Stream of Consciousness – Chargers at Bears

  1. It was definitely the pre-season for Chris Berman. He (or the people in the booth) had a tough time identifying a few players. Trent Dilfer was relentlessly positive.
  2. I am already disappointed in Jay Cutler. He started the first possession by holding the ball instead of getting rid of it quickly, on time to a receiver. He and Brandon Marshall resorted to last year’s offense for the rest of the night. Its only pre-season game number two but if he continues to do that, they’ll be looking for a new quarterback next year.
  3. Shea McClellin look’s like he’s using his speed better this year. He’s maintaining distance from the blocker and he’s not as likely to be engulfed. I’m waiting to see how he’s going to defend the run.
  4. Matt Forte is running with good vision. This offense will be good for him (if Cutler runs it).
  5. Devin Hester’s showed his achilles heal with his indecisive fair catch on his only punt.
  6. Lots of up and down tackling out there. I’d say some work needs to be done, especially with the special teamers.
  7. J.T. Thomas had to showe up on special teams and he did. Still no sign of Devin Aromashodu.
  8. Armando Allen’s roster spot has to be in serious jeopardy. Michael Ford once again looked like he belonged.
  9. I’m not sure what Josh McCown was doing in there in the fourth quarter or what that means for Matt Blanchard.
  10. The rookie linebackers were up and down. Khaseem Greene struggled more and though Jon Bostic certainly had his moments he also looks like he’s going to have a hard time getting off blocks and stopping the run for a while.

Quick Comments – 8/11/13

  1. Hub Arkush of HubArkush.com writes a typically harsh critique of the Bears performance on Friday night for the Chicago Sun-Times. I thought these comments were interesting:

    Matt Forte and Michael Bush get incompletes. Judging running backs when they had two and three touches, respectively, and only one rushing attempt each is folly. Their lack of work did raise an interesting question though.

    “Asked in his postgame news conference why he ran once and threw the ball eight times plus a ninth attempt that ended in a sack when [quarterback Jay] Cutler was in the game, coach Marc Trestman replied, ’I think what you don’t see is there were a number of runs called where he had the option to throw it because they were in the box.’

    “What Trestman was not asked and did not comment on was whether he approved of all the audibles or checkdowns Cutler called. That is definitely a storyline to watch.”

    “I’m not sure why we’d assume J’Marcus Webb is going to suddenly improve in his fourth season, and I don’t think it should take two or three more preseason games to figure that out. Charles Johnson schooled him in Carolina, and it’s time to move on at right tackle.

    “The problem is Jonathan Scott remained out with a sore knee and Eben Britton, who was having a good camp, was not impressive against the Panthers. Jordan Mills showed why he belongs on the practice squad this year, and where that leaves the Bears at right tackle is with a real problem.”

    Amen to that. With any luck, offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer will be quicker to recognize the problem as one that won’t be solved than Mike Tice was and that general manager Phil Emery will be scanning the waiver wire for other team’s roster cuts. At least the problem is right tackle. They’re much easier to find.

    As to the audibles, I assumed the Bears decided to work more on the passing game and wanted to protect the runningbacks from injury. It will be, indeed, be interesting to watch to see if there’s a struggle with the play calling as Cutler is given a lot of power to change the plays at the line in this offense. I didn’t even think about the possibility that he might insist on calling more passes against the will of the coaches.

    But its early and lets not over react. Its just something to keep an eye on.

  2. Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune quotes former player and current NFL Network Analyst Brian Balldinger on Webb:

    ““I think moving to right tackle is the best place for him right now if he is going to make it He’s been given a lot of opportunities. You don’t get many more opportunities than J’Marcus has had. It’s gotta hurt him when he gets beat. It’s got to hurt. And when it hurts, you do something about it. Sometimes I wonder if it hurts J’Marcus when he gets beat and his quarterback gets chased or gets hit. That’s what we’ve got to find out. If that’s inside of him now, maybe Aaron can get that if it is in there … you can have 70 great plays but if your quarterback gets hit one time and you lose that game on that one fumble, you had a terrible day. It’s got to haunt you the rest of the day. I don’t know if it haunts him right now.”

  3. The following comment from Biggs in the same article is worth noting:

    “ Note: So, there were seven four-phase players: [Eric] Weems, [Armando] Allen, [Craig] Steltz, [Jon] Bostic, [Khaseem] Greene, [Blake] Costanzo and [Anthony] Walters and [Sherrick] McManis was on three phases. When you don’t see the name of safety Brandon Hardin, that doesn’t bode well for him. It was surprising not to see Joe Anderson with the ones too, given all the talk about him contributing in that phase. However, it’s early and we know how quickly the trickle-down effect reaches special teams.”

