8:31 AM CDT, August 29, 2013
I read that Cleveland’s first-stringers will sit out Thursday night’s scrimmage against the Bears, and I’m wondering, since when do the Browns have first-stringers?
Moving right along, Marc Trestman will sit out his starters in the full-priced scrimmage as well, so it would seem there’s not much to see.
But the situation presents an interesting look at the new Bears coach’s play-calling and his scheme.
Trestman’s version of the West Coast offense is quarterback-friendly up and down and across the field no matter who’s quarterbacking. Find the open target and get rid of the ball. Even a 2-yard pass works.
In other words: Do what you’re supposed to do, not what Jay Cutler sometimes does.
If a quarterback can be decisive and accurate, he can become Trestman’s new best friend, and Trestman has had some impressive and surprising new best friends.
He has worked successfully with great quarterbacks and also coaxed some big seasons out of stiffs, or at least some quarterbacks who hadn’t done much. I mean, just look:
Trestman made Rich Gannon an MVP in Oakland.
Scott Mitchell, that plodding mess, had a season in Detroit.
Jake Plummer, as ridiculously over-loved as Tony Romo back in the day, had a 3,700-yard season that improbably landed the Cardinals in the playoffs and even more improbably resulted in the franchise’s first postseason win in more than half a century.
Jake Plummer, do you hear me?
So, Jordan Palmer and Trent Edwards certainly fit the profile with which the quarterback whisperer is familiar.
They haven’t been with the Bears long, but they ought to get plenty of chances against the Browns to show they deserve to be in “the room,’’ as Trestman refers to the quarterbacks clubhouse.
Be decisive and accurate. And find Marquess Wilson. I love the game-breaking potential of the Bears’ late-round draft pick. He continues to make plays in the middle of the field.
The Bears need Wilson or someone to look like a third receiver instead of just a camp body because Earl Bennett is concussed and apparently trade bait. It seems impossible to trade a guy who often can’t be exposed to light. Together, it sounds unlikely the much-concussed Bennett will ever play for the Bears again.
That means Wilson has an opening. So do Joe Anderson and Eric Weems. Scary thing is, they all could make it. Scary because suddenly it’s clear how thin the Bears are at wide receiver -- thinner still when you think the worst about injured diva Brandon Marshall, and no one knows whether he’s more injured than diva.
Someone playing quarterback tonight will have to show a grasp of the offense and the ability to execute it. You’d hope so, anyway, because that’s the only way to evaluate not just the quarterbacks but the other receivers.
Josh McCown is the No. 2 quarterback, but he’s not Steve Young behind Joe Montana, and injuries and inefficiencies have a way of making trouble in the NFL. The third quarterback has a way of becoming important.
Maybe I’m looking too hard to find a reason to care about Thursday’s game, but that’s what happens when you’re still scarred by the Caleb Hanie experience.
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