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Article on Bears' offensive struggles provides some notes on Rams D

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  • Article on Bears' offensive struggles provides some notes on Rams D

    Offensive struggles reemerge
    By Jason Klabacha
    Date: Aug 6, 2004

    Toward the end of Friday’s afternoon session the Bears offense went up against the Rams defense in an eleven-on-eleven drill. The results left more then a few questions in mind.

    While the Bears offense has looked good for the most part against the Rams defense, during a string of plays the unit looked as bad as it did last year.
    On the first play of the drill Damione Lewis pushed Olin Kreutz back into Rex Grossman, which took the quarterback down. Trying to prove his moxy, Grossman got up and despite the fact that the play had been blown dead heaved the ball 50 plus yards toward Bobby Wade.

    The Bears then went to the ground game, but Thomas Jones coughed up the ball and Tommy Polley recovered the fumble. There is a concern that Jones’ upper body is too muscular and fumbling could become an issue.

    The worst moments of the practice came when DE Bryce Fisher consistently beat Qasim Mitchell off the snap and reached Grossman with ease. Luckily contact is off limits or Grossman might have been seriously injured.

    "The negatives, well my glass is half full most of the time," Lovie Smith said recently. "Those negatives, we’re trying to concentrate on the positive as much as possible. We have a better idea now where we are with those, but all we’ve done right now is get ourselves in position to start competing against someone else. Then things will really start to clear up."

    For all involved, the faster a decision to move John Tait to the left side the better. Granted he’s gotten some reps at the position, but he was back on the right side today.

    "John is our best. We gave him a lot of money. That's what we were saying when we gave him that money. We think he's a pretty good football player and of course you need your best tackle at the left tackle position."

    Considering Tait hasn’t been a full-time left tackle since 2001, it would benefit him to know that will be his position going into the season so he can get in as many reps as possible.

    "The more practices I'm there the more comfortable I feel in that position," Tait said. "In my mind I'm preparing myself to play left tackle. Now if that doesn't happen that's fine because I can flip over to right no problem. But if I were to play more at right and all of the sudden I have to be thrown over to left then that's kind of a bad situation to be in and I just want to be ready."

    After reviewing Mitchell’s performance on tape the coaching staff should be that much closer to making the switch. A poor showing in Saturday’s scrimmage could be the final straw for Mitchell.

Related Topics


  • Fat Pang
    Bear necessities
    by Fat Pang
    I was browsing through the team reports on Fox sports website and stumbled across this as I was looking through the NFC North report on Green Bay. It got me thinking.

    In the five drafts that Bears general manager Jerry Angelo has conducted, he has used two first-round picks on defensive linemen, one second-round pick, one third-rounder, two fourth-rounders and three No. 5s. The Bears also traded Pro Bowl wide receiver Marty Booker in 2004, plus a third-round choice in 2005 to acquire defensive end Wale Ogunleye from the Dolphins.

    All that investment in their front four is starting to pay off big time for the new team-to-beat in the NFC. The Bears have allowed fewer points per game than any team in the NFL --- a total of just 29 in four games. That's their lowest total for the first four games of a season since 1937; and it's the line that has more to do with the Bears' stinginess than anything.
    In their last eight regular-season home games, the Bears have allowed just 2 touchdowns.

    Their most recent victim, the Seahawks, were the highest-scoring team in the league last season, but they managed just a pair of field goals Sunday night in a 37-6 loss.

    The foundation of the Bears rise to divisional and conferential promise has been their defence. A club that has traditionally been famed for their defence, not least of which being the 'Monsters of the Midway' of '85 vintage, the Bears are experiencing a resurgence of frightening proportions. 29 points allowed through 4 games is the kind of pace that will beat their clubmates of '85 by some margin in terms of the points allowed in a season.

    Ron Rivera has rightly been touted as the reason for the Bears current success. Throw in Lovie, a man well schooled in the Tampa 2 and the brains behind the Rams defensive resurgence as a first year co-ordinator and you can be sure that the scheme in Chicago is a good one.

    Schemes alone, as we all know, don't get it done on their own however and it's clear that the Bears have the talent to go with the scheme. What's more, it's all up front, and of course that's where it all starts.

    At this point some mods might be forgiven for thinking that this could be an offering best placed in 'NFL talk' rather than 'Rams talk', but look closely at the article quoted above and tell me whether you can spot the ultimately disappointing common theme.

    It struck me that in investing high draft picks in their defensive line, the Bears were following a plan that had been similarly tried with the Rams during Lovie's tenure here. Lewis, Pickett and Kennedy were all 1st round picks that were to be instrumental in solving the Rams defensive woes. Furthermore, like the Bears, the Rams invested heavily in players at other spots. Shepherd, Thomas, Allen,Polley, Crouch,Groce, Fisher, Butler are all names that feature heavily in any conversation regarding the relative...
    -10-05-2006, 12:06 AM
  • Nick
    Bears LB Roquan Smith remains only unsigned 2018 NFL Draft pick
    by Nick
    Draft pick Smith's holdout among issues facing Bears
    GENE CHAMBERLAIN | Associated Press
    Monday, August 13, 2018 1:10 am

    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – It has become a familiar refrain for Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy. He has often repeated the words “nothing new” over the past 31/2 weeks regarding contract talks with first-round draft pick Roquan Smith.

