144 Comments

Holmes Could be A Big Upgrade

| August 19th, 2014

If Santonio Holmes is able to regain his prime form, the Chicago Bears will have the best trio of receivers in the league, but he won’t need to be that good to be an upgrade over last season.

Yesterday we learned that former third receiver Marquess Wilson could miss most of the season after breaking his collarbone. We still don’t know how the Bears are going to do with Wilson, but they might need Holmes to play a lot this season.

A quick look at Holmes’ statistics would lead one to believe he’s done and just trying to extend his career any way he can. After some further evaluation, I think he’s going to be better than Earl Bennett was, as long as he’s in shape and able to pick up the playbook.

Say what you will about Holmes catch total, but big things happened when he caught the ball. He averaged 19.8 yards per reception in 2013 with a long of 69 yards. ESPN credited him with nine catches of over 20 yards. Bennett’s longest catch of the season was 17 yards. Allow me to repeat that, Holmes average was significantly longer than Bennett’s longest catch.

Bennett didn’t have a lot of chances (15 fewer targets than Holmes) but the fact of the matter is he didn’t make things happen last year. Despite catching nine fewer passes with a terrible quarterback, Holmes had 213 more yards.

Holmes made his mark in the league as a deep threat for Ben Roethlisberger and he still showed some of that ability last season. According to Pro Football Focus, eight of his 23 receptions came over 20 yards down the field. That’s by far the highest rate of any receiver on the Bears team, as Jeffery had 14 of his 89 catches that far down the field and Marshall had 13 of his 100.

The one thing New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith seemed to be adequate at last year was throwing down the field, but that had a lot to do with Holmes. According to PFF, Smith was seventh in the league, completing 46.7 percent of his passes 20 or more yards down the field. However, if you take Holmes production, Smith’s accuracy percentage drops below 40 percent and would put him tied for 28th.

The concerning is the fact that Holmes only caught 23 of his 59 targets (by ESPN’s count), an incredibly low number. Upon looking at the film, it was clear that Smith’s lack of accuracy was a large part of the reason why. I went through a number of games from last season and Smith just flat out missed Holmes in the majority of their incompletions.

In the below screen shot from NFL Game Rewind, you see what could’ve been a long touchdown catch, but Smith’s throw was well short. This happened regularly, especially on shorter passes and timing routes. For whatever reason, Smith and Holmes did not click.

Screen shot 2014-08-18 at 12.19.58 PM

Holmes did drop seven passes, a number that must be lower for the Bears, but Smith’s inability to consistently deliver accurate passes was their biggest problem. Holmes also had a ton of diving catches to help offset the drops.

As we enter the supposedly important third preseason game, we don’t know what Holmes’ status with the Bears is. We don’t know if he’ll be able to learn the playbook in time or what kind of shape he’s in. We don’t know if he will play yet this week, but it would be interesting to see how quickly he gets on the field and if he and Jay Cutler can develop chemistry quickly.

Holmes also has to beat out Josh Morgan, who has looked solid in the team’s first two preseason games. There are a lot of factors that come into play. There are questions that we won’t have answers to until Holmes gets on the field.

There are also the off-the-field issues and some have said he’s difficult to get along with. It’s important to mention the leadership in the Bears locker room. If he’s out of line, the Bears have the leadership on the field and in the coaching staff to handle him. The Bears don’t need him to be a productive offense, it’s something both he and the team know. The Bears don’t seem to be worried about.

Of course, there’s also the chance that Holmes used up whatever gas he had left in his tank last season. If he isn’t able to beat Morgan out, I wouldn’t expect the Bears to keep him. He probably won’t play special teams and certainly won’t cover kicks, so it would be hard for them to keep four receivers — five when Wilson returns — who don’t contribute in the third phase.

The Bears would like for Holmes to be the weapon he was with the Steelers, however, if they can just get the Jets version, they’ll have a third receiver who can at least occasionally make big plays.

With their other weapons, that’s all they need.

  • MikeBrownhadaPosse

    If his foot holds up, we’re golden.

    • MB30SD

      awwww… look at you.

  • Damn you, MBP! Come back and steal my shine! I was going to say something clever like Firsties to say firsties aren’t all that effective then repost this….

