Chicago Sun-Times

Smith doesn't rule out potential change on offensive line

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Lovie Smith isn't one to discuss personnel moves on Mondays, but you can say this about today's media session for the head coach--he didn't rule out a possible change on the offensive line before the Bears play at Cincinnati on Sunday.

All you need to know about the Bears' effort to run the ball Sunday night at Atlanta is that quarterback Jay Cutler was the game's leading rusher by virtue of a 30-yard dash he made in the fourth quarter. Running back Matt Forte was bottled up, held to a career-low 23 yards on 15 rushes. His long rush was five yards against a Falcons' defense that had consistently been run on in the first month of the season.

It's not like Smith has a range of options. Guard Josh Beekman started 16 games last season and was with the first team through the majority of training camp. He could return to left guard and replace Frank Omiyale. If the Bears wanted to try a new look at tackle, they could turn to Kevin Shaffer, and experienced starter before with Cleveland and Atlanta. If a move is coming, it would most likely involve Beekman only, but Smith spoke mostly in general terms.

"We're 3-2 so the offensive line has done some good things,'' he said. "They've contributed to all of that. Coming off of a loss we're not real pleased with anything we did last night, starting with me. I'm not pleased with a lot of things I did last night. We'll go from there. But our offensive line has done some good things.''

Smith was then asked if he could forecast any changes coming on the line and gave his standard reply for such inquiries--they look at every possible scenario after every single game.

"But I don't foresee any major changes on the offensive line,'' he said.

So I asked him in a follow up if turning to an experienced previous starter like Beekman would constitute a "major change'' to use his term.

"Would it be a major change?'' Smith said. "That would be a change. I don't know about major. It would be a change. Again, we're evaluating everything like we do each week. No more than that. Josh has done a good job for us.''

It's not like the team has any options at running back to jump start the running game. Kevin Jones is on injured reserve. Garrett Wolfe provided a brief spark against the Falcons, and might have earned himself some more work moving forward. Adrian Peterson is working his way back from a sprained right knee. Smith said there are not any lingering injury issues for Forte--hamstring, knee, toe--and noted he has not been on the injury report.

"He didn't have a lot of production last night the way a lot of us didn't,'' Smith said. "I don't think any more than that. The week before we weren't talking about any of these things. Matt will be fine just like the rest of our team.''

Forte has looked slow to the hole, but maybe that's because the holes have been smaller and harder to find. We'll see if Beekman is charged with opening up some wider ones later this week. Stay tuned.

NOTE:
Smith said that linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa will undergo an MRI on his right knee today. That is the same knee he injured in the opener at Green Bay, causing him to miss three games.

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44 Comments

Brad, what about the tackle position. Its very difficult to gauge from watching at home but, both tackles (Pace & Williams) have looked weak in the run game.

Is Williams better suited at left tackle than right? I'd love to see him on the left side.

What's the scouting report on Shaffer (as a run blocker and pass blocker)?

Im a chi town transplant living in California. I was born and raised in Chicago, so my allegiance is to all the chicago teams. I never usually post comments, but after last nights game against the falcons, Im almost compelled to write. I have NEVER been so ashamed to be a bears fan, even when we had WRECKS GROSSWOMAN, I never felt so embarassed as a bears fan. Atleast with WRECKS we knew what we were getting, no offense, but somewhat of a defense. That loss last night was completely unacceptable. There are high school teams here in Cali who have more discipline than the bears showed. So what will happen to correct this??? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING....There will be no trades for better wideouts, or runningbacks. The management will continue to embarass itself along with its dedicated fans, and we will continute to be the second city in all sports. How pitiful. A great city like chicago and every team that represents the city is mediocre. I was around for the 90's Bulls runs, and was grateful for every win and championship, but since that era, which seems so long ago, the teams from the windy city have seemed to have vanished into thin air. What a shame..... Im so embarassed to say Im from chicago, and all of my buddies here from cali laugh at me and say I should be for California teams....I never thought I would ever entertain that thought, but last night, tragically, I did.....

