Audibles From the Long Snapper

| December 28th, 2010

Mannelly Gets Contract Extension

The man who gave birth to the name of this column has signed a two-year extension to stay with the Bears and we here at DaBearsBlog would like to congratulate him.  I don’t think the story itself is all that interesting but the possible subtext might be.  Brad Biggs wonders whether Danieal Manning, Olin Kreutz and Anthony Adams are next and two of those players – Adams and Manning – are specific favorites of Lovie Smith.  Does allowing Jerry Angelo to sign them to extensions mean the organization has already made the decision that this current regime is coming back for at least another season, if not more?  It would seem to me that getting these deals done now means the McCaskey family has put their stamp of approval on the 2010 campaign.
Pompei Says Bears Were Not in Lovie Deuce All Day
From his column in today’s Tribune:
In the aftermath of the Bears allowing 34 points and 269 passing yards in their victory over the Jets on Sunday, many fingers were pointed at the Cover-2 defense.
It’s true the Bears gave up some yardage playing Cover-2, including Mark Sanchez‘s 23-yard touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes. But the Bears played more safety up and Cover-1 than they have most of the season.
A review of the tape shows the Bears were playing something other than a true two-deep alignment on 54 percent of the Jets’ snaps. They played a lot of single safety high, and the Jets completed many passes on slant routes against that alignment.
In the fourth quarter, the Bears used even less Cover-2 than the rest of the game, appearing to call for it on only six plays. One of the plays was Chris Harris’ victory-sealing interception.

I don’t know what defensive systems the Bears were running from play to play but I’ll take Pompei’s word for it.  I will say, concretely, that whatever system they were in failed for most of the game and the Bears were susceptible to the same plays (tight end in the seam, mid-range slant routes) that they have been susceptible to for the duration of Lovie Smith’s tenure as head coach of the Chicago Bears.

What’s Still There For the Bears?
This time of the NFL season is downright confusing often so here’s the basic rundown for the Bears.  (1) The Bears clinch the #2 seed with a win Sunday or if the Eagles lose one of their two games over the next six days.  (2) The Bears clinch the #1 seed if they beat the Packers and John Fox’s Panthers beat the Falcons (not likely).  (3) If the Bears lose Sunday and the Eagles win out, the Pack will be headed to Soldier Field the following week for the Wild Card round.