Keeping Score: The Marshall Ratio that failed

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Keeping Score: The Marshall Ratio that failed

Danny Mac and Matt were off but The McNeil & Spiegel Show was still in session Thursday at 10 a.m. on WSCR-AM 670 The Score, this time with Ben Finfer and old buddy and Daily Herald colleague Barry Rozner sitting in.
MORE: Listen to Moon's segment from Thursday morning
Really nice of Ben to recall my early season thought that if Brandon Marshall caught 100 passes, the Bears playoff chances and offense would be in some trouble. But no, as I told Ben, Im not taking any bows; if you have seen some of my picks over the past 6-8 weeks, you dont ever gloat.
But the other reason was that the reality was there to see if anyone wanted to follow the breadcrumbs. Some teams flourish with a 100-catch receiver; New England has (although the Patriots havent won a Super Bowl with Wes Welker catching 100 passes), but that is a different scheme and the Patriots have multiple receivers with big numbers. And they were ranking in the top 10 rushing a lot of this season.
Finding Forte
But the Bears were successful with balance, the element that Mike Tice brought to Mike Martzs program the past two years. And if Marshall was getting that much of the offense, it quite likely meant that other receivers were not producing and, more important, the Bears had gotten away from Matt Forte, which they have, to no ones benefit.
Jay Cutler doesnt like to check down, so you wonder if at some psychological level he figures, why go short when he can pat the ball a second longer and Marshall should be gaining an advantage somewhere?
Safety concerns
On the other side of the ball Barry raised a concern over how the Bears fare against Detroit wideout Calvin Johnson with Chris Conte now down. Definitely a worry...Johnson is a worry even with Conte.
But anytime you dramatically alter what you do best, its you who are now in the position of needing to make the tough shot. So to start blitzing Matthew Stafford, even though the Detroit quarterback does not handle that well, is to potentially leave a safety newbie like Anthony Walters dealing with more of the field to worry about.
Johnson getting his yards and catches is not necessarily the problem; if you think the Bears offense is unsuccessful with the Marshall Ratio, Detroits with Johnson setting records is downright dysfunctional. Just do what you do best. Its usually been good enough to beat the Lions anyway.

Bears add another assistant coach to John Fox's staff

Bears add another assistant coach to John Fox's staff

John Fox and the Bears have added another assistant coach.

Zack Azzanni is leaving the University of Tennessee to become the Bears' new receivers coach.

Azzanni has been with Tennessee since 2013 as a receivers coach and passing game coordinator. Prior to that, he spent time at Wisconsin, Western Kentucky, Florida, Central Michigan and six seasons at Bowling Green.

Azzanni was on Urban Meyer's coaching staff at Bowling Green in 2001-02 and also coached Pittsburgh Steelers superstar receiver Antonio Brown at Central Michigan. Under Azzanni's tutelage at CMU from 2007-09, Brown totaled 305 receptions for 3,199 yards and 22 TDs, earning a sixth-round draft selection in 2010.

Curtis Johnson spent 2016 as his first season in the role of Bears' wide receivers coach, but announced he was leaving after the Senior Bowl to take a job with the New Orleans Saints.

It's unknown if Azzanni will get a chance to coach Alshon Jeffery (who is currently a free agent) but the incoming coach will have an important job in molding young receivers like Kevin White and Cameron Meredith.

The Bears also announced the additions of assistant coaches Brandon Staley and Derius Swinton II Wednesday morning:

Staley will replace Clint Hurtt as outside linebackers coach and Swinton will be the assistant special teams coach under Jeff Rodgers.

Swinton is reprising his role he held on the Bears coaching staff in 2015 before leaving to take a promotion with the San Francisco 49ers special teams. 

Hurtt left the Bears to take a position as the defensive line coach with the Seattle Seahawks. Staley spent last season as the defensive coordinator at Division-III John Carroll University, the alma mater of New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Hall of Fame coach Don Shula.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Will there be any takers for Bears QB Jay Cutler?

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SportsTalk Live Podcast: Will there be any takers for Bears QB Jay Cutler?

In the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast, Hub Arkush (670 The Score/Pro Football Weekly) and Brian Hedger (NHL.com) join Kap on the panel.

ESPN is reporting that the Bears have begun shopping Jay Cutler. Will there be any takers? 

Meanwhile, Jimmy Butler doesn’t think he’s going anywhere. Would that be a mistake?

Miguel Montero makes his peace with Joe Maddon but was this even a big deal? Sammy Sosa says he put Chicago on the map, and compares himself to Jesus. When he will the Cubs welcome him home?

Plus, Pat Boyle drops by to talk Blackhawks and the “Roly Poly Goalie” is looking for work all because he ate a pie.

Check out the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast right here: