133 Comments

Things You Might Want to Watch During Thing People Call the Season’s “Dress Rehearsal”

| August 28th, 2015

Aug 8, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller (23) looks on from the sideline in the third quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles during a preseason game at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

It is not a dress rehearsal. People should stop calling it a dress rehearsal. Dress rehearsals are attempts to recreate exactly what the performance of the play will be. Coaches don’t game plan these third preseason games and they won’t put anything on tape their week one opponent will utilize.

But here is some stuff you can look at.

(1) The most alarming moments of this week’s podcast with Adam Jahns was the concern in his voice when discussing Kyle Fuller. If Fuller does not perform to a solid level in 2015, the Bears secondary has a chance to be historically awful. He could use a decent performance in August to set the stage for September and this Saturday night he’ll get an opportunity against one of the league’s best receivers, A.J. Green.

(2) Right tackle. You can look over there but don’t look too closely.

(3) Eddie Goldman played far deeper in the second preseason game than I expected or would have liked him to. But it might be interesting to see the big monster out there with the first stringers this weekend, clogging the middle of the line to set the young linebackers free.

(4) Injuries. The Bears have ailing wide receivers, an ailing and aging left tackle, a suspended nose tackle…etc. If they are going to make anything of note out of the 2015 season, it would be helpful to put a decent roster together for their three difficult games to open the season.

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  • Irish Sweetness

    This game is just injury-watch. Do starters need to go three quarters? Shouldn’t it be about the fringe guys and getting as much of them on tape as possible ? Especially seeing as some of our starters might be fringe guys right now (looking at receivers, DL, LB, S, CB).

    • BearDown100393

      If the exhibition is not a dress rehearsal and means absolutely nothing why bother playing the starters at all? Especially the offense. What’s the point? Jay Cutler does not have any receivers. Forte does not need to carry the rock to prove anything. Use up the scrubs. As for the defense, whenever Fangio wants to pull the trigger to get those guys back on the sideline, I’m fine with it.

  • The GP

    I am really hoping they took this week to re-evaluate Fuller at corner.

    • Big Mike

      and if the re-evaluation shows he isn’t very good, then what?

      • The GP

        We have a new free safety

        • Big Mike

          I’ve thought that before. Even when he was VT. (lots of interest in VT in the DC area, where I live). He was drafted to play corner in the cover 2, good cover 2 corners have a similar skill set as good free safeties. Could be he’s just adjusting to new technique, responsibilities. Could be he doesn’t fit. Now I get what you were saying. But damn.. who’s left to play corner?

          • The GP

            MB doesn’t think corners move to safety well – he may be right.

            I like McMannis and Jennings at starting corner, maybe shift Fuller back into nickel which he played last year.

            Amos and Rolle at safety.

            We have Alan Ball and Louis-Jean and some depth – it’s not that bad really. We just need a safety that can play, which is what we’ve ALWAYS needed. We know Mundy can back up at SS, he can come down and play down in the box – we just need somebody who can cover Megatron etc. I would give McMannis his shot.

          • MB30SD

            What’s going on with Mundy… he was solid last year? Injured?

          • The GP

            Mundy graded out highest on D last year. Which is like saying Allison Williams is the hottest chick on a HBO series – it’s still a stretch to rate her above a 7.

            Fangio needs 3-4 safeties. We went and got Rolle, who Hub compared to Adam Archuleta because he looks that slow and washed up. Vereen looks simply too NCAA to be a starter, and there is a new kid Jefferson who is impressive on specials.

          • Big Mike

            Vereen, Another failed attempt to draft a safety in the middle rounds. I can’t even list them all…

          • The GP

            Al Afalava anyone?

          • MB30SD

            The Polynesian Lava

          • Johnnywad

            And on his resume……Started at safety in a Super Bowl as a rookie.

            Holy shit.

