Bears focused on Eagles offense, not just Vick

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Bears focused on Eagles offense, not just Vick

Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2010
9:15 AM

By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com

Forget about Michael Vick for a minute. The Bears have some major, serious issues to deal with Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles and not all of them involve Vick.

For all of the attention paid to Vicks emergence as an NFL passer, the Eagles are No. 3 in, not passing yards, but rushing yards, with more than 150 per game. The bad news is that this is not the Atlanta Falcons of earlier this decade when Vick was a huge component of the rushing offense and was supplanting Bobby Douglass and Fran Tarkenton as the running-est quarterback in NFL annals.

The really bad news is that Vick doesnt have to be what he was in Atlanta. LeSean McCoy is averaging 5.0 yards per carry and has 6 touchdowns. Vick has 375 yards and 5 TDs rushing, but thats through 10 games, McCoy is tied for 16th in pass receptions with 51 and Jeremy Maclin has 47, of which 7 were for touchdowns. DeSean Jackson is averaging 19.8 yards per reception and has 5 touchdowns.

The point isnt to just rattle of names and numbers. Its that this Philadelphia team has substantially more firepower than the ones that Donovan McNabb directed to multiple wins over the Bears.

Vick may be the most electric player in the NFL right now with the ball in his hands. The real story, however, is whats happening now that hes mastering the art of getting the ball out of his hands. And the Bears know it.

Weve played Michael Vick before, Lovie Smith said. Hes a great player. We normally do what we do with our defense. We dont normally change up what we do. We believe in our defense and its set up to play. We give him all the respect in the world. Our guys are expected about playing against him, but its not only him. Its more than Michael Vick. Its the Philly offense. They have good skill guys over there.

More bad news

Even worse, no team is really even close to the Eagles plus-15 turnover ratio (the Bears are up the track at plus-3). Thats fully 50 percent better than the plus-10 of Pittsburgh and Atlanta.

Worse still is that Philadelphias 19 interceptions, a big bulge on a passel of teams, including the Bears, with 15. But only Minnesota, Carolina and the New York Giants have thrown more than the Bears 15 picks, although only 10 of those were thrown by Jay Cutler.

Watch list

If some of the faces look familiar in the upcoming Thanksgiving Play 60 video spot with the NFL and United way, they should. Israel Idonije and members of the Bears Rookie Club (Levi Horn, Joshua Moore, Averell Spicer, Barry Turner, JMarcus Webb, Corey Wootton, Major Wright, Harvey Unga) joined a number of other NFL players to send the message of get on the bus and get involved in Play 60 activities. The Bears segment was filmed with kids from the Chicago Youth Center.

Good news

Michael Vick is on the cover of the latest Sports Illustrated, and a portrait, not just an action shot. A good jinx may be just what the Bears need.

And they have game film of the Eagles against the Washington Redskins and New York Giants. Both beat the Bears and both were beaten by Vick and the Eagles, so there were lessons to be learned, more or less.

In that Washington game, it looked like he was jogging and the Redskins were running, but their angles were all messed up, which tells me hes at a different speed, said linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa, laughing. Thats not fair... I watched the Washington game and thatll give you nightmares: How are you going to stop this guy?

The good thing is that hes one person and were 11 defenders and we feel like we match up well and know not to do some of the silly things that the Giants did. When youre in the game it can happen but I dont see us losing contain the way the Giants did.

John "Moon" Mullin is CSNChicago.com's Bears Insider, and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.

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.

[SHOP: Get your Bears gear right here]
 
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: