As promised my first half notes and observations from the Chicago Bears second preseason game against the Washington Redskins are here for your viewing pleasure. This piece takes on more a live blog type of format. Tomorrow I will break down the entire game, and do a complete review of the defense that looks at specific plays and players from the game.
On the first defensive stand the run defense looked shoddy on the first couple of plays; I was beginning to think it would be a repeat of the Denver Broncos game. It only really took the Bears two plays to grow into the game though.
Henry Melton got great pressure the rest of this series, drew a holding penalty, and put the rookie QB Robert Griffin III under a lot of pressure along with the rest of the line, the pressure up the middle was good after the first 2 plays.
Shea McClellin DE gets a nice push on the nickel package that sees Israel Idonije push to the inside; McClellin forces RGIII to step straight up into the waiting arms of Idonije, between them they completely collapse the right side of the Redskins offensive line.
In a piece earlier today I pointed to the importance of Melton consistently getting push up the middle, not just in flashes as he has done previously, it is clear Melton brought his best today, he caused havoc up the middle again on the second defensive stand of the half.
Bears Tackling was much better today Tim Jennings and Chris Conte especially were just stoning people (Conte later left the game with a shoulder injury).
Questionable run defence, missed tackles by Nick Roach and Lance Briggs allow the opportunity for the Redskins to roll out a play action play, which would have been successful had RGIII not overthrown his man.
When Julius Peppers was double covered he caused all kinds of problems on the Left side. On one such occassion it allowed Major Wright a clear line of sight at the QB on a delayed safety blitz. This pressure forces RGIII off balance, Idonije comes in with the strip sack, Peppers claimed the fumble recovery, exactly what we Bears fans want to see.
Idonije, Matt Toeaina and Melton all played their part making sure the pressure up the middle was pretty much constant, with Peppers on the field Melton looks a completely different player.
Brandon Hardin misses a tackle on special teams, yet again, so far I am massively unimpressed with this guy, I just don’t see what the Bears do, his tackling angles are dreadful. (*worth noting that Adam Podlesh limped off the field with a hip injury on this play that should never have got any further than Hardin).
McClellin makes a spin move to the inside, which allows RGIII a lane to escape for a 3rd down conversion. It was a rookie mistake, other than this McClellin had a solid half, it’s another thing for him to see on tape and learn from.
All in all, a great building block for the Bears to spring board from, Rod Marinelli DC will be fuming with some of the tackles no doubt, but this game has served its purpose, lots of tape to view as well as a solid effort from most players, others such as Hardin are yet to make even the slightest impressionon me.