Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Epyon

Bears' Dirty Little Secret: They Can't Run Up the Middle

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Heinz D. said:

Isn't part of the problem that he simply calls those plays too often? It doesn't matter how good a play is, you simply can't be too predictable? 

It's only a problem when it doesn't work... But there in lies the rub, because it statistically just isn't working.... Which causes some of the games we've had the past two years where a journeyman qb like Biscuit is airing the ball out 40+ times a game to try and compensate. 

In the past, we compensated for the weaker run game with Forte being a stud in the screen game and "ran" the ball that way to give us some offensive variety.... Currently the only thing we seem capable of doing is trying to run outside stretch type plays and don't seem to have a real second option with the RBs which is unfortunate, because Monty feels like he should be better up the middle, and both Monty and Cohen can and probably should be getting more "forte-esque" check downs and screens for variety. Sadly our perimeter blocking with wrs/TEs is just as bad as our interior blocking up the middle. We simply need more ways to attack the defense and take pressure off the qb. 

Edited by Epyon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/23/2020 at 9:38 AM, Heinz D. said:

Isn't part of the problem that he simply calls those plays too often? It doesn't matter how good a play is, you simply can't be too predictable? 

No.  He has to call base set up plays.  Nothing works otherwise.  When base plays don’t work you are SOL. 
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, dll2000 said:

No.  He has to call base set up plays.  Nothing works otherwise.  When base plays don’t work you are SOL. 
 

Okay. You've got me. I legit don't understand. Is there a reason that particular play has to be a base play in Nagy's offense? Wouldn't (or couldn't) other sorts of runs also qualify? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Heinz D. said:

Okay. You've got me. I legit don't understand. Is there a reason that particular play has to be a base play in Nagy's offense? Wouldn't (or couldn't) other sorts of runs also qualify? 

You can.  Some teams like Rams run mostly off OZ.

In any offense you have to have a core of base plays. Then you have another set that looks like those plays to defense, but aren’t.  Jabs to set up big punches. 

If you’re base plays are ineffective it is really hard to land the big punches because nobody is overplaying the jab.   Hence, why Bears lack explosive plays.

Nagy likes to use IZ to set up RPOs and play action and jet sweep out of same look.  He hasn’t been able to run IZ effectively so nothing else works. 

I realize PFF currently says you can still run play action just as effectively without having an effective run game - that goes against conventional football wisdom. 

Perhaps, regardless, it still seems Bears can’t pull it off.  

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/22/2020 at 8:13 AM, dll2000 said:

Bears specifically have sucked running under Nagy because of their inability to run IZ.

1) Problem is Nagy like to run it with a wham or trap blocking TE responsible for EMLOS on one side or other.  I haven’t charted this play, but we miss that block A LOT more than we make it.  And the play is often ruined as a result.

2) Our guys often don’t climb or get beat.  On sooo many plays one guy just completely screws up and it ruins the play.  And that is all it takes.  One guy.    He gets swum, or blocks the wrong guy or never comes off his double or wrong guy climbs.  Or, and I am not kidding, falls down.  I have seen all this happen on IZ for Bears in last 2 years under Nagy.

It is infuriating.  

Is that on Nagy or is that on the OL coaching?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, G08 said:

Is that on Nagy or is that on the OL coaching?

Its on everyone.

Our OLmen as individuals are not that good. That’s on Pace.

Nagy never lets them get into a run rhythms. Daniels at C may not have been his idea, but he waited to pull the plug.

Some of the technique stuff and coaching last season was baffling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/23/2020 at 8:35 AM, dll2000 said:

IZ Lock is a term I am not familiar with.  I can guess what you mean though.

Zone is funny it is supposed to be this super simple concept that addresses stunts and all the different things a defense can do to screw up man blocking - and it is.

 But many coaches teach it differently with spacing and technique and steps and emphasis and their O lines look completely different.  Some really like the doubles, others don’t.  

My preference in both zone blocking and zone coverage on defense is I want man blocking or coverage.  We just use zone as a crutch in case they do something funky or to address stacked defenders or WRs for that matter.  

