15 on 6: Ugliest offensive performance ever

276576.jpg

15 on 6: Ugliest offensive performance ever

Monday, Oct. 4, 2010
8:23 PM

By Jim Miller
CSNChicago.com

If Sunday night's game was the precursor for an early Halloween scare, the Bears succeeded!

I could not even believe what I was witnessing, then asked to comment on, as a former player, for Bears Postgame Live. The outcome of this debacle was the total opposite of what I anticipated. The Bears needed to be like the Jets who went into Buffalo and gave the Bills exactly what they expected - a beat Down!

The Giants were a team at the crossroads and waiting for their own demons to take hold all the way up to halftime. For the Bears to even jog to the locker room down 3-0 after 30 minutes was a miracle. This is after giving up nine sacks, a sack fumble, an interception, three offensive line changes and a total output of only 22 yards offensively.

It truly was the ugliest offensive performance I have ever witnessed from an NFL team.

If the Bears were given a rock for Halloween, (like good ole Charlie Brown), for that performance it would be generous. But before we get ahead of ourselves and fire everyone for a Halloween day massacre, let's understand why the Bears' play was so horrendous and attempt to put it into perspective.

Lost Quarter

From the information I have gathered, Jay Cutler went ghostly at the beginning of the second quarter. Mike Martz calls a 258 with whatever route combination tagged at the time. A 258 is a "QB Dash" play - a good play call at the time - allowing you to change the launch point for a QB when pass protection is an issue.

As a QB, you show a straight drop back of five steps from underneath the center, then dash to the right enabling offensive lineman to "pin in" pass rushers who are "teeing off." The problem is, you have to secure the backside cut off block, or a defensive end (Osi Umenyura) has a 20-yard sprint targeting your QB dead to rights. Greg Olsen amazingly tries a "cut block", when he should just face up. It truly is amazing that Jay Cutler actually got up after such a vicious hit, but he started walking to the wrong sideline. Clearly, he was not sound mentally and anyone who took that hit would have been out of sorts.

It is never a fun moment to be in that sate! I have experienced it, and it truly becomes a one-play-at-a-time senario, where you are trying to pull yourself together.

As the quarter progressed, even former NFL wide receiver Chris Collinsworth noted on a play, "How does Jay not see Earl Bennett on the Shallow cross?" I personally knew something was amiss when Jay missed a nickel blitz from an "empty set" (spread out, no backs), and took another vicious hit from cornerback Aaron Ross. Not recognizingmissing that blitz for Jay would be like Bears fans missing a Bears game - it does not happen! It is football 101, they are bringing one more than you have to block!

The second quarter was now lost, in terms of execution, and the coaches had to figure out if Jay can go in the third. In this house of horrors is where I have a huge problem, outside of the Offensive line protection issues.

Normally, players on the field sense when a player has been "dinged." Mike Martz and the offensive coaches had to have sensed it as well with how Jay was readingexecuting plays. All this withstanding; the blown blocking assignments, missed open receivers, lack of running game and the injured starting QB - the storm could have been weathered again by the Bears.

Instead, much like the confusion on the field, the Bears go in at the half with doctors evaluating Jay and no one prepping the offense - Todd Collins or Caleb Hanie for the inevitable. Collins said in his post game presser, "I did not know I was playing until coming out of the tunnel for the second half."

That is unacceptable and poor preparation by the Bears coaching staff!

From Now On...

Bears QB's better be equipped to manipulate this offense. After a three-game warning, Jay should have known he cannot trust his protection early. As a QB, you have to learn to negotiate it!

The play called in the huddle may have primaries, but you better know your dump-offs on every play. Offensively, you must log more snaps when things are "harry." It is the only way you find any rhythm. The "dump off," may not be a big gain, but they may miss a tackle or make a mistake, and you continue to make them line up to diagnose a weakness and find a spark.

Accountability

If we are holding players accountable for performance, the same goes for coaches. That was a horrific game plan by Martz. Mike had his hands full with shuffling offensive lineman, but going in, this game begged for the running game to be tapped. Play action would have been set up and the Bears could have been off to the races at 4-0.

It will be interesting next week in Carolina to see what the Bears unveil. Martz will be making the trip to the principal's office and we'll see if he makes the necessary adjustments.

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.

Bears announce additions to John Fox's coaching staff

Bears announce additions to John Fox's coaching staff

The Bears announced Monday several additions to John Fox's coaching staff in 2017.

Roy Anderson has been hired as the assistant defensive backs coach, Curtis Modkins has been named the new running backs coach and Jeremiah Washburn is the new offensive line coach. The team also announced that outside linebackers coach Clint Hurtt's contract was not renewed.

