Rich Campbell at the Chicago Tribune reads my mind on the problems that the Bears have had defending the run:
“Dating to last season, we’ve heard coach Marc Trestman, defensive coordinator Mel Tucker and various players refer to problems stopping the run as ‘correctable.’ Yet those familiar issues—missed run fits, overlapped run fits, poor tackling—surfaced against the Bills.”
I have, for the most part, stood by Tucker. But the time is coming when these issues do indeed become corrected or I, and probably Trestman with me, am going to have to conclude that he can’t correct them. Far too often what Tucker appears to be teaching apparently isn’t being translated on to the field. Ultimately that’s where its at when it comes to coaching.
Campbell thinks that the Bears may use Matt Forte to run the ball more this Sunday:
“The 49ers, this weekend’s opponent, surrendered 118 yards on 22 carries in Week 1 to Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray.
“‘The Cowboys did a nice job (on a) variety of runs,’ Bears offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer said. ‘They ran outside zone plays. They ran an abundance of formations. They changed the formation, they motioned, they shifted, and the outside zone was good for them in that game. DeMarco Murray made some guys miss … and made some plays on his own.'”
Hub Arkush at the Chicago Sun-Times sees eye-to-eye with me on the Bears game Sunday:
“The Bears don’t match up well with the Niners on either side of the ball and they have the extra challenge of the high San Fran will be on opening their new stadium. This one hurts a bit as the Bears get whipped.”
This is an awful matchup for the Bears at their most vulnerable time. They’re facing exactly the kind of powerful defense with a lot of strength up front that gave them trouble last year. They probably wouldn’t have beaten the 49ers even with Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall. Without them this is going to be hard to watch.
Former Bears and current WSCR radio host Patrick Mannelly on what it feels like to be behind the mic after a Bears loss. Via Dan Wiederer at the Chicago Tribune
“‘I really want to experience a win from this side,’ Mannelly said. ‘Because then I want to get on the show and hear from everybody how great the Bears are and how they beat a Super Bowl favorite and how Jay’s the greatest quarterback ever.
“‘That’s what I can’t wait for.'”
Mannelly might be waiting a while for that. The calls come after the losses, not after the wins in the same way that the networks never broadcast good news. Its human nature. I don’t understand it but it is.
But thinking that the fans aren’t happy because there aren’t as many calls would be a mistake. Many if not most fans watch the game, win or lose, because they’re football fans. But they still want to see them win. Hopefully Mannelly will realize that they’re pleased. Just not as vocal.
Kromer on the difference in the offense without Jeffery and Marshall. From Campbell:
“‘Obviously, there are times when you feel like an Alshon Jeffery or Brandon Marshall is a mismatch against certain people, and so you’re moving them around to try to get them the ball. When they’re not in there, you may be just calling more plays in general to beat coverages or defenses, as opposed to having a primary receiver that you’re trying to get it to.'”
Not exactly quarterback Jay Cutler‘s strength. He’s got quite a challenge ahead of him.
Rick Telander isn’t always my cup of tea and I frequently do no more than scan his columns. But some times he just nails it.
One Final Thought
Wiederer quotes linebacker Lance Briggs:
“While the veteran linebacker said the outside criticism ‘doesn’t bother me at all,’ he does have added motivation. ‘This week,’ he declared, ‘is about proving people wrong.'”
No one would love to see that more than I would. If this team has any shot at all of beating the 49ers, they’re going to need him. That and a lot of help from the 49ers, themselves.