Evaluating the Bears OL? Look a little deeper

Evaluating the Bears OL? Look a little deeper
May 17, 2012, 9:42 pm
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CSNChicago.com (at least this humble chronicler of gridiron games) has not bought into any of the hysteria reaction over the offensive line for about two years. The Mike Martz Factor has been analyzed in no small detail, so enough on that; Martz (and, critics would say JMarcus Webb) didnt block anybody last year. But the former was his own issue.

Consider something else, though:

The quarterbacks.

Some perspective here. The Indianapolis Colts allowed 16 sacks of Peyton Manning in 2010. They gave up 35 last season. Jeff Saturday, Ryan Diem and the Colts line twice as bad one year to the next? Dont think so.

Matt Schaub had the Houston Texans rolling when he was injured in Week 10. He was being sacked 1.6 times per game. T.J. Yates did a nice relief job, but he also was sacked 15 times in basically five games' worth of playing time.

Figure it another way: Schaub was being sacked once every 19 pass plays. Yates was sacked once every 9.9 attempts.

Jay Cutler was sacked 2.3 times per game through his 10. Caleb Hanie and Josh McCown in six games went down 26 times, or 4.5 times per game. Did the offensive line just get twice as bad 10 weeks into the season? Probably not.

Jared Allen had the only sack of a Chicago quarterback (Cutler) by a Minnesota Viking in the teams first meeting last year. McCown was sacked seven times, three by Allen, in that final game.

If you want to declare the offensive line a disaster zone, then youre saying that Hanie was maybe pretty good and just didnt get any protection. You sure you want to go there?

The offensive line doesnt need anyone running interference for it. Thats their job for Cutler and Matt Forte (presumably) and Michael Bush.

But there is a lot more to the offensive-line story for 2011, and now 2012, than JMarcus Webb. A lot more.