Bears on Offense: Forte's Double Cut
At the snap, Cutler turns and hands the ball to Forte running up the middle left in the 2-hole with Olsen the lead blocker. The offensive linemen all block left. Defensive ends Robaire Smith and Kenyon Coleman are stood up by tackles Orlando Pace and Chris Williams, while C Olin Kreutz locks up NT Shaun Rogers. RG Roberto Garza puts a shoulder into Rogers, knocking the big defensive linemen to the ground, then he gets to the second level to pick up LB David Bowens. On the backside, TE Desmond Clark stands up LB Jason Trusnik. Forte starts the play left, then cuts right at the line behind Garza. Francies comes to fill the gap, but Forte makes a second cut behind Clark. Francies gets caught in the middle, and Forte sprints to the pylon for a touchdown.
This play was well blocked in the fact that all defenders were locked up by linemen. The problem was the inability of the play-side blockers to get any push up front, forcing Forte to cut back to the weak side. Even with every man accounted for, there were no holes where the play was designed to go. Both Garza and Clark made great plays on the back side, but had they not, this play would have gone for a loss. So far, the offensive line is showing hardly any improvement after seven games, which is troublesome going forward. What isn't troublesome, though, is Forte's natural ability. This play demonstrated the field vision and lateral movement that make him one of the most solid backs in the league. Had he any blocking in front of him, the sky would be the limit.
Bears on Defense: Anderson's Trifecta
At the snap, Roach and Hillenmeyer blitz. Anderson drops back to pass as Heiden and both receivers release downfield. DE Mark Anderson flies right past LT Joe Thomas and has his hand on the QB less than two seconds after the snap. The Browns signal caller gets the ball away, though, but it is a wobbly pass down the left sideline. Tillman breaks away from the receiver and dives to make the interception. He then uses a nifty spin move to avoid a tackler and scampers 21 yards behind a wall of blockers for the touchdown.
During this offensive series, which started at the 1-yard line, Cleveland ran the ball twice up the middle for no gain and then threw this interception. On first and second down, Anderson stepped right around Thomas and flew down the line, nearly stopping RB Jamal Lewis in the end zone for a safety both times. Then on this play, Anderson doesn't even allow the blocker to get his hands on him. The result is immediate pressure, which forces the turnover and resulting touchdown. This three-play series alone showed more from Anderson than the past two seasons combined. We can attribute this to either Anderson finally realizing his potential or defensive line coach Rod Marinelli getting the most from a talented player. Either way, if Anderson continues to play like this, Chicago won't be forced to break the bank trying to re-sign Ogunleye this offseason. Additionally, if Marinelli is this good of a coach, what are the possibilities for newly-acquired DE Gaines Adams?
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Jeremy Stoltz is the editor-in-chief of The Business Ledger, the business newspaper for suburban Chicago. He is a regular contributor to Bear Report and BearReport.com.
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