Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Chicago Bears Reportedly Making A Huge Lineup Change Vs. Bucs

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After delivering a dud on opening weekend against the Green Bay Packers, it felt like the Chicago Bears had to shake things up ahead of a crucial Week 2 matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Things have already been wild this week. Defensive coordinator Alan Williams and right guard Nate Davis both stepped away from the team for personal reasons. Head coach Matt Eberflus will call plays on defense. It isn’t clear yet who will replace Davis in the starting lineup. Yet the changes don’t appear to have stopped there.

Tom Pelissero of NFL Network revealed on GameDay Morning that the Bears were making another tweak to their lineup. Running back D’Onta Foreman would be a healthy scratch for the game. That opens up an active roster spot for somebody else. The initial belief is it likely means wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown will make his regular season debut. However, there is another subplot to this move. It means rookie running back Roschon Johnson figures to see a bigger workload.

Johnson again showed his value to the Chicago Bears.

One of the biggest reasons they drafted the Texas product in the 4th round was his versatility. In addition to being a strong, decisive runner, he’s also a capable receiver out of the backfield and a dedicated pass protector. All of those qualities showed up against Green Bay. He ran five times for 20 yards, caught six passes for 35 yards, and made at least one quality block on a blitz pickup. Conversely, Foreman ran five times for 16 yards and caught two passes for eight yards. One player did more with his opportunities.

It’s also not a surprise the Chicago Bears went this route. Part of it is Johnson earning the opportunities. However, it is also about the matchup. Tampa Bay has one of the best run defenses in the NFL. Beating them on the ground is unlikely. That means the smart thing to do is give Justin Fields as many options in the passing game as possible. Johnson is better as a receiver and better at picking up blitzes. Tampa loves to blitz. This lineup change is perfectly logical.

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ManGod
Sep 17, 2023 12:03 pm

Line up change not helping. Watching the Bears at TB, the offense is putrid and J Fields looks lost, scared and miserable. The OL is non-existent in pass pro or the run game.

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