    I would only add that I saw the absence of Devin Aromashodu to the ominous.

Steam of Consciousness – Bears at Panthers 8\8\13

  1. I think poor Jon Bostic may have chin-ballitus.
  2. The drops and missed opportunities by Isaiah Frey, Brandon Hardin and Sherrick McManus aren’t going to be helpful to them in in making the team. But the one by Fendi Onobun may very well be fatal. He’s apparently been doing the same thing in practice.
  3. Its very early but the interception of Jay Cutler’s pass on the very first play of the pre-season may well have been the worst possible thing that could have happened. At a time when you are doing everything you can to get him to throw on time to a receiver he can trust to be there, this could be a confirmation of all of his fears. If this type of thing continues to happen too often, it could be a rough year.
  4. Armando Allen couldn’t afford that fumble. He’s in a close roster battle with Michael Ford.
  5. Eric Weems was nice and active on special teams. I thought McManus was around the ball pretty often as well. Devin Aromashodu needed to show up here. I didn’t see him.
  6. The injuries to Henry Melton and Patrick Mannelly were clearly the story of the game here for most normal fans. The Bears have been very healthy for the last few years. They may be about to face what the rest o the league goes through every year.
  7. Bostic and Khaseem Greene are very fast to the ball and instinctive. Both had good games. But both got caught out of position on occasion and that’s probably going to continue. The Bears have always been susceptible to misdirection plays. I don’t see that changing with these two on board.
  8. I don’t have to point out that this wasn’t a great night for the offensive line. But I will. Jonathan Scott could win the right tackle job simply by not playing and letting the other guys show their flaws. They need to stiffen up in the interior as well.
  9. I wasn’t too impressed with the Bears defensive depth but I was glad to see Nate Collins show up. They’re probably going to need him in the defensive tackle rotation.
  10. Too many missed tackles on special teams. They’ll want to clean that up.
  11. Watching the pre-game, 37\% of you guys really think this team is going to win 12 or more games? Really?

Hub Arkush Thinks Joe Anderson Has Made the Team

“[Here is] your Cutler-Trestman flashpoint: Will Cutler still spread around his passes when Marshall is on the field for his usual number of snaps?

“There are several compelling reasons to doubt it.

“First, Cutler and Marshall have a thing working going back to Denver, and it works to the point that Cutler is happy enough to throw the ball up and believe Marshall will come down with it, and Marshall always seems to, and that’s a hard habit to break.

“Second, Cutler isn’t long on patience with people or game plans. He thinks he can fit a pass into any opening on the field. So, it will be somewhat life-changing to see him methodically dump off passes or take the first quick read while waiting to strike down field. Again, this matters most when Marshall is on the field because Cutler will be required to show the discipline not only to wait, but also to go down field to someone other than his boss fave wideout.”

I disagree. First, Cutler won’t challnge Trestman because Trestman is head coach not coordinator and Cutler is in the last year of his contract. The Cutler landmine will me much more likely to go off if he gets a long-term contract in the offseason. Of course, if he gets that contract, it will mean he bought in and it worked so it may not be a big issue at that point.

Which brings us to my second point: if there’s a conflict this year, it will the same same one he had with former offensive coordinator Mike Martz – one which he was allowed to win. Cutler will be expected to throw the ball quickly, on time with anticipation. If we see him holding the ball and waiting for receivers to pop open the way that he did with Martz, we’ll know he’s once again conflicting with the coach in charge and that his days in Chicago are numbered.

  • Hub Arkush tells Adam L. Jahns in this video for the Chicago Sun-Times that he not only thinks wide receiver Joe Anderson has made the team, he thinks he might be the number 3:

Quick Comments 8/6/2013

  • Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune notes that guard Matt Slauson got work at back up center yesterday. It might be reading too much into it but the usual (and currently listed) back up, Edwin Williams has been having a quiet camp. Slauson played some center for the Jets.
  • Speakng of the depth chart, I thought it was notable that former number 8 overall pick with the Falcons, Jamaal Anderson, is last at defensive tackle. Looks like the Bears might not be getting much help there.
  • The best laid schemes of mice and men, go often awry, and leave us nothing but grief and pain, for promised joy! The Packers shuffled their entire offensive line in the offseason. One injury to left tackle Bryan Bulaga – the one they could least afford – and the whole plan is shot to hell. It seems a little early for it but it looks like the Packers are already buckling up to overcome adversity.