Bears

15 on 12: Don't blame the coaches, Hanie should know better

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15 on 12: Don't blame the coaches, Hanie should know better

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...
Clues like:
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.

RED EIGHTEEN"...

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!

SET HUT"...

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.

Power Rankings Roundup: People are pretty apathetic about losing to the Patriots

Power Rankings Roundup: People are pretty apathetic about losing to the Patriots

While the notion of a "good loss" is more coachspeak than anything of real substance, it looks like NFL media agree. 

After a close loss to the Patriots -- about three feet close, to be exact -- Power Rankings makers aren't blaming the Bears too much. In fact, shoutout to our mothership, Big NBC Sports, for actually *raising* the Bears in their latest rankings. Thanks guys! 

Here's what they're saying: 

Ours: #17, down 4 -
You can do worse than barely losing to the Patriots, but what on earth has happened to Chicago's defense?

NBCSports: #10, up 1 - 
Bears went toe-to-toe with the Patriots and made it to the later rounds before taking one on the chin. No shame in that.

NFL.com: #11, N/A - 
The opportunities were there for the Bears, who took it to the Patriots in the first half Sunday. The second half was a different story, as Chicago was stuck in catch-up mode.

Washington Post: #16, down 1 - 
The Bears came up a yard shy of a tying TD on the Hail Mary against the Patriots. This was a far less egregious loss than falling to Brock Osweiler and the Dolphins a week earlier. But it was still a loss.

ESPN: #13, down 1 - 
Need more from: RB Jordan Howard. Howard is averaging only 3.46 yards per rush, which ranks 41st out of 47 qualifying running backs. Bears running backs as a whole rank 30th with 1.45 yards after contact per rush, and Mitchell Trubisky has led the team in rushing in two of the past three games.

Sports Illustrated: #18, N/A - 
The Bears were 3-1 before starting a four-game tour of the AFC East. They need to take care of business against the Jets and Bills to keep pace in a tough NFC North.

Sporting News: #16, down 1 - 
Mitchell Trubisky and the offense have become a fun, unpredictable and mostly explosive roller-coaster ride, but the defense is showing it has plenty of leaks behind Khalil Mack.

FanSided: #17, down 2 - 
Mitchell Trubisky and those special teams were a disaster on Sunday.

Bleacher Report: #15, N/A - 
The problem is the Bears also have five tough divisional games remaining, including two with the Vikings. A date with the Rams also looms. However, if the Bears take care of business in the first four games mentioned, they will need to go just 3-3 in their remaining six matchups to go 10-6 and (presumably) make the playoffs.

Fantasy Football: 15 players to target on your waiver wire

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Fantasy Football: 15 players to target on your waiver wire

We've crossed the halfway mark in the regular season for most Fantasy Football leagues, so it's officially crunch time.

As we get ready to make a push for the stretch run and with Bye Weeks in full gear, the waiver wire has never been more important in 2018.

If Nick Chubb is available in your league still, change that immediately. But considering he should've been scooped up in every league after Carlos Hyde was traded away from Cleveland Friday, we're more focused on guys who should be available and worth spending your free agent budget on.

Here are 15 guys worth targeting on the waiver wire:

1. Kenjon Barner, RB, NE

It appears Sony Michel has avoided serious injury, but he still will probably miss at least Week 8 and possibly longer. James White will see a larger role without Michel, but Barner suddenly goes from a guy not even worth sniffing at in Fantasy to a must-own. As soon as Michel left the game, Barner entered and tallied 10 rushes against the Bears defense. If you're desperate for a running back in Week 8, Barner might be a good add as he has a fantastic matchup against a Bills defense that just allowed 219 rushing yards to the Colts.

2. Chris Ivory, RB, BUF

LeSean McCoy was forced to leave the Week 7 contest with a concussion, opening the door for a decent game for Ivory (126 total yards on 19 touches). If McCoy continues to miss time, Ivory is the clear beneficiary, though it's not a great matchup in Week 8 against the Pats.

3. Danny Amendola, WR, MIA

It's been a while since Amendola was anything more than a tease in Fantasy Football, but the soon-to-be-33-year-old has had back-to-back good games while building a good rapport with Brock Osweiler. Amendola has hauled in 143 yards and a tuddie on 14 catches (18 targets) the last two weeks and while he is banged up, he practiced in a limited capacity Monday. If he can suit up Thursday, he should be the Dolphins' top target as both Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson are expected to miss that contest with their own injuries.

4. Raheem Mostert, RB, SF

Matt Breida and Alfred Morris owners must hate this guy, but Mostert has emerged from complete irrelevance to lead the Niners backfield the last two weeks. The 26-year-old has 23 touches the last two games while Morris has tallied just 9 touches (all in Week 7) and Breida has racked up 19 touches as he works through a bunch of injuries, including an ankle issue. It will be tough to predict how this situation will play out this week, but Mostert has been the only Niners back worth starting recently and this group of RBs now has the best matchup of the week against the woeful Cardinals defense. Mostert at least deserves to be owned, even if you're not comfortable starting him at the moment.

5/6. Jalen Richard/Doug Martin, RB, OAK

With Marshawn Lynch on IR, Richard and Martin should be owned in all formats just for the sheer possibility of a heavy workload. However, both are questionable Fantasy starts for Week 8 — even coming off a Bye. Richard should be the call in PPR leagues while Martin figures to eat up most of Lynch's carries. 

7. Tyrell Williams, WR, LAC

Williams is owned in hardly any league, but he's racked up 236 receiving yards and 3 TDs the last two weeks. He's not getting a heavy workload (only 8 targets in that span), but the Chargers love throwing deep to this guy and it's paid off in back-to-back weeks. Williams isn't close to being a safe bet as his value is completely contigent upon whether he catchs a deep bomb or not, but you could do a lot worse in your Fantasy lineups.

8. Martavis Bryant, WR, OAK

With Amari Cooper now in Dallas, somebody's gotta catch balls for Jon Gruden's Raiders. There's no guarantee that's Bryant, but he's slated to start Week 8 and he has the talent and resume to be at least a servicable Fantasy player the rest of the season.

9. Donte Moncrief, WR, JAC

The good: In 3 of the last 4 weeks, Moncrief has tallied at least 5 catches and 76 yards. The bad: In the other week during that stretch, he did not record a single catch on 3 targets. So there's clearly some risk here, especially considering the state of the Jags passing offense and QB situation. But Moncrief may be worth a pickup and start in Week 8 if you're desperate, as the Eagles have given up some of the most Fantasy points to opposing WRs. 

10. Kelvin Benjamin, WR, BUF

Benjamin was drafted in most leagues but was unable to post as many as 10 Fantasy points in even full-point PPR leagues until Week 7, and that was a modest 11-point total. Nobody blames you if you've given up on Benjamin, but he finally topped 3 catches and 50 yards in Week 7 and has a rapport with Derek Anderson from their time in Carolina. 

11. Trenton Cannon, RB, NYJ

Who? Cannon is owned in 0.0 percent of Fantasy leagues, which makes sense given he had a grand total of 2 Fantasy points entering Week 7. But when Bilal Powell left the game with a neck injury, it was Cannon that stepped up with 69 receiving yards on 4 catches while Isaiah Crowell still handled rushing duties. If Powell misses time in Week 8 or beyond (neck issues are no joke), Cannon is the main beneficiary in the passing game and should be rostered in all PPR leagues.

12. Chris Herndon, TE, NYJ

The Jets' fourth-round pick from this spring is another no-name in the Fantasy world, but that's quickly changing after back-to-back weeks with a TD. Herndon has clearly become the top tight end for fellow rookie Sam Darnold, seeing 7 targets last week and hauling in 4 of those catches for 42 yards. If you're desperate for a TE or you're in a dynasty league, target Herndon now. 

13. DeVante Parker, WR, MIA

Parker has been worth absolutely nothing in Fantasy this year, finding his way out of the lineup on a weekly basis. But he's worth a speculative add in case he's traded by next week — like he wants — and he also receives a boost for Week 8 by default, as the other Dolphins wideouts are all banged up and Parker essentially has to play.

14. Jakeem Grant, WR, MIA

Notice a trend here? We're all-in on South Beach receivers this week. Same logic applies because of injuries to Stills and Wilson, but obviously all of Parker, Grant and Amendola will not be worth a Fantasy start in Week 8. This is still Osweiler and the Dolphins we're talking about. But Grant is fun with his gamechanging speed and has at least contributed in every single week of the season so far even before he's become an increased part of the gameplan, so his floor isn't "0" like Parker's or some of the other WR options on the market.

15. Colts D/ST

We can't end this without a defense/special teams unit, right? The Colts gave up at least 31 points for 3 straight games from Week 4 through 6, but they absolutely dominated the Bills last week and now draw a Raiders team that just lost its two best offensive playmakers over the last 10 days. There is no better D/ST to stream out there than the Colts, and they're available in more than half of leagues.

Bonus: Rishard Matthews, WR, NYJ

Matthews is reportedly signing with the Jets, who need some WR help. Matthews quit on the Titans earlier this season after they completely went away from him in the gameplan, but this is a guy that racked up 1,740 yards and 13 TDs from 2016-17. He's worth an add in all leagues just for the potential.