    I never expect much from rookie DTs.Off the top of my head, only Suh made an impression his rook season.In many ways, they’re a lot like WRs. It takes them time to master
    technique, to learn tendencies, to digest the playbook, and often, to
    grow into their bodies or gain NFL strength/quickness.

    Once in a while freaks like Randy Moss or Suh come along, but for the rest of DTs
    and WRs, it just takes until season 2-3 for them to really bloom.

    Hopefully Paea doesn’t completely bust (he’s been looking good, but can he hold
    up?) and Ratliff reverts to his PB form for at least one more season.

    I’m really not expecting much from the DT rooks.

    I actually think more pressure is on Sutton since he’s the penetrator.
    All Ego has to do is not go backwards, take on two linemen, and from
    time to time stick out his arm and slow down a RB.

    Footnote. Also, if Trevor Scott keeps balling, he, Young can man the DE spot while Houston slides inside ala Izzy.

    • MB30SD

      (that’s what she said)

  • Welcome to O’Donnell and Dannehey Auto Parts…need a caarb for that Transam?

    • GPLDAN

      Ditka versus a Hurricane, but the name of the Hurricane is also Ditka. Who wins?

  • Can Holmes still return kicks?

  • Also, since I got the floor. Shady, start up your two qb league fun house FF!

    It’s gonna be the 3rd preseason game. Shit just got real!

    I also don’t know if NBIT’s league will get full.

    • For your consideration….

      I’ll be ok with Holmes or Morgan as our 5th option. I am intrigued by Holmes because of his knack for YAC. With Brandon in the slot and Holmes outside defenses must decide how they want to take their medicine. With Alshon and Marty on the other side it’s just pure entertainment. Jesus think about it. Then Forte ducks out of the backfield when everyone clears out. How do you stop it all? Answer….you don’t.

      • Shady

        I love how you were mocked last year for drafting an all Bears homer squad: Cutler, Marahall, Forte, Jeffrey, Bennett, Gould etc. that turned from a joke to a juggernaut.

        • For your consideration….

          My downfall was drafting 2 QB’s that both had the same fucking bye week……

          • MB30SD

            my buddy had vadgers with jay as his backup. Rough injury year for him.

          • GPLDAN

            I predict Shae will light Rodgers up with the mother of all strong side blitzes, and unpin his collarbone pin to much applause.

          • MB30SD

            lightnin’ don strike twice my main mainjeses.

      • SC Dave

        Rush the passer, the same way you stop and passing attack. And the only one left under the rules. Of course, a team could cheat all year like the Seahawks.

    • Shady

      Yeah, my league suffered a debilitating Lizzy Frank and will be placed on IR. Why don’t you start one with your own crazy rules? Like a points per pre-game kale smoothie and manscaping! Maybe that will convince MB to finally join us.

      • MB30SD

        Kale is disgusting. You’re not helping…

        • Shady

          You love kale! You happen to know everything there is about kale. You love kale on pancakes. You love it on pizza. And you take kale and put a little bit in your hair when you’ve had a rough week. What do you think hold it up slick? O wait.

          • MB30SD

            ……………………………..(crickets)…………………….

            that was turrible.

          • Shady

            See, it’s funny cause you don’t have hair.

          • MB30SD

            this stuff makes you a goddamn sexual tyrannosaurus……. just like me.

      • hmmmm…I just might, esp if Irish has retreated to the mountains Burma

        • MB30SD

          brutal show.

          Myanmar, mmm, quite.

  • MB30SD

    The middle of your piece is going to be a hard pill for dave andy. Bit harsh… should have been a bit more gentle.

    I like the thought of holmes, IFF he’s at least the jets version (as you say). If he can be, my god we’re going to be a terrifying O.

    Now about our D…..

    • SC Dave

      The numbers are what they are.

      • MB30SD

        You know I’m a fan of earl. Was surprised to read those stats and wondered aloud if it was due to the type of balls he was getting from jay… basically, last ditch, dump off kind of emergency to the last guy balls where he’s already covered? I don’t know, that sounds counterintuitive with bmarsh and ashlon, but who knows.

        If holmes can come in and have a jets like year, we will be scary.

        • SC Dave

          He was a short route guy. But at least four of those few catches were in the end zone.

          • MB30SD

            right.

            holmes YAC numbers are very impressive, if he can duplicate them… watch out.

      • CanadaBear

        I know Morgan’s a good blocker. 6’1″, 220 lbs. He takes pride in it. Not sure about Holmes but if he can get loose over the middle, I’ll take it.

        • SC Dave

          Makes sense. In the end, I still wonder if those cocksucking bounty hunters ruined Earl.

          If Sean Petyon’s minions lost 100 in row, I’d not feel the tiniest bit sorry.

  • MB30SD
  • MB30SD

    jesus jerry jones, can you try just a little harder to not be Al Davis II

    http://www.si.com/nfl/2014/08/18/jerry-jones-son-dallas-cowboys-johnny-manziel

    • GPLDAN

      When the Team Owner is the GM, suckage ensues.

      • MB30SD

        yeah, doesn’t help that he’s a megalomaniac asshole.

        http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-Sports/2014/08/08/Cowboys-Rustling-Themselves-into-Trouble

        YeeHAWWW!

        • CanadaBear

          Don’t get me wrong, I can’t stand the Cowboys and I esp can’t stand Jerra. However, who among us can say for certain we wouldn’t be complete assholes if we had that kind of money and power? I’d like to think I wouldn’t but you never know. It’s like Elvis, if you surround yourself with yes men and nobody ever tells you no, bad things can ensue.

          • GPLDAN

            I’m not sure. I would like to try, though.

          • MB30SD

            I would be a complete and total nightmare elitist fuckhead.

            I’m doing my best to find out.

          • GPLDAN

            Hos, Hot Tubs and Hursts!

          • CanadaBear

            Right up there with lawyers, guns and money!

          • MB30SD

            ‘Murica…. FUCK YEAH!

          • CanadaBear

            If it was good enough for Warren Zevon, it’s good enough for me.

          • MB30SD

            you know, my mentor loved him… just not my thing. obviously a pretty good songwriter.

          • CanadaBear

            Here’s the song. He was great in concert.

          • Trac

            I thought you already had all that. My bad. He he.

          • Trac

            Wow, so that explains it. GP must be loaded. Hahaha.

      • MikeBrownhadaPosse

        Can anybody think of an exception that proves the rule on that?

        • MB30SD

          Al Davis?

          • CanadaBear

            A long, long, long time ago.

            Al was first declared clinically insane after the last SB loss. A couple of years later he was declared clinically dead. A few years after that he was officially dead.

          • GPLDAN
          • CanadaBear

            Jesus H. Christ! That is fucking scary!

          • MB30SD

            hahahaha… jinx!

          • bearsfantillend

            i heard he is still out at the Raiders HQ, freeze dried in a ‘Buddy Jesus’ pose standing in a corner of his sons office.

          • MB30SD

            I want one of those!

          • MB30SD

            he looked terrifying at the end. GP liked to call him (and jerry) the Crypt Keeper(s), and rightly so:

            This is truly scary, click at your own risk: https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/1225542840/davis2.jpg

            http://blu.stb.s-msn.com/i/AB/5F529164A714CFB695B4E21C69CA7.jpg

          • GPLDAN

            I call Jerry False Face, because he looks like him from the 60s Batman.

            http://tinyurl.com/n8ldtby

          • MB30SD

            equally scary… well, maybe not. Nothing is more scary that al at the end. I mean look at that pic I posted. It looks like his eye is going to pop out of its socket and roll off the table at any moment.

            He’s like a fucking Tim Burton character in his next stop-animation flick (which I LOVE btw).

  • CanadaBear

    I’m glad they signed Holmes. If he can’t beat out Morgan, C-Ya. We’re going to be just fine with Morgan. If Holmes beats him out we’ll be extra fine! Now if we can figure out our return issues …

  • MB30SD
  • MB30SD

    GP… meh… http://media.saleen.com/2014/08/foursixteen/

    Also, I’m too much of a pussy to ride a motorcycle (I have zero desire to die at high speed on the pavement… wait… I ride a road bike 2-3 times a week), but there’s something about these cool cafe bikes that I like: http://www.banditnine.com/fleet/bishop/

    • GPLDAN

      It’s usually a bad sign when the founder (Steve Saleen) sells the company and they continue using his name as the company brand, he creates a company to compete back against them (SMS), then gives up doing that and goes back to his namesake.

