NFL Preseason Week 1 Notes: Chicago Bears at Carolina Panthers

  • QB Jay Cutler’s footwork hasn’t changed – still terrible.
  • QB Cam Newton’s mechanics are still pretty solid. Compact throwing motion that zips the ball out.
  • QB Newton has a tendency to let his hand slide under the ball causing it to end up high of it’s intended target.
  • CAR WR Brandon LaFell looks like a viable #2 WR. Route running is better and reacts more decisively vs. coverages.
  • CAR WR Armanti Edwards looks sharper in and out of cuts. Still seems anxious going over the middle.
  • CHI DT Stephen Paea is getting off the ball quickly and with force. Getting quick penetration early.
  • CHI rookie LB Khaseem Greene played well. He is always around the ball and can really shoot the gap with speed and force.
  • CAR LB Kuechly is incredibly instinctive. Plays fast sideline to sideline. Ballhawk. Smooth dropping into coverage and plays strong vs. the run.
  • QB Newton’s INT: Read man coverage correctly, but missed the “spy” in the middle of the field. LB Bostic read Cam’s eyes and slipped underneath the slant route that Cam stared down. Athletic play to catch the ball back across his body and then to run in for a pick-6.
  • Cam will see a lot of that type of rover in the middle of the field due to his athleticism. He will need to constantly identify that player in coverage/spying before throwing to the middle.
  • Both teams’ DL getting consistent penetration – QBs are having to make quick decisions
  • CAR backup QB Derek Anderson threw 4 balls that were easy interceptions – 3 were dropped.
  • CHI backup QB Josh McCown is adopting Cutler’s bad habits. Footwork has deteriorated from previous years. Resemblance to Cutler is uncanny, save the throwing ability.
  • Under a new coach, the Bears’ defense hasn’t changed. Still zone based and they attack the ball with force/physicality. Always trying to strip or knock the ball loose.
  • Both OLs seem to struggle off and on. Carolina’s is clearly stronger. Bears’ OL has improved from last year but had trouble with the first team DL of the Panthers.
  • The young CAR CBs were better than expected. Safety is still a concern but if CAR sticks to mainly cover 2 schemes, it will lessen the impact.
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