15 on 6: Cutler successful, but not happy

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15 on 6: Cutler successful, but not happy

Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010
1:50 PM

By Jim Miller
CSNChicago.com

Hungry

The best part of being in first place in the NFC North is that Jay Cutler is not happy. The first words uttered by Jay at the post game press conference..."I did not play well." That is what leaders do and what Bears fans expect from their trigger man. Man Up! But what Jay did do, was play well enough in critical moments when the game was on the line.

The Bears had their greatest success when they had to line up in a static formation and just go. (See prior blog)

Before the Half

Green Bay had to show their hand defensively right before the half and the Bears took advantage, as Greg Olsen found pay dirt with a nine-yard touchdown. To prove my point, before this point in the game, Jay even stated in his post game presser that, "they were moving around quite a bit."

It was a two-minute-drill situation. Offensively, knowing time is an issue and the Bear's just lined up and ran the play call. It forced Green Bay to get to their landmarks defensively prior to the snap. This cleaned up the read for Jay, enabling him to hit Johnny Knox on the post corner route down the left sideline. It was Jay's best throw of the night, in a big spot, when a play had to be made. He dropped back with authority, saw the coverage with confidence, and delivered a perfectly placed strike. This is the rhythm in the passing game that Jay and the offense have been aspiring to achieve.

3rd quarter - 4th and 1 at the 1

The Bears have been unpredictable offensively in their first three ball games.

1. Lions- Screen game to the backs was focus

2. Dallas - Adjustments to beat the blitz

3. Green Bay- Not enough offensive plays (only 48), but 7 different targets hit. Aaron Rodgers hit 8. For opponents of the Bears, who do you defend? Hester has made plays (Dallas one hand TD), Aromashodu (Lions game), Knox, Olsen, Forte, Bennett, and Jay being a threat to run. Green Bay ran a lot of cover 2 with man coverage underneath. Jay recognized and shredded it by taking off right down the middle of the field. You cannot defend the QB scrambling with that defensive play call. Opponents will take note.

Opposing defenses must now expect the unexpected. On fourth down and one at the goal line Desmond Clark failed to catch a poorly thrown flat route by Jay, but Green Bay was not prepared for Clark to be the primary target. Who says Martz does not use tight ends? That is good football, great game planning, and uncanny play calling. What the Bears have put on tape the first three weeks is going to prove difficult for teams to defend.

Jim Miller, an 11-year former NFL quarterback, is a Comcast SportsNet Bears analyst who can be seen each week on U.S. Cellular Bears Postgame Live. Miller, who spent five seasons with the Bears, analyzes current Chicago QB Jay Cutler in his "15 on 6" blog on CSNChicago.com and can be followed on Twitter @15miller.

Want to be in on Bears QB deliberations? 'Look at the film'

Want to be in on Bears QB deliberations? 'Look at the film'

Back in 1992 the Dallas Cowboys were in draft deliberations around the No. 17 spot of the first round, looking for upgrades on defense. A scout made a suggestion that they target Ohio State defensive end Alonzo Spellman, one of the most physically imposing (6-4, 280 pounds) players and best athletes in that draft.
 
Coach Jimmy Johnson responded, "Tell me about the production."
 
Came back the answer: Three years at OSU, nine total sacks.
 
"Oh, please!" Johnson scoffed, calling in cornerback Kevin Smith and leaving Spellman to the Bears at No. 22. Spellman had several respectable seasons but never more than 8.5 sacks in nine NFL seasons.
 
As investment advisers counsel, past performance is not necessarily a predictor of future results. But past performance can be, and an axiom in NFL personnel rooms is, look at the film.
 
CSNChicago.com is doing that as the NFL Scouting Combine approaches (Feb. 29) along with free agency and the start of the league year and its trading window. It becomes an increasingly relevant exercise to look at the intricacies behind some of the key players and positions the Bears will be addressing through the upcoming weeks. CSNChicago.com previously looked at the need to evaluate quarterbacks from the intangible standpoints first, then the measurables.
 
Using Jay Cutler as an object lesson for how immense physical skills have questionable correlations to immense NFL performance, a look at one aspect of quarterback "film" warrants more attention than the measurables that command a disproportionate share of attention and scrutiny.
 
Ball security.
 
It has been Cutler's single biggest issue through his eight Bears seasons, was a reason why coaches once wanted to stay with Josh McCown instead of returning to Cutler following a Cutler injury absence, and why Brian Hoyer played his way into prominence in the discussion of 2017 Bears plans. Adam Gase went from offensive coordinator to hottest head-coach prospect in no small measure because he managed Cutler into better ball security.

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But the point here is less Cutler – expected to be traded or released within the near future – than the level of ball security in the available options beyond Hoyer.
 
So, look at the film:
 
The widespread drooling over a possible trade with New England for Jimmy Garoppolo. The best thing in Garoppolo's favor is that he has been a Patriots backup to Tom Brady. Garoppolo, drawing distant comparisons to a Matt Flynn, Matt Cassel and other past experience-lite quarterback options, has thrown 94 NFL passes without an interception, which is impressive until matched against Hoyer's 200 last season without an interception, for comparison purposes.
 
But evaluating Garoppolo against the coming chief draft competition – DeShone Kizer, Mitch Trubisky, Deshaun Watson – suggests comparing apples to apples, meaning college ball security, since that's all the kids have to this point.
 
Garoppolo vaulted up draft boards (to New England's second round) on the strength of an Eastern Illinois senior season with 53 touchdown passes vs. nine interceptions, against chiefly FCS opposition. But in his first three seasons Garoppolo threw for 65 touchdowns and was intercepted 42 times.
 
Kizer? In his two Notre Dame seasons, 47 touchdowns, 19 interceptions.
 
Trubisky? 30 touchdowns last season, six interceptions. Including his two years as a North Carolina backup, 41 touchdowns, 10 interceptions.
 
Watson? 90 touchdowns, 32 interceptions in three Clemson seasons, the last two as Tigers starter.
 
Observations:
 
Garoppolo put in four college seasons, but has a little of the Trubisky/Flynn/Cassel, one-year-wonder feel. 
 
Kizer and Watson have more starting seasons, but the Watson intangible of getting his team to two national-championship games speaks to another level of "intangible."
 
GM Ryan Pace will incorporate heavy input from coach John Fox and coordinator Dowell Loggains. Coaches love ball security. Garoppolo? Watson? Trubisky? Kizer?
 
Look at the film.

BearsTalk Podcast: The risk and reward for Bears in trading for Jimmy Garoppolo

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USA TODAY

BearsTalk Podcast: The risk and reward for Bears in trading for Jimmy Garoppolo

In this edition of the BearsTalk podcast, CSN's Chris Boden, Sun-Times Bears beat writer Patrick Finley, and CSNChicago.com's Scott Krinch discuss the Bears' approach to the two-week window opening to franchise-tag Alshon Jeffery again, the risk/reward in trading for Jimmy Garoppolo or drafting a QB (and how high to draft one), Scott's 2.0 mock draft, plus the workers' compensation controversy the team found itself in last week and the club's decision to raise ticket prices.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below: