Bears-Eagles Pregame Quotes & Notes

Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz on wide receiver Earl Bennett:

“He does everything very well. What Earl has that people don’t realize until they play him is that he has real speed. He made so many key plays in key situations for us last year.”

“I call [Bennett] Mr. Third-down, and it’s almost a foregone conclusion that the ball’s going to be a completion – it’s good to have him back.”

Bennett’s return cannot be downplayed when you consider the comfort level Cutler has with his former Commodore teammate.  Earl’s presence will give Jay an extra reliable target, who can line up anywhere on the field, especially in the slot – where he thrives.

I believe quick reads and progressions have to made against a talented Eagles pass rush – they get to your in a hurry off the edge.  With that said, a couple of short tosses to Bennett could not only get his confidence and feel for the game flowing, but also keep the Philly defense on their heels, thus cooling off the heat that Cutler is likely to see consistently throughout the game.

I want to see how the Birds tackle in the open field, so let’s get the ball to the receivers in space and force one-on-one situations with our athletes.  Be the aggressor and attack with speed.

Bye week advantage: The Bears have won four of their last five contests following a week of rest under head coach Lovie Smith.

It’s essential that the Bears get off to a fast start and make the Eagles adjust to them – not the other way around.  Coming off of a Bye, the offense should have its first offensive drive primed for success.  Set the tempo, run Forte, and identify areas where the Philly defense can be exploited.  It would be nice to see creative play-calling on first down or in second and short.  It’s time to start going to work on offense.  No more playing scared and being limited.  Time to elevate the level of play and distinguish ourselves as a playoff-caliber club.

Clearly, the offensive line can be a major positive if they get their groove going by allowing them to run block similar to the Tampa game.  Let them bruise up the undersized front-seven.  Smash run plays and play-action bootlegs could be a nice pair up.  Show them the strong-side run and them mix it up with a boot the other way.

I believe with an extra week of preparation and Bennett the offense can get you 24+ points.  Yards will be there, so it will be interesting to see how crisp the red zone offense performs against a savvy secondary.  I want to see how much work the coaching staff put in during the week and if the sound execution is where it should be.  You can’t leave points on the board in this one.

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