      More drama than Carroll Shelby and one-tenth the creative genius.

      He’s still more relevant than Chip Foose, though.

      • GPLDAN

        I also heard that Equus hasn’t sold many Bass models.

        http://www.freshnessmag.com/2013/09/27/equus-automotive-bass-770/

        It’s a great car – at $125k. At twice that – not. That’s the problem when you build a 100% custom design – totally 100% crafted subframe, dimensions, magnetic ride system, everything: all the engineering man hours and labor need payback, and the sales just aren’t there.

  • MB30SD

    http://www.chicagobears.com/multimedia/videos/Trestman-IceBucketChallenge/b7b23a02-200d-4d27-a593-0687c1e96452

    LALZ, teddy ballgame cracks me up. He actually reminds me 100% of the managing partner of our VC. SMH.

  • GPLDAN

    Since he wears #50 now, maybe Shae should get Mike’s facemask.

    Then he can make that crazy face. Couldn’t hurt.

    http://ethicsbob.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/mike-singletary-eyes1.jpg

    • MB30SD

      try something…. anything.

  • Barb UMihai Mar

    Santonio Holmes is/was a big time playmaker. Of course he’s an upgrade. The question mark is why they didn’t sign him 10+ days ago.

    • GPLDAN

      Conspiracy?

      • Barb UMihai Mar

        I was thinking money or health, but you might be on to something. Nah… you’re not that clever.

        • GPLDAN

          Au Contraire my little Warsaw Pact friend, I am very clever. Clever indeed.

          • MB30SD

            I support this message.

          • Barb UMihai Mar

            Maybe. It’s not quite clear.

  • Sactowns#1

    My unanswered questions before the season starts
    1) Will there be a DBB shirt this year?
    2) Who all is doing a DBB fantasy league and when are you drafting?
    3) Is Abe Vigoda still alive?

  • GPLDAN

    Here’s how bad Johnny Football was (and Hoyer too)

    The Browns just signed Sexy Rexy.

    • bearsfantillend

      an injury away from them having to sign Orton, and have a QB controversy between Grossman and Orton again.

      • MB30SD

        that would be funny/depressing/silly

        • bearsfantillend

          i really just want to hear a coach say “Rex is our QB” again.

      • and they’ll bring back “who let the dogs out!” again.

    • MikeBrownhadaPosse

      I thought you had to be kidding…but…nope.
      Unleash the dragon, Sexy!

    • #tinyhands

      • MB30SD

        #smelllikecabbage

  • For your consideration….

    Just wanted to point out an awesome play in the Jags game:
    We were in nickel, Hayden lined up kind of on the edge a bit off of the line looking like he was going to blitz. Shea was on the opposite side of the formation in the left Nickel LB spot. At the last minute Hayden dropped back and Shea came to the line and blitzed off of the edge. The RT and TE both went for Shea and opened up the middle for either Houston or Ratliff, can’t quite remember. What I do remember was that they fucking buried Henne.

    • For your consideration….

      #treeekery

    • Barb UMihai Mar

      That’s the answer for this Bears Defense in my opinion. Play nickel as the base D and be creative in your coverages and blitzing.
      I don’t buy the ‘bend, but don’t break’, ‘we’ll play you straight up’ defense.

      Now that’s a lot to ask from Tucker who isn’t at Ron Ryan level, but they at least have to imitate the Giants Defense from the latter part of last year. I think it’s doable and it’s what’s going to actually happen.

      • As long as Peanut/Jennings/Fuller stay healthy.
        But if we do that with Shea, they’ll run RIGHT at Shea, guaranteed. I would almost rather have Wilson in at nickle LB at this point.

        • MB30SD

          yeah, I’m with you… we HAVE to have someone step up at the SAM spot. it’s almost more important than who’s the FS this year (I know, I can’t believe I just typed that either)…

          If jones doesn’t make a play… and it certainly doesn’t look like it right now, we absolutely need phil to find some magic and snag us a deal from the waiver wire.

        • Barb UMihai Mar

          DJ Williams-Briggs with Bostic-Briggs on passing downs. I hope Bostic wins that role. It’s key for him. PS: I have patience with McClellin. He could become good.

  • bearsfantillend
    • AlbertInTucson

      Because working for free isn’t enough tribute?