WE NEED TO CREATE FAN PRESSURE TO CHANGE THE O-LINE.
15 carries, 23 yards, and a critical lost fumble on the goal line for Forte. I don't see how it can get any worse...but the Bears don't have any other RB options. Now that they've cut Michael Gaines, they only have two options to make a change in the running game: replace #68 with Josh Beekman, or replace one of the tackles. How can they not at least try the former? The critical fumble was caused by the man #68 was supposed to block, but could not, and this has been a consistent pattern in the first five games.
I was willing to let Omiyale develop if the problem was just missing assignments (something he's done plenty of), but when he's consistently getting beat man-on-man, there's no amount of learning the offense that's going to help that, and at this point, you can reasonably say our patience with him has cost us a game. Maybe getting benched would fire him up to work harder and get stronger. Give Beekman two games to see if he could do better: if we suddenly can run the ball, imagine how this season changes.
Otherwise, we should see a lot more of Wolfe and Hester in the Wildcat... what else do we have?

Supposedly Shaffer is a mauler in the run game, but you really need the guards to get the push anyway, so I'm not sure we'd notice much difference switching out a RT. The Bears don't run right that much.

Hey Anoun: You are not by yourself as a born and raised Chicago fan in Cali, (henceforth my tag name on the blog), but don't take that B.S. from cali people, they have nothing out here but the Lakers and SC football. This team is clearly a work in progress, the error from Big O-Pace last night is a once in a lifetime thing for him, I'm sure he expected a quick count due to the crowd noise and just jumped, thought he did a solid job on Abraham last night despite what Creighton thought he saw, I saw him pancake Abraham at least three time on the edge, and he clearly won the match up. Getting back to our QB play, Cutler is clearly better than Rex was, and should not be looked at as a failure to this point. I thought he got caught up last night trying to make a play on the 1st drive. This was a mistake; 3 points on that drive is as good as a TD, if we could have gone up 10-0 or 14-0 before ATL got those two drives it could have been a different ball game. We are down to our 3rd string Middle LB, and SSLB, using a 2nd year corner and rookie safety with the other safety (Manning) holding down the job adequately for the 1st time in 3 years on the ball club on defense.
We have young receivers making plays now, a first for the Bears since Conway and Graham, and a usually rock solid special teams unit that has been impacted by the injuries forcing key players off that unit and into the starting line-up. I think this team is showing signs of becoming a good ball club, but it does not look like a long play-off run is in the cards now unless we can get a running game together. The o-line is not getting any push, we can all see that and omiyale is getting pushed around, maybe going to Beekman would help, but we also need to look at Olin's perfomance upthere as well, he just isn't moving anyone from the middle, and teams are stacking that area and daring the Bears to try to run to the edge, this so far is not happening. Forte had success last year running between the tackle's but the penitration is getting him hit in the backfield way too much, we need to shore this area up and quick. I for one will never stop being a BEARS fan and love to shove it in the faces of Cali or any other city when we win because they sure let me catch hell when we lose. The Cincy game is big, a Win we go 4-2 and pick up some slack in the schedule with the Browns, Cardinals and 49ers coming up, if we lose and go 3-3 those games become toss-ups and an 9-7 or 8-8 season is where we may end up. I'm taking the High road and say we go 3-1 over the next 4 to be 6-3 with the 1st Vikings game in November....Go BEARS

Beekman for Omiyale should be a no brainer. And the more I see of Pace the more I wish St. Clair was still with us. When he jumped offsides on that 4th and 1, oh boy...

Hey Brad, how about that "Marinelli difference" you previously spoke of in the Green Bay game? You know the one in which Goon had a "monster" game (as some called it) and got two sacks against the right side of the Pack's line? The very same right side which continuously offers the resistance of a wet napkin (heck, the Lions got more sacks against Green Bay than we did.)?

We didn't sack Ryan, we didn't even hit him once. Now what have I been saying throughout the offseason and beyond? Oh right. That Marinelli, a position coach, would have little to no impact on the d-line. I said our d-line would take advantage against teams with weak lines, like in seasons past, but would then falter against teams with respectable lines like we saw last night.

Oh but there were plenty of those who believed getting a few sacks against the Lions was an astonishing feat and that the d-line was fixed because of Rod. Some even swore that Rod walked along the surface of Lake Michigan, appearing before fishermen and telling them where to cast their nets so as to catch more fish.

I've been pointing out how Lovie is calling blitzes 20 straight times in a game because he knows the front four need help. If we want the d-line fixed, we need better players. The same goes for the o-line. Trading for Gaines Adams is a good start for really improving the pass rush.

glad I jumped back in here before I left the office. Mike what do you mean you wish St.Clair was still on the roster, did you see the game, other than the false start O-Pace was cleaning Abraham's clock, they actually had him switch sides and go up against Williams some during the game to give him a break, Pace was laying on top of Abraham most ot the time as he had him timed pretty good coming off the edge. ATL had less then 300 total yards for the game, no sacks yes, but Ryan threw two picks and we could have had two more, the pressure did not get there because they went to three steps drops and hit Gonzalez against the coverage of Roach and Afalava, which was a good coaching decision by them. Look guys the loss was bad, but ragging on every position on the team is over the top, we have issues yes (Omiyale), but we also are showing signs of improvement. Who would have ever thought that at this point in the season no one would be complaing about the young receivers and the young secondary, as for the LB's their play with the injuries has been a pleasant surprise. I Love the blog, but sometimes we have people being negative just to be negative, everyone can't be bad on this team otherwise we wouldn't have everyone on here with an opinion.....Go BEARS

Frank O. bench....bench Frank O.

Hey Anonymous,

It sucks to lose, but you need to take a chill pill. You've never been more embarrassed to be a Bears fan? You must have blacked out the Dick Juaron years (or Wannstedt, take your pick). The Bears made some good plays and some stupid mistakes and lost a very close game to a decent team on the road. That happens in the NFL. A lot of people think the Giants can win it all this year and they got demolished at New Orleans. I'm not making excuses. I think the Bears have some serious issues that they won't solve this year, but it's not like they got beat 59-0 like the Titans. Now that is unacceptable.

Also, Chicago teams haven't been quite that bad lately. The Bears were in the Super Bowl. The Hawks were in the conference finals last year. The Bulls and Cubs were in the playoffs last year and the Cubs the year before that. And if you think that anything less than a championship is a failure then don't forget the Sox winning it all in 2005. You don't have to go all the way back to Michael Jordan to see some good Chicago teams. So buck up and tell your Cali friends to p!ss off. If you're still embarrassed to say you're from Chicago after all that, then you need to go look in the mirror. There are deeper issues than the Bears.

Dominic Rhodes is currently a free agent. I'm not sure if he's looking to play or if he's in shape, but he might be worth looking at to help spell Forte a bit.

One of the theories out there is that Matt Forte was over-used last season, so his production is suffering. Sort of the Larry Johnson school of thought. I don't know that I buy it, but even if it's only a little true, running him as much as they are this year certainly won't help things.

I think we have another Rashaam Salaam on our hands!!!! Of all the injuries we have had so far this year, the biggest one is not Urlacher but Kevin Jones. I hope AP comes back soon or we are in deep trouble. The spark is gone from Forte's step and he looks lost out there. No confidence at all!! I'd rather see Garrett Wolfe start instead. Just don't run him between the tackles! My new blog name will forever be "RashaamForte"

Lovie was so quick to bench Vasher and Paine after one bad play that cost us the Packer game.....What about Forte's fumble, or all the missed blocks and assignments all over the place? More changes need to be made and fast. Minnyhaha is undefeated!!!!!

Archuleta, Pace, Tinoisamoa...when will these Rams reclamation projects end? Tino hasn't been so bad when he's been on the field...which hasn't been much lately.

Would not have believed it if I had not read the stats but just like the Green Bay game the Bears won most of the stat battle: lost out on red zone efficiency and the extra turn over.