    Nagy's first training camp with the Bears concluded Sunday, and it remains uncertain when defensive coordinator Vic Fangio can plug the former Georgia linebacker into the lineup.

    That's not the Bears' only problem as they head into a week of practices in Denver before playing the Broncos on Saturday in their third preseason game.

    Asked Sunday if missing all of camp would limit Smith's ability to be defensive field general on opening day, Nagy did not mince words.

    “I think it does,” Nagy said. “You're playing at that position and there are a lot of calls that go on, very similar to a quarterback, there's a lot going on. But I have full confidence in Vic and his staff that when he does get here, they'll get him up to speed and whenever that is, we'll see.

    “But again, that's why we all get paid as coaches is to try to help our players out as much as possible and that's kind of where we're at.”

    Neither the Bears nor Smith's agents have openly discussed the reason for the standoff.

    The Chicago Tribune reported that the sticking point in talks is the Bears' refusal to give up the right to reclaim some of Smith's guaranteed bonus if he is suspended for an on-field rules violation outside the parameters of a football play.

    Smith is the only unsigned player in the 2018 NFL draft class. The Bears haven't had Smith around since their June minicamp.

    “I think he knows that he's to be in shape,” Nagy said. “I think he knows that.”

    The Bears have two veteran inside linebackers on the field: Danny Trevathan and Nick Kwiatkoski.

    Players say they've avoided turning the holdout into a distraction.

    “It's pretty easy,” defensive end Akiem Hicks said. “I mean, we can't make him appear out of nowhere. You play with what you got and go forward.”

    Their other big problem revolves around the offense.

    Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky struggled in the new offense with interceptions in practice, then went 2 for 4 for 4 yards in his first effort against Cincinnati in a 30-27 loss Thursday night.

    “It's not rocket science to know that we need to be better in that,” Nagy said. “It's my job to make sure am I calling the right plays. It's their job to make sure they execute when they get those plays to come in.”

    Wide receiver Allen Robinson and wide receiver Taylor Gabriel did not play Thursday. Also absent was starting running back Jordan Howard.

    Robinson called camp a successful indoctrination to a complicated...
    -08-13-2018, 05:59 AM
  • Nick
    Grossman benched, Griese starting
    by Nick
    Griese to replace Grossman at QB for Bears Wire Reports
    Posted: 24 minutes ago

    The NFL Network's Adam Schefter has confirmed that Brian Griese will start at quarterback Sunday for the Chicago Bears.

    Griese will replace Rex Grossman, who threw three interceptions as the Chicago Bears fell to the Dallas Cowboys 34-10 on Sunday night and did not get a vote of confidence from his coach a day later.

    "Will Rex Grossman start Sunday?" coach Lovie Smith asked on Monday, repeating the question. "Well, our evaluation process is going on right now, and if you come out to practice Wednesday, you'll have a better idea of who will be starting at all positions."

    Smith gave his usual answer when asked Sunday night about Grossman -- "Rex Grossman is our quarterback" -- but his tone was different on Monday, fueling speculation Brian Griese might start Sunday against Detroit.

    Grossman's supporters would have a hard time arguing against the move, considering he ranks 23rd in the league with 500 yards, has a 45.2 passer rating and is 47-of-89 (52.8 percent) with a league-leading six interceptions and just one touchdown.

    But is Griese the answer?

    A Pro Bowl pick with Denver in 2000, he has passed for 16,564 yards, but has also been released three times -- by the Broncos, Miami and Tampa Bay.

    "I have confidence in our entire football team," Smith said. "Brian is a part of that. After you have a loss like that, we all feel bad. We should."

    And Smith realizes something needs to change -- quickly.

    At 1-2, the Bears are certainly not living up to those soaring expectations after last season's Super Bowl appearance. Besides Grossman's struggles, injuries are mounting.

    They lost former Pro Bowl safety Mike Brown and starting nose tackle Dusty Dvoracek to season-ending knee injuries in the opener at San Diego. And on Sunday, Bears were falling like dominoes.

    Linebacker Lance Briggs (groin), cornerback Nathan Vasher (groin) and defensive tackle Tommie Harris (knee) all left the game with injuries. Offensive lineman Ruben Brown suffered what was announced as a game-ending ankle injury, although he returned near the end.

    "All of these injuries we're evaluating right now," Smith said. "I can't give you anything else."

    As for the evaluation at quarterback, Grossman's troubles are well-documented and they explain why the Bears let him enter this season with an expiring contract rather than an extension.

    He was the NFC Offensive Player of the Month last September. Now, he may not be the starting quarterback when September ends.

    There certainly is blame to pass around, but the focus is on the quarterback.