          • AlbertInTucson

            “Adam Archuleta”. I believe that signing could be marked as the beginning of the demise of the Lovie Smith Regime.

          • CanadaBear

            He’s dinged up. I think they are trying everyone but him and when he is healthy he will be in there with Rolle.

          • MB30SD

            CANADA!!!

          • Big Mike

            @MB30SD:disqus is back? Cool. I need to look for his posts. My opinion is if you are trying to use the 2 safeties interchangeably, most corners can’t hack it against the run, they aren’t just built for it. But if one of your safeties is your cover safety, has good run fit, along with cover skills, you might have something.

            Fuller is 6′ 194. The top safety drafted in 2014 Calvin Prior is 5’11” 207. The top 10 safeties drafted this year ranged from 5’10” 196 to 6’2″ 228. So clearly he’s at the bottom end of the range size wise.

            It still depends more on what’s in his heart. Seems like he has the physical tools to play safety. He could put on a few lbs and get his weight up to 200-205.

            With the Bears having so many needs, you’d like to see the guys they have, who have good skills be put in the best possible position for success.

          • MB30SD

            thanks Mike. Good to see you. We don’t always agree, but I always respect you.

            Here’s my delio… it’s not so much about the biology/physiology for me… it’s ALL about the stage. In HS or even in college those moves work a lot of the time. In the NFL, you just don’t see it that often. It’s a VERY unforgiving platform.

            I would really like to see some facts/stats in order for me to change my mind. Given, my mind’s been made up based on my own perception and gut… and that I haven’t personally heard a ton of happy stories about complete position moves.

          • I’m also theoretically opposed to drafting a S that high unless he looks like Berry

          • MB30SD

            I’m not, at all. In fact, I think you’re dead wrong.

            You have to, otherwise you get what you pay for… shit. We are the perfect case study in exactly why you HAVE to draft your safety in the top 10. Sure you can hit the lotto with guys like Chancellor in the 5th, but how often does that happen?

          • Yes, but you’re a lil biased, bastard!

            I’m not against it if a dude blows the roof off my doors (same with ILB and maybe even OG). The last 3 that I would’ve drafted in the top 10 were Berry, Thomas and Vaccarro (and Vaccaro was benched last season).

            The rest I was initially excited about, but then I saw some more tape and knew they’d fall to the teens and beyond.

            You missed the thread where I listed all the first rd Safety busts. It’s a lot, and the NFL has caught on. That’s why the best safety went in the 2nd this yr. It also has a lot to do with scheme.

            Since we ran a cover-2, our safeties weren’t asked to do that much.

            However, 3-4 safeties typically are asked to do more than play zone, so S might become more of a priority under POX.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Mitchell and McMannis (our 3rd strings) have shown more in PS than Fuller. No way he should get the call just because he’s a first rounder.

          • Big Mike

            I don’t like guys who agree with me all the time. They’re either sucking up, or not adding value to the discussion. This goes for all aspects of life, not just this blog/Bears/Sports.

            Switching positions in the NFL is not easy. There’s a transition at any level, but the margin for stud vs dud in the NFL is minuscule. With that said, I think sometimes a young guy coming out of college may have not been in his “NFL” position. Fuller could be that guy. Just like you see Tackles in college being cast as guards in the NFL. Or LTs switching to RT. The ineptitude of the past regime, may have drafted a kid with a higher ceiling at safety, than CB. (or not…) I’m just saying given the circumstances, Fuller is as good a candidate to make that switch and be an upgrade as any.

            Here are a couple of indicators from Fuller’s draft analysis that say he might be a stud safety, vs a so/so cover corner. (Let’s agree that he was clearly drafted for the cover 2 and not press/man coverage)

            “He’s tough. A physical corner. He’s not just out there trying to cover
            guys. He’ll mix it up. Versatile, if I had to describe him in one word.
            …Kyle’s versatile enough to where he can play anywhere back there.” Virginia Tech defensive backs coach Torrian Gray

            Strengths: Good size and balance. Plays faster than he times
            thanks to keen instincts, anticipation and route recognition. Zone aware
            with good eyes, ball reactions and hands to intercept. Outstanding
            leaping ability. Willing run supporter.

            Weaknesses: Man-cover limitations. Lacks ideal speed and twitch for the position. Has a choppy pedal and some tightness in transition.

            In other news.. Did you hear the one about Chicken Dinner not being a terrible, terrible football player and actually being pretty good.

          • Ha, they list the weaknesses as I saw them too, just worded it in scout talk.

            He might be able to play FS, but he def needs to gain more. Like you said, cover-2 corners tend to be very zone savvy and that’s def a plus for a FS.

            Fuller also can cover (for a safety), so Fangio will have a lot of flexibility.

            I guess my biggest concerns with him would be S instincts, size and durability (he’s already shown a bit of the inj bug even at CB, imagine him crashing into RBs?)

            I still say we try him at CB cuz that’s more important than S, but if he bombs this year, then next year we can perhaps revisit his position (a la Shea).

          • Irish Sweetness

            A ways to go yet, but the depth chart is interesting.

            Amos is #1 safety with Rolle, but Vereen is behind him. McMannis and Mitchell are 3rd string CBs somehow. Sherrod Martin And Anthony Jefferson may still make plays in PS at S.

            Looks like Grasu will have to play guard. Zero depth at guard or tackle.
            http://www.chicagobears.com/team/preseason_depth_chart.html

        • MB30SD

          I’d like to know, as I’ve asked for years, how many 3rd year (or any year) corners have moved to FS in the NFL, and the result of those moves (if any). I don’t believe in that shit… as you well know.

          GP, did you get it done last night? Had to leave to meet a friend.

          • The GP

            It downloaded. It was 17 gazillion terabytes so it took all night.

            But… hey waffle… it was only $25!

          • MB30SD

            BOOM!

            If you’re up after 10:30 PST tonight, I’ll be on banging.

            Ps. Your ISP sucks.

          • Waffle

            sold!

          • BerwynBomber

            I tend to agree. Of course the Woodson (Chaz) and Woodson (Rod) namesakes are always used as examples but those guys are/were absolute freaks as athletes.

            Ronnie Lott moved from CB to FS too but if memory serves he had played the latter position all through college.

          • I think that Pat’s CB moved too, but yeah, it’s not common.

          • Data sounds like an article.

  • AlbertInTucson

    “Historically Awful” A term we’ve heard used WAY too often around here ovre the last year.

    • *2 years

      • SC Dave

        You would have to remind us.

      • Huge Bear’s Penis

        probably been longer than that – we had safeties named Conte and Wright, OT named Webb. i am almost positive we used those terms to describe at least one of them.

        • MB30SD

          dude, that was totally unnecessary and excessive. smhay

      • AlbertInTucson

        I stand corrected.

  • MB30SD

    Al!

    Yes, what’s up with all the sky is falling bullshit. It is the preseason still right? Were 0-0 right now (along with every other team)… no? Injuries now instead of in the second half please… right?

    Hey chicken little… take it easy dude.

    • Trac

      It’s been kinda like an Irish wake around hear for months.

      • The GP

        MB skipped the Trestman/Emery era.

        Last season challenges ANY Bear fan. Even die hards. Hell, McCaskey got shoved down in the stands by a fat lawyer Saints fan last season.

        It was bad.

        • MB30SD

          I get it, but if there’s one time a year that we have the ability to be positive and happy, it’s now… before the shit hits the fan.

          That and we have real NFL coaches now… heck, real football coaches now. Speaking of, did we hand mel tucker over to ISIS to be taken care of yet, if not, why not?

          • The GP

            We have optimism. We were hopeful even after Ray McDonald turned out to be dirtier than Jared Fogle dressed as Ronald McDonald..

            Then White went out for the season, Jeffery has yet to play and Rat got suspended and the tackles went down.

            But we have an excellent interior three with Slauson-Monty-Long and the best set of RBs we’ve had in 15 years. Our TE is a shit bird, but he probably will show up on Sunday.

            We just gotta get some wideouts and some tackle play from somebody that doesn’t rhyme with Lola, and see some movement against the Bungles tomorrow or even – gasp – a deep ball to Wilson.

            I’m less worried about D with Fangio. We will bring heat this year – even if I think Allen is all washed up, we have McPhee and Houston at the edge which is nasty.

          • MB30SD

            Wait, WHAT?!?!!? I never heard white’s out for the fucking year!??!?!!? Cereal?

            I’m not that worried about the injuries right now… I would rather have them now than once we’re 5-3. I haves hopes.

          • You didn’t know White went down?
            It went from shin splints to a rod in his shin in 2 weeks.
            No bueno.

          • MB30SD

            no, never heard past the sore shins thing. wtf?!

            What was the final diagnosis?

          • He had a stress line fracture in his shin, I think.
            Biggs and Hubby investigated, asking other medical men who scouted White at the combine, and apparently they all gave him a clean bill of health, so it wasn’t the typical Carimi clusterfuck.

            Just bad luck, like Fowler going down.

          • BerwynBomber

            Unless Alshon and Royal are hurt all year there is little to fret over on our O. Yes, no RT, but lots of teams would kill for 4/5 of an O line so we can deal with it/adjust to it. Other than that, like the last two/three years, all the pieces are in place. Once again, up to Jay to maximize them. We will see if he does.

            D is a concern but a) Fox/Fangio, and b) slightly improved personnel. Fuller, as Blogfather noted, might be the biggest individual concern right now.

            STs should be improved as well.

            I am optimistic. I think we will beat the Cheese in the opener and we can contend for a playoff spot.

          • Sactowns#1
          • Scharfinator

            Would they take him?

          • MB30SD

            fuck. good point.

          • Trac

            Preach it brotha!

            Jeff kinda set the tone with his low expectations mantra. Last year I was the lone voice crying out in the wilderness that a total rebuild was on the way but that doesn’t mean we’re supposed to roll over and take it in the keeshter.

          • MB30SD

            I’m fine with 8-8 this season this year…. as long as the arrow is pointing way up and it’s looking like Fox’s standard turnaround history is in tact and will pay big dividends next year and thereafter.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Life-affirming and surprisingly upbeat?

    • 505Bears

      Conditioned like lab monkeys we are..haha. There’s always money in the banana stand..

      • MB30SD

        what up yo. I seens you on the PS. care for a game of bang bang tonight? GP and shady may join.

        • 505Bears

          Yeah, just got a PS4 and been jamming out some Madden. What game you all throwing down? I’ll have to go pick it up at Best Buy.

          • MB30SD

            COD Ghost. GP just downloaded it from the PSN for $25!

            …but it took him all night to download because his ISP consists of 5 hamsters on a wheel and a 24 Baud dial up connection to the radioshack servers in bagdad.

          • 505Bears

            I had that ISP…Buddy Buddy Tech

          • The GP

            It’s Saddam’s old account – he doesn’t need it anymore….

          • MB30SD
          • The GP

            LOL

    • Big Mike

      The good news is that we over react to positive as well as negative rumors, news, speculation and so on. Last year we were winning the Super Bowl because we went 8-8 the year before. This year we feel like we might go 3-13.

      • AlbertInTucson

        Believe me. Overreacting to positive news is never an issue with me. I didn’t believe they were THAT good in 1985 until it was over an done with.

        • Big Mike

          Poor guy. That’s funny. Maybe you read too much David Haugh or Rosenbloom. those two guys could find the downside of a winning lottery ticket.

          • AlbertInTucson

            Oh, I’ve long since stopped reading those guys.

          • I read like one or two articles from each, and that was enough.

            The only guys I really read now are Biggs and Hubby. From time to time, others.

            I actually find these threads much more informative (not to mention, entertaining)

          • SC Dave

            The sun times guy (mullin.) Is not entirely worthless

        • Trac

          Hahaha. For me, it was after witnessing the schlobberknocking we gave the Cowboys.

          • SC Dave

            For me it was the dismantling of the nfl champion Montana- led 49s in their house.

    • AlbertInTucson

      I’m gunshy. The sky fell on us LAST season. I’m wary.

  • MB30SD
  • The GP

    Leno at LT tomorrow, Mills at RT. Bushrod to rest back.

    • Wow. Cutler may get bad Giant’s flashback

      • Between Bushrod’s injury and all the WRs out hurt, I’m guessing they won’t throw it a ton.

        • AlbertInTucson

          Pound it. Proceed with caution.

        • I’m actually looking forward to the youngsters.

          I’m on record as not believing a team needs a stud stable of WRs to win a SB.

          We know what we have in Alshon. Royal is a small mystery, but he’s been utlra productive avec and sans Cutty, so we can reasonably project him.

          Wilson was prolly the only real projected starter who perhaps needed reps, but hamstrings tend to linger, so rest him up.

          But I am VERY curious how Bellany, Meredith and Lawrence perform with the varsity.

          I expect the timing to be really off, but wanna see if someone rises to the occasions.

      • Trac

        Don’t ever mention that game again. Ever!!!

        I still have nightmares of our QB’S being tossed about like chucky.

        • Johnnywad

          Isn’t that the game Todd Collins had to fill in? The camera pans over, and he’s like, “You gotta be shitting me. Nobody said I would actually have to play.”. Then it pans across to the stands to his wife, and she’s saying ” Todd…..just tell them no. You’re not playing. Think of the kids. ”

          Or was it that a different game?

  • IRONMIKE

    Many coaches intend to commit to the run, only to find it easier said than done. Fox’s teams generally have stayed committed to the run game. Even with Peyton Manning the past two seasons, the Broncos were 11th in the NFL in rush attempts in 2013 (461) and 12th in 2014 (443). Under Trestman, the Bears were 24th in rush attempts in 2013 (404) and 30th in 2014 (355). SunTimes

    • Trac

      Where’s your buddy? Mr. Ryan. He he.

      • WP34

        Couldn’t find my password for my original screen name so just one together when I saw big Cheesy saying some bs that I had to respond too.

    • More accurate to look at rushing %, since total number of plays can vary as some offenses go fast-paced (or punt less) and therefore run more plays.

      • WP34

        Good point. I would also like to know on what downs.

        For me, I like the idea and experience Fox seems to have actually running the ball. From the sun times article ….regardless of quarterback. Peyton Manning — you name anyone you want to name — the run game is his best friend. They need some rest plays or breather plays. Sometimes handing the ball off is that breather play.”

        • Irish Sweetness

          Only the Eagles are putting up more yards on the ground than us right now.

    • willbest

      In fairness to Trestmen, the Bears spent a lot of time being more than 10 yards away from the first down marker. Its hard to commit to the run like that.

      • WP34

        Maybe if he had run on a earlier down with Forte maybe he wouldn’t be 10 yards out. Maybe if Tres could coach the Oline wouldn’t earn a penalty jumping the snap count and pushing us out to 1st and 15, etc…

        My only point to all this is that Fox does seem to commit to the run.

        I personally am 3 yards and a cloud of dust type of guy, and miss watching a 13 to 10 Bears victory. I love the beloved, its in my blood. I am interested in anything positive about my team, I am not so interested in debating this is why, no this why etc…

        I am interested in crushing the shit out of the fudge packers.

        Go Bears!

        • Irish Sweetness

          Yup, 13-10 wins over the Packers. Oh, where dd they go?