So in coverage I am technically in zone, but as soon as a man comes into my zone I am locked on him in man.   Saban calls it being ‘in phase’.  Standing in grass by yourself isn’t particularly helpful.

Same with blocking.  I am in zone in case a guy goes way over there.  No point in chasing him someone else is coming to replace him shortly. Otherwise I am locking on this dude who is closest to me and in my chest and calling a day.  To me the goal is always a hat on a hat.  I don’t want double teams and a zero team on another guy.  

The IZ "lock" (have heard other terms as well) is a variation used in almost all IZ zone schemes and is essentially a mix of both man and zone. In this variation, the only responsibilities both tackles have is to lock down the edge rushers and that's it-- hence the name "lock'-- without having to worry about disengaging after a certain amount of time or having to reach the second level. This is useful for lineman who have strong upper body strength with good footwork but lack in athleticism &/or have a VERY high acute knowledge in technique and the lock variation can help hide these deficiencies while also magnifying their strengths. 

The interior lineman on the other hand do the brunt of the work. They can be responsible for either single man blocking or zone, depending on the defensive formation/scheme--i.e usually against 4-3 it's going to man-man). A scenario against a base 3-4 on a designed run up the middle between 0 and 1 gap is where both guards and center are responsible for creating the lane long enough for the back to shoot through it and then either the center or one of the guards disengages and climbs to the seconds level. 

This is what was used alot in 2018 and would be ideal IMO because of this would hide the weaknesses and highlight the strengths. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read the SI article and my reaction is it's like telling me paint dries much slower in wet or humid weather.  I know.  That's why I wait for the weather to change before painting.

Forgetting all about the past (because it's history) in favor of focusing on the here and now my belief is Matt Nagy has a problem Matt Nagy needs to resolve and apparently his hiring of Bill Lazor and Juan Castillo are directed toward exactly that.  If his overall scheme requires an effective IZ game he either needs to put an effective one on the field or change his schemes to something that will work.  Seems to me the two main ingredients for this are talent and execution.  Do we have both?  Doesn't appear so does it?

While David Montgomery appears to be uniquely qualified to be a successful RB for an IZ scheme what about the OL?

I was quite interested in an interview Kyle Long did with his brother Chris regarding the Bears 2018 playoff run.  Kyle asked Chris if he believed that had we beaten Philly could we have made an extended playoff run all the way to the NFCC game and possibly the SB. Chris said no.  Our OL played too soft.  So no matter how we do things as far as blocking schemes and assignments it seems to me this is a fundamental issue that needs to be fixed.  Someone needs to take charge of getting those guys to play with bigger chips on their shoulders.

It's ancient history now but there was a reason the '80s Bears OL was called the Black and Blues Brothers or Bruise Brothers.

While Kyle Long was playing in his prime we at least seemed to have some of that both directly via his play and indirectly via his leadership.  He held his line mates accountable much like Olin Kruetz had before him.  In the '80s that came from Covert and Bortz both of whom were nasty *** SOBs on the field.  So all else aside whose our Kyle Long now?  Or out Olin Kruetz? Who do we have out of five starters whose willing to figuratively kick *** whenever the OL isn't getting the job done?  Whose gonna be Mr. McNasty because we seem to need one.

IMHO opinion until Pace, Nagy, and now Lazor and Castillo face down this problem Matt Nagy is gonna continue to have problems with his offense no matter who his QB and RBs are. It should have been apparent as early as the first game on the 2019 season that finesse blocking wasn't gonna work.  GB completely blew up our run game and our entire offense playing just 3 DL, 1 ILB, and 7 DBs for much of the game.  They were in our backfield more then we were because our OL got their butts kicked.  They got whipped constantly.

So we can all debate the various intricacies and details of zone blocking 'til doomsday but IMHO the first thing Juan Castillo needs to do is get his guys playing far more pissed off football than I've seen them play more recently.  Much like Olin Kruetz they aren't all that big so they're gonna need to learn how to be much tougher than whoever they're up against or we're gonna be looking at history repeating itself 'til Pace can rebuild his OL with some "street fighter" types instead of ballet dancers.  JMHO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  



×