X and O Show vs. Browns

JS goes to the film room once again to break down one offensive and one defensive play from Thursday's preseason finale against the Cleveland Browns.

Offense: Hanie to Knox

First quarter. 2nd and 6 at the Cleveland 19-yard line. The Bears line up in a strong-right, two-receiver set. QB Caleb Hanie is under center with RB Kahlil Bell and FB Will Ta'ufo'ou in pro set behind him. WR Earl Bennett is split left with WR Johnny Knox in the slot. The Browns counter with a base 4-3. CB Buster Skrine is heads up on Knox, a yard across from the receiver. CB James Dockery is six yards across from Bennett. Before the snap, Bennett motions inside until he's just a few yards to Knox's left. Dockery shadows the receiver, indicating man coverage.

At the snap, Hanie drops back to pass. OLB Archie Donald blitzes up the right side. RT Gabe Carimi picks him up and drives him inside. Ta'ufo'ou chips on the linebacker and Carimi drives him into the ground. The rest of the defensive line is picked up well. At the same time, Knox runs a flag pattern and creates immediate separation out of his break toward the back corner of the end zone. As Knox make his break, LB Benjamin Jacobs comes through the middle on a delayed blitz, yet Hanie stands in the pocket and delivers the throw. As Knox reaches the end zone, S DeAngelo Smith slides over the top and makes a play on the ball, yet he comes in too shallow and wipes Skrine out of the play. It's a perfect pass that Knox catches over his shoulder in the back left corner of the end zone for a touchdown.

Hanie's throw on this play was picture perfect, which shows the type of talent he has. His mistakes are always of the mental variety. He'll turn into a solid NFL quarterback if he ever becomes consistent in his decision-making. Even on this play, he fails to take into account the safety over the top. If Smith had taken the proper angle, it's likely he intercepts the pass. Against a starting defense, I'm not sure that play is completed. As it was though, Hanie was able to drop in a beautiful pass and earn the offense its first and only touchdown pass of the preseason.


S Anthony Walters
Dennis Wierzbicki/US Presswire

Defense: Goal-line stop

Third quarter. 4th and goal at the Chicago 2-yard line. The Browns line up in a goal-line set with three tight ends. QB Seneca Wallace is under center with fullbacks Owen Marecic and Tyler Clutts split in the backfield. The Bears counter with their goal-line package. All but four players are up on the line of scrimmage, including DE Nick Reed and CB Joshua Moore on the left edge. S Winston Venable is in the box, just behind Reed. Before the snap, Clutts motions left until he is across from Moore.

At the snap, Wallace turns and hands the ball to Marecic running off-tackle left. Clutts tries to kick out Moore but the cornerback holds his ground and leverages his way inside. At the same time, two players double team Reed, yet the defender never allows himself to get pushed back. This creates a pile at the point of attack, forcing the runner to bounce the play outside. Venable meets Marecic at the line of scrimmage and rocks him backward. S Anthony Walters then comes in and takes down the runner, finishing off the play for no gain.

The Bears actually had to replay this down after Moore was called offsides but the defense did a number of good things on this play. Moore and Reed both do a great job holding their ground and creating a mess of bodies at the point of attack. Venable and Walters both shadow the runner well and are right where they need to be when Marecic bounces it outside. Like he did all night, Venable laid a wicked hit on the runner, stopping him in his tracks. He may have earned himself a place on the practice squad with his performance. The same goes for Walters. And Reed, who was outstanding all evening, may have played his way onto the 53-man roster.

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Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.


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