Tucker Confirms Defensive Changes and Other Bullets

MelTuckerHopefully everyone had a great weekend! The Bears rookie minicamp finished up, and sadly, my pet prospect (Indiana safety Greg Heban) didn’t make the grade for the Bears. (Not that I think that’s a bad decision; I’m certainly not qualified. I just liked watching him play in college.) According to Brad Biggs, the Bears did sign at least two players out of minicamp: North Texas safety Marcus Trice and Louisville running back Senorise Perry. Both players will head to camp with the Bears, and given the relative strength of their respective positional groups, I think Trice has to fancy his chances of cracking the roster more than Perry.

  • Among Perry’s competition, former NIU quarterback Jordan Lynch is certainly the highest-profile candidate. As Adam Hoge writes for CBS Chicago, the key to Lynch making the roster and being a potentially useful offensive player will be his ability to contribute on special teams. As a Heisman Trophy-finalist college quarterback, Lynch obviously wasn’t asked to do a lot of blocking or tackling, so he’s a bit behind the curve.
  • ESPN Chicago’s Michael C. Wright has a nice rundown of the potential changes in store for the Bears defensive scheme. Mel Tucker sounds as though he wants to make a lot of changes, and after last year’s performance, I’d think that’s a good approach. From the piece, I received the impression that while the changes wouldn’t be sweeping, they will be felt at all levels of the defense. Tucker notes that the high level of defensive personnel turnover (both coaches and players) helps to facilitate this sort of change. This is Mel Tucker’s defense now; he’s no longer beholden to Lovie Smith’s scheme, and he’ll benefit from a wealth of new defensive talent. I’m very interested to see how the Bears look defensively under Tucker; due to injuries (and the Bears effort to maintain defensive continuity from Lovie’s system) I’m still not really sure I know what a Mel Tucker defense looks like.
  • Marc Trestman plans on giving Jordan Palmer the first crack at the backup quarterback position, as noted by Adam Jahns. I think Palmer has a leg up at this point, given that the Bears certainly view themselves as a contending team; his veteran status probably provides a more reassuring presence. That said, Palmer has thrown all of 15 passes in the NFL, so it’s not as though he’s a seasoned, tested player. Considering the Bears spent a sixth-round choice on David Fales, Palmer probably shouldn’t be too comfortable.
  • Patrick Finley wrote a quick piece for the Sun-Times on the relationship between second-round choice Ego Ferguson and undrafted free agent signing Christian Jones.
  • The Bears released punter Drew Butler, according to ESPN Chicago’s Michael C. Wright. Butler was signed to a reserve/futures contract this offseason, but his chances of making the team were drastically diminished when Chicago selected Pat O’Donnell in the sixth round of the draft.
  • Speaking of O’Donnell, Jeff Dickerson wrote that he’s got some advice from the veteran specialists while at minicamp this weekend. Dickerson also reports that O’Donnell repeatedly hit the roof of the Bears indoor practice facility. Personally, I’m hoping he hits the Dallas scoreboard at some point. Remember when everyone assumed that would happen repeatedly, and it was treated as some sort of “Thing To Worry About”? Has it even happened in a game?
  • Finally, the National Football Post’s Joe Fortenbaugh has the Las Vegas Hotel Sportsbook NFL over/under lines for the upcoming season. The Bears sit at 8, which strikes me as low; I’d probably put it at 9. (Note: I’m not a professional gambler.) Looking at the other divisional teams, the Packers are at 10, the Lions match the Bears with 8, and the Vikings sit at 6. Play at your own risk.

Jay Rigdon is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation Bears, and can also be found @BearsBN on Twitter.

360 responses to “Tucker Confirms Defensive Changes and Other Bullets”

  1. frank

    Heard Tom Thayer this morning say that Shea McClellin (and any player switching positions–but especially for LB) needs 10,000 reps at LB to begin to develop the instincts for that position–and it makes no difference that he played it in college. And the move from the line further back is very difficult–it almost never happens. What you see most often is a player moving up from a backfield spot–like from safety to LB. I generally find Thayer to be among the most knowledgeable of analysts, so I believe what he says–so this raises questions: Will McClellin be able to contribute this year? and, Do they think he has the potential to contribute–at least enough to keep him on the roster?

    Thayer also said none of the receivers now on the roster bring what Marquess Wilson brought to the offense. So, my guess is that they just keep Wilson on the roster even though standard recovery for his injury means he will miss 4 regular season games. Injured reserve with designation to return means 8 games missed. They didn’t mention the PUP list. They also said that if an injury is believed to be bad enough to cause a player to miss a lot of time, that player generally does rehab and does not attend practice–Wilson has been attending practice. And whomever they pick must block downfield; if he can’t block, he won’t be the third receiver.

    Thayer said too, that if he were making the starting lineup, Adrian Wilson and Ryan Mundy would be the starting safeties until they proved they couldn’t do the job. Wilson may not have the speed he once did, but his knowledge and instincts and experience make him far and away the best choice–same for Mundy.

    As for TE and RB depth, much will depend on ST contributions–Rosario is a 4 phase ST guy, so he brings more than Zach Miller despite Miller’s ability to catch the ball–at least right now. If Miller can contribute on ST–as well as block–it makes it a much closer competition. Same goes for Ford and Draughn.

    1. mdavis

      I’d say I believe it, which obviously doesn’t bode well for McClellin. They’ll keep him on the roster, at least this year because 1st rounders get every opportunity to stick.

      Agreed, Wilson is going to be on the roster. I believe Ryan Mathews had a broken clavicle a year or two back in the 1st preseason game and he was back game 2 or 3. Wilson’s was obviously a week earlier so perhaps week 2 isn’t out of the question. But tentatively, I think week 4/5 should be where we look at. I think it will be a mix and match with Morgan, Weems, maybe Williams and Bellamy depending on who makes the roster.

      I’ll disagree with Thayer on the Safeties. I think Wilson is a long shot to make the roster. Mundy has been the constant really since OTAs, I think he’s a lock. Conte is going to get every chance to win that job. McCray has been getting a lot of reps with the 1s. Vereen seems to have fallen back in the competition.

      I think we could see both Miller and Rosario make the roster. for Draughn to make the team I think they’d probably need to keep 4 backs. Forte and Carey are locks in my opinion. Ford is a big ST guy. Draughn is having a good camp, but it might be a numbers game.

      1. frank

        The other thing Thayer said is that no one’s going to fool Reggie Herring–if McClellin can make it, Herring will know.

