Chicago Sun-Times

Five things I'll be looking at Monday night

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- On Monday, the Bears return to the site of the offense's ugliest and scariest game of the entire 2010 season.

The offense looked completely inept, with offensive coordinator Mike Martz dialing up play calls as if Jay Cutler had spit in his Cheerios that morning. The Bears' running backs averaged a healthy five yards per run, but they only got seven carries. Meanwhile, Cutler dropped back 21 times and got sacked an NFL record nine times.

The Bears defense played spectacular, allowing the Giants to only score a field goal in the first half, before things started to fall apart late in the third quarter of an eventual 17-3 loss.

As they return to the New Meadowlands, the Bears enter what should be a very intriguing preseason game. Here are five things I'm looking at:

1) Can Jay Cutler walk off the field in one piece?
Technically, he finished the first half, but he didn't return in the third quarter because of a concussion. It was as if Cutler and center Olin Kreutz were the only two players representing the Bears offense because Giant defenders were racing to see who could level him first. Because it is the second preseason game, Cutler and the starting offense should play significantly more than the opener. But if he makes only a cursory appearance, it would be hard not to view that as an indictment of the o-line and assurance that changes -- including the addition of a veteran -- are imminent. The unit, though, surely doesn't have any momentum; they looked dreadful in the last public practice of training camp.

2) Will Kellen Davis or Roy Williams please stand up?
Anyone who closely watches the team knows what Matt Forte, Devin Hester, Johnny Knox and Cutler are capable of. But the two new major additions to the starting lineup are Williams and Davis. The former hasn't really distinguished himself in the last week of practice but maybe he was waiting to "turn it on" for the game. And, to be fair, he barely played in the preseason opener. As for Davis, he's made a bunch of plays in practice, but he needs to show that huge target radius in a game, even if its only in the preseason.


3) What undrafted players are going to make some noise?
There's no question that the overall depth of the 2011 Bears is far superior to the 2010 team. That this club reached the NFC title game was largely aided it's tremendous fortune, in terms of health. The Bears have plenty of cap space to acquire a few more veterans, but they are very excited about a handful of undrafted rookies they have high hopes for. So players like defensive end Mario Addison, tight end Kyle Adams, receiver Kris Adams, linebacker Dom DeCicco and receiver Dane Sanzenbacher could really help themselves by standing out on special teams. The reality is, a player like DeCicco needs to have a big game, because the Bears are closely watching the linebacker market.

4) Can the Bears apply pressure on the Giants' quarterbacks?
The Giants have had a lot of turnover along the offensive line. And throughout training camp, I'm not sure there was a better -- more encouraging -- unit than the Bears' defensive line. But the final numbers against the Buffalo Bills wasn't overwhelming. Sure, the Bills made sure to get the ball out of Ryan Fitzpatrick's hand quickly. But, the Bears only had two sacks and three hurries, according to the game stats. The Bears defensive line needs to look more dominant against the Giants, especially veteran Vernon Gholston. He's shown flashes at camp, but he's neck-and-neck with the unheralded Addison. In returning to his home stadium (he played for the Jets), Gholston has all the motivation in the world to have a breakout game.

5) How will Caleb Hanie respond?
It's hard not to see the intent of the messages delivered from the Bears coaches to backup quarterback Caleb Hanie. But, by midweek, they were trying to assure and encourage him. Not surprisingly, Hanie had his strongest practices of training camp on Wednesday and Thursday, although Friday wasn't quite as sharp. Now, he needs to step up in a game. The Bears don't want to go get a veteran quarterback, and they want to keep developing and showcasing Hanie. The reality is, Hanie probably won't be a Bear in 2012, given their investment in Cutler, so the Bears would love to somehow get a draft pick for him. To do that, though, Hanie needs to limit the turnovers and show command of the offense.

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8 Comments

Five things I'll be looking for on Monday night.

