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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Thoughts on the Bears first preseason game versus the Eagles

You have to take what you see in the preseason with a grain of salt.  Great performances in the exhibition games don't always translate well into the regular season.  Case in point, Jon Bostic looked like a phenom last preseason.  All of my friends that are casual Bears fans were talking him up as if he were the new Butkus or Urlacher.  When it was announced that DJ Williams would start over Bostic once healthy, they all lost their minds.  But I assured them that you have to start the season with a veteran presence at MLB.  And when Williams went down again, Bostic came in and looked like a rookie.  So really, we are just using everything we are seeing to help shape the roster.

With that in mind, here are my thoughts on the first preseason game:

The Good:
-The starting offense, even sans Marquess Wilson, Kyle Long, and Jordan Mills looked great.  They moved the ball well and looked quite polished for how early in the season they are.
-The defense was back to gang tackling, unlike last year.
-Jay Cutler looked quite comfortable...good touch on the ball (not everything was a missile), confidence in th pocket.
-The TE position as a whole surprised me, especially considering Martellus Bennett is suspended.
-The D-line was getting consistent pressure on Nick Foles.
-The starting D seemed to have gap discipline on the run plays.
-Jimmy Clausen really surprised me in a good way.  Comfortable in the pocket, nice throws, good decisions.  I owe him an apology.

The Bad:
-The run blocking was pretty bad.  This wouldn't worry me except that they didn't run block that well last year.  It's looking like a bit of a carryover problem that needs to be addressed.
-Eric Weems has a rough game.  A couple of fair catches, a dropped pass followed by being blown up buy Cary Williams, a bad return.  Not a good showcase.
-The special teams looked pretty spotty: fumbled punt, blocked kick, opposing team scored a touchdown off a kickoff.
-Garza got blown up a few times, which makes me nervous because the Eagles D isn't great.
-Bostic and McClellin missed WAAAY too many tackles.
-Brian de la Puenta and Chris Williams got injured (no updates yet).

The Ugly:
-The broadcast during the first quarter looked like we were watching a bootleg VHS tape.
-Cody Booth and Joe Long, the o-line hopefuls) were absolutely abysmal.  The only block Cody Booth made in the whole game was during a screen when he was SUPPOSED to let the man go.  He can't pull on pulling plays.  Played ole` too much.  Joe Long was no better.  Too many holding penalties, not enough blocking anyone.
-Jordan Palmer had poor pocket presence, off target on throws, poor decisions.  Not a good game.

There are more thoughts coming...but check out the podcast which will go live Sunday night.