Bears Notebook: Final thoughts on the Bears-Packers gameSeptember 26th, 2011 - 8:40 pm
One of the most fundamental skills taught to every kid who puts on a football uniform is how to run block. It’s amazing that a professional organization, one rich with tradition and one that seems unwilling to adapt to today’s pass-heavy philosophy, can’t assemble an offensive line that utilizes that skill.
To be fair, the team’s best run blocker, Gabe Carimi, missed the Packers game and will be out for a while with a knee injury. But one player can’t do it alone; it takes a gang of five to fail as miserably as the Bears did Sunday against Green Bay.
The Bears managed just 13 rushing yards, the third-lowest total in the franchise’s illustrious history. Every team has to be good at something in order to win games in this league and yet the Bears have been failing at both the run and the pass.
To really put into perspective how bad the run game was on Sunday, we can define Matt Forte’s output by a different unit of measurement than the standard yards per carry. In rushing for 72 inches (2 yards) on nine carries, Forte averaged eight inches per carry.
Part of offense’s struggles could stem from above the neck
It’s painfully obvious by now that the Bears lack the talent across the board to run any offense in the league, let alone Mike Martz’s complicated system. Could it be possible that “Mad Mike,” the genius scientist, is trying to teach quantum physics to third graders?
In a Sun-Times column last year, Devin Hester’s intelligence was called into question due to, among other things, a poor Wonderlic test at the NFL scouting combine and his difficulty learning where he was supposed to be on the field and what route he was required to run.
Martz came to his defense, but I’m not sure even he believed what he was saying on Hester’s behalf.
I wouldn’t even limit the discussion to Hester when it comes to the intelligence of the entire offense. In Sunday’s game, with the Bears operating out of the Wildcat, Hester was flagged for a false start. But even before he prematurely began the play, there were boos from the crowd because they all knew the play was destined for failure because the Bears have never once successfully run the formation since it became a fad a couple years ago.
Maybe Martz is just confusing his players with the volume of the playbook, the number of pre-snap shifts and motion, and the razor-thin margin for error when it comes to route running and precision timing. Instead of confusing the defense, it looks like he’s confusing his own players.
Hester doesn’t regret penalty
If you needed more incentive to wonder about Hester’s intelligence, try to understand why he drew a costly and untimely personal foul penalty for taking a swing at a defender in front of an official on a crucial drive. Even more perplexing is that he tried to rationalize his actions.
“I didn’t lose my cool; I just thought enough was enough,” Hester said regarding the incident. He pushed me going down the field. Then he pushed me again when I stopped. I pushed him back. He pushed me again, and I reacted.”
I wish Hester did lose his cool, because at least that would have made more sense. That would be considered a correctable mistake. You can’t correct behavior based on pride.
“I know this is a rivalry game and they’re going to do things like that,” Hester added. “But I don’t want to be the one that’s called a punk at the end of the day.”
Well, Hester, he got away with it and you drew a costly penalty. Who do you think won that battle?
Cutler’s patience with offense wearing thin
After the Bears’ second-straight loss in which the offense looked inept and the play calling was lopsided, Cutler appeared peeved during his postgame press conference.
When asked whether he called any audibles, Cutler’s answer was concise and perhaps was a not-so-subtle message to his offensive coordinator and head coach.
“I don’t audible, so no,” Cutler responded. “You’re going to have to ask someone else about that. I don’t do the game plan.”
He was then asked whether the Bears could win games with such a heavy pass-to-run ratio, to which he responded: “We are 0-2 doing this so it’s not looking very good.”
Clearly, Cutler is looking to get Forte involved in the game plan more to not only keep defenders from sitting on his head, but to also keep the offense less predictable and perhaps open up things down the field.
Chris Harris makes good on bet with Greg Jennings via Twitter
Apparently, Chris Harris and Packers receiver Greg Jennings had a wager with one another in which the loser would have to put the winner’s profile picture on their own Twitter account. At least, that’s what I gathered while reading a tweet exchange between Harris (@ChrisHarrisNFL) and Jennings (@GregJennings).
Jennings tweeted Monday afternoon: “Packers fam.Did u think I would let @ChrisHarrisNFL get away w/ this one? We will wait for his profile pic to be changed since we won lol.”
Jennings added: “Packers fans, please do me a favor & tweet @ChrisHarrisNFl’s account until he changes his pic. We’re not letting him get away w/this one lol.”
Harris replied: “@GregJennings I gotcha. Give me a second” followed by “@GregJennings it’s changed!”
The profile picture is of Jennings kneeling on the ground with the football with “#BeGreat” underneath it. The “G” in “Great” is the Packers’ logo.
Harris, however, changed the “#BeGreat” to “BEARS … Bear Down.”
Jennings’ response: “Even tho he didnt change it all the way,that was fun.Respect 2 @ChrisHarrisNFL 4 changin his profile pic. #PackerNation follow him.Good guy”
Harris’ final response: “@GregJennings thanks homie. Stay healthy and I’m looking forward to the Christmas Day rematch. We owe u!!!!”
A Bears win would certainly be a good Christmas gift.