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Across The Middle with Andrew Dannehy

| September 30th, 2015

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Note From Jeff: We are going to keep experimenting with the Wednesday space until Andrew feels right. Today is a massive tone change. Hope you like it.

• Oakland rookie receiver Amari Cooper has been awesome this season, which should make Bears fans excited about Kevin White’s potential. Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel does some great pre-draft work  having scouts rank the players. Cooper came in as the top-ranked receiver totaling 12 first-place votes and 88 points, while White received seven first-place votes and 82 points, way ahead of the rest of the field.

• It sure looks like Mel Tucker is coaching the Bears special teams. Players make mistakes that lead to big plays on the field, but when different players keep making the same mistakes, it’s a sign that the coach isn’t doing a good enough job of coaching them. The Bears allowed two 40-yard kick returns in Week 1 and have allowed return touchdowns in consecutive weeks. This comes after last year when the one thing they did better than anyone else was cover kicks, leading the league in average allowed yards per return.

• Regardless of what they Bears are planning on doing with Matt Forte in the future, they can’t have him block anymore. Forte has a reputation as being a good blocker and maybe that was true once upon a time, but he’s awful right now and the Bears need to figure something else out before Cutler gets back. When Seattle blitzed, they got to the quarterback, largely because Forte couldn’t even get in the way.

• The Bears are being pegged to pick first in every mock draft and every mock draft has them taking Cal quarterback Jared Goff. Goff seems like a fine player, but Fox and Gase like Cutler. It’s difficult for me to see a 61-year-old Fox deciding to give up a good QB for a lottery ticket. Remember, Clausen was once hyped as a franchise quarterback.

• Speaking of young quarterbacks, Teddy Bridgewater gets most of the hype, but Derek Carr is a better prospect.

This Still Doesn’t Make Sense

Losing by 20 points in the fourth quarter, why didn’t they put some young players in the game?

Fox waived the white flag when he elected not to go for it on fourth down. Why not finish the job with substitutions? Hasn’t Fox seen enough of Clausen to know he can’t play? Why not give Fales a quarter to see what he can do? Instead of pounding a banged up Forte into the line, why not let Langford or Carey take the pounding?

Regardless of their short or long-term goals, it didn’t make sense.

Player of the Week

Pernell McPhee. For the second straight week McPhee was ruining lives. He already looks to be their most dominant front seven player since Julius Peppers in 2010.

Goat of the Week

Phil Simms. Clausen is the obvious answer, but can we really blame him? He’s bad. We get it. It isn’t his fault he was playing. Simms, however, has no excuse.

Bold Prediction for Week 4

Derek Carr isn’t going to finish the game on Sunday. J’Marcus Webb is the Raiders starting right guard, which means he’ll be matched up with Jeremiah Ratliff and McPhee a lot. This isn’t going to go well for the Raiders.

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