By: Steve Picciano (Twitter: @RandomGrenades)
Pre-Season Analysis: Bears @ Cardinals (Week 2)
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Notes on Chicago
Mike Glennon continued to play with the 1st team.
Inconsistent decision making.
Can “thread the needle” with arm strength, but sometimes forced bad throws into tight spaces.
Needs to learn how to throw the ball away.
INT: Made correct read to WR Kendall Wright on Out route, but threw to the inside shoulder which allowed DB to jump it.
Has a tendency to sometimes stare down targets, thereby allowing DBs to adjust their focus.
Lacks ideal pocket mobility.
Mitchell Trubisky played with the 2nd team.
Seemed very decisive with throws.
Was sometimes off-target on easy throws (too low, too wide, etc.)
Decent pocket mobility, but not a QB for designed runs.
Had tendency to hold the ball too long if primary reads were covered.
Opening set included Meredith & White in 2 WR sets and Wright in 3 WR sets.
Meredith appears to be the true outside WR.
Showed good timing with Glennon. Was overthrown twice, including once in the RZ.
Ended with 2 rec on 4 targets for 26 yards.
I expect Meredith to pick up from his breakout 2016 season.
White appears to still be learning the offense.
Ran limited routes.
May be used to create mismatches on quick-Slant routes, but probably not to the effect that owners are hoping for.
Ended with 2 rec on 3 targets for 2 yards.
Wright appears in good form running from the Slot.
Maintains the quick in & out breaks that he displayed with the Titans.
Had good timing with Glennon.
Ended with 2 rec on 3 targets for 9 yards and 1 TD (would’ve had 2 TD if first RZ attempt from Glennon had been thrown on-target).
Victor Cruz and Markus Wheaton did not play.
The re-emergence of Kendall Wright could be making either Cruz or Wheaton expendable.
Tarik Cohen got the start and played the first half.
Cohen displayed incredible quickness and acceleration once he hit a gap.
Very patient, one-cut runner who should excel in this Zone-read offense.
Looked comfortable running from Iso or Power formations.
Was not targeted in the passing game, but could be very dangerous in space.
Lacks the ideal body-type for true “bell cow” work, but may force the Bears to use him in a 50-50 time share with Jordan Howard, who lacks the speed to be a homerun threat.
Kadeem Carey mixed with the 1st team and got the bulk of work with the 2nd team.
Dion Sims played the most snaps with the 1st team.
In-line “Y” position. Primary blocker, but also ran designed routes.
Looked smooth when running routes or releasing after blocks were complete.
Could be a viable RZ target.
Zach Miller served as the “move” TE in 21 personnel sets.
Continues to be a target for possession work, but could see a reduced role if targets are spread around.
Adam Shaheen played with the 2nd & 3rd teams.
Looked very raw with his blocking duties and was beaten by defenders on the edge.
Looked more comfortable running routes and secured his only target for 9 yards.
I do not expect Shaheen to see work with the starters to begin the year, barring injury to Sims or Miller.
Notes on Arizona
Carson Palmer looked healthy and played multiple series.
Seemed to hold the ball too long on some plays.
He missed seeing open targets underneath in favor of throwing to deeper targets with less success.
HC Arians indicated that they want Palmer to get the ball out quicker to avoid hits.
Drew Stanton did not look sharp as the 2nd team QB compared to newly signed Blaine Gabbert, who showed better accuracy and more mobility.
Larry Fitzgerald saw limited action by design.
JJ Nelson and Jaron Brown were in most 2 WR sets.
Nelson looked good and in-time with Palmer.
Durability remains a concern due to his lack of size.
Ja. Brown was likely filling in for John Brown who is dealing with a quad injury.
Jeremy Ross served as the primary WR3 and played into the 2nd half.
Chris Hubert saw extended work in the 2nd half and was heavily used with 4 rec for 44 yards on 10 targets.
He is another undersized WR at 5’9”, 170 lbs.
Rookie Chad Williams saw action with the 2nd team, but only had 1 rec on 4 targets.
Williams still appears to be working on his route running and timing.
I would not expect the Cards to force him onto the field until he’s ready.
Krishawn Hogan only saw late action, but looked to be a good route runner.
His size will make it tempting for the Cards to keep him around. Perhaps on the practice squad.
David Johnson saw limited work by design.
Chris Johnson was the RB2.
He looked as though he’s lost a step when trying to get around the edge, but was still very effective in pass protection.
Andre Ellington was the RB3 and played into the 2nd half.
He was less effective in the running game, but had some nice receptions.
If T.J. Logan returns from his wrist injury, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him replace both CJ2K and Ellington as the 3rd-down RB.
Jermaine Gresham served as the primary TE, from both an in-line and “move” standpoint.
Looked to be more involved in the passing game. Even though he was only targeted once, he was running more designed routes than in previous years.
I stand by my earlier analysis that he should be a late TE pick-up in FF, especially if Arians presses Palmer to release the ball quicker.
Troy Niklas worked in 2 TE sets, mainly as a blocker.
Had 1 rec on 1 target for 11 yards, but was not a primary route runner.