BIRKETT ON PRESEASON FOOTBALL
Dave Birkett of the Free Press wrote a perfect column outlining the meaninglessness of preseason football. Here’s the first few paragraphs
Between forced season ticket buys, unwatchable second halves and pointless season-altering injuries, there are few redeeming qualities to preseason football.
But the worst part about the exhibition exercise that the NFL puts its 32 teams through four or, in some cases, five times a year is the overreaction that comes with every game.
Sure, that happens in the regular season, too. That’s the nature of our instant-gratification society.
But you don’t need to be the 2008 Preseason Champion Detroit Lions to know which games matter and which games don’t.
KEVIN WHITE’S MINDSET
Adam Jahns with quotes from Cutler:
As for White’s drop, Cutler sounded almost happy it happened. Such plays lead to more dialogue between him and the second-year receiver.
‘‘He handles it well,’’ Cutler said. ‘‘He’s always the first guy to blame himself, no matter what the situation is, so I just try to keep him positive and keep him going. There’s no point or real time for us to dwell on it. We have to move on, and he does that well.’’
BIGGS ON GROUPING
Brad Biggs is still the gold standard. From his latest:
I charted the personnel formations for the three series starting quarterback Jay Cutler had. There were a total of 27 snaps from three different personnel groupings:
12 snaps with 11 personnel (called Posse by former Tribune contributor Matt Bowen) – 1 running back, 1 tight end, 3 wide receivers
11 snaps with 12 personnel (called Ace by Bowen) – 1 running back, 2 tight ends, 2 wide receivers
4 snaps with 21 personnel (called Regular by Bowen) – 2 running backs, 1 tight end, 2 wide receivers
What stands out most to me is the nearly even divide between three-wide personnel and double tight end personnel. The Bears ran 198 snaps with two tight ends on the field last season and they were actually very effective throwing out of that grouping as they completed 42 of 57 passes (73.7 percent) for 576 yards with a 116.0 rating. They spent the first half of the year not really utilizing Zach Miller in that role and then Martellus Bennett had hurt ribs and feelings in the second half of the season.
This might be interesting to watch Thursday night. The Loggains offense certainly looks like it will be incorporating some Shanahan-style zone blocking runs but might we also be looking at a heavy load of two tight ends?
ACTUAL JOHN MCCLAIN HEADLINE
Bears open season with Houston.