        I think they’re looking at about week 4 for Wilson’s return. A lot too, will depend on training camp cuts–if a glut of receivers hits the market, I don’t think anyone on the roster right now has made that much of an impression. Weems might have an advantage because of kick returning, but if they wanted a one trick pony KR guy, they would’ve tried to keep Hester at a reduced price.

        Hard to say with the safeties, although I agree that Mundy has been the constant–maybe they think they know where Vereen is right now, and they want to get a look at McCray. Wilson can be the heavy hitter I think they sorely need, and he has the experience to make up for a lost step or two. Conte will be given the chance, but although he’s athletic, he just doesn’t seem football-smart. He makes bad decisions and takes bad angles and seems generally unaware of what’s going on around him. But if the linebackers don’t get better in pass coverage, an in-his-prime Ronnie Lott won’t be of much help.

        If Miller and Rosario both make it, Mulligan is out, and he’s probably the best blocker of the three. I see Rosario making it due to acceptable play at TE and 4 phase ST contributions. I think a lot might depend on the shape of the OL given their injury situation right now. If they’re short on linemen, Mulligan might make it because of his blocking ability, which means Miller, despite being the best pass catcher, is probably out, unless he shows he can also block and contribute on ST.

        I agree about Draughn–unless he can contribute on ST as well, Ford has an advantage there. And Carey will be on the roster regardless.

  2. mdavis

    Herring was raving about McClellin in talking with reporters yesterday, so he seems to be a believer. The LB as a whole need to improve though. Then again, in their defense the Eagles O is tough to defend, especially when you don’t gameplan for it.

    I just don’t think Wilson has it anymore. I’d really like for him to prove to be the guy. His size and hitting ability is something that would be nice to have, but he just hasn’t popped. I don’t think he’s going to come away as one of the top safeties…also didn’t really like his response about not having to prove anything etc. You should always be trying to prove something every time you step on the field. Doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in the league, Especially if you’re battling for a starting gig, or a spot on the roster.

    Clausen is going to be first off the bench this week. Jumping up the depth chart? Just giving him a fair shot? Who knows, but I’d say he’s pretty clearly been outplaying Palmer this camp.

  3. frank

    Everything I’ve seen and heard says that Clausen has been outplaying Palmer–I’d guess that if he’s not moving up now, he will be soon. For what it’s worth, they’re saying that it’s because they want to give everybody a chance to work with everybody . . .

    Maybe Herring sees potential in McClellin that just needs reps to come out. However, in any case, McClellin looks to be more of a project than we may have initially hoped. If he can become a good linebacker, I’m all for it–especially if he actually has the athleticism they say he has.

    Wilson’s answer surprised me a bit as well. If he were a free agent acquisition in the prime of his career, that’d be one thing. But he’s a 34 year old coming off a season ending injury. No, he doesn’t have to prove anything as to his past–but as to whether he can STILL play? I too, believe that he does.

  4. frank

    On the radio this morning, a show host said that he asked 3 people (a former NFL scout, an NFL writer who’s job is scouting, and a former NFL player) about Shea McClellin. They all said he had the talent and skills to play in the NFL. They also said that he cannot translate those skills into consistent, positive contributions at the NFL level. The show host likened McClellin to a AAAA baseball player–kills the minors, not good enough for the pros. Another host also said that what’s said when off the record, is that the coaching staff knows this–and so do the players–they know who can play and who can’t. Last year, they kept 6 LBs & will probably keep 6 this year. Briggs, Williams, and Bostic are locks. Senn was signed to be a ST guy, so that’s what he’ll be–but he is a LB. That leaves Greene, McClellin, Jerry Franklin, DeDe Lattimore, and Christian Jones for the remaining 2 spots. Lattimore’s probably gone, and Franklin is probably a practice squad guy. Greene is probably the best of the remaining 3, leaving Jones and McClellin for the final spot. Jones is probably the better player long term–so–do they keep McClellin or Jones? If Jones is the better player, and they keep McClellin because 3 years in they’re too stubborn to cut bait on him, what does this do to the staff’s credibility—and the locker room?

    1. mdavis

      I get what they are saying. Truly. And I’m not a McClellin fan, didn’t like the pick, haven’t liked the first couple of years. But we’re basing all of this analysis, on a week of OTAs, and 2 weeks of camp? Yeah, he wasn’t great in the preseason game. But neither were any of the other LBs. Teams don’t really gameplan during the preason until the 3rd game anyways. That’s a tough offense to just watch a little film, do a walk through, and go out and defend. And that’s why I think you’ll see him on the roster. They’ll give him the year to develop, and hopefully take the Sam. I actually think Senn is going to be cut, because while he’s a solid ST, he doesn’t do anything on D. So, its kind of like looking at this in reverse. Usually its “ok, what guy can contribute on ST” but I think they have enough quality ST guys in Bostic, Greene, even Franklin, that the question will be who does more for you as a backup LB. Which is Greene. Franklin, has looked good and getting reps on ST, and I’m pretty sure he’s maxed out on P-Squad. Jones, I don’t believe they will get him through waivers. Too much physical ability….then again 32 teams passed on him in the draft. And if Bostic beats out Williams for the Mike…I could see them cutting DJ. Not saying that will happen, but its another scenario. Bostic, Briggs, Williams, McClellin, Greene, Jones would be my guess now.

  5. frank

    I was surprised by the pick when they made it, though I had heard that McClellin was moving up on the draft boards quickly. I would’ve picked Chandler Jones, myself. But the pick was made. What I found interesting about those comments however, were that none of them thought that McClellin has the ability to translate his athleticism and talent–which they all agree he has–to consistent, positive contributions on the NFL level. Of course, too, they all said they had seen enough of him to make this determination. I guess the question is how valuable it is to watch a player who is pretty obviously playing out of position in determining how he’ll accomplish a move to another position. I think your final grouping of LBs is a good possibility. I do wonder about Senn–he was signed specifically to be a ST ace (a deciding factor according to these show hosts), but he really offers nothing defensively, at least not from anything I’ve seen or heard. I also don’t think Jones makes it to the practice squad. Yes, others passed him by, but probably more due to the diluted drug test sample than anything else. I don’t see them cutting DJ; I think he brings too much experience and knowledge–he’s also one of their best run defenders.

  6. mdavis

    just some random thoughts from the game last night

    -Cutler looks real sharp. Made some strong throws, he looks confident. I’m giddy

    -The O-Line was terrific in pass pro, even with the 3rd string RT in there. That’s awesome

    -Weems cannot be the KR….even if he hadn’t fumbled, he lacks top end speed and explosion. I’m hoping Williams gets healthy in a hurry and get a look back there. Why aren’t we seeing Edwards? or Spurlock? Or Ford??

    -Speaking of Ford. I think he’s going to be on the outside looking in. I’ve been surprised how little playing time he’s gotten. Doesn’t look good for his roster chances

    -Draughn looked good, and could have the inside track to the #2 job. Carey ran hard, and while he only ran 4.7 at the combine, he seems to have that “football speed”, which is really all that matters. I like his potential

    -Big bummer about Miller’s injury. From the way they were talking, it sounds pretty bad. That’s been his biggest issue. The greatest ability is availability, and he hasn’t been able to do that in his career.

    -Bostic looked much better. Ran around made some nice plays

    -McClellin did not. Made 1 play, but otherwise was washed out. But they haven’t really been working anyone else at the Sam that I’d say “yea, he could beat him out”. Its been UD Rookies.

    -Cornelius Washington made several flash plays. He was all over the place last night, laid some lumber a couple times. Still think he’s a long shot, but also wouldn;t rule out P-squad possibly.

    -As much as I like Lynch, I’m suddenly not so confident in him making the P-squad. Not necessarily because he didn’t play, I expected that. You don’t want to put too much tape out there for a guy you want to get through waivers, but Perry was impressive. And they aren’t going to keep several RBs on the practice sqaud. We’ll see

    -Starting to think Mundy-McCray might be the safety combo. McCray has been running with the 1s for several weeks now including the first 2 games. Can’t say that inspires me much, but then again I haven’t noticed him, which is good and bad. Good because I guess he isn’t screwing up. Bad because he ain’t makin plays. But I’ll take it. We’ll see where Conte slots in next week.

    -Clausen didn’t take advantage of his opportunity. I understand there was 5-6 plays where the headsets weren’t working, but as the QB its your job to get your team in a good play, regardless. I thought Palmer looked good, confident. It’ll be interesting to see.

  7. frank

    Heard a bit from Hub Arkush this morning–he believes the first string offense is going to be very good, even the run game, but is concerned about depth. Morgan is the best receiver not named Marshall or Jeffery, but Trestman’s favorite set is 2 WR, 2 TE and 1 RB–so the #3 WR is important mostly if Marshall or Jeffery get hurt. Defensively, he believes no LB has laid claim to the strong side spot–not McClellin, but not anybody else either. Trevor Scott is the #4 DE but has been much better than Willie Young–and Scott did have a 7 sack season for Oakland a few years back. He also said the Bears still have no starting safeties. I believe that Mundy is clearly going to be one of the 2 starting safeties–he may argue that Mundy is not of starting caliber, but I think he will start for this team.

    As to your points–I have to agree on the whole. I’m not as sold on the idea of McCray as the other starting safety yet though. The next game will tell a lot. Clausen wasn’t great, and Palmer looked better, but he did play against the 3s and although much improved, Jacksonville probably doesn’t have the depth that the Bears do.

    1. mdavis

      I get what he’s saying about depth, but I feel the Bears are actually better off than the majority of teams at the WR spot. Bears have 2 #1s. Most teams are lucky to have 1. If Megatron goes doww in Detroit, who’s the big play guy? Golden Tate? Josh Gordon being suspended, who’s the man….Austin Miles? So, sure I see what he’s saying, but if (knock on wood) Marshall goes down, we still have a top 7-10 WR in the league in Jeffrey to feature. I’d consider that more depth. And I think they could add another vet, I’m sure there will be a surprise cut, and Wilson should only miss a couple of games. I’m trying to think who else they have been working at the Sam, and I can only come up with Christian Jones. Who has talent, but very raw. So, it’s almost like they are saying its a “competition” for McClellin, but with no actualy competition. Idk, i’m not impressed with him. Not sure why Bostic hasn’t gotten reps there. Scott has had a good camp, I haven’t seen much of Willie Young. Hopefully one of them emerges in their sub package. I agree with you, Mundy is a lock, and to me that means Wilson is gone. Yeah they can say they could play both, but I don’t see that. McCray, Conte, or Vereen are going to be in there. I thought Vereen would get more of a shot then he has. We’ll see who lines up with the 1s in week 3, the “dress rehearsal”.

      I guess what it comes down to is I feel Palmer looked better against Eagles 2s/Jags 3s then Clausen did against Eagles 3s/Jags 2. But obviously that’s just 2 games of tape. Coaches have all of camp, plus what they bring to the class room. We’ll see who’s nextr up week 3. I think we’ll start getting a lot of our answers during the ballgame.

      1. frank

        Agreed–I think Arkush may be more concerned about the line and RB, given what he’s said about Trestman’s favorite set including 2 WRs and 2 TEs. The line has been playing well despite injuries to Mills, Britton and de la Puente, as well as Long’s illness. That shows some depth. They like Ola, and having read a bit about his journey, I have to say, I’m pulling for him to make it.

        I think they’re looking at Bostic as an eventual replacement for Briggs at the Will; maybe that’s not why they’re playing him at the Sam? Interesting–on the Bears’ website, only Greene is listed as an OLB. The rest are listed as LBs. Maybe there’s just no true Sam backer in the group–then it’s up to Tucker to figure out a way to play to the strengths and hide the weaknesses.

        I don’t know–Clausen looked pretty good against the Eagles, not so good against Jacksonville. Palmer didn’t look so good against the Eagles, and pretty good against Jacksonville. So who’s 2s/3s are the better measuring stick? I don’t know. But as you say–they have all of camp, the QB room, the whole gamut of things we don’t see.

  8. frank

    Other stuff–Fuller’s x-rays were negative; Vereen was 2nd on the team with 4 tackles, 1 for loss; Sutton had 3 tackles, 1 for loss, and a pass defended. Carey looked pretty good–as you say–football speed. Ferguson didn’t show up on the stat sheet.

    1. mdavis

      Fuller walking to the locker room is a good thing, and I didn’t see anything noticeable. May of just of been precautionary. Carey had 2 carries for 25 yards, and 11 yards on his 11 other carries. Sounds like the battle is down to him and Draughn. Trestman not happy with the KR/PR…me neither. Let’s try someone else back there, please?

  9. frank

    That happens often with RBs though–a few runs during a game bring their averages up. But you do want to see more consistent production. I think both Carey and Draugh will make it, given the lack of time they’re giving Ford–unless Ford makes it as the returner.

    And speaking of returner–was it my imagination, or did the ST suck again? Returns generally sucked, Weems fumbled, Way had a bad punt–though O’Donnell had some good ones.

    1. mdavis

      very true very true. I think both are going to make the roster, and they’ll keep one of Perry/Lynch on the practice squad. I’ve been surprised how little playing time Ford has gotten, not just at tailback but in the return game. You’re right, the return game sucked big time. Weems is a great coverage STer, but his good return days are behind him. Doesn’t have that burst, and not great speed. Spurlock has been the only other guy back there from what I can recall. Ford looked real good last season in preseason returning, I’m surprised he hasn’t gotten any. Williams being hurt has sucked, because he could of challenged for that I think, was having a strong camp. hopefully he can get back out there this week, because I can’t stomach Weems….makes you wonder, maybe they should have tried to bring back Hester? I mean, Weems is ultimately just a ST guy…why couldn’t they of expanded Hester’s role too, as a coverage guy and gunner. Idk, I’m just spit ballin.

      I think Way has fallen off the pace. Kicks some booming ones, but shanks one a time or two as well. O’Donnell I think has the strangle hold. Guy can kick the hell out of it.

      In other notes…Trestman thought McClellin looked better…I mean, sure. Hard to look worse than he did against Philadelphia. But still looked shaky to me. Course I’m an amateur and don’t have access to all the tape they do so who knows. Bostic I thought played much better though, which is very encouraging. I actually really like Williams at Mike in the base, an Bostic in the nickel. Really puts those guys in a good position to use their skill sets.

      Sucks about Miller being out. I had a lisfranc my soph year and its painful. I avoided the surgery though, and the rehab was still brutal. Those are tough to come back from after going on the table, which is a shame for him. Hopefully he makes a full recovery and they bring him back to camp next season. I’m starting to get a little concerned about Fuller…didn’t look bad to me, but why is it taking so long for information to come out? I thought maybe he rolled it or had a minor sprain, something that’s not too bad, but I have some doubts now. And he was running full time with the 1s. Jennings was strictly at the nickel. So that would be a big blow.

      1. frank

        They need a returner big time–but they weren’t going to give Hester 3 years and $9 M like Atlanta did. Maybe they already know what Ford can do as a returner and are just checking out the others–I hope.

        McClellin actually tied for the team lead in tackles with 4 (and 1 for loss, I think). I don’t know–looks like that Sam spot is pretty weak all around. Another interesting thing Hub Arkush mentioned–the Bears sometimes played the nickel in running situations–that’s how they lined up when Bostic made that big play for a loss on 3rd down. And if they’re willing to do that–and it works–that throws another wrinkle into that defense.

        Miller has been unable to catch a break for his entire career–too bad. Losing Fuller would be a blow, but at least Jennings would go back to corner and they’d play Hayden at the nickel. There’s some experience there anyway.

  10. mdavis

    And the Bears just signed Santonio Holmes. I mean…I guess. Tons of injuries, has had locker room problems. I mean, if he’s prepared to accept a lesser role, and he’s healthy and has his head on straight…he could be ok in the slot. But we’ll see. Bringing him in this late, how quickly can he get the playbook #1, and #2, maybe more importantly, how quickly can he gain Cutler’s trust. That’s all assuming he makes the team of course. We’ll see.

    1. frank

      Just saw that–and just as it seemed that Morgan was starting to claim the job. Maybe it’s just to add competition that they don’t see coming from the others. And hopefully, being unemployed for awhile has helped Holmes see that this may be a last chance sort of thing and helps to straighten him out. My guess is that he’s depth right now.

      1. mdavis

        Wow, cut Weems. A bit of a surprise. Returner battle wide open, and I think Morgan and Holmes will battle it out for the #3 spot until Wilson is healthy. Puts Spurlock’s chances of sticking a little higher as well, Williams if he can get healthy, Ford….We’ll see what happens.

  11. frank

    Well, if you consider Holmes to be Weems, the 3rd receiver position is still pretty much where it was, I think. What this does change, as you said, is the return battle. Weems was being given every opportunity, I think, to win that one, and now it’s wide open.

    1. mdavis

      agreed. I think Morgan has been playing better of late, made a few nice catches agains Jacksonville. I’d have to think he’s the leader right now. A lot may depend on how quickly Holmes picks up on the playbook. A 2 week audition for him.

      Definitely blows the returner battle wide open. I’m hoping Williams is healthy this week, he seems like an exciting player. Spurlock and Ford would be the only 2 remaning candidates. Spurlock has been getting some chances but hasn’t really done anything. Ford has just 2 returns in the preseason so far.

      1. frank

        Heard something interesting on the radio–they were saying that the offense is showing absolutely none of what they are truly capable of doing, that Cutler is almost like a whole different person (as Brandon Marshall said earlier), and that Cutler will call you out if you don’t know the plays–and Weems didn’t. I’d heard the first two things before, but they were placing a huge emphasis on them–but the third, about Weems not knowing the plays, I hadn’t heard. Weems has been around awhile, here and in the NFL, so I was surprised by that.

        1. mdavis

          Very interesting. I could see them holding back, being extremely vanilla right now…and if they are looking as sharp as they do now being that basic, look out. I think Cutler is finally comfortable in his role as the leader. Great relationship with the coaches, his talent around him. And the front office. They stopped letting him get the hell beat out of him year in and year out, that trust is there. Now that you mention that….there was a ply that looked like Weems ran the wrong route, and Cutler was yelling at him during the Jaguars game.

          1. mdavis

            Also of note, Holmes may factor into the returner battle as well. That’ll be something to watch. Stayed late after practice today with Palmer to run some more routes. Said Cutler has been talkin to him lots as well. Hope he can get aenough of the packages down where we get a sample of where he’s at this week against Seattle

            1. frank

              I don’t recall Holmes ever returning kicks–could be wrong though. He certainly has enough experience to be able to pick things up quickly–still don’t know though–I think it’s still a risky pickup. Hope it works out.

              1. mdavis

                citing Mike Wright’s article he has some experience…more so in the punt return game. 66 punts for 636 yards and a touchdown and 18 kickoffs for 436 yards. may be another wrinkle to give him a shot.

                i kind of see it as a no risk move. he has 2 weeks to audition. doesn’t cut it, then you cut him, no $ spent. but if he does work out, that could be a nice weapon as a #3 guy….if nothing else, should an injury occur during the season, there’s a guy potentially on the street who will have some background in the offense.

                1. frank

                  Makes sense–I guess I’m looking at the risk to the locker room if he does stick, but hasn’t straightened himself out. But you’re right; if he doesn’t cut it, things never get that far. A 9.5 PR avg and a 24 yd KO return avg? Ok.

                  1. mdavis

                    ah yeah good point. I think that locker room is pretty strong top to bottom now, with Cutler and Marshall really emerging as leaders, and Garza on the O, Briggs, Peanut on the defense. Seems like you don’t ever hear anything about lock room problems, and that’s a credit to them and the staff I think. We’ll see though. Morgan is getting first crack at the #3 spot against Seattle, as he should. 5 catches for 77 yards thru the first two games. Way and the CFL LS were cut, so those battles have been determined. Brought in Reynaud, who is a specialist, maybe give him a quick look at returner as well.

                    1. frank

                      Didn’t Reynaud lead the NFL in returning a couple of years ago? Worth a look anyway. Well, Holmes is saying the right things anyway–have to prove yourself every day, grateful for the opportunity, that kind of thing. We’ll see.

  12. mdavis

    I think so in terms of Reynaud. doesn’t hurt to get a look. Also, some interesting news, the league is expected to expand the practice squad from 8 to 10 players, which is awesome. I’m still in the camp that believes there should be some type of developmental league supported by the NFL, but that’s a differnt story. This will help some, and also gives a couple extra guys more opportunity to stick, etc.

    1. frank

      A developmental league would be nice–but unfortunately, the one they have now is college football–and the NFL doesn’t have to pay for it.

      1. mdavis

        very good point. just think it’d be very beneficial. maybe have it like a 6 week season or something. but I think its pretty far down the pipeline, if its there at all.

        1. frank

          It probably would be–especially for those in the “skill” positions. I think one thing holding the NFL back from expansion is that there just are not enough good quarterbacks in the league as it is now. Expand by another two teams, and the play is correspondingly weaker. The NBA might be used as a model, though it can be argued that because NFL rosters are larger and teams carry practice squads, that a development league in the manner of that run by the NBA isn’t necessary.

          1. mdavis

            just typed a big thing and forgot to put in my info so i lost it. damnit. haha.

            I think it would be so beneficial, and not just from a players standpoint. Could be a more advanced pipeline than what college is. Players, young coaches, officials, etc. Something like the UFL was, but with the league support could be great. These young QBs getting game reps, a Jordan Lynch, Leno Jr, whatever. I think could really advance the quality in the league. Teach these kids how to be pros. Maybe do something like the p-squad, where there’s a 3 year limit. and you can only play 1 game a week (ex. if the games are weds., you can’t turn around and call the player up for sunday or whatever). Obviously, there are financial implications from extra salaries, facilities, etc and finding host cities. But I think it could be really something to be looked at.

  13. frank

    I think the player development aspect of it would be great. There’s a good deal of bad football being played these days, and with some more time, some late bloomers could make a career for themselves and earn some money too. And it’s another avenue to expansion. I wonder about the other leagues that have tried to compete with the NFL and failed–would this be more of the same? Probably not, due to the NFL’s backing, and the fact that they wouldn’t be trying to change the game to compete with it. But I wonder too, if the NFL might be nearing a saturation point in this country–they’re very good at being everywhere, even during the “offseason.” Then again, attendance and tv ratings don’t seem to indicate a saturation effect, so . . .

    1. mdavis

      Yeah I think where these other leagues have failed, is trying to replace, or be an “alternative”. If they can be a part of the NFL, backed by them etc, I think it changes the story line. I think it may be something at some point they look at….but until then, expanding the practice sqaud an extra couple of players is still a positive movement.

  14. frank

    Agreed.

  15. frank

    Just saw that the Bears are saying Kyle Fuller is day-to-day. So–hopefully, he’ll be out there again soon. Trestman also said he’s not concerned about Santonio Holmes’s baggage after having spent some time with him and talking with him–change of scenery thing I’m guessing, as well as being out for a while.

    1. mdavis

      Yeah I’m thinking its just extra caution when it comes to Fuller. Same with Mills. Say he’s out of the box. But Ola has played really well…if for no other reason than you haven’t heard anything about him during the games. Which is good. Cutler gave him some props today as well. Also said Holmes looks explosive, but is showing some rust. Read he got a lot of reps today, but not sure about his status for Friday. We’ll see how muych he can get down before then. Has 1 more practice and a day of walk throughs.

  16. frank

    Heard that Mills was practicing today, and that Conte will play Friday. I think Ola has been a pleasant surprise thus far, though Trestman already had worked with him. Had heard that Holmes is picking things up pretty well though.

    1. mdavis

      Yeah, could be a blessing in disguise with Mills. Ola got a lot of great reps, and once Britton is back that gives you two quality swing guys. Sounds like they’re gonna play Holmes, at least a little bit Friday. Palmer is first man up off the bench. But I’m very intrigued to see Holmes. They say Cutler has really been working with him a lot, which is great. It’ll be a great test for the whole roster to see where they’re at. Starters for both sides expected to play a half, maybe a series in the third

  17. frank

    No better test than the defending champions–even if it is a preseason game. And you can’t have enough experienced depth.

  18. frank

    Was reading about Rob Ryan’s schemes with the Saints–sometimes playing 4 safeties at the same time, and thought of the Bears playing the nickel in running situations last week. When the Saints had injuries to LBs and depth took a huge hit, Ryan decided to play good safeties rather than bad LBs. Their idea is to play the best players, regardless of position–find as many players as you can who can do everything, and let them do everything. Also, when there are so many safeties on the field, offenses can’t audible as readily, not knowing what position any one safety would be playing when so many of them are on the field. The Saints now use 3 safety sets more than any other team–and many think this is the next wave of defensive innovation. It works well against single RB sets as well, because the defense doesn’t have to worry about a safety having to take on a fullback. The FB is replaced on the field either by a TE or another WR, and safeties match up better against those players. Of course, the Bears situation is different–they were playing three corners rather than 3 safeties, and the Bears don’t have nearly the depth at safety that the Saints have. But I think the idea of using your best players in unconventional ways is the same–with Tillman, Jennings, Fuller, and even Hayden, the Bears have better corners than they have LBs right now.

    1. mdavis

      that sounds like an interesting read. I like the thinking behind that, putting the best guys out there regardless. Now, you could get into a bad situation like that, but that’s no different than any other set. I almost wonder, if the Bears wanted to get experimental (never been their style though), a “run stopping” type nickel could deploy Wilson as the nickel DB. He’s basically as big as a LB and plays in the box anyways. Get a little more athleticism. But I like the idea of rolling with more nickel, than not. Gives Bostic more space to use that run and hit ability. Tillman-Jennings-Fuller on the field. Safety though man, still a question mark. I’m interested to see tonight the rotation. Conte is ready to play, McCray has been with the 1s, Vereen I think has played well.

