I love it when fans ask, ‘It can’t get any worse can it?’
The answer, when it comes to benching starters for reserves, is usually yes. There are instances where the back ups can come in and provide a spark, but those simply don’t happen as often as we’d like to think. Benching a veteran for the unproven youngster that is waiting his turn on the bench isn’t a bad idea, if you have a highly touted youngster waiting his turn on the bench.
In the case of the Chicago Bears, if they bench right tackle Bobby Massie, which seems like a popular decision, that means Mike Adams will come in. Mike Adams wasn’t a very good pass blocker during his three years with the Steelers and he missed all of the 2015 season with back surgery.
I also thought Adams was mostly bad against backups during the preseason, so do fans want Massie who has been bad vs starters or Adams who was bad vs backups?
Maybe Adams can finally live up to the potential he showed coming out of college in 2012. Maybe Massie will get better as he gains comfort with his line-mates and with the scheme/playbook. Maybe the Bears will start to scheme around the pass blocking issues they’ve shown so far and get better in the screen game, draw up some quick hitting slants, and commit to running the ball.
The Bears will only go as far as the offensive line will take them, so they either need to figure it out, or get ready to daft in the top 10 again.
Sackwatch after 2 games
2010 Sacks - 5 Martz
2011 Sacks - 11 Martz
2012 Sacks - 9 Tice
2013 Sacks - 1 Trestman
2014 Sacks - 3 Trestman
2015 Sacks - 4 Gase
2016 Sacks - 8 Loggains
Sack 6 - 1st Quarter 14:26 - Malcolm Jenkins
This kind of sack just pisses me off. There’s no excuse for not knowing your individual assignment as a professional football player. Yeah I get that Logan Paulsen has only been a Bear for a few weeks, but give me a freaking break. He’s lined up next to right tackle Bobby Massie in case they bring a blitz off the edge. The Eagles brought safety Malcolm Jenkins on the blitz and Paulson did this...
Jenkins was the up defender, and since Paulsen was off the line, he had plenty of time to diagnose which of the three Eagle defenders was going to come. Since it was a play action pass, perhaps Paulsen was “selling” run by stepping inside, but he could just have easily sold it by laterally stepping to his right and being in a better position to block someone..
Sack 7 - 2nd Quarter 9:17 - Brandon Graham
Jay Cutler gets to the top of his drop after the play fake, he sets, then he starts working up the pocket. Bobby Massie actually gave Cutler enough time to get rid of the ball, but Massie is really lungey. His head and shoulders always seem to be out in front of his feet, so even when he has good footwork, he’s off balance.
But this is not an instance of good footwork however. Watch his right foot in the GIF below.
Did you see that little wind up with his right leg? Can I say WTF on here?
He lifts his right foot up before putting it right back down where it started. He’s supposed to be getting some depth on the kick. If he gets depth, he puts himself in a better position to cut off the edge rusher.
I want you to check out this quick video of the technique that Massie should be using. You don’t have to watch the whole thing unless you want to, but at least notice the o-lineman’s right foot. There’s no false step. He kicks back with his right foot, pushes off with his left leg and slides.
What Massie did in that clip above was just bad technique all around.
I’d say this sack is mostly on Cutler for holding the ball too long, but I can’t give Massie a pass. If he takes any sort of angle on his initial kick step, Jay probably has the time to scan the field or to at least take off. I’m splitting the sack allowed between the two of them
Sack 8 - 3rd Quarter 10:56 - Destiny Vaeao
This time Paulsen ends up taking the defensive end that is in a wide nine technique leaving Massie free to help out. Massie checked his inside gap before working his way out to help his tight end. He was still lunging, but he was where he should have been.
Cutler again fakes the handoff, sets up at the top of his drop, then works up the pocket trying to find someone to throw to. He’s hit and it appeared he was trying to chuck the ball forward to a receiver to avoid the sack, but instead he fumbles.
At this point in the 3rd quarter the Bears were only down 2 points, so there’s really no reason for Jay to take any unnecessary chances. The offense just picked up two first downs on their last three plays and they were within striking distance of field goal range. (Yes, even for Conner Barth)
Before I get into where the blame lies on this sack, check out left tackle Charles Leno Jr. He has good footwork, his kick makes him in position to cut off the edge. He delivers a solid hand punch (without lunging!), to stun the Eagle defender. He moves back into the spin move to cut off the inside gap.
Leno is a guy the Bears are counting on to take a step up in his play this year. They need him to play above average at the left tackle spot. If Leno can win more than lose at LT, then the Bears only have to be concerned with helping the right side out. Most o-lines in the NFL have a weak link, and most can scheme to help said link out. If the Bears can get it together from LT-RG, and the RT never comes around as a reliable pass rusher, they can live with that by using tight end and running back chips, play fakes, and sliding protection when need be.
As for this third sack, even though right guard Kyle Long slipped and fell, which allowed his man to make the play, I can’t fault him. Cutler had nearly 4 seconds to make a decision, the rusher was right in front of him, and he could have just ate the sack to avoid the turnover. I think the plan was for Jay to hit running back Jeremy Langford, who slipped through the line after the fake, but he was tripped up.
This one is on Cutler.
Here’s how I have the individual Sackwatch after two weeks.
Jay Cutler - 3
Cody Whitehair - 1.5
Logan Paulsen - 1
Charles Leno - 1
Bobbie Massie - 1
Jeremy Langford - .5