Well the Chicago Bears first preseason game against the Denver Broncos was rough to say the least, no one can really say they had their best game. I digress however, this is the first of three player reviews I promised in my preseason preview article (click here), the frustrating Jekyll and Hyde performance from Corey Wootton.
On the first Broncos drive Wootton displayed on the most part poor pad level, an awful push and was mostly bested by Ryan Clady LT of the Broncos, mostly in single coverage. What becomes apparent on the tape very quickly is that if Wootton doesn’t get a sniff that he is winning the battle within the first 2 seconds, he will flat out give up on the play, something that most on the line on the first series were guilty of I will add.
In the 3rd play of the opening drive the d-line as a unit got good pressure on all sides forcing Peyton Manning to very nearly (should have been) get picked off. On run plays something that was evident all day from numerous Bears Wootton seemed to have no interest in the play what so ever, which frankly again aggravated me intensely, he will never be a starter displaying that sort of Liaise Faire attitude on plays.
As the drive continued deeper into Bears territory Wootton drew a holding penalty getting a nice push, on the next play forced Manning to throw the ball off to his running back, it was nice to see, this hard work was undone on 3rd and 17 were again poor pad level, caused no push or pressure, combined with poor secondary coverage allowed a 19yard 3rd down completion and conversion.
This again offset itself were a great push and pressure on Manning, forced the QB to throw the ball off quickly, CB DJ Moore combined on a nice play with SS Major Wright for a great interception.
The second drive was a much better effort all round by the Bears, Wootton was moved over to LE and combined with DT Henry Melton to cause all manner of issues on the right side of the Broncos O-Line.
In the 3rd Broncos drive of the half Wootton again showed his good and bad sides, when single covered again he caused issues on the right side of the o-line, on 3 occasions straight he forced Caleb Hanie QB to ferret his way out of pocket to avoid sacks, however and it really seems like the story of the evening, Wootton was then double covered, what wasn’t his fault was the lack of push from everyone else on the d-line, what was his fault was the complete disinterest he showed on every subsequent play, culminating in him giving barely any effort on his second to last effort before being pulled for the evening for rookie Shea McClellin DE.
What I saw was this, flashes of a player with the potential to cause real issues for any o-line, put he certainly doesn’t offer the same effort or motor the McClellin does, and in the long run, McClellin has the frame to beef up, the intelligence to learn moves to best his opponent and get to the QB, subsequently unless Wootton is prepared to give 110% on ever down every rep he can get, he will slide to the bottom of the depth chart by mid-season if not sooner.