      1. frank

        Well, they were employing the nickel in running situations–so that might be “experimental”–at least to a degree. True–Wilson would give them some run stopping power in that type of scheme. Yes, safety is still a question mark. Hopefully, because they’ve strengthened everything around the safeties (though you could argue that LB isn’t particularly strong), safety play itself won’t be as much of a problem–at RBs shouldn’t be hitting the safeties with a 10 yard head of steam like they were last year. And it’s still early to say whether or not at least one of these safeties is an upgrade over Major Wright, but I would certainly hope so.

        1. mdavis

          Well, first round of cuts. Some mild surprises, but I think if you look at the numbers and the playing time, we could see some of this coming. Collins and Wilson I’d say are a bit surprising. But Collins faced an uphill battle with Ratliff, Paea, and the 2 rookies pretty much locks. Wilson just never seemed to be able to show enough, and I guess they felt he wasnt going to show anything else to leap Mundy. Ford I think was pretty obvious. I was a bit surprised they never gave him a look returning the ball, considering how poor they have been in that regard and how good he looked last year. But he wasn’t getting any reps in the backfield, so I think this wasn’t a surprise. A little bummed to see Palmer cut because I think he seems like a terrific teammate, and a good guy in that QB room, but he just didn’t perform well enough to hold of Clausen. I don’t anticipate anyone picking him up, so should something happen to have of the 1 QBs on the roster, he should be available in season to pick up.

          Conte made a couple of plays, but then gets hit with the concussion so I think its safe to say he won’t be starting. Mundy I think has locked in one of the spots, and McCray and Vereen will be the likely other starter. I’m trying to keep that Seattle game in perspective (they don’t game plan, Seattle is a class above, etc) but damn, I was disappointed. The defense especially, they just looked so slow. Not tackling. Not covering. They got some decent pressure but that was the only positive I can take. 7-7 on 3rd down ain’t gonna cut it. Offensively, they moved the ball well, just stalled. Once again, I think in trying to protect Forte they didn’t run the ball a whole lot, so grain of salt. That last drive that INT was bad, looked like Cutler was trying to throw a fade stop, back shoulder and Morgan was going back pylon. He was bracketed, so shouldn’t of been thrown anyways. Of course the play before with the Rosario TD, it was a phantom PI on Marshall, so it shouldn’t of come to that.

          1. frank

            Yeah, I’d’ve liked for Collins to make the team, but it was a battle for him, and the numbers weren’t helping. I had hopes for Wilson, but apparently he didn’t show enough during the games or practice. Heard an interview with Greg Gabriel, who said Ford seemingly couldn’t be trusted in pass protection, or as a multi-phase contributor on ST. He also said that the Bears’ mistakes were very correctable–things like gap assignments–which is why they looked slow (he was asked directly why they seemed so slow on defense)–the “chasers” were likely covering for a mistake someone else made further up the field. Gabriel also said McClellin seems to be improving every game, and that as a Sam, he probably won’t be on the field for more than about 30% of the defensive snaps.

            Jim Miller this morning said that it looked like they were still testing combinations and plays–which is why players like Sutton and Ferguson saw more time against Seattle’s 1st team than they would have otherwise. He and Hub Arkush were talking about the LBs and both agreed that Christian Jones is the only natural Sam on the roster, but that they’re giving every chance to Bostic and McClellin there right now.

            1. mdavis

              hope that’s the case with the defense. I’m suyre the offense is in tinker mode. You can be like that when you’re in the second year of a system, and starting to grow. I’m not worried bout them, they moved the ball in their 3 games, put points on the board in all of them (well, should of in SEA, there was that phantom PI on Marhsall…) so they’ll be fine.

              I like Jones potential, and he could eventually be the guy down the line. He will at least make the roster and contribute on ST I’m thinking. Steltz was cut, odds were stacked against him once he couldn’t get on the field. Sounds like McCray-Mundy will be the safety combo. That’s what’s listed atop the depth chart this week anyways. I think they need to cut 2 more today to get down to the 75.

              1. mdavis

                also, Palmer was signed by the Bills. Think this could be 2-fold. Getting some insider scouting for the week 1 game, and, if they keep him on the team, he’s becoming known as a good QB tutor. Could really be good for EJ Manuel in the QB room. Good for J-Palm.

                1. frank

                  I heard that for the last practice they were running Vereen and McCray with the ones. I too, think the offense will be fine. The defense has at least been getting some pressure upfront, which is a change from last year. But the linebackers and secondary still have a ways to go. And I don’t even want to talk about special teams–that’s been horrifying–and when they cut Steltz and Senn, they cut two of their best 4 phase special teams guys. And if McCray starts at safety, that’ll be another core ST guy gone.

                  1. mdavis

                    I think Vereen was in there because Mundy was given the day off yesterday. Willie Young had a nice game finally. Fuller was back on the field so that was a positive. ST is indeed horrifying. Hopefully Williams is healthy and can return some kicks Thursday because that return game is embarrassing. Def some voids now with Senn and Steltz gone…going to rely on Greene/Jones and some other guys to step up.

                    1. frank

                      Oh–that could be. I’ll bet they’ll be looking at the waiver wire for ST help pretty heavily as well.

  19. mdavis

    looks like James Brown and Isiah Frey were the last two cuts.

    Brown had a lot of promise coming out of school, but that O-line group just got deep in a hurry. Numbers game. Frey was solid last year in the nickel, but he wasn’t a playmaker at all. No turnovers. That paired up with his injury forcing him to miss a lot of camp, and there just was no room for him. Conte might be getting nervous too.

    1. frank

      I thought Brown had been doing well–too bad; he does have potential. Frey wasn’t a playmaker, but I wonder about cutting him and keeping Hayden–Hayden hasn’t been doing much himself, he’s older, and has been a bit injury-prone. So they’re at 75 now? And they have to get down to 53 by the end of the week?

      1. mdavis

        Yeah I liked Brown, but with Britton, de la Puenta and Ola all being able to kick inside, there just wasn’t space for him. I agree with you, I’m a bit skeptical bout keeping Hayden over Frey. Hopefully Hayden’s injury issues don’t flare up. At 75 now, need to get down to 53 by Sunday, and then Monday I believe they can build their 10 man P-squad.

        Couple interesting bits, Clausen won’t play this week. It’ll be the Fales show the whole way, I’m excited to see what he does. Lynch is going to play a lot. Must feel comfortable they can sneak him through to the p-squad. and I’m looking forward to seeing the young corners play. Hurst, Wilson, Louis-Jean.

        1. frank

          I thought Clausen was going to play some of the game . . . I’m interested in what Fales does as well. I hope they don’t try to sneak him onto the practice squad because I’m sure someone will pick him up. So, 12 more cuts coming–that’ll be interesting. I look at the depth chart (such that it is) and can guess about 9 or 10 of them by position anyway–but I don’t know what they’re looking at in terms of ST, so that complicates things. I wonder if Bass will make the roster, given the influx of talent at DE. My guess is that he and Washington both go, unless one of them contributes more on ST than I know of.

  20. mdavis

    Fales I thought looked pretty good. I think you can tell he has a good graps of the playbook, where he needs to go with the balls, etc. Arm strength isn’t there so he needs to rely on his anticipation, but I think he could develop into a nice #2 down the line.

    Holmes flashed, and I think he locked up a spot on the roster. Still believe Morgan is the #3 heading into the season, but they might have some packages or rotations to get Holmes in there. Clearly still has that burst, and may even get a shot on PR after his nice return.

    CJ Wilson, Demontre Hurst, and Louis-Jean all have flashed nice potential this year. Would they keep 3 CBs on the P-Squad? With the added 2 spots I think they may, if they can get them through waivers.

    Jones just looks like a potential beast. He’ll be on the roster, no way they risk him on waivers.

    1. frank

      Interesting–was listening on the radio, and they (Arkush and Verdi, I think) thought Fales was average (good early and then regressed) and would get through waivers if they wanted to put him on the PS. I don’t think Fales makes it through waivers. Also heard that they do have programs that will increase arm strength. They thought Jones has potential and will get a roster spot, not because of how he looks now, but of what he might be down the road. And they don’t think he’d make it through waivers. They also expect Emery will bring in 2-3 players from other teams after cuts.

      I thought ST was still a problem, but maybe a touch better in the return game–but Holmes’s return is probably the main reason for that. Hard to really judge much else when the ones aren’t playing.

  21. frank

    Also heard Mundy hasn’t been playing because he received a cut from a sharp edge in his helmet–required 16 stitches–and he hasn’t been able to wear a helmet since. He went public and said he would sue the helmet maker (Schutt).

    1. mdavis

      yeah i remember when that happened last week. should be fine for thsi week, switching to a Riddell helmet. That’s ridiculous, not good look for Schutt.

  22. mdavis

    no surprises with cuts yet. Turner, Mastrud were obvious. Maybe a slight raise of the eyebrows is them cutting Lynch soon…usually if you want to try and get a guy on the P-sqaud you cut him last possible moment. We’ll see if someon picks him up or if they bring him back. Also, sounds like Holmes is on the roster.

    1. frank

      I haven’t seen the cut list yet–so, Turner, Mastrud, Lynch and Edwards?

      1. mdavis

        and Roland now too.

        I think the majority of the cuts will come through the pipeline tmrw.

        1. frank

          Yeah–no surprises so far, though I agree that they’ll try to get Lynch onto the practice squad.

  23. frank

    Buffalo has cut former Bears Jordan Palmer and Evan Rodriguez.

  24. frank

    Here’s a surprise–the Bears cut Eben Britton. They also cut Kelvin Hayden and Chris Williams–I’m not sure whether I’m surprised by that or not.

  25. frank

    Final cuts are in–among them, Al Louis-Jean, Austen Lane, and M.D. Jennings. Jennings hurt his shoulder in the exhibition finale and was let go with an injury settlement.

    1. mdavis

      Hayden and Britton def surprised me. Williams just wasn’t healthy at all, couldn’t really evaluate him. So back up lineman will be de la Puente, Ola, and Leno. Not a ton of exp, but with Ola playing well in Britton and Mills absense I think made them comfortable letting go Britton. Hayden surprised me because word was he was having a pretty good camp. Could play the nickel and bump outside. But it sounds like they really liked Demontre Hurst. He’s physical, and makes plays, and he’s young. UDFA from a year ago they stashed on the P-squad, so that’s kinda cool too.

      Practice Squad: WR Josh Bellamy (had a pretty good preseason), C Taylor Boggs, DT Brandon Dunn, CB Isaih Frey (little surprised he was able to get through waivers…Jets?) G Ryan Groy, LB Dede Lattimore, CB Al Louis-Jean (great size, created some turnovers, nice stash), CB Terrance Mitchell, DT Roy Philon, WR Rashad Ross

      Doesn’t look like Jordan Lynch was added to anyone’s practice squad. May be the end of the road….or CFL of course could be an option.

      1. frank

        I was also surprised that Frey got through–he wasn’t great last year, but I think good enough to make someone’s 53 man. I also thought they would add Lynch to the practice squad. Didn’t see an awful lot of him during the preseason, but he looked like he ran with some authority and power, and could eventually become a useful RB. I would’ve liked to have seen what Williams could do, because he does have that top end speed that they seem to lack.

        1. mdavis

          Yeah agreed. He was a solid player, came with 16 games experience. A team liek the Jets who’s CBs are a mess would of made a lot of sense, but who knows. Glad to have him in the reserves so to speak. Def surprised bout Lynch. My only thinking is they loaded up the active roster with RBs (Forte, Carey, Draughn, Perry, Fiammetta) that they needed to use that practice squad slot to add depth elsewhere.

          1. mdavis

            frankly i’m still curious who the hell the returners are. Spurlock? Can’t imagine they kept him on the 53 to be a WR (though he didn’t look terrible there). Perry? looked ok in his opportunities, has some explosiveness. I think Holmes may actually handle the PR, which almost, to me, signals a change in his attitude from his Jets days. Where he thought he was the man, and yada yada. Now it seems he’s relishing the opportunity to get back on the field. And the PR against the Browns certainly was promising. Otherwise I believe Spurlock could be back there also.

            1. frank

              I’m thinking Holmes has to be the punt returner right now. And probably Spurlock on KRs, though his work wasn’t what I’d call exciting.

              1. mdavis

                yeah agreed. Another decision looming is what to do with Wilson. I read they are contemplating putting him on IR w/ designation to return. Really hope they don’t though. I think he could be back around week 4-5. If they put him on IR, we’re talking I think week 9 or 10. Maybe a lot of it will have to do with how they feel about Holmes and Morgan, and if they feel they need some more help in other areas.

                1. frank

                  I think it’s 6 weeks before he can return to practice and 8 before he can return to game action. But, he’s on the 53 man right now. If they put him on IR with designation to return, it opens up another spot–at least temporarily.

                  1. mdavis

                    i thought it was 6 weeks too, but according to an article on espn, he won’t be able to practice until week 7 and won’t be eligble until the Packers game, which is week 10 (9 is their bye i believe). If they think they can get by stashing him on the roster for a few weeks, i say roll with that. should be ready in a month i’d think.

                    1. frank

                      Agreed. Keep him on the roster as long as it’s not hurting another position. I read an AP article that said 6 and 8–and I think that’s what I’ve heard from other sources–I guess we’ll find out if they do it.

          2. frank

            I was surprised that they kept so many RBs, so that seems reasonable as to why they didn’t put Lynch on the practice squad. Of course, Fiammetta is a FB, so his role is different, but that’s still a lot of RBs.

            1. mdavis

              Yeah I read some of Trestman’s comments on the matter, I guess the thinking was they have 2 LBs on the roster that don’t play ST (Briggs, DJ), so they kind of made up the difference with RBs. Draughn could be a 3 way-4 way ST. Perry can contribute in the return game, and possibly 2 other phases. So that played a heavy factor.

              1. mdavis

                sounds like Perry is 1st team KR right now

                1. frank

                  I’d imagine so–as bad as ST have been in the preseason.

  26. frank

    Power rankings have the Bears anywhere from 10th to 19th. One calls the Bears’ offense the “Trest Coast Offense.”

  27. mdavis

    Wilson put on IR-designation to return. I don’t love it, but they had to do what was best. Brought back Hayden to take the roster spot, so adds more depth there. I’ll admit i was bit concerned with McMannis and Hurst being the only 2 backup DBs.

    1. frank

      Yeah–McMannis and Hurst as the next level isn’t ideal. Maybe shows they’re more comfortable with Morgan and Holmes too.

  28. frank

    On Bears’ website, Larry Meyer says Wilson will be able to return to practice in week 6 and will be able to play in a game after week 8. So the first game he can play in is Nov. 9 against green bay.

    If they’re rotating safeties, they must not yet know who the 2 best are–that or they’re all very close and they just want to keep them fresh. I hope it’s not the latter–that would seem to indicate that the position has not been improved in the offseason.

    And right now, Spurlock as the kick returner is not inspiring confidence.

    1. mdavis

      yeah they’re saying they’ll rotate Mundy, McCray, Conte. The first 2 will be on some ST coverage units, so it’ll keep them fresh. Conte did look decent against Seattle before the concussion, so we’ll see. Vereen will be on ST, not sure he’ll get any safety reps though. I thought Mundy played well in the preseason, so hopefully between those 3 they’ll at least be solid, if not excellent.

      may end up being a bit of a lost season for Wilson. Even when he comes back, if Holmes/Morgan are playing well, are they gonna pull them from the line-up for a rusty Wilson? Doubtful, he may just have to work his way into the rotation with 10-15 snaps a game.

      Last I read Senorice Perry was the #1 KR, Spurlock was the PR. I’m sure we will see Holmes back there occasionally on punts, and Spurlock a bit on KR. But yeah….right now ST suck. Flat out. Just hope it doesn’t cost them a ballgame

      1. frank

        If I remember correctly, somewhere on the Bears’ site, Trestman said that Spurlock was the one they’ll be “starting with” as kick returner and Holmes would be the “primary” punt returner. I think I heard that again on the radio this morning. I’d rather see Holmes as the punt returner. I don’t know what I want to see with kick returns, but I’m sure I haven’t seen it yet.

        Mundy has to be an upgrade so long as he’s not stupid. And so far, I’ve heard that he’s football-smart and doesn’t make stupid plays. That alone is an upgrade. I don’t know that I trust Conte after last season.

        1. mdavis

          yikes. hopefully he does something with it, though i haven’t seen anyting yet that inspires confidence in that phase.

          After watching the Packers, who seem to be a super trendy pick for SB champs this season, I’m not that impressed. Yes, went against the defending champs in their house on banner night, but that O-line is still a mess and lacks depth. The defense was very unimpressive. They look beatable. And to me, Rodgers looked a bit skittish back there, which is something I can’t recall ever seeing. May of been first game type of stuff, but regardless, not impressed.

          1. frank

            I didn’t see the game, but I just didn’t think that gb did enough to improve their defense in the offseason to warrant SB consideration–too many more complete teams in the NFC.

            1. mdavis

              yeah the def was just bad. the o line is sub-par. i’m realllllly not all that afraid of them to be honest. we’ll see.

  29. mdavis

    well…that was one of the more disappointing losses for the bears than i can remember in awhile. Cutler looked good….except for those 2 throws, which seems to be who he is. That first INT, i’m not entirely sure what happened. Obviously, I don’t know the play, but from what it looked like to me, he threw it early to try and bend Bennett in and cross the face of the safety. Bennett wasn’t looking.That second one was just bad. Can’t have that. Forte did his thing. It certainly didn’t help that the line was banged up, though I think they held their own with Ola and de la Puente in there. Marshall and Jeffrey being in and out hurt, I saw wayyyyy too much Michael Spurlock at WR. Trestman said JEffrey could of gone back in in “certain situations” which I find frustrating….OT with the game on the line is not a good situation to put him in the game?

    And the def….all that money looks wasted right now, 196 yards of rushing is pathetic. Not a ton of pressure on the QB. They made Manuel look decent which is hard to do. The secondary wasn’t great. All in in all very disappointing.

    Now, its just one game, so I won’t overreact but damn. 49ers defense does not look intimidating to me, they just need to protect the ball. It’ll be tough, but they need to find a way to grind one out.

    1. frank

      Agreed on all counts. Bennett said he should have been looking for the the throw sooner, but still. No defending that second interception–just a bad decision. Marshall with two fumbles–lost one. Spurlock can’t catch the ball. Conte does a victory lap in front of the end zone fans after his interception instead of celebrating with teammates, and then misses tackles on the Bills’ two longest runs of the game. No pressure on Manuel. And get this–the linebackers had six tackles–as a unit. The defense is designed for the linebackers to make the plays–and they have six tackles. Briggs had only two tackles; of course, he missed a day of practice and was out at a bar until at least 4 am Saturday. Suspect play calling–Forte is taking the game over, yet in short yardage situations at the end of the game, they opt to pass. Just very disappointing.

  30. frank

    Bears to sign safety Ahmad Dixon off Vikings practice squad. Supposed to be a very hard hitter, but with some issues in coverage. Wonder who gets cut . . .

    1. mdavis

      maybe Hayden? was inactive this week.

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