1. Drunk easy hot chicks who like football.

2. Good cold beer that doesn't cost 12 dollars a bottle

3. Parking

4. A really good steak sandwich on good bread, and sweet potato fries.

5. Sean to explain this "What?! That's a serious charge! LOL RT @APClark05 my favorite bears writer, even though Green Bay is still in your heart!"

Oh Sean how could you? Now watch how I tie this to monday night football.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YVzFRGp_Lk

I know I'm good.

At the end of last season, everyone said that the Bears needed to fix the offense. Didn't Bears management get the memo? Is Jay going to have to run for his life? Hanie ran the ball in during the last game. That shouldn't be the only way the Bears can get a touchdown. Yikes!

Sean, you make 5 good points!

10 things to look for.

1) Return of the Honey Bears?
2) A scowling and detached QB named Cutler?
3) An Cohesive O line or not?
4) Emotion from Lovie?
5) Owners that spend more money (that they have) to get more NFL help for the O line from the existing free agents?
6) Who will start at DE this year beside Peppers?
7) Who will the starters be at DT?
8) Who will be the center this year how about Angelo?
9) Who can run faster the O line backward or the opposing D line forward?
10) Who will be gazing at the Stars while on their back? Cutler or Manning?

Go Bears!

The offensive line as a unit is definitely gonna be something I think everyone will be watching. Especially left tackle J'Marcus Webb and right guard Lance Louis, who will both basically be playing for their jobs. These guys need to show up tonight.

But, the race for that 3rd defensive end spot is gonna be something I'll be watching. I know Chicago has Corey Wootton, but I don't know if he's ever gonna be able to go 16 games? Someone else needs to step up. Will Vernon Gholston step up and establish himself? Is rookie Mario Addison the real deal? The first one of these two to make some plays will obviously have the edge. The Bears starters are set, it doesn't get better than Peppers, and Idonije is solid. But they need another end, especially someone that can consistently get to the quarterback. It could be rookie Mario Addison, he seems like the type that can get after the QB, but he needs to show something during a game to really make a name for himself. Same with Gholston, who has, to date, never really proved he can get to the QB on a consistent basis. I can see Gholston developing into a Idonije/Alex Brown type, a solid player off the edge, but nothing really special. The ceiling seems higher for rookie Mario Addison, who just seems to have more quickness and ability to be a pretty good edge rusher. Should be interesting GO BEARS!!

I'm going to be focused on depth at a few positions not mentioned by others so far, and that would be at Linebacker and Corner on hte defensive side of the ball. We are quite young and that's putting it kindly with our back-up at LB, and I think that with Bowman out we will get a long look at Corey Graham, Mike Holmes and Joshua Moore covering with the 1st and 2nd team defense during the game.

My concern here is injuries of course and hopefully finding a diamond in the rough playmaker that can help create the turnovers we need to get scoring opportunities for the offense.

Yes, The O-line will get most of the attention, then the receivers but these are other areas we need to address also......

Go BEARS !....Can we get a little payback against the G-men tonight !

Well we all know about the Sacks last year, and this has to be one of the most hyped preseason games in recent memory. But they will not get 9 sacks in a half, two of the starters from last years team are either gone or not playing Osi and Cofield and that's 4.5 sacks right there. Plus it's preseason they are not scheming the Bears they are not watching film, it's not the same situation as last year despite the hype. There is no chance they get 9 sacks in a half, if pressure comes they will go max protect at the drop of a hat, and start running the ball. Lovie is not going to allow seven step drops while his QB is getting killed again.

And speaking of running, last year the Giants ran over the Bears defense, the Giants racked up 189 yards rushing (5.9 avg.) for two touchdowns. So I would like to see the Bears defend the run better.

I would like to see the Bears special teams smoke the Giants who have struggled so far this preseason. Bears special teams did not have a great game last time, I owuld like to see them play better.

Carimi and Tuck is the only intresting O-line match for me, although I would like to see Austin play just cause we talked so much about him during the draft.

On defense I think Melton vs Snee is a matchup to watch and I would like to see more pressure from the Bears this week.

I think both teams secondaries have some questions so watching how each teams recievers do should provide some insight. Giants have some good recievers so that's a good test for the Bears secondary, and the Giant's secondary has some question marks so Bears recievers should be able to take advantage.


ahhh.....yes i remeber them sacks from the gmen last year...oohhh i still dream abot it.....justin tucks sack.....osi yumeirosas sack.....oh my.....hubba huubaa!

now eher was i? oy yes sean sorry but youre list is NOTHING camomperd to mine sense i am allways right ans i only give facts.

1.) Is everyone a buyst except for my preshiss little Jay Jay? YES!!!!!

2.) am i teh KING?? YES!!!!

4. are you looser jellous of how awsome I am sand showe i give FACTS? YES!!!!!

7. kevin ans BRADNO (ohhi hat tyaht BRANDO) do i needs t oSMACK you too around?? YES!!!

H.) do i rock ans roll atr madden on rookie mode>? YES!!!

but you duys now me old crapton. jsutying to be postaive...

ps "I will be outside Soilder Field in a hot pink panties that say spank me" so mak sure to bring teh family ans tel dem ole crap-ton sent ya! ;)

Well I think I did a pretty good job on my things to watch list.

Carimi did a great job against Tuck.

I didn't think they would get crazy pressure again and they didn't. However it seemed when they wanted to get pressure the Giants got to Cutler but Cutler did an excellent job with his hot reads and really helped the line out. Although the line did improve, this was not the same D-Line as last year Tuck being the only real threat.

I said right after the Bills game I was not sold on the Bears ability to run the ball, and after this game I am still not sold on it.

Watching the Bears secondary Wright had some problems out there, and the Bears safeties seemed to have some problems in general. The Giants also had a few to many open recievers early but Manning missed them, Cutler had the same problem except a few of the times "cough" Williams he was hitting guys in there hands.

Watching the Recievers vs. the Giants beat up secondary I was not impressed, mostly because of Roy Williams, Bennett still looks like the best reciever, and then Forte. Hester had a good half too.

The Bears O-Line did do a better job in pass protection Webb still had a few problems, but as I noted above in my previous post I wanted to see the Bears do a better job against the run and I did see them do a little better job but Jacobs was gutting them.

I thought both teams ran the screen well.

As for Snee vs. Melton ,I think it's safe to say that Snee had his way with him as Melton was uneffective. To be fare Snee is one of the best guards in football over the last three years. This basically tells me Melton is not an elite player at his point but it doesn't mean he can't be effective, he won't face Snee every night and the right side of the Giants line is elite.

I mentioned after the Bills game I wanted to see more pressure from the Bears front 4, and I sorta did, Peppers looked great, but given the fact that he was playing so well and nobody else stood out bothers me. I didn't see much pressure from anyone else.

A lot of people have talked about Davis, I can't say he really wowed me.

This is only for the first teams of the Giants and Bears.

Giants looked pretty good, Bears offense even with the improved pass blocking did not impress me. I would like to see the Bears with the ability to run inside and so far they can't. I would also like to see the Bears DT's step it up.

Cutler, Hester, Bennett, Peppers, Jennings Carimi, all stood out to me tonight.

Some may be wondering about Louis, he went against Joseph and did not impress me and Joseph is not very impressive so I really did not watch much of it but I know they didn't open up anything inside for the run and that would be one Louis's main jobs, he did get out on some screens though.

Oh almost forgot Special teams, I was really shocked at how bad the Bears special teams looked this week and how good the giants looked this week, I guess some of the new faces on the Bears don't want to make the team.

Oh Bears run game just got stuffed again on the Goal line. That is a signature of the Martz offense. Where is the run blocking tonight Tice?

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on August 21, 2011 12:29 PM.

Former Purdue TE Kyle Adams making strong impression was the previous entry in this blog.

Quick reads from Bears' 41-13 loss to Giants is the next entry in this blog.

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