Tuesday, September 28, 2010
The 2009 Bears spent a majority of that season suffering from problems with their third down defense as well as with their passing defense. The promised pass rush that was supposed to be developed by assistant coach Rod Marinelli never really materialized and the secondary, not close to being as effective as they could be without the pass rush, was exposed and teams were able to pass on them at will.
So what did the Bears go out and do to fix this problem? They went out and signed one of the most pricy free agents in history with Julius Peppers. Peppers, formerly of the Carolina Panthers, has been known as one of the best sack artists in the NFL over the past few seasons. Granted, he has taken some plays off from time to time but hopefully with that much money Peppers will play hard every time all the time.
Not only did the Bears go out and get Peppers but they also drafted a safety (Major Wright) that they feel will help end their problems at the position and get them on the right track. Wright had a very good preseason and with some experience, he could end up being the starter and have a pretty good season with the Bears.
Another thing that will help the Bear’s defense is getting all of their linebackers back and healthy. Middle linebacker Brian Urlacher was out for most of the season in 2009 and you could really tell that the Bears missed him. He is back now though and ready to go and already (through two games) he has been a huge help in making the Bears much better on defense.
In addition to Urlacher, the Bears have seen a bit of a resurgence out of Lance Briggs as well. Briggs is playing with a lot more intensity and is making plays in every game. In fact, he has had two big plays in two games this season so far and looks like he’s ready to make more as the season wears on.
We talked about Peppers before but after watching him in a couple games so far this season, we have seen what kind of effect he has on the defense. In the Bear’s game against the Cowboys, we saw Dallas double team Peppers allowing someone else to make plays (Israel Idonije) and this is exactly what we thought would happen with Pepper’s signing. He will only make the rest of the defense better.
The secondary still hasn’t been tested that much yet but from what we have seen out of them so far this season, they haven’t looked that bad. They will be tested and if they can pass those tests then expect them help the defense be one of the best in the NFL this season.
Is there a quality championship defense in Chicago? Possibly. We won’t know for sure until they go through some of the tests that they have coming up with some of the tougher teams in the NFL but if they can make it through some of these tough games this defense could help lead them into the playoffs. Granted, the season is still young and there is a lot more football left to play but already things are looking much better on defense and they could be back to where they were in 2006 once again.
Posted by Bryan at 9/28/2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
Today, I got the Twitter message like most football people that the Bills cut Trent Edwards after benching him the week before for Ryan Fitzpatrick. I would love to say I was surprised but I'm not as this is Buffalo being Buffalo. They claim they couldn't get any deal done and had no choice but to cut him really? 2009 records will control Trent Edwards waiver claims | ProFootballTalk.com . Someone really needs to set up a long term game plan for this franchise as Bills fans deserve better. I know folks will say they are a small market team and do the best they can which is a total lie. If the Packers and Steelers can be regular playoff teams the Bills can too they just need an owner, GM and Head Coach on the same page with some long term goals. Honestly, I'm not sure it will happen with this crew but for all those die-hard Bills fans I really hope it does.
Posted by Patrick Schuster at 9/27/2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
I think we are starting to see why Jerry didn't give out some big extension to Wade. The Cowboys have a boat load of talent but are an extremely undisciplined group of players who seem to play with zero urgency and figure they just need to show up to win the game and now have lost to two teams with less talent but better focus and a much better killer instinct. Jerry Jones reacts to 0-2 start: 'It's quite a setback; these losses can be mitigated' | Dallas Cowboys Blog | Sports News | News for Dallas, Texas | The Dallas Morning News.
If Jerry has any desire to correct this ship he needs to get about 25 kickers in this week as the Cowboys are the only NFL team playing without a real kicker. Both losses may have gone different if they weren't afraid to try long field goals and if when they did try them they were converted. With all that said the Cowboys remind a lot of another franchise that had a ton of talent but cut corners with coaches. That team being the LA Lakers when they had Kobe, Shaq, Rick Fox, Glen Rice, etc and had Del Harris as their coach. Amazing what happened when Phil Jackson came to town. Memo to Jerry: You have the talent to win now you just need the coach. I have Bill Cowher on line one for you. I'm just saying....
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Football is a funny game as more times than you might realize a guy lands on the practice squad that might have outplayed or played a veteran pretty close to even but for the team to keep him in the fold they “hide” him on the practice squad to get him more experience before exposing him to the active roster. Some guys end up living on the practice squad for a few years before ending their football dreams but sometimes those players are motivated to keep improving their game and get signed by other teams to the active roster when a need arises. These players would have been great stars in NFL Europe, too bad the NFL does not believe in a triple AAA system as in these players might be the next Kurt Warner, La’Roi Glover, or Jake Delhomme.
