Tuesday, September 13, 2011
BBAO: Bears make use of tight ends
By Kevin Seifert
We're Black and Blue All Over:
The Chicago Bears disappointed many of their fans and confused many of the players in their locker room when they traded tight end Greg Olsen just before training camp. But as Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune points out, Sunday's season-opening victory over the Atlanta Falcons provided a good explanation for the move.
Olsen's replacements, Kellen Davis and Matt Spaeth, lined up next to each other on a number of running plays to seal the edge. There were also some occasions when the Bears used an unbalanced line that essentially made the tight end a left tackle.
Olsen is a strong pass-catcher but an average blocker. Using him in the kind of role Davis and Spaeth played Sunday isn't the best utilization of his talents. You could argue the Bears could have adjusted their scheme to make better use of Olsen's skills. But if they weren't going to do that, it appears they have two tight ends who are better suited for the role that Bears tight ends will be asked to play.
Continuing around the NFC North:
- Bears cornerback Charles Tillman now has 25 forced fumbles since 2003, the most among NFL cornerbacks. Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com has more.
- The Bears' opening schedule, which includes the New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers, doesn't appear as daunting as once believed, writes Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times.
- The Detroit Lions' motivation to beat the Kansas City Chiefs isn't likely to come from defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham's history with the team, writes Chris McCosky of the Detroit News.
- The Lions' meeting following Sunday's victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was "intense," defensive end Cliff Avril said, according to Philip Zaroo of Mlive.com. Coach Jim Schwartz was furious about a number of mental errors in the game.
- Lions receiver Calvin Johnson was a deep safety on the team's final play Sunday, notes Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press.
- Based on video review, Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com credited Minnesota Vikings left tackle Charlie Johnson with allowing five quarterback pressures Sunday against the San Diego Chargers.
- More than quarterback Donovan McNabb is to blame for the Vikings' offensive woes, writes Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
- The Vikings' offense was "alarmingly inept and bland," writes Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune.
- The Green Bay Packers won't have a cakewalk in the NFC North, writes Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
- The Packers are finally on a normal regular-season schedule, writes Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.