      • Trac

        The words “Trestman” and “fairness” do not belong on the same page. For me, he was cruel and unusual punishment. He exhibited wreckless indifference to my soul.

  • The GP

    400 HUNDRED Pastors?

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd/2015/08/this-sunday-about-400-church-leaders-will-resign-after-it-was-revealed-they-were-on-ashley-madison/

    Christ, Biederman got 0wn3d. He kept poking that stick into the hackers, and they crushed him.

  • EnderWiggin

    Here is a few cool graphs comparing Graham and Bennett…

    http://www.topdogstats.com/#/d6f3b2ee-709b-422f-8628-fd2fbffcf963/view/771

  • BerwynBomber

    WTF is going on in Champaign? Good that they fired Beckman, but a week before the season starts? Seems like a top-to-bottom mess down there, like the whole AD needs cleaned out.

    But I’m also for turning these kids into paid staff of the university. The athletic scholarship stuff is nonsense anymore. Just give them a living wage salary and don’t worry about providing academics. Those that want to go to school can take out loans and attend at night or in the off-season. You know, like other kids working full-time do. Otherwise, just pay them to play hoops or pigskin for a few years and stop the academic charade.

    • Trac

      Show me da munnay!!!

    • EnderWiggin

      Now if they would only shitcan Groce too…

  • MB30SD

    GP, you off work yet? Let’s roll for a bit yo

    • Waffle

      in honor of you MB we’re having Asada burritos and Pacifico with Lime all night at the Waffle house.

      • MB30SD

        thanks you yonny. that sounds delicious.

        It’s 89 and muggy here… feeling like fucking romancing the stone. jesus.

        • oh, boo-hoo.
          It’s like 109 in L.A. Mofo!

          • MB30SD

            oh boo-hoo. that’s why i don’t live in that cesspool yo.

            get online again.

  • Trac

    For some strange reason, the blog goes quiet on weekend nights. Hmm…

  • Trac

    The Lesbian had an all star performance against mighty Jacksonville tonight.

    Cam Newton had a typical night, mediocre.

    Mariota wasn’t too shabby.

    • MB30SD

      I NEVER pay for female company. It grows on trees out here trac. Like getting mangos after a surf in Mex right off the trees lining the beach.

      …you just have to reach up and pluck one off the branch.

      • Trac

        Thou doth protest too mucheth MB. Ha ha ha ha. Watch out for the bad fruit buddy..

      • DaMurph

        We all pay, one way or another!

        • MB30SD

          Ain’t that the troffs my brother… I just meant up front.

  • Trac
    • AlbertInTucson

      Bad enough that the insurance often companies tell your doctor what he/she can prescribe for you

      If I’m the AMA I’m telling the NFL to go pound sand.

      On the OTHER hand, there are a LOT of “Dr Feelgoods” out there merrily dispensing drugs under the guise of medical treatment.

  • Waffle

    Placed first parlay bet tonight on the 3 preseason games.

    #likeshootingfishinabarrell

    It’s not gambling if you always win and know why you’re going to.

    • Trac

      Details please.

      • Waffle

        Picked

        Patriots over Carolina
        Detroit over Jax
        KC over TENN

        like buying a 6 bagger stock in 3 hours. Turned 100.00 into 600.00

        Now, the hard part is pocketing the majority of that money and not trying to grow it further. I will put 500.00 away and use 100.00 for several sets of 2 games tomorrow.

        • Trac

          You went with the Lesbian, a game manager and an athlete. Verrrry interrrrestink!

          • Waffle

            haha, nope, went with :
            Belichek over one half of Cam Newton with no WR corps.
            Detroit defense and run game over a putrid Jax team playing 2nd half w/out starters
            Strong overall O/D and specials in KC over a perennial AFC South doormat that helps to pad Luck’s stats every year to make him “elite”.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Dude. Luck IS Elite.

            Don’t back PS football.

  • BerwynBomber

    Peanut picked off Brady tonight.

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