Some of the practice squad guys that I expect to hear from in the coming weeks and years include:
Buffalo Bills: Joique Bell RB and Naaman Roosevelt WR…Two raw players that if the Bills can tuck away for a year will have a legit chance next year to play and have a real role with the team, Bell actually may see the active roster once they trade Marshawn Lynch at some point this season.
Miami Dolphins: Nathan Overbay TE..played big at a small school and will need time to learn the interknit parts of the position but has the potential to be a special player in the league.
New England Patriots: Shawn Crable OLB..Have to say I am surprised he is on a practice squad but that shouldn’t be for long. Has potential to contribute just need to focus on improving his game.
New York Jets: Cody Brown OLB and Martin Tevaseu NT…Two talented defensive players who have not been able to put it all together. If anyone can get them to it will be Rex Ryan.
Cincinnati Bengals: Chase Coffman TE..Should Chase ever be able to stay healthy, he could become the perfect #2 TE in Cincinnati.
Cleveland Browns: Larry Asante SS and Jordan Norwood WR…Young players who get the benefit of sitting and learning while the Browns continue to make strides.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Dorian Brooks OG, Kyle Jolly OT and Al Woods NT/DE..Three big bodies that I know will be on a roster at the start of the 2011 season. Assuming there is a season.
Houston Texans: Malcolm Sheppard DT…big wide body who should work his way into the rotation. Look for him on an NFL roster in 2011.
Indianapolis Colts: Tom Brandstater QB…still can not figure out why he was cut but glad Indy snatched him up as he has at least #2 QB skills and should be on a roster soon. Perfect candidate if they still have NFL Europe. Too bad the NFL doesn’t believe in a triple AAA structure.
Tennessee Titans: Kevin Matthews C and Myron Rolle SS..Matthews will get on a roster with a little more practice and time to digest the game. Rolle certainly has ability but will constantly be questioned whether his heart is in the game as his off-field academic achievements are certainly well known.
Denver Broncos: Jeff Byers G/C..Byers is a versatile player who can provide depth at both guard and center. Likely will be a guy who stays on the practice squad and pushes for a roster spot by the end of the year when linemen start to really get banged up.
Kansas City Chiefs: Verran Tucker WR…nice size speed combo but will have to put in the time but if he does should secure a roster spot in the coming years.
San Diego Chargers: Curtis Brinkley RB…a player everyone would pull for to make it in the league and once he gets his shot you know he’s going to relish the chance of playing ball again.
Dallas Cowboys: Travis Bright G, and Martin Rucker TE….Bright will find a spot on the roster this year especially with a guy like Alex Barron holding a spot for ransom. Here is a prediction Dallas trades M. Bennett and next year their three tight ends are Witten, Phillips and Rucker.
N.Y. Giants: Rhett Bomar QB and Nate Collins DT..Bomar has the arm to make it in the league he just needs some real game experience. Something he’ll probably have to get elsewhere but should find a spot for himself on a roster within the next two year. Collins needs to bulk up some but once he’s added a few pounds he’ll have teams lining up for him.
Philadelphia Eagles: Chad Hall WR and Jeff Owens DT…Hall has some great work ethic and speed to make up for his lack of size. He’d make a great 5th receiver and special teams star (think Danny Amendola a few years ago). Big Jeff Owens belongs on an NFL roster it’s just that he happened to be taken by Philly that he’s on the practice squad. Maybe someone like Atlanta, Jacksonville or Minnesota will discover the talented Mr. Owens.
Washington Redskins: Selvish Capers OT …Capers will sit and learn for the next year on the practice squad but with work should develop into a nice swing tackle for the Skins.
Chicago Bears: Juaquin Iglesias WR..If I were the St. Louis Rams this would be a player I would be adding to my roster sooner than later. Iglesias would make Bradford learning curve go that much faster since they have a familiar with each from their days at Oklahoma.
Detroit Lions: Robert Callaway DT..Dominating size that simply needs to improve stamina to become part of a defensive line rotation.
Green Bay Packers: Breno Giacomini OT …experienced player who just needs some more time before he locks down a roster spot for a nice ten to twelve year career.
Atlanta Falcons: Robbie Agnone TE…nice size combo that would be a great roster addition to the Ravens should Todd Heap not stay healthy.
Carolina Panthers: Rashawn Jackson FB..Underrated fullback who isn’t afraid of contact. Should blossom in the next few years and be the lead FB for some team in the NFL.
New Orleans Saints: DeMario Pressley DT…big body that needs to stay healthy but if he does can certainly help a lot of teams.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Dezmon Briscoe WR…with a little time to grown up on the practice squad Briscoe could really explode in the NFL. Do not be surprised to see the Cowboys look to bring him into the fold this spring to see if this Dallas native might fit with his home team.
Arizona Cardinals: Herman Johnson G …Monster of a man who just needs to get his focus on the game and study, study, study and take to coaching or he’ll be out of the league for good.
St. Louis Rams: Danario Alexander WR..another big wide receiver who if he can get himself healthy could be a special player in the league.
Two players to keep an eye on to land on a practice squad within the next few days are
Clifton Geathers and Micah Johnson. Geathers is a monster of a man who could be an unstoppable force for a defense if he is motivated and keeps himself out of trouble. That’s a big IF. Johnson is a blue collar LB that if he can stay healthy would be a great prospect for the Patriots to get behind.
Did I miss any other guys? Let me know.
Did I miss any other guys? Let me know.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
It's pretty safe to assume that Marshawn Lynch won't be a Buffalo Bills member by the end of the year so this move Packers should turn to opponent for help - NFL - Yahoo! Sports makes some sense but only if the Packers are willing to pay for it. Ted Thompson is notoriously cheap so hopefully the Bills realize that after week one they are already getting some inquiries on Lynch and hold on for the best offer as they try to rebuild the once proud franchise.
Posted by Patrick Schuster at 9/15/2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
This is a question that is being asked by many a fan this offseason as the Bears make their drive towards the regular season. We have seen the Bears lose consistently this preseason and lose for the same reasons that they lost in 2009. They cannot protect their quarterback and they can’t keep teams from converting long third down opportunities. This is a huge problem.
So can the Bears get things put together before they open the regular season against the Detroit Lions? What do they need to be better?
A lot of people take stock in what happens in the preseason and feel that what they see there is an indication of what they will see in the preseason. This is not always the case. The Bears, back in 1985, didn’t win a single game in the preseason before going on to be 15-1 and win the Super Bowl. The Colts recently had a 0-5 preseason and went on to go 14-2 in the regular season. So you can’t put a lot of weight in these games.
However, there are clues to how a team may play during the regular season in this preseason games. For one, we saw a lot of confusion on offense for the Bears when they attempted to run what is one of the more complicated schemes in the NFL. They had problems protecting the quarterback and the quarterback (most often Jay Cutler) had problems avoiding the rush or would make poor decisions when thinking that the rush was there and he was about to get sacked.
The thing that can help keep Cutler confident and not feeling like he has to run every time he drops back from center is solid play from his offensive line. Cutler needs to know that he’s not going to get blasted every time he drops back and until he develops confidence in his offensive line (and once they show that they can block) he’s going to feel rushed and feel that he has to do something (like run the ball or force a throw) every time he drops back.
The Bears need to be sure that their offensive line is up to the task and right now, without any real game regular season experience it may be tough to evaluate what they are capable of. We know that most of the starters have some regular game experience but they don’t have that much experience. Olin Kreutz has the most experience on the line and Roberto Garza (at guard) has the second most but after that, there is a serious drop off in talent.
Frank Omiyale, the Bear’s right guard, hasn’t played that much in the NFL and has struggled when he has been on the field. Left tackle Chris Williams has starting experience at both the right and left tackle but has suffered in the past and really suffered during the preseason. Can he pick things up and play better during the regular season? We will soon find out.
Guard Lance Louis, despite the fact he’s a second year player in the NFL, has never started an NFL game leaving many to wonder why the Bears would take such a risk at the guard position. Why would they put someone with no experience in such an important position on the offensive line? We will find out if they made a big mistake as the season progresses but the Bears must know something that we don’t or they wouldn’t have made the switch.
Let’s see how well the Bears changes help them win games this season. For the first time in a while the Bears (and their fans) are stepping into the unknown. A team that was once primarily a defensive team is starting over as an offensive team and there are bound to be some growing pains. Let’s just hope that those growing pains don’t last long and that the Bears will eventually adapt to the new offense and have a lot of success.
Posted by Bryan at 9/12/2010
Friday, September 3, 2010
This move New York Giants land QB Sage Rosenfels in trade with Vikes - NFL - SI.com is one of the best of the off-season this year by far. In Rosenfels the Giantts get a battle tested QB who will fit in very nicely should Eli goes down. Hats off to the GMen on this move as they now have the best 1-2 punch at QB they've had in years.
If you asked any draftnik when Matt Leinart was coming out if they ever expected to read Cards keeping rookie QBs Skelton, Hall; Leinart's fate uncertain - NFL - SI.com you would get 100% saying he's the next face of the NFL. Instead he is likely headed to go the same way as Rick Mirer, Ryan Leaf, Heath Schuler, and Tim Couch. To say I am shocked how poorly he adjusted to the NFL would be an understatement. Hopefully he gets a coach to mentor him similar to what Parcells did for Testaverde. Here's hoping anyway.
When I read Housh gets feeling he’s not wanted | Seattle Seahawks - The News Tribune I started trying to figure out where the musical chairs was going to place him. Seems like the first shoe dropped with Crayton to SD, now Vincent Jackson can go to Seattle and where o where does that put TJ. Smart money would say Minnesota with the loss of Rice he would give them a big target who would keep his mouth shut on a roster of stars and a team headed to the playoffs. The other spot I thought was how about the Redskins. Since they have next to nothing at WR it might give McNabb a #1 target. ...just some food for thought.
Glad to see Pittsburgh Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger suspension cut to 4 games - ESPN they didn't cave and give into the crazy three game idea. Good behavior gets things reduced but not almost eliminated. My gut tells me though you'll hear next April with the Steelers first pick in round 1 they select quarterback...
Real nice move for the Eagles Arizona Cardinals send guard Reggie Wells to Philadelphia Eagles for draft pick - ESPN as with a young QB in Kolb you want to get the offensive line as strong as possible. I have a feeling Andy has a few more things up his sleeve.
This move Dallas Cowboys reach agreement to trade Patrick Crayton to San Diego Chargers - ESPN Dallas is actually good for both teams as the Chargers now can ship out Jackson and the Cowboys gets rid of a talented but overpriced 4th receiver and get to keep special teams standout Sam Hurd and second year man Kevin Ogletree. Sure Crayton will produce more than the any 7th round pick this year but Dallas was able to control where he landed and didn't have to see him go to say Minnesota or Washington. He's in the AFC and they won't see him until the Super Bowl (assuming they both get there).
Another point to remember Dallas lost their 7th round pick in the supplementary draft so they have recovered that pick for next year too.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
As you hear the news of who played tonight and who didn’t, something struck me that I need some help on. Can anyone explain why the NFL declares players inactive before the game starts and has rules regarding use of the third string QB? Seriously what genius came up with both of these ideas?
Was the thought we want to make it tougher on the players and not have them sit until they are close to 100% before ready to get back into the game? Or maybe let’s have them travel with us but not play? Then with the rules on using the third QB are you serious. Could you imagine in baseball if the rule was you can not use your closer before you use your set up man or in basketball if
gets into foul trouble the Lakers couldn't decide to use their 12th man over their 11th man. I can’t help but think Andy Reid would rather get Mike Kafka a little experience if say the score is 35-3 in the fourth instead of Mike Vick. Kobe
I don’t know many people who love pro and college football as much as me but these rules make no sense.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Interesting take on Marvin Austin Suspended Indefinitely | Latest by our friends over at NFL Draft Bible. I happen to agree and can't help but think what a mistake young Marvin made now the question is where will he fall in next April's draft. Stay tuned as I do a preseason 1st round mock and see if he makes it.
Teams have inquired about Sam Hurd, who wants to contribute as receiver | Dallas Cowboys Blog | Sports News | News for Dallas, Texas | The Dallas Morning News
Nice move if it happens for the Cowboys. Why just let a proven player go instead listen to all offers and move him to the best spot for both him and the team. Teams have inquired about Sam Hurd, who wants to contribute as receiver | Dallas Cowboys Blog | Sports News | News for Dallas, Texas | The Dallas Morning News
I personally would be all over him if I were the Bills as they could use a proven player and special teams standout. If he gets cut Washington will pounce for sure.
NFL: Attendance likely to fall for third straight season in 2010, to lowest level since 1998 - The Huddle: Football News from the NFL - USATODAY.com
I have to I was initially surprised when I read NFL: Attendance likely to fall for third straight season in 2010, to lowest level since 1998 - The Huddle: Football News from the NFL - USATODAY.com but after thinking about it I don't know about you but it makes total sense.
I know I have a great passion for football but find watching the Sunday Ticket on my flat screen VIZIO, no concern with the weather and replaying every play if I wanted is way more appealing than going to an opposing stadium and dealing with some jerks, missing a key play because of a food run and having to spend tons of money on gas, food, dealing with the drive and the unruly jerk who always seems to find the seat next to me.
Memo to football fans:
1. Buy DIRECTV and order the Sunday Ticket
2. Get a Sam's Club Membership
3. Buy a flatscreen TV
4. Enjoy the next 16 weeks