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Bears Vs Jaguars: Notes, Scribbles, and Things Jotted Down

A lot happened in yesterday's game against the Jaguars. We're going over our notes and other minutiae from the game.

Jonathan Daniel
  • The first defensive series featured the linebacking corps of Lance Briggs, D.J. Williams, and Shea McClellin. Jon Bostic came in in the nickel set. To close out the drive and force a 49-yard field goal, McClellin made a solid stop on second down and Bostic shoved off a block to tie up Toby Gerhart on a toss on 3rd and 1 for a four yard loss. Hey, it's progress.
  • Admittedly, the first couple of drives showed a lack of penetration and pass rush; on the third drive, the Bears got that in gear. Stephen Paea and Jeremiah Ratliff destroyed Mike Brewster to pick up a sack. Trevor Scott had gotten a sack (aided by an additional McClellin rush on the other side) before it was whistled away by an illegal contact penalty on Kelvin Hayden. Lamarr Houston and McClellin teamed up to take out Jordan Todman behind the line of scrimmage.
  • Overall, Bostic and McClellin didn't have bad games. They weren't perfect, they weren't great games, but they were games that said maybe these two have possibilities to stick.
  • If you wanted to see Zach Miller pick up some top-line time, he lined up in a two-tight-end set with Martellus Bennett in the first series (with Dante Rosario out for the game). Eric Weems lined up as the third receiver.
  • Brandon Marshall dropped a pass to set that first drive back, though.
  • I think I like the look of Toby Gerhart as a feature back for the Jaguars. He really runs hard and finds holes. Not the best swinging outside, however.
  • So, Weems. You're going to learn to hold onto that football on a kick return if you want to hold your roster spot, right?
  • Marqise Lee has a veteran-level leverage move to create just enough space to get an extra four yards. That was enough to get a touchdown.
  • When Matt Forte runs after the catch, it's not so much running as it is pickstepping his way through a field of flowers or something. He just finds the spot where people have a hard time hitting him.
  • The pass-blocking on Jay Cutler's touchdown to Brandon Marshall was superb, as was the throw itself. Now, if only the runblocking could improve that much. That's still kind of a weak spot.
  • Danny McCray and Ryan Mundy were the first-team safeties with Chris Conte inactive for the game. Adrian Wilson and Brock Vereen came in early in the second quarter. And Shea McClellin was still in with the second team getting beat in pass coverage by Blake Bortles.
  • Trevor Scott forced another hurried throw.
  • Shaun Draughn again was the first back off the bench, and he showed some pretty nice moves on a pair of plays that it was reported on the broadcast were audibles by Jimmy Clausen. Clausen displayed really good command of the offense right off the bat. And then penalty flags all over the place put the Bears in an eventual 3rd and 35 situation.
  • I think at this point, Pat O'Donnell's won the punting competition. Two at 50+ is a solid start.
  • And another player just got called for illegal hands to the face.
  • Michael Ola had himself a decent early start in pass protection, but had a rough end of half with a penalty.
  • To close out the half, the Bears got a really nice drill in killing the final 30 seconds of the period by keeping tackles in bounds and preventing the Jaguars from expanding their lead.
  • The more I see Josh Morgan, the more comfortable I am with him at the 3/4 receiver. He's a bit of the "More of the same" that Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery provide, and it's where Chris Williams could provide a different dimension, but that doesn't make Morgan a bad choice - might be a good one. And there's still room for Williams to make the roster, especially if the Bears carry six.
  • On Jimmy Clausen's interception - it was probably a little low for where Clausen was trying to deliver, or if he wanted to keep it on that line, he could have drilled it a little harder. As is, it got popped in the air and the safety came on hard to snatch it away.
  • That Devin Hester montage on a night of full-on special teams nightmare fuel was a really nice touch, ESPN.
  • Josh Bellamy nearly had a fumble on a kickoff return (overruled by review) and a bobbling of a really strong Clausen throw into an incompletion out of bounds. He's had an uphill climb to make the roster, but last night might have made that a little harder.
  • The Jaguars didn't exactly give the Bears a lot of time for coverage or for pass rush - lots of quick reads and a lot of getting the ball out decently quickly.
  • Clausen's sack at the hands of Tyson Alualu was largely coverage and a bit of holding the ball too long, while Alualu disengaged his blocker and got a hold of Clausen - it was all over. Also, Clausen was in the game until the end of the third quarter.
  • Leading off the fourth quarter was an overwhelming of the offensive line, starting with Cornelius Washington getting pressure. The Bears were doing a lot of blitzing off the weakside for the game, and that freed up Washington a little. Both Washington and David Bass may be on the outside looking in, which shows just how much change the Bears invested in that unit over the offseason.
  • After seeing Clausen with the second unit, Jordan Palmer came in with the third unit and... looked expendable, initially. And then on 2nd and 11, he stands tall and delivers a strike down the field for Matthew Mulligan to create first and goal. Mulligan as a blocking tight end might not run as well as Zach Miller with the ball, but being a good blocker with the ability to make a tough catch in traffic or in front of another guy is a thing.
  • Dennis Roland is a large, large man.
  • Ka'Deem Carey's touchdown in the fourth quarter really was as simple as Gruden made it sound. Find the hole, let the lineman create a double team to pull it open, and just let the running back find the line and dive over it.
  • Okay, seeing the other Jacksonville players have fun with Red Bryant and Chris Clemons in their interview was pretty good.
  • And Senorise Perry's touchdown was more of the same that Carey's was - a good hole slammed open and Perry navigated it to a touchdown. I think I'd want to see a little more of him before whittling down the bottom of the depth chart, but I don't know how much room there is for him. Yet.
  • Admittedly, there are things that could have shut the door on this one early for the Bears. Two of the Jaguars' field goals were from inside the 15-yard line. Jordan Palmer's rallying 86-yard drive was aided by a roughing the passer penalty and a defensive pass interference penalty. A second kickoff return fumble was overturned. Any of those could have changed the outcome.
  • Continuation bullet: However. That doesn't mean the Bears didn't earn the win. The Bears did what they had to do. The defense held those long drives early to field goals instead of extra touchdowns, limited Weems' fumble damage to a field goal, and took advantage of the Jaguars' own miscues to turn the biggest points of the game.
  • At halftime, the point was made that the Jaguars controlled the offensive tempo of the game. The Bears came back to tip the time advantage in their favor as the Jaguars gave more and more pass reps to Bortles and Stephen Morris. Chad Henne and Bortles each had 17 pass attempts, the Jaguars ran 9 more plays than the Bears, and the Bears ran an additional 4:32 off the clock.
  • Sherrick McManis had a pretty solid game. If his spot was in any danger, he might have solidified it a bit more.

So next week's the big one - the third preseason game. The starters will be in for longer than any other game this preseason. What did you find interesting about this one, and what are you looking forward to next week?