Biggs: 10 thoughts on Bears' win over Giants
“Can they fine you for talking about replacement refs?” he said.
Ramses Barden, who earlier had caught an 11-yard touchdown pass on him.
“I can’t sit here and complain, and whine about calls every time an official gets the wrong call,” Tillman said. “I just need to go out there and continue to play.”
He acknowledged that Manning was working on him a lot.
“It’s preseason,” Tillman said. “I’d rather get all my bad games out now. I’m OK though. It’s not about what they did, it was really all me. It’s not about Eli, it was me. I didn’t play well today. That goes on me. It’s really just going back to the fundamentals. I blame myself tonight, totally my fault, nobody else’s. It’s not about Eli, 13 (Barden), coaching, it was me. I didn’t play well.”
It was pointed out Tillman has been through a lot of preseason games in his career.
“Yeah, 40 bull(bleep) extra games in my career,” he said. “Well, that was the 39th. Sorry, Cleveland will be 40. I’ve been keeping track.”
Not very well. That was actually his 40th preseason game. Tillman forgot the fifth preseason game played in 2005 when the Bears were in the Hall of Fame Game against the Dolphins. He was told he was getting old to be forgetting such facts. He laughed, sort of.
5. Ryan Quigley showed up to Bourbonnais like every other camp leg in the NFL. He was just hoping to get noticed. By someone. There is so little turnover for kickers and punters that it’s difficult for rookies to break in and most have to bounce around before they get an opportunity. It’s too early to tell if his is coming with the Bears but Adam Podlesh’s left hip flexor injury has been a serious concern as secondary doctors have been asked to review MRI’s of his injury. It could be Podlesh will be sidelined for some time and the best-case scenario is he is ready to go in a couple weeks.
Quigley did enough against the Giants to ensure he gets another audition Thursday night at Cleveland. He landed three of his seven punts inside the 20-yard line, struck the ball with good hang time and allowed the Giants only six total yards in punt returns. His net average was 37.4 yards on seven kicks.
“I always think back to when I was 10 years old, if you would’ve told me I’d be doing this, I would say ‘no way,’” Quigley said. “It’s a dream come true, it was awesome to be out there, I wish we didn’t have the blocked punt, but that’s something we’ll get fixed. Great coverage by my teammates, and Pat Mannelly. When you have the best long snapper in the league in front of you, it makes it easy. It was good.”
The blocked punt was the fault of Harvey Unga, who missed a block on the right side of the line. Quigley says he can also work to get the ball off more quickly.
It still wouldn’t be a surprise if the Bears explore what else is available but Quigley did what he had to: He got noticed. He’s done enough to remain in consideration and that isn’t always easy because special teams coordinators don’t rest as well at night if they have untested rookie specialists in regular-season games. Veterans provide a certain element of comfort.
6. Jason Campbell looked sharp in the second half in leading the offense to 10 points on three drives. The only possession that didn’t produce points was one that started on the Bears’ 7-yard line. He had command of the offense and threw a nice 12-yard pass to Joe Anderson for the game-winning touchdown. Campbell finished 12 of 19 for 101 yards. There weren’t any big shots downfield but he was poised in the pocket and worked well with the backups.
It was such a clear departure from the days of Caleb Hanie, who is battling to stick with the Denver Broncos as a reserve. Hanie sparked excitement in preseason with the Bears -- it’s how he stuck around for four seasons. But he did so making athletic plays, scrambling and throwing on the run. Avoiding a pressure and completing a pass on a wild play. Campbell stood in the pocket with authority and ran the offense with a smooth presence. That’s the biggest difference between the two.
7. You don’t have to wait for offensive coordinator Mike Tice to talk on Monday to know he’s likely to bring up the lack of a running game as a concern. But keep in mind the team didn’t run it particularly well last preseason before the club had a 2,000-yard season, the first since 1990. Matt Forte carried 21 times for 81 yards in exhibition play last summer and had a long of just 14 yards. The ground game will come around and you saw a glimpse of it when he got on the perimeter for two runs in the third quarter that totaled 35 yards. It’s a legitimate concern but the timing and the consistency and the commitment to running the ball comes in the regular season. If they can’t run it the first few weeks, then there will be reason for concern.
8. It was vintage Julius Peppers when he shot out of his stance and nailed Giants wide receiver Domenik Hixon in the backfield for a 13-yard loss on an end around in the first quarter. It was the kind of freakish instinctual play you are accustomed to seeing Peppers make after watching him for two seasons in a Bears uniform. But the pass rush as a whole has left plenty of room for improvement, especially when you consider the Bears will face Aaron Rodgers in Week 2 at Lambeau Field. They’ve got to dial up the pressure.
9. Giants rookie running back David Wilson looked terrific against the Bears’ starting defense, carrying five times for 49 yards and catching two passes for another 26 yards. He’s got a real burst, runs with nice leverage and as the Bears found out, he’s not easy to tackle. The run defense could be the greatest concern for this defense, especially if middle linebacker Brian Urlacher misses time in the regular season. There was some downright sloppy play going on.
10. Scouts from 11 NFL teams were represented in the press box for the game, with the Packers the only NFC North foe represented. The other teams in attendance were Baltimore, Buffalo, Carolina, Dallas, Indianapolis, Miami, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Tampa Bay. The Colts, Cowboys, Dolphins, Ravens and Steelers have been to all three Bears’ preseason games. The Toronto Argonauts of the CFL have also been to all three games and the Montreal Alouettes were also represented at this game by former Bears front office assistant Jeremy Snyder.
10 a. While final cuts are due Friday night, teams can begin forming eight-man practice squads at 11 a.m. on Sept. 1.
10 b. Did you notice J’Marcus Webb getting help vs. Osi Umenyiora? Yes, some game planning went into this. On one play, wide receiver Earl Bennett helped block the defensive end.
10 c. Quarterback Jay Cutler was off and a lot of his throws seemed to sail high. He wasn’t happy with dropped passes by Earl Bennett (would have been a touchdown) and Alshon Jeffery, but Cutler was not accurate and even misfired on some passes that were completed. He just wasn’t on target.
10 d. The NFL likes to have its regular-season games played in three-hour windows so they are packaged best for television. Good luck with that goal if replacement officials are in play. They might be getting more and more training but it’s impossible not to wonder about some of the calls. All it’s going to take is one very bad call in a regular-season game by a member of a replacement crew for this storm to get wild.
10 e. Matt Forte’s 103 receptions over the last two seasons lead the Bears. Don’t look for that to happen again, not with the new toys on offense.
“He is not going to get as many catches,” Jay Cutler said. “I think that is fair to say. We would want to limit that. We have so many guys outside. There are going to be times when we get some coverages that are favorable for him but more importantly we have to get him going in the running game. That is his bread and butter and that is what he is good at and that is what we have to focus on.”
10 f. Would love to cover a preseason game that is played in the afternoon one of these years.