  • AlbertInTucson

    Blogfather Tweet:” Farewell to the great Don Pardo…”.

    He was semi-retired here in Tucson.

    Met him once a couple years ago. He came in to record a quick voice over for a SNL repeat.

    Nice man. I have X MINUS ONE radio shows on which he is the announcer. He was also the announcer on the orignal Jeopardy with Art Flemming.

  • MB30SD

    yonny. I’m going to find the time to sit down and watch the first 4-5 D series and grade every play/outcome for CD and McCray. Curious to see what you and I saw so differently. Admittedly, I was partying while watching the game, soo….

    I’ll report back soon…ish.

  • Cormonster

    Gp, Doc, this might be worth a watch.

    http://consequenceofsound.net/2014/08/roger-waters-chronicles-his-record-breaking-the-wall-live-tour-in-new-documentary/

    I seen The Wall show in Minneapolis. It was great, but I liked Waters’ former tour better (musically) when he did Dark Side of the Moon. Much longer show with more diversity of songs. The Wall show was just that album. Crowds were great too. Teenagers to old people. Here is the set list from the Dark Side show at Summerfest.

    http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/roger-waters/2007/summerfest-grounds-milwaukee-wi-43d6cb4f.html

    • GPLDAN

      Thanks.

      • MB30SD

        it warped me as a child. disturbing… that and Heavy Metal the movie

        Try that shit at 11.

        • MB30SD

          wait… I think I just figured it all out!!!

        • SC Dave

          How about The Plague Dogs?

      • Cormonster

        Thanks for the history lesson. Did not know the origins of the opening. I have the Hammers banner hanging up in my bedroom that a friend made as part of his Halloween costume almost 25 years ago. I had it rolled up under the bed for years until an old girlfriend talked me into hanging it up. Been there ever since.

  • MB30SD

    “DaBearsBlog
    I have always been a huge Jay Cutler defender on and off the field. He’s real. Doesn’t spew the same old “one play at a time” bullshit.”

    I love Jay Christopher Cutler: http://www3.pictures.zimbio.com/fp/Kristin+Cavallari+Jay+Cutler+Walk+Flips+Off+TBcLWCsZrnSl.jpg

    (now all he has to do is win us a lombardi)

  • AlbertInTucson

    DaBearsBlog @dabearsblog
    Think I’m joking about Manziel? Top four stories on ESPN currently about the middle finger, not his play.

    Their producers all need a proctologist to find their heads.

    Week ago Sunday they ran what must have been a 7 or 8 minute (gave up watching after about 5 or 6) piece on a “Base Jumper” who, 10 years ago, became a paraplegiac.

    The guy was injured making his ELEVEN-HUNDRETH base jump. This one, from a bridge that was to include 4 flips. His feet tangled in his chute as it tried to deploy and he hit the water at high speed and head first, resulting in a spinal chord injury paralyzing him from the chest down.

    So now, the guy’s going back to jump from the bridge on the 10th anniversary of his “accident”.

    I turned it off because, I mean, SO WHAT!?

    Is this guy supposed to be heroic?

    Are we supposed to feel sumpathy for him cheer as he conquers his demon?

    What a load of horse dung.

    He was an adrenalin junkie/daredevil who tempted fate 1,999 times and got away with it until he finally DIDN’T get away with it and I bet he survived more than a few close calls.

    He wasn’t injured in some tragic accident. He was BEGGING for it.

    Way to look out for the wife and kids, fella.

    Stick to showing sports highlights, ESPN, which, BTW, you mange to do a piss-poor job of because you’d rather show talking heads standing on your giants virtual sets, running their mouths and showing FEWER highlights instead of more.

    • MB30SD

      Hahahaha… Al, can you please just add,

      “And I’ve told you kids a million times…. GET THE FUCK OFF MY LAWN!!!”

      • AlbertInTucson

        No lawn here in Tucson. I HAVE told them to get off my rocks.

    • Cormonster

      Remember when MTV was actually about music and videos?

      • AlbertInTucson

        And VH1?

        Cable channels were all supposed to be about “Narrowcasting”. Filling a specific niche but so many of those, supposedly focused, channels eventually end up looking just like a bunch of others filled with reruns.

