- Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune follows my own thoughts on the back up quarterback competition:
“The battle figures to be between [Jordan] Palmer and [Jimmy] Clausen, with performances in exhibition games weighing significantly. Palmer remains in the lead position because he has been around longer, but if the Bears were convinced he’s the guy, they never would have added Clausen in June.
“Cutler devoted a weekend to helping Clausen take a crash course on the playbook after he signed, a possible clue to the dynamics of the situation.”
Biggs also explains why former Bears quarterback Kyle Orton is an unlikely possibility. Orton wanted to retire but didn’t want to do so because if he had, he would have owed the Cowboys a portion of his signing bonus money. So he boycotted the offseason and then threatened to come to camp rather than pay the money. Now that the Cowboys have released him, its unlikely that he’ll continue to play.
- Rich Campbell at the Chicago Tribune makes this interesting observation:
“Cornerback Charles Tillman re-routed receiver Marquess Wilson at the line of scrimmage on one passing play when Wilson lined up inside. Tillman forced an outside release by jamming Wilson with his left hand, and Wilson never got open. His ability to beat press coverage is one element to keep an eye on throughout the preseason, as the second-year pro tries to solidify his role as the No. 3 receiver.”
- Campbell also notes Bears head coach Marc Trestman‘s efforts to do a better job of courting the defense this season as Kyle Fuller racked up an interception:
“Trestman understood what the moment meant to his rookie. He ran across the field from the left sideline to commend Fuller with a high-five and a slap on the helmet.”
- I thought it was interesting that while Campbell emphasized Fuller’s two interceptions, Mark Potash at the Chicago Sun-Times took a more balanced approach by also noting that Fuller “was burned for a long touchdown and was victimized by a push-off from Brandon Marshall.” Potash had a couple of other interesting notes:
“At one point, defensive end Lamarr Houston moved inside, with Willie Young playing left end.
“The Bears’ first-team defense worked against a Wildcat package with Armanti Edwards at quarterback.”
- Patrick Finley at the Chicago Sun-Times has something for those who are constantly wondering why the Bears don’t trade running back Matt Forte:
“If it’s possible, Forte is more valuable this year than last. The reason is the chasm between him and his backups.”
“Short of quarterback Jay Cutler, whom the offense prioritizes protecting at all costs, Forte is the Bears’ most irreplaceable offensive star this season.”
- Dan Pompei at Sports on Earth points out an unvarnished fact:
“The pictures say so much more. In a way, the stream of images of [quarterback Johnny] Manziel partying is a worse reflection on the Browns than it is on Manziel. Other teams understood who Manziel was, which is why his stock was devalued on draft day. Now the Browns understand it, too.”
For those who are about to point out that there’s nothing wrong with what Manziel is doing, I won’t totally disagree as long as he performs on the field (though Pompei points out how unlikely that is under the circumstances). But the real issue is Manziel’s insistence on advertising his partying ways through social media, shoving it in the faces of fans who would much rather he concentrated on football until he proved he could play first. The Browns’ issues with Manziel almost certainly have more to do with that than anything.
From the moment the Browns put in a card with Teddy Bridgewater‘s name on it, then switched it to Manziel, almost certainly at the insistence of the owner, you knew the Browns were no different that they’ve ever been – a totally dysfunctional franchise that does a disservice to its fans through poor management year after year.
- Packers head coach Mike McCarthy is tinkering with the teams’ schedule as it prepares for games this year. From Rob Demovsky at ESPN.com:
“Before the first preseason game at Tennessee on Aug. 9, the Packers will hold a practice (one that is closed to fans) on Aug. 8 and will not practice at all on Aug. 7. The team will follow the same type of schedule for the remaining three preseason games and, as McCarthy disclosed on Friday, that will continue into the regular season.
“‘It’s a philosophical change,’ McCarthy said during his annual pre-training camp news conference.
“McCarthy used to hold the belief that it was best to get players off the field — and off their feet — 48 hours before kickoff. Now, it appears that for a Sunday regular-season game, the Packers will hold a practice on Saturday but not on Friday. Typically, their on-field preparation had been completed by Friday afternoon. “
One Final Thought
Campbell quotes Trestman on a couple of interceptions by Kyle Fuller at the expense of the the offense:
“Trestman said he would have to watch the video to determine how those plays broke down, but his take on the dichotomy between sides of the interceptions highlighted how he views the pursuit of improvement during these weeks set aside for development.
“‘There are moments in practice when somebody’s going to have a heck of a play, and when they do, somebody just failed,’ he said. ‘My perspective is: how do we respond when these things happen?
“‘We see how everybody responds after failing. And how they respond after success, because that’s what a game is — somebody wins and somebody loses on every play and how they respond is the most important thing as a professional.'”