This week we got a little info on the Bears next challenge, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from our Bucs blogger.
They will punish Kyle Orton. They’ll get in the backfield and disrupt things for your offense. The defensive line really ate up Rookie QB Matt Ryan last week, he started the game (0 for 8) with two interceptions. LB Barrett Ruud will be used in blitz packages and he’ll get to your QB. Safety’s Jermaine Phillips and Tanard Jackson will separate your Tight Ends from the ball. This defense is very aggressive, hard hitting, and has a knack for finding the ball. With that said, this is a huge cause for concern as the Saints Jeremy Shockey had a very nice day against us in the season opener, but the Saints also had Marques Colston and Reggie Bush to help mask Shockey. Can Forte and Hester provide that same mask this week, we’ll have to see.
2) It is strange; our teams mimic each other very closely. We both have similar offenses and defenses. The only real difference is yours relies more on vets and ours on younger players. Given that everybody knows exactly what type of offense is coming, but also know the weakness of the defense, do you think it is more likely that the offenses thrive or grind to a halt?
I started to type how Griese’s dink and dunk offense would do well and then I realized; Tampa Bay Buccaneers and thriving offense don’t belong in the same sentence. Looking at our defenses it’s tough to imagine either offense getting any sustainable drive started. The Panthers have a more dynamic offense than us and they put up 20 on you and I would give our defense the nod on them and they held you to 17 points, so one could only conclude that Sunday’s game will be an absolute grind. I’d be willing to bet a defensive player scores before an offensive player…
3) The Bears Special Teams play with or without Hester is something every team has to account for. They cover well, have more than one quality return man and now seem to be putting some emphasis on really getting after punts. How has Tampa's special teams looked this year? Is this a place the Bears can get a big advantage on?
I think our Special Teams Unit is second to none. It’s always been a tough unit as it’s an extension of our on-field defense with Ronde Barber, Tanard Jackson, and Jermaine Phillips amongst other starters gunning down the field to punish the returner. Just last week 2nd year player Sabby Piscitelli striped the ball away from an Atlanta Falcons kick returner. Kick coverage is something our team prides itself upon.
As far as our kick return game, it’s definitely an improvement over the past. Rookie Dexter Jackson ‘DJax’ brings game breaker ability to the return team, as he had an 83 yard punt return in the Pre-Season. He’s a very quick player who can get on top of a defense quickly if he finds a seam. Although he’s got play maker written on him, Head Coach Jon Gruden is a bit reserved with him as he pulls him for Ike Hilliard when absolute catches need to be made inside the 20 yard line and DJax has yet to see a snap on offense in the regular season. I’m sure you guys will laugh when you see him cower like Marvin Harrison prior to contact, it irks us, but so long as he stays healthy we could careless!
4) Earnest Graham much like what he is doing to me on my FF team, seems to be a hit or miss each week. One game he is the big dog and rolls over teams, but the next he isn't really a factor. Is Graham and every down, every day back or does he need to be used in certain situations and needs to be used with a change of pace back?
Graham is every bit of an every down back. I think Jon Gruden would be the first to tell you that he mismanaged the use of Graham in Week 1. Graham had 9.1 yards per rush on 10 carries going against the Saints and Gruden elected to throw the ball 41 times in a close game, yikes! Honestly I feel like Warrick Dunn is an unnecessary complement to Earnest Graham, as Graham can hold his own if he was given the opportunity.
Graham’s Fantasy Value does diminish though due to the addition of Warrick Dunn. With any Gruden ran offense, I would stray away from drafting his RB’s as he certainly wants to put the ball in the air before he ever thinks about running it in. I think Graham will get a lot of touches this weekend so you might want to start him.
The Bears definitely WON’T win Sunday, the Bucs are coming for blood in a classic defense dominated nightmare for both opposing Quarterbacks. The Bucs win as Aqib Talib and Ronde Barber both take INT’s to the house. Bucs win 19 – 12… Yeah Boy!