        In my earlier days in TV as cable was just starting to grow, NBC ran a promo that touted “Someday, there will be 500 Channels” and my immediate response was “Yes, and 400 of them will be SHOPPING channels.” Considering how many channels go to Infomercials in the wee hours, I wasn’t that far off.

    • CanadaBear

      Gotta agree the guy was being selfish. None of this gets me too upset. If it was my sister married to him, you bet I’d be pissed.

      • AlbertInTucson

        I don’t see selfish. I see totally immature. He’s 21 going on 12.

        The ‘Skins must have been roaring with laughter at having been able to illicit that response from him. Wonder if Johnny Football knows he made their day?

        What’s he ever gonna look like if/when teams bother to Game Plan him as an opponent?

        He’s still only faced 2s and 3s and hasn’t even looked average.

        Jerra Jones must be saying “Whew!”

    • C’mon, man. This is probably his last horrah. Maybe a chance for him to make a lil cash on the side, put some photos up in his house.
      If anything, it might DETER future idiots, though I doubt it.

      • AlbertInTucson

        If he wants to try and finish the job and kill himself, so be it.

        Why ESPN thought it was any kind of worthy story, let along one of relative EPIC length is mind numbing.

        • SC Dave

          Really? Mind-numbing started ages ago when helicopters broadcasted HOURS of live footage of a fucking Bronco with OJ in it.

          If you didn’t know it was all over by then, Al, I’d be surprised.

  • MB30SD
  • MB30SD

    Pretty sure I’m in love again: http://www.si.com/extra-mustard/photos/2014/08/19/liz-smith-lovely-lady-day

    Notice a change? Me too… I’ve been into brunettes with blue or green eyes lately. Big boobies are still in at the MB house though.

    • Glad you came to your sense. Now, go o-natural, and complete your transition to the dark side.

      • MB30SD

        I don’t care actually, as long as they’re big-ish and pretty.

        Want to know something funny, ever since I was a teen, I always pictured myself ending up with a girl that has the look of the girl above, lucy pinder-ish. Dark wavy hair, light eyes, lythe body. mmmmmmm… delicious.

        Not sure where I veered into the blond hair, blue eyes, big tits thing… fucking mass marketing.

      • SC Dave

        Are you goading me? Goddamnit… can’t help myself…

        au naturel

  • MB30SD

    gooood, stoooop with all this shit and maybe he’ll bust out quickly… or get decapitated on the fb field and disappear. stop feeding the little troll.

    http://www.si.com/extra-mustard/2014/08/19/pittsburgh-steelers-foam-middle-finger-johnny-manziel-cleveland-browns

    • Big Mike

      whatever, he’s a backup for the worst team in football.

      • MB30SD

        mikey… this is a football blog… to talk about… football.

        Get of my fucking dilznik dude.

        • Big Mike

          I was looking through my normal football news feeds and it was just clutter with stuff about this asshat. One of the vets needs to shove him in a locker.

  • MB30SD

    Hahahahaha… love the pic for us. Big shocker who they’d pick: http://thesportsdaily.net/every-nfl-teams-biggest-villain/

  • MB30SD

    every Q. Tarantino death… ever:

    share

  • AlbertInTucson

    Jimmy Graham. If I was NFL commissioner, I’d have told you to see me in my new York office Monday morning at 8am. I’hvae made you wait for me to show up at 10am. Then I would have told you

    “Jimmy, we made that ‘No Dunking’ rule just for you. Flaunt it, or any other rule, again and you will be disqualified from that game and sit out the next one and I don’t mean you sit out an exhibition game.Now get your sorry, selfish, immature, butt out of my office.”

    I was his coach, he’d be running wind sprints ’til he puked.

    • GPLDAN

      • AlbertInTucson

        I have to get me an M-1.

        • Big Mike

          If I remember Eastwood ended up dead in that movie.

    • SC Dave

      And he’d free agent himself off your team the next season

      • AlbertInTucson

        He’s already re-upped with a new contract. Then I could franchise his butt.

        • GPLDAN

          Al, your talents are wasted as a coach or a GM.

          We need you to be commissioner.

          • AlbertInTucson

            When you’re right, you’re right, GP. More money it it, too.

  • The Ghost of Super Bowl XX

    lately there is too much bla,bla,bla… unleash the SEATTLE DOGS!! I want to see what our defense is made of… LB´s specially.

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