Enough with the Play Calling
From Mark Potash’s column in the Sun-Times:
The other issue on Cutler’s second interception was Trestman’s play-call itself. Why not run on third-and-one? Matt Forte had gained 62 yards on 14 carries to that point, though he had been stopped for no gain on the previous play.
“Most of the time we do, but we have to have some balance to what we’re doing,” Trestman said. “And the fact that it was a two-down situation gave us an opportunity to get a big play, and we’re going to take an aggressive approach at times.”
Nothing is more tiring in the NFL than fans and media criticizing play calling after the fact. If Cutler throws the football away, nobody complains. If he gets the yard with his legs, the play is an absolute afterthought. If he completes the pass, HEAVEN PRAISED TRESTMAN IS GENIUS!
Play calling is the single most overrated element of football games. When runs don’t work, people want passes. When passes don’t work, people want runs. Now all of a sudden the Bears should run on short-yardage when the number one criticism of Matt Forte’s career has been his inability to get first downs in short yardage AND the Bears are without their starting center and left guard?
You know why offensive – and never defensive – play calling are often the most criticized elements of football games? Because it is the element of the game the casual fan and media member believe they can do. Spoiler alert: they can’t.
I prefer to exit the realm of the hypothetical and put the blame where it belongs: on the guy who threw the ball to a defensive lineman.
High Ankle Sprains for Slauson, Garza
From Rich Campbell, via PFT:
Center Roberto Garza and left guard Matt Slauson both suffered ankle injuries during the loss to the Bills and Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune reports that further examination has led both men to be diagnosed with high ankle sprains. Such injuries typically keep players out of the lineup for multiple weeks.
I wrote when the Bears signed Brian de la Puente it would only be a matter of time before he replaced Roberto Garza as the starting center. Why? He’s a better player. He was the Bears best offensive lineman Sunday (even according to my friends at PFF!) and a significant upgrade over Garza. I don’t expect him to leave the starting lineup after Sunday night.
BLAME THE DEFENSE?
Blaming the defense for Sunday’s loss to Buffalo is insane. The Bears allowed 360 total yards and 20 points – 3 in the second half. And understanding it is way too early to start looking at rankings, that would put them 14th in yardage allowed and 15th in points allowed through one week.
Isn’t that exactly what EVERYBODY asked for coming into the season? A middle of the road performance?
ON THE MEDIA AND THE NFL
Mike Sielski at Philly.com writes a wonderful piece about the landscape of the modern media when it comes to sports and scandal. (CLICK HERE to read the entire piece.) The conclusion follows:
The easy part of the Ray Rice story is the condemnation. Practically everyone involved deserves some. Rice himself, of course. The Atlantic County prosecutors, who allowed Rice to skate out of jail time with a plea bargain that placed him in an intervention program. Goodell and the NFL, who in initially suspending Rice for just two games had displayed moral callousness with respect to Rice’s actions and a profound ignorance of how the public would react to so feeble a punishment. The Ravens, who chose to defend Rice as a man of good character until they had no recourse but to cut ties with him.
But it’s worth remembering something: Each of them would have escaped the same degree of condemnation, or maybe any at all, if those nobodies at TMZ hadn’t gotten their hands on that video, and these days, they’re probably the only ones who could have.
Read the article if only for the wonderful references to one of my five favorite movies of all time, All the President’s Men.