Bears Vs. Raiders Offensive Observations: Alshon Jeffery is a Run Blocking Beast

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

We're going through some of our offensive notes from Friday night's preseason victory against the Raiders.

I have to admit, I feel a lot better about the Bears' offensive line than I did even two weeks ago. I'm not sure how many times I actually said out loud "Jay Cutler has time" and "Cutler looks good when he has a pocket." It was a lot. And true, some of the plays are quick-outs like hitting Alshon Jeffery on a five-yard slant, but quite a few of the plays last night were more intermediate or deeper routes that Cutler had plenty of time to survey the field.

The fact of the matter is, as good as Kyle Long and Jordan Mills have looked on the right side for rookies (and they can really play), Matt Slauson has done a great job early on here of shutting down the left side guard spot. And Roberto Garza still makes mistakes at center and still is a step slow, but he looks much improved with two good guards around him.

Speaking of Alshon Jeffery, he had an outstanding game as a receiver (and I really think he's going to excel in this offense if he stays healthy), but he also had some great running after the catch and some outstanding run blocking. And for a running back that excels on the outside and in space like Matt Forte does, that'll pay some big dividends like they did on Friday.

I think the dropped passes by Fendi Onobun and Brandon Marshall are a bit of a concern, but not a big one. Onobun's likely not going to be counted on for his receiving ability if he makes the team at all, and you know what Marshall is - he'll drop some, but he'll also catch for over a thousand yards and over 80 receptions. He produces. Martellus Bennett's drop is a thing and Cutler hit him in the hands, but it was still a difficult ball, and maybe with a little more space or a second chance he'll catch that.

It was fun seeing the scheming mind of Marc Trestman at work in the offense. Receivers got open, runs were well blocked and well executed, mismatches were exploited - it was good stuff. Can't wait to see it against Cincinnati, against a much better team.

I still think Michael Ford's the third-best running back on the team, and at this point, I think I want to see him continue to get a chance as the third back with the 53-man. I'm not sure they keep four with Armando Allen - if they keep Tony Fiametta which I think they will, and they keep three tight ends, do you take a player off the defense to compensate to keep Allen as well for his role on specials and a 3rd/4th running back? Ford's played some special teams too, but Allen's on all four phases.

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