Preseason Game #3 Review

August 22, 2008

In the 3rd preseason game of the year, the Bears lost to the 49ers 37-30. As with the previous games, there were some positives and some negatives but for me the positives far outweighed the negatives.

 I’ll start out with the negatives today.  The defense looked like garbage once again.  I have to question if defensive coordinator, Bob Babich, coaches fundamentals at all?  Since Ron Rivera left the Bears defense just can’t tackle anymore.  From my viewpoint, the problem is a cross between laziness and trying to strip the ball from the ball carrier every time.  I grow more and more frustrated every time I see a Bears player try and make an arm tackle.  It doesn’t work in high school and it surely doesn’t work in the NFL.  And to all the players in the secondary, minus possibly Mike Brown, just once instead of trying to strip the ball, put your facemask in somebody’s chest!!!!  I understand being aggressive but it drives me up a way when a 5 yard play turns into a 20 yard play because of the lack of tackling. It happens with this defense far too often.

 

Another issue with the defense last night was that the defensive line was not getting a good push off the ball once again for the most part.  This defensive scheme doesn’t work without it.  Anthony Adams got blown off the ball 5 or 6 times, which is absolutely ridiculous.  The first play of the game, he was 5 yard down the field by the time the offensive player stopped pushing him.  You figure he would have been embarrassed enough not to let it happen again, but it happened on the very next play.  Thankfully, Dusty Dvoracek looked healthy last night and should leapfrog Adams in the depth chart.  I’ve waited two long years to see what he can do and from the looks of last night, he and Tommie Harris in the middle might be a monster to contend with. Another DT that looks to be able to help things out on the line is Marcus Harrison.  He has shown spurts of first round talent in the past 2 games. 

 

I think overall, the defense will be fine.  Minus injuries, there is just way too much talent on the defense to think otherwise.  I think at some point though, if things continue down this path, Lovie Smith is going to have to take control away from Babich.  I know that the defensive players like him a lot but missed tackles and poor line play isn’t going to help his sometimes suspect play calling as we have seen in the past.

Now onto the positives from last night.  Coaches from teams on the Bears’ schedule may have been shaking their heads this morning after seeing the return game from last night.  Not only do they have to worry about Devin Hester running a kickoff back for a touchdown, they may also have to worry about Danieal Manning doing the same thing.  Not only did Manning show his quickness and speed, he showed great ability to break tackles on two returns where he amassed 171 total yards.  With returns like that, the Bears may not have to deal with a top offense.  Earl Bennett also looked pretty good in the by returning a kick for 19 yards and a punt for 20.  Garrette Wolfe did a decent job himself until he fumbled the ball. Isreal Idonije had a blocked field goal for the Beats in the second half. Robby Gould was solid as usual too.  He was 3 out of 4 on field goals and 3 out of 3 for extra points.

Offensively, I thought Kyle Orton looked great as the new starting quarterback for the Bears.  He was very accurate in his throws and it looks like he has gained arm strength.  He had some pop in some of his throws, which was great to see.  He ended the night going 10 for 17 with 2 TD’s and no interceptions and a QB rating of 126.3.  For me the best part of him starting last night, was that he looks a lot calmer in the pocket than Rex Grossman ever does.  I didn’t have that nervous feeling that a turnover may or may not happen. 

Rashied Davis looked great last night catching 2 TD’s from Orton.  He came close to a 3rd TD, but there was a bit too much on the ball for him to handle.  Mark Bradley looked pretty solid in the game.  Devin Hester didn’t do much, but seems like his route running is getting better and better.  He also had an opportunity for a TD but dropped the ball.  Brandon Rideau caught a 51 yard TD pass from Caleb Hanie in the last seconds of the game.  The Bears may want to keep him on the roster, the ex basketball player has some hops.

The running game looked pretty decent overall.  The offensive line looks pretty effective for the most part.  There were a few run plays here and there that went absolutely nowhere but Josh Beekman and John St. Clair were actually opening up some holes.  I though they both played very well.  I expected to have to write that the offensive line played lousy again but I really can’t do that today.  They open up some holes for the RB’s and gave Orton time to throw the ball.  I think he was only pressured 3 times and hurried once in the half that he played. The only real weak spot on the line last night was Roberto Garza.  I’m sorry but he should not be a starting guard in this league but hopefully he and John Tait can gel on the right side where he can be serviceable.

Matt Forte looked pretty good in his action in the first half.  He showed he has the ability to cut and create something out of nothing which is the complete opposite of what Cedric Benson ever showed.  Kevin Jones saw the field for the first time.  He looked like he is healthy and had 30 yards on three carries.  A tandem of Jones and Forte might just be what the Bears need to have an effective offense this year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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