    The Bears were hoping Grossman would play...
    -09-25-2007, 03:31 PM
  • RamDez
    Rams' Martz calls Bears' hamstring epidemic just a 'bad run'
    by RamDez
    Rams' Martz calls Bears' hamstring epidemic just a 'bad run'

    August 7, 2004


    MACOMB, Ill. -- Mike Martz angrily has defended his friend Lovie Smith for the outbreak of hamstring fever that has surrounded the training camp of the first-year Bears coach.

    What has been missed is that no one has called Smith's practices too grueling. Instead, it has been questioned whether the major weight loss emphasis, combined with the increased running, has led to some of the problems.

    ''For crying out loud,'' Martz railed. ''That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. I guess all these people who write that must be medical doctors. You think? You've got to be kidding me. I mean, this is just a bad run. Maybe they're not used to practicing that hard. Who knows? I know we've been through it. We've had six, seven, eight guys [sidelined with pulled hamstrings].''

    Running back Adrian Peterson sat out of both practices Friday as his hamstring tightened up. According to Smith, wide receiver Justin Gage and reserve safety Bobby Gray will be back from their hamstring injuries this week and should be ready for the exhibition opener Thursday in St. Louis.

    FILLING IN: With Peterson and Anthony Thomas (ribs) out and Dwone Hicks gone from the team, fullback Jason McKie has stepped in and worked as a halfback. What is most interesting is that he was chosen over Rabih Abdullah, who had a failed experiment as a third-down back last season.

    ''I'm just helping out right now,'' he said. ''But I'll do whatever they need me to be.''

    McKie never has been a true halfback, having been the fullback in a Wing-T offense at Gulf Breeze (Fla.) High. He did carry the ball in short-yardage situations at Temple. Even more telling, however, is that he has been used on special teams as the off-side returner. The 5-11, 240-pounder has good speed but isn't elusive by any means.

    ''The way our returns are designed, we're straight ahead,'' special-teams coach Dave Toub said. ''We want to catch the ball and get up the field right away. That kind of fits his running style.''

    Toub said rookie Bernard Berrian has a ''good shot'' at replacing Jerry Azumah as the main kick returner. Ahmad Merritt and Nate Vasher are also in the mix.

    BAD OMEN: If the afternoon practice Friday was a sign of things to come, the Bears' offense is going to have a real struggle with the Rams' defense in the scrimmage this morning. Neither the first nor second team could pick up a first down in the two-minute drill, with offensive coordinator Terry Shea calling a run on first down both times. The Rams seemed to make twice as many big plays as the Bears.

    NO WRONG: Smith did not think anything was wrong with allowing Azumah to practice in
    -08-07-2004, 12:57 PM
  • RamWraith
    Grossman brings his 'A' game
    by RamWraith
    By Kathleen Nelson
    Tuesday, Dec. 12 2006

    Beleaguered Bears quarterback Rex Grossman made a national TV audience wonder
    what all the fuss was about. He pulled his weight and then some in leading
    Chicago to a 42-27 victory over the Rams that clinched a bye in the first round
    of the playoffs for the Bears.

    Grossman completed 13 of 23 passes for 200 yards with two touchdowns. Most
    important, he committed no giveaways for just the second time in two months. He
    described his performance as "efficient and decisive. I was able to relax.
    There was a lot of pressure on me to perform well. So I had to do it. I wanted
    to respond because of the way the coaches have backed me."

    For good measure, Grossman added a 22-yard run good for a first down.

    "That was fun to do," he said. "I don't do that very often, but I consciously
    went into the game thinking that I might have to make a play with my feet."

    Though the Bears (11-2) have won consistently this season with Grossman at
    quarterback, Grossman has been wildly inconsistent. His passer rating, a
    measure of consistency and efficiency, exceeded 100 in four of the Bears' first
    seven games. At that point, some experts considered Grossman a candidate for

    Since October 16, though, Grossman's passer rating has fallen below 50 four of
    seven times. The worst was a rating of 1.3 in the Bears' victory over the
    Vikings last week. Grossman completed just six of 19 passes for 34 yards with
    three interceptions, earning the lowest rating ever for a winning NFL

    Yet Bears coach Lovie Smith stood by his man through numerous inquisitions.
    Reports from the Bears' practice indicated that Grossman and Brian Griese split
    reps with the first unit Thursday and Friday, but that Grossman got about 65
    percent of the work Saturday.

    "Rex Grossman went through a lot this past week," Smith said. "His game has
    been dissected by everyone that knows anything about football. With a lot of
    pressure on him, I thought he really stepped up to the plate, played
    outstanding ball, did exactly what we expect him to do."

    Grossman got ample help from the backfield. Starter Thomas Jones gained 76
    yards on 11 carries with one touchdown, while "backup" Cedric Benson gained 64
    yards on 16 carries.

    "There was a lot of difference this week," Grossman said. "We ran the ball well
    and set up a lot of play action. That's the blueprint we've been trying to set
    since training camp."

    Jones, the older brother of Cowboys running back Julius Jones, topped the
    -12-12-2006, 04:33 AM