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

Anderson was the assistant defensive backs coach for the San Francisco 49ers last season, and spent his previous seven years with the Indianapolis Colts (2012-15) and Baltimore Ravens (2009-11). He replaces Sam Garnes.

Modkins has 22 years of coaching experience, and also spent the 2016 season with the 49ers as the team's offensive coordinator. His previous stops include the Detroit Lions (2013-15), Buffalo Bills (2010-12), Arizona Cardinals (2009) and Kansas City Chiefs (2008). Modkins replaces Stan Drayton.

Washburn served as the Miami Dolphins assistant offensive line coach last season, and spent his previous 14 years with the Lions (2009-15), Ravens (2003-08) and Carolina Panthers (2002). He replaces Dave Magazu.

Kiper: Deshaun Watson would be a stretch at No. 3 for Bears

Kiper: Deshaun Watson would be a stretch at No. 3 for Bears

If you haven't heard, the Bears are in the market for a quarterback.

It's no surprise that finding a long-term solution at the position will be at the top of GM Ryan Pace's to-do list as it's likely Jay Cutler has played his last game in a Bears uniform.

The Bears have a bevy options this offseason as they're saddled with the No. 3 selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, and have over $54 million of salary cap space — before roster cuts and an added $8 million in roll over money.

Having the 3rd overall pick, the opportunity is going to present itself for the Bears to nab one of the draft's top quarterbacks or add to their young defensive core with a player like Alabama defensive end Jonathan Allen (who ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. has the Bears selecting in his latest mock draft) or LSU's Jamal Adams (Kiper Jr. also has him as a possibility for the Bears).

If quarterback is the choice, that's where the real debate begins.

The 2017 draft marks one of the rare years where there isn't a consensus No. 1 quarterback. The four signal-callers likely to hear there name called within the first two rounds are UNC's Mitch Trubisky, Clemson's Deshaun Watson, Notre Dame's DeShone Kizer and Texas Tech's Patrick Mahomes.

Who comes off the board first? That may change 100 times between now and Thursday, April 27.

Despite only starting one year at Chapel Hill, Trubisky has the strongest case to be the first quarterback taken. Trubisky threw for 3,748 yards and 30 touchdowns and added 308 yards on the ground and five rushing scores in his first full year as a starter in 2016.

If the Bears have their eyes set on Trubisky, they may have to pull off a trade as Kiper Jr. doesn't see the former Tar Heel lasting to the third pick. In his conference call on Thursday, Kiper Jr. said it's Trubisky's dream to play for his hometown Cleveland Browns, and sees him in play for both the Browns at No. 1 and the San Francisco 49ers at No. 2.

Would the Bears pull the trigger on Watson if Trubisky is off the board? Kiper Jr. believes Watson would be a stretch for the Bears at No. 3 and right now he sees Watson as a fit with the Buffalo Bills at No. 10. Kiper Jr. had a second-round grade on Watson before he shined on the big stage in the College Football Playoff. Watson's stock catapulted back into the first-round mix after he torched Alabama for 463 yards and four touchdowns en route to leading Clemson to a National Championship.

By selecting a defensive player at No. 3, the Bears could still have the opportunity to draft their quarterback of the future in the second round. Kiper Jr. believes both Mahomes and Kizer will be available on Day 2 where the Bears hold the 36th overall selection in the draft.

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

What happens if the Bears don't come away with one of the draft's top quarterbacks? They could look toward free agency or the trade market.

The downfall of the free agent market is that the best available option is former Tampa Bay Bay Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon — he hasn't started a game in almost three years. You can cross Kirk Cousins off the wish list because there's a better chance of Brett Favre coming out of retirement and leading the Browns to a Super Bowl in 2017 than the Washington Redskins letting Cousins walk in free agency. The Bears also could elect to bring back two of their own unrestricted free agents in Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley, but neither would provide an ample long-term fixture at the position.

One of the most intriguing players available on the trade market is New England Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. The connection between him and the Bears runs deep as Garoppolo starred at Rolling Meadows High School in the Chicagoland area and played his college football at Eastern Illinois — the same alma mater as Pace — before he was selected by the Patriots in the second-round of the 2014 NFL Draft. In limited snaps backing up future Hall of Famer Tom Brady, Garoppolo has shown potential to be an above-average NFL quarterback, but unless the Patriots step down from their rumored asking price of a 2017 first-round pick and more, trading away the No. 3 pick would be too high of a price for the Bears to pay.

The Bears could explore the possibility of trading for Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo to serve as a stopgap and help groom a young quarterback, but bringing in the veteran Romo — just four starts since 2014 due to various injuries — would be a lateral move, and the Bears would likely be better off keeping Cutler for another season.

With less than two months until the start of free agency on March 9, we'll finally get our first clue then as to which direction the Bears will go at quarterback this offseason.