127 Comments

Audibles From the Long Snapper: Stats, Forte “Struggling” & Lovie Smith with Personality

| September 23rd, 2014

audibles

SOME STATISTICAL STUFF

  • Two quarterbacks will play Sunday at Soldier Field. One has completed 66.1% of his passes for 750 yards and a TD-INT ratio of 8-2. Passer rating? 98.2. The other has completed 62.7% of his passes for 697 yards and a 5-1 ratio. Passer rating of 95.1 Heading into Bears v. Packers, Bears have the quarterback playing at the higher level.
  • Through three weeks, the Bears have the league’s sack (Willie Young, 4) and interception (Kyle Fuller, 3) leaders.
  • Bears defense has not allowed a second half touchdown.
  • Bears offense is 27th in yardage and 9th in points. If you read this site you know how I feel about quantifying offensive performance with yardage gained. It is nonsensical, especially in the current NFL where yards simply aren’t that difficult to gain. How an offense performs in the red zone is how that offense is defined. Points matter. Yards don’t.

ON MATT FORTE’S “STRUGGLES”

The Bears were never going to successfully run the ball against San Francisco or the Jets, on the road, in prime time. Those are two of the best five defensive fronts in the game. Buffalo, Chicago’s week one opponent, might also be included in that group. No, Forte hasn’t run the ball effectively but through three weeks, against three terrific fronts, Matt Forte has 281 yards from scrimmage. And he has made big plays in big moments.

MORRISSEY: BEARS ‘D’ LOOKS LOVIE-LIKE

I was going to write a Tuesday column essentially stating the 2014 Bears defense reminds me an awful lot of all those cherished Lovie Smith defenses. But credit where credit is due. Rick Morrissey has already written it in the Sun-Times:

These Bears look like Lovie Smith’s Bears, and that’s a compliment. Did I just write that?

Yes, I did, and it wasn’t under duress. No zombie stare from Lovie. No Smith family member threatening to make me listen to reruns of his press conferences. The highest compliment I can pay the former Bears coach is that his teams had oodles of good fortune. Forced fumbles, interceptions, timely penalties against the opposition — when things were going well for the Lovester, they went very well.

Mel Tucker’s defense has flaws. Many of them. But you saw in the fourth quarter what they could look like with a relentless Jared Allen rushing the quarterback. Sunday against the Packers, without the threat of the read option, Allen could be poised for a monster game. (We know the opposite end will be successful.)

Mel Tucker is something of a Lovie Smith with personality. He’s more fiery and his players seem to feed off of it.

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  • Trac

    Audible? Did you say audible? Pass the dam ball!

  • MB30SD

    not sure why I found a lot of these so hilarious, but alas, I did. Enjoy: http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/23/showbiz/gallery/john-malkovich-iconic-portraits/index.html?hpt=hp_c3

  • BillW

    Sorry for the report but I caught the tail end of the last thread:

    Comments – questions on the officiating:
    I don’t believe in the “calls even out”. I get the concept but each call needs to be right.

    The fumble call obviously wrong and I believe the refs are instructed to let the play continue in cases like that. But they are also instructed to protect the QB and so a quick whistle SHOULD happen 100% of the time. Bad call but not a ref mistake (if that makes sense.)

    The first PI call against the Jets – replay clearly showed their arms locked up. That goes against the defense almost always. Not a bad call.

    The hit on the Jets receiver when catching the TD pass. I get the idea but there has to be a better clarification by the league so the fans aren’t saying like I did and Jeff and thousands of others – are you REALLY supposed to just stand there and let them catch it? Probably not a bad call but sure seems that way.

    Phantom holding call – I missed the replay but I’ll assume it was a jersey tug that the official saw or thought he saw. If so, they are being consistent at least since they called SF on that last week. If not – see my last comment.

    Last pass in end zone by Jets – maybe PI? Have to see it again. I didn’t watch the replay because I was celebrating the victory. But only a penalty if there was contact before the ball. Some Jet fans are saying “he never got his head around”; but you don’t have as long as there is no contact whatsoever until the ball is there. So maybe bad call, maybe great call.

    Don’t recall any other controversial calls.

    I think any major penalty ought to be reviewable. By major I mean 15 yards and/or automatic first downs. I never understood those that say “the game would be too long”. First, not if a coach had the same number of challenges. And second – do any fans complain about the length of a game? The Buffalo Wild Wings commercial even shows fans wanting the game to go longer.

    And in all seriousness I’d grant the coach unlimited challenges until he gets two wrong. I hate the idea that a coach can be right three times and then can’t challenge anymore. I can’t help but wonder if there have been any situations where a coach was right three times and the ref got pissed and called a close one against the coach? Probably not, but I’d hate for the Bears to ever be in that situation.

    I’d rather a three and half hour game where most of the close important calls were reviewed than a three hour game with a bunch of question marks. Besides, you could easily speed up the process by taking the ref out of it and let the league office handle it.

    • BillW

      Oh year – the spot. Again, want to give the refs the benefit of the doubt (though I don’t know why) and say there was no clear evidence to overturn. But given the position the Jet player was in when he was down, I simply can’t see that the ball touched the 30.

      I listened to Joniak and Thayer throughout the game (took a few plays to get the TV in sync – radio was about 2 seconds behind TV.) It was REAL nice watching a Bears game without getting upset at the announcers.

      • Peanut FTW

        That spot was egregious. I mean, at a bare minimum, there should have been a re-spot and a measurement. There was a challenge flag used, there was apparent evidence that the existing spot was not right; utter trash officiating there.

        And the phantom holding call had absolutely 0 jersey pull, he barely touched him, if anything an illegal contact call may have been defensible but no holding whatsoever.

        • BillW

          Under the circumstance a measurement was unnecessary. The only time ever it’s not needed is the first set of downs after a touchback. Any part of the ball on the 30 and it’s a first down.

          I knew that, but Thayer pointed it out to the listeners – no measure needed, just figure out the correct spot.

          • http://www.dabearsbeat.com/ Johnathan Wood

            I’m with you. I think it was a bad spot, but then not enough to overturn it 100%, which you need in replays.
            Officiating was all-around bad last night. Helped and hurt both teams at various points.

          • AlbertInTucson

            “…just figure out the correct spot.”

            Which, they managed not to do.

    • AlbertInTucson

      The PI on Jeffrey was a no-brainer. You cannot get away with an arm bar, even if you look back for the ball. Shame on Gruden & Tirico.

      The Bostic call was bad. The receiver was not impeded.

  • bearsfantillend

    One thing i loved seeing during the game was towards the end during a timeout, Peanut had all the secondary players and a couple linebackers huddled on the sideline giving them a pep talk and making sure all the young-uns and subs knew their assignments. Classy! If he can’t play anymore i hope they bring him back as a coach.

    • Doc Hamstring

      Peanut is a class act, and I hope to heaven that Emery & the McCaskeys do right by him. If Peanut is able to play next year, they should sign him. If he decides to hang up his cleats, they’ve got a new assistant position coach… and maybe, in 10 years or so, a new defensive coordinator.

      My concern is that him traveling with the team while he’s on IR… that this is his swan song. He knows he’s retiring, and wants to have one last go-around.

      • MikeBrownhadaPosse

        I nicknamed my new stepson after him – at least as much because he seems like a real standup dude as because he’s a HOF corner.

        • MB30SD

          what did you just say?!

  • bearsfantillend

    is 6 sacks this weekend too much to ask for?

    • Bender McLugh

      no

      • bearsfantillend

        alright then i will ask the football gods for 10!

        • MB30SD

          are you not entertained!?!

          • bearsfantillend

            yes i am, i just want to see Rodgers bruised and battered, like one of AP’s kids.

          • MB30SD

            ouch. too soon.

            But yes, I would like to see rodgers out.

          • Trac

            Hands off the kids. Think man!

          • bearsfantillend

            sorry bad joke.

          • Trac

            I do the same. Ask doc. And GP.

          • Trac

            Not really. I went to sleep in the 4th Qtr after the fun was over. By the way, gladiators seldom fought to the death and no we ‘re not. You’ve had better material.

          • MB30SD

            jesus christ

          • Trac

            I’d been up since 3 am. Couldn’t keep my eyes open and yes, I had it on good authority all would be well in the morning. Lol

    • SC Dave

      You mean in the first quarter, right?

  • Jokey

    I was glad to see us go no-huddle on some plays and a quick snap on another (on Forte’s 1st down muscle run). That shit is so annoying when it’s done to us, it’s about time we worked it in as well. And how about this – let’s run the read option a couple times a game – there’s got to be a way to do this without putting Jay in danger, right?

    • Barb UMihai Mar

      There are many things the Bears O can do in the future. The read option should be the last on the list. The no-huddle is a great weapon and it’s obvious they are starting toying with it. It’s not a very easy thing to do, so I think I like their patience with it. Just don’t force things….you don’t have/need to do that. Grow within yourself.

      • Trac

        I agree. Shitcan the read option.

        • johnnywad

          Cutty’s to valuable to run that dopey shit. Why put a $100,000,000 arm in harms way more than necessary?

  • Peanut FTW

    Comparing Tucker to Lovie with personality is like comparing tap water to Guiness but with barley.

    • DocNitty(BallsStillOrnamental)

      Ha! I’d actually prefer water, but it’s still apt and funny.

  • bearsfantillend

    I know domestic violence isn’t funny but this made me laugh from a deadspin article.
    “What would Goodell do if someone did a Ray Rice-themed TD celebration, fake-punching a teammate and then dragging them along the ground?”

    http://theconcourse.deadspin.com/dont-have-kids-dont-go-to-the-pumpkin-patch-1638099278/+robharvilla

  • Barb UMihai Mar

    When did Willie Young get another sack ? I think it was the ‘force the Qb out of bounds before the LOS variety. It shouldn’t count.

    • http://www.dabearsbeat.com/ Johnathan Wood

      yeah, last drive Geno ran out of bounds for a 2 yard loss instead of throwing it away. Sack goes to nearest defender who forced him out.

    • AlbertInTucson

      “IT shouldn’t count”. ?

      Wrong.

      Completely wrong.

      THAT is a SACK.

      • Barb UMihai Mar

        for me a sack means hitting the QB or stripping the ball in some way or form. I’d rather add it as a run stop for loss.

  • http://www.dabearsbeat.com/ Johnathan Wood

    Here’s something overlooked with Allen: he’s one of those older DEs who is built to rush the passer and doesn’t like all this read-option shit. Slows down his rush. Peppers is the same way, the only good games he had last year came against traditional QBs who aren’t running on designed plays unless it’s a sneak (Rodgers, Flacco, etc.).
    Like Jeff said, Allen showed up on the last drive. Why? Because it was pass rush, plain and simple. I expect him to be much better in divisional games against GB and DET than he’s been so far this year against all these running QBs.

    • Barb UMihai Mar

      They play 2 gap as it is. Throw in the ‘be patient and don’t let the Qb get out of pocket’ these 3 weeks and realize that what we saw until today is only a version of what the DEs can do. They’ve done it pretty well.
      I’d employ the same tactic against Rodgers. He’s as dangerous as the others when he gets out. Be patient and squeezeeeee !!!

      • http://www.dabearsbeat.com/ Johnathan Wood

        Rodgers is much better at beating you with his arm though. They need to apply the pressure on him big time. That’s how DET and SEA shut their offense down.

        • Trac

          You missed my memo above. Get it, got it?

          • MB30SD

            go take a nap already! bad! bad trac!

          • Trac

            I was in bad shape yesterday. I need 7 hrs sleep min. 4 just doesn’t cut it.

        • Barb UMihai Mar

          I never said Rodgers is faster. He’s more dangerous outside the pocket because he can throw and run. He beats you with his arm alright, but your chances at defending his throws are much, much higher when he’s in the pocket. When he is out…you’re fucked 99% of the time.

      • bearsfantillend

        screw that ‘be patient’ crap. level him, break him in 2. he’s more dangerous when he’s in the pocket with time. do like DET and SEA did. knock him around, pressure him, get him outside of the pocket throwing on the run, because so far this year he hasn’t been very accurate outside the pocket.

        • Barb UMihai Mar

          DET and SEA never lost contain on him. They squeezed the pocket. DET had 2 sacks on the day. You’d think ‘7 points for the Packers ? Rodgers was peppered with sacks’. Nope. They kept him in and forced throws under pressure.

        • Trac

          In Romania the people are brought up to be very patient. It’s not Barbs fault, besides it’s a virtue

          • Barb UMihai Mar

            Romania is half latin and it’s in eastern europe There’s no patience, man. And it isn’t seen as a virtue here.

          • Trac

            I’m just pulling your leg Barb.

  • http://www.dabearsbeat.com/ Johnathan Wood

    “Heading into Bears v. Packers, Bears have the quarterback playing at the higher level.”
    I never thought this would even be possible to say without getting laughed at while a healthy Rodgers was in his prime. Hot damn. So true right now though.

    • Trac

      Rogers is 8-8 in his last 16 starts counting the playoffs. He’s been getting a free pass because the media loves him. He’s been a very beatable QB lately.

      • http://www.dabearsbeat.com/ Johnathan Wood

        he’s not been himself since coming back from his injury. Looks more skiddish, and his accuracy on the run isn’t as incredible as it was. Maybe years of hit parades behind bad OLs are finally taking their toll.

        • MB30SD

          yeeeeeesssss my preeeeeeciiiooouus! It get’s the preeeecious.

          Welcome to our wold cuntus maximus.

          Say herro to our litte friends (jared allen, Mr. houston, and Mr. young)

          • http://www.dabearsbeat.com/ Johnathan Wood

            pass rush is gonna need to step up this week. Game plan shifts from priority #1 being contain the running game (including QB) to priority #1 being kill the QB.

          • Barb UMihai Mar

            That’s not true. the Bears run a 2 gap scheme. Stop the run and contain the QB are the number 1 and 2 priorities every week. Kill the QB after you stop the run. Seahawks and Patriots do it this way, so it’s not a bad thing. These are the best teams in the NFL.

          • http://www.dabearsbeat.com/ Johnathan Wood

            I know that’s what they’ve done so far this year. But I have a hunch they’ll change it up a bit based on matchups and expect a great emphasis to be placed on pass rush this week. We’ll see.

      • Jokey

        Going back further he is 10-12-1

        • BillW

          Can we put Shea in for just one obvious passing down?

      • http://www.dabearsbeat.com/ Johnathan Wood

        including playoffs, here’s his record every year for starts:
        2010: 10-5 (4-0 playoffs, won SB)
        2011: 15-1 (0-1 playoffs)
        2012: 11-5 (1-1 playoffs)
        2013: 6-4 (0-1 playoffs), but really 6-3, as he left the CHI game after throwing 2 passes
        2014: 1-2
        It’s not like he suddenly can’t win. Prior to this year, his passer rating has consistently been between 100 and 110 for 5 straight years (with the exception of that magical 2011 season, when it was 122).
        he also started 1-2 in 2012 and 2013. GB rebounded just fine both those years.
        He’s looked different to me this year, but it’s not like he suddenly sucks.

        • BillW

          It’s the team that looks bad, not Rodgers. This is a very winnable game. That’s all we can say at this point, which is more than some other years against GB.

          • http://www.dabearsbeat.com/ Johnathan Wood

            agreed there, but all the secondary injuries worry me. A lot.

      • AlbertInTucson

        To be fair, he is also having to deal with the kind of “Offensive Line of the Week” issues we are all to familiar with. Likewise, Tom Brady.

        • johnnywad

          That’s the other game the Bears will win that nobody gives them a chance to.

  • BillW

    Way too early in the season for this to mean much, but I find numbers interesting so I can’t help myself.

    Cutler % completion 66.1 2014 vs 63.1 2013.
    TD/Int ratio: 4.00 vs 1.58
    Per game TD: 2.67 vs 1.73
    Per game INT: 0.67 vs 1.09
    Rating (though I hate that stat): 98.2 vs 89.2

    What I was hoping to find was points per drive (at the QB level). Instead I got it at the team level, and last year was better: 2.45 vs 2.14 this year. Work to do there.

    GB this year: 1.74

  • Jokey

    Think Stelz will be brought off the street?

    • DocNitty(BallsStillOrnamental)

      What about Adrian Wilson?

      • bearsfantillend

        hell Chris Harris is on the sideline as a coach why not suit him up.

      • MB30SD

        i had the same thought… just don;t think he could cut it on an nfl fb field

        Hey Doc, your buddy replied to my post (if that was real). Hahahahaha

        • DocNitty(BallsStillOrnamental)

          yeah. I saw that. It was real.

          • MB30SD

            smfh.

            I expect you to text me a pic of his torn up man card please. And send him the dick-shoe… shoe-dick?

          • DocNitty(BallsStillOrnamental)

            dick shoe- sent. Friend – horrified. Man card- revoked and then temporarily reinstated. He agreed that we would move his t.v. last. We may have to work later in the evening, but he succumbed to the pressure of my bears blog brethren and we WILL be watching the game.

            Thank you guys for all of your help.

          • MB30SD

            BOOOOOOOOOM!

            The dick-shoe get’s ’em erra time!

          • CanadaBear

            Your juju is strong.

      • AlbertInTucson

        Wilson was the first name that popped into MY head this morning, too, Doc.

    • http://www.upitpuppet.com/ evantonio

      cast my vote for al afalava.

      • MB30SD

        Oh oh oh… hardin for me please!

      • MikeBrownhadaPosse

        The Volcano!
        I can’t wait to see him suit up in the FXFL this fall.

    • Barb UMihai Mar

      Chris Clemons

      • Donnnnn’t Caaaaarrrrrre!

        Already on a team

        • Barb UMihai Mar

          what team ?

    • Trac

      Hated to see him and Corey Graham go.

  • Cormonster

    Joniak’s journal:

    http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2014/09/23/joniaks-journal-fuller-youngsters-are-making-plays/

    18 1st and 2nd year players contributed to the win against the Jets. Emery is infusing some youth into the defense and special teams and it shows. Guys were flying around last night.

    I was listening to a Packers radio show today, and the hosts were kind of bitching about Lacy. They said he came to camp out of shape and put on about 10-15, causing him to lose a step and creating friction with the coaching staff. Rogers was complaining about in game adjustments against Detroit too. Might there be problems in Packerland?

    • MB30SD

      yes, it’s called ‘losing’

      • Cormonster

        I love listening to the meatheads who call into the Bill Michaels show. Fire Thompson, fire McCarthy! The season is over!

        • MB30SD

          Hahahahahaha!

          Awesome. I have a feeling the tide is turning my maings. I think this is going to be our time.

          • Trac

            I remember a day which still lives in infamy in my mind. Bears 44, Cowgirls 0. It should be like this and then everything would be well in the world.

        • johnnywad

          Its funny to hear it after all the bullshit they were spewing about Lacy in the preseason. His greatness was going to make Rodgers even better. Ha. Fuckin assholes.

          • Trac

            Hahaha. Classic

        • Trac

          What jerks. Hee hee.

        • Viva

          Chicago transplants?

        • SC Dave

          Sounds like last season, except it was Emery and Tucker.

  • AlbertInTucson

    Just listened to the Jets broadcast. Man did they ever WHINE on and on about the Jeffrey PI.

    • Trac

      Cut em some slack, they’re looking a 1-6 on the horizon. Brutal scheduling.

  • Cormonster

    Can enough good things be said about Fuller after just three games with one start? Three picks, two forced fumbles, second behind Bostic in tackles, and NFC defensive player of the week. Those are some badass numbers. There is some new magic in that #23 jersey.

  • johnnywad

    Packers are favored Sunday. People clearly aren’t watching the games if the bookmakers take money in on the Pack.

    • MB30SD

      let em.

      and they’re still making fucking turrible commercials with all those tools because they won the sb like 5 years ago. sad.

    • Cormonster

      The Bears have an ace in the hole – I won’t be at the game on Sunday. Nothing but bad luck when I go starting with the Championship game.

      • Donnnnn’t Caaaaarrrrrre!

        You stay away from that game and I’ll bet against our boys. Victory…..assured

        • MB30SD
        • Trac

          I’d rather the Bears lose than have to bet on the fudgers. That’s bad juju man. Do so at your peril.

          • Donnnnn’t Caaaaarrrrrre!

            I’m 2 for 2 so I’ll continue because obviously it is working

          • Trac

            I was feeling good about this game until now.

          • Trac

            Besides, what would Cutty Badger say?

      • MikeBrownhadaPosse

        Same here. But I’m a gonna go this year anyway…once the division is locked up.

        • Cormonster

          All the losses I was at were against the dreaded Packers.

      • CanadaBear

        How was the wedding/music extravaganza?

        • Cormonster

          I’m starting to feel normal today, but still licking my wounds. It was a total blast, aside from getting my ass kicked. I started a fight with Chris Jacke after too many Jameson shots. I got him on the ground and was winning the fight, but Craig Newsome, Dorsey Levens, and Gilbert Brown jumped in. I got some good punches in on Jacke and Levens, but otherwise I got my ass beat. Luckily no broken bones.

          Seen some good friends for the first time in a couple years. The bluegrass band was a little boring after a while (an hour of bluegrass is about all I can handle). Their covers were great, especially the Grateful Dead songs, but the rest just sounds monotonous to me after a while. Extremely talented, but not my thing. The other bands kicked ass. The campground party lasted until after 4am, and everyone was up early to go watch the Packers and Vikings. The wedding itself was super cool in a wooded cove. One of the best ceremonies I have ever attended.

          Aside from saying the reception was a total blast and it took me a few days to recover, everything else in the first paragraph is total fiction. Ha Ha!

  • Trac

    I’ve been watching South Beach Tow. Fake ass shit but funny as hell.

  • MB30SD
    • SC Dave

      Are they not called “escorts”, or “hookers” or some such?

      • MB30SD

        guess not. get on there! hahaha

  • MB30SD
    • AlbertInTucson

      Kapernick denies he said it but multiple zebras say they heard it.

      • MB30SD

        then why didn’t they throw a flag on that POS?

        • AlbertInTucson

          He WAS flagged for it. It was after the 2nd Fuller INT, I believe.

          • AlbertInTucson

            I’m sure it was in response to something “pleasant” Houston had to say after the turnover.

          • MB30SD

            ahhhh… then what did houston get called for?

          • AlbertInTucson

            I didn’t know that Houston WAS calle for anything.

  • Trac

    Oh and by the way, when someone says our D looks like Lovie Smiths Bears is seems rather short sighted to me. Can anyone remember a Lovie Smith D were so money rooks started, contributed and succeeded? I rest my case.

    • bearsfantillend

      agree – the only similarity to Lovie’s D is the turnovers..

  • Trac

    So glad we didn’t draft this guy.

    http://espn.go.com/dallas/nfl/story/_/id/11578003/morris-claiborne-dallas-cowboys-hears-lineup-news-bolts

    Or this guy.

    http://withthefirstpick.com/2014/09/21/browns-rookie-cb-justin-gilbert-continues-struggle/

    Both guys were touted here pre-draft excepty by yours truly. Na na na na na na!

    • Barb UMihai Mar

      Remember Trac what you though about the Fuller pick before you thought better.
      Both those CB can become very good in time. Especially Gilbert… we’re in Week 3 of his carer. About 1,5 years to early before one can really judge.

      • Trac

        I’m not really saying they won’t rebound, just that you never know and I’m glad we didn’t pick em. Can’t put a finger on it but Gilbert gave me a bad feeling after watching his film. He just seemed to have a hard time bringing guys down.

        • Barb UMihai Mar

          have a little bit of patience, man. Hahaaah

  • bearsfantillend

    New Thread!!

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