It was a pretty bad week for the Chicago Bears. Actually, its been a pretty bad month for the Bears while losing four consecutive games in excrutiating fashion. If you thought the loss to Denver was a horrific loss, yesterdays loss to Seattle stings even more because of no improvement or productivity after four weeks from the quarterback position. I wanted to break down two key plays from the game that at this point in Caleb Hanies career, he should know better. One will be done for todays blog and the other tomorrow due to length in order to break down properly. I cannot speak for how Hanie is coached or what is communicated to improve Hanies higher education and knowledge of defenses or his own effort when working his craft to become a better quarterback. I just know what I know from my experiences and great coaching during my career.
I would first like to preface for CSN viewers that each offensive play is its own entity which should be approached as such by every quarterback. There is a processchecklist every quarterback must go through or should go through once the play is received in the huddle. The neurotransmitters in your head better be firing at all times thinking about personnel, down and distance, or which opponent is substituting for clues (i.e. nickel, dime, regular defense). The quarterback should communicate any helpful reminders or heads up to any teammates in the huddle about the particular play called. If the quarterback is worried about a certain defensive look or blitz, he should let his teammates know to be prepared for it. It is what film study is for to prepare for these situations. Its also why quarterbacks get paid the big bucks because the quarterback runs the show!
The two plays I will break down are the two interceptions by Hanie that were returned for touchdowns. Both mistakes were all on Hanie, but it will give you a window into the processchecklist he should have been going through.
Looking for Clues
The first play call was, West Right Fake Counter 37 Bootleg Naked Right (How it was called when I was with the Bears). Let the thinking begin: 2nd and 7 ball on the Bears 28 yard line.
1. It was Detroit personnel deployed by the Bears, which means two tight ends for your knowledge and higher learning as well. West Right just means Matt Spaeth lines up just outside Kellen Davis one yard off the ball with Flanker (Z) split out to the right and the Split End (X) split out to the left. The lone running back seven yards deep behind the quarterback.
2. Detroit personnel will normally bring regular defense (For Seattle purposes, their Regular Defense = 4-3 defense. I.E. four defensive lineman, three linebackers, and four defensive backs) or Detroit personnel may force a defense to go to a 4-4 look (Four defensive lineman and four linebackers) if opponent is concerned about physically matching up. Minimum, the quarterback should know the defense most likely is going to rotate a safety down into the box because they are out-manned if both tight ends are attached to the line of scrimmage. It is just COMMON SENSE the defense will rotate a safety down. The threat is against the RUN, so why have two safeties back in coverage?
There are no hints to communicate to your teammates on this particular play in the huddle. It was all on Hanie.
Again, the huddle call is: West Right Fake Counter 37 Bootleg Naked Right...On ONE...On One... Ready Break!"
When Hanie gets under center it does not give him or any other quarterback the authority to stop thinking. Start getting clues when going through cadence.
Start your Cadence...RED EIGHTEEN...
1. It was press coverage by both Seattle corners on the 'Z' and 'X'. Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner were both up and solely looking at the receivers faced up eying them down. Hanie should know already it is man-to-man coverage. These are man-to-man techniques being displayed and both Sherman and Browners demeanor is telling the quarterback as much.
2. As Hanie continues his cadence, he should have noticed the strong safety rotating down to the two tight end side. The SS also displayed man-to-man techniques eying Spaeth and he even followed Spaeth at the snap of the ball by going backside with the fake to stay on Spaeth.
3. Hanie should have also noticed the strong side linebacker on the line of scrimmage during his cadence.
This was a buyer beware situation for Hanie! The strong side linebacker was not showing blitz with his back leg kicked back like he was going to blitz, but it is called a Bootleg Naked for a reason (Naked = you are exposed)! The quarterback is responsible for the end man on the line of scrimmage, which was the strong side linebacker who blitzed. Hanie could have gotten one more clue when the ball was snapped while pulling away from center. PEEK OVER THERE! THAT WAS YOUR ONLY THREAT ON THIS PARTICULAR PLAY!
Minimum Hanie should have gotten depth (straight back) after the fake rather than coming flat (toward the sideline) out of the fake the way he did. It just proved to me Hanie did not have a clue. Depth would have given Hanie separation from the backer allowing him to get the ball off to Davis or minimum to throw the ball away. I personally would liked to have seen Hanie abort the fake altogether getting depth as fast as he could, but that would blow a gasket right now for Hanie with what he is going through. You have to always be thinking at the position of quarterback or you dont have a chance of starting in the NFL. I thought that was Hanies goal when he took over the role? My advice for him is to learn his craft. It is one thing to say it, but quite another to learn and apply it. When one can apply under pressure is when you really earn the big bucks! You have to be constantly thinking to even have a chance.
Check back tomorrow as I will break down Hanies other pick six vs. blitz zone. As CSNChicago.com's John 'Moon' Mullin wrote about not blaming Jerry Angelo for signing Sam Hurd, I think the same methodology applies here for Hanie. If quarterbacks coach Shane Day and offensive coordinator Mike Martz are not teaching Hanie these core principles then shame on the Bears, but I just find that hard to believe.