Yes, the O-line does not look very good and that is a long term worry. The scouting and coaching disconnect seems pretty entrenched. Don’t know if I buy the Beekman for Omiyale as a big move but something has got to change. Look for a free agent signing early next spring with the Bears down to a third choice as their first selection. They go that direction or Jerry A will have changed his spots. There is no other way to get ahead of the age curve after ignoring the O-line for all those drafts. Another touchdown drive of 90+ yards – these are not our Father’s Bears. There is a quarterback in town and he needs some protection.

3-2 and behind Green Bay in the tie breaker: the game in Cinci is looking real big

Ohio Bear Fan

I AM SO BLEEPIN SICK OF THIS TEAM NOT BEING ABLE TO WIN BIG GAMES! TURNOVERS IN THE RED ZONE? BACK TO BACK FUMBLES BY FORTE? WE INTERCEPT TWICE AND BOTH TIMES WE TRY AND FUMBLE THE BALL RIGHT BACK?! LOVIE NEEDS TO FORGET THE NICE GUY ACT AND START TAKIN NAMES AND KICKIN SOME REAR END. I'VE SEEN GIRL SCOUT TROOPS PLAY BETTER FOOTBALL!! THANK GOD GEORGE HALAS IS DEAD OR HE'D HAVE A HEART ATTACAK AND DIE AGAIN!

Sure wished we would've drafted a stud guard like Duke Robinson...I'm pretty tired of the small versatile guard, thaT philosophy should've retired when Thayer did.
The game is run by BIG lineman nowadays, both on the O and D..... and we still haven't played against the Williams wall yet!

A california guy getting stuff from Californians about a football team. Who are the Raiders? Man, we are still 3-2. It ain't 1-5. If someone wants to ride you about a down to the wire loss then they don't know that it happens in football. Friends shouldn't ride you about a loss. But it's something that people do when they want you to be like them. Keep being an individual. Why be embarrassed when we didn't get blown out? Teams lose. Hence the mention of the Raiders. So they beat Philly. Let them do it again. Those dudes are jealous because their basketball team needed our former coach to get them their championships. Now go out there and pester your Titan friends for losing 59-0.

There are two things that are a guarantee for the Bears this year: Omiyale is going to get a penalty and give up a sack or tackle for loss and Alex Brown is going to get an offside penalties. It's ridiculous how horrible Omiyale plays and they keep playing him because they gave him a semi-big contract. He stinks and belongs on the bench. Same thing with Pace, I didn't like his signning because he's old and yet they are forced to play him because of the contract they gave him.
...And Brown, he always tries to cheat and try to jump the snap and get around the LT to rush. He has no pass rushing skills and hope that Gaines takes over that spot.
Still, the Bears haven't played a full game in all phases of the game and are still 3-2. We have 2 upcoming games that WE HAVE to win in case we have any hopes of playoffs.

Replacing Omiyale with Beekman will prevent some penetration against the run. Beekman may not be tall, but he plays with the type of natural leverage that Omiyale can only dream of. Omiyale is a backup swing tackle, not a starting LG.

The interior offensive line needs to be gutted and rehabbed. The 2009 line may be worse than the disintegrated line of 2007. Kreutz and Omiyale need to be replaced immediately.

I suggest moving Garza to LG and replacing him with Shaffer at RG. Beekman replaces Kreutz and Omiyale backs up Pace.

The offensive line is, by far, the biggest hinderance to the success of the run game. The inability to run in the redzone or in short yardage situations is killing confidence and balance.

I will give you guys the reason you are not seeing Beekman on the field. Omiyale is a big strong athletic guy, but his problem is he plays with his pad level way to high and is off ballance most og the game. Beekmen is not as big or athletic but he play with better balance. Problem is do you remember how the Bears where last year in short yardage? They where brutal, they are still Brutal, Beekman will not fix the short yardage problem. The run blocking has gotten worse for two reasons. Williams is not close to being as good of a run blocker as Tait, even with Tait having problems last year and Pace at this point in his career is not as good of a run blocker as St. Clair. Whats alarming is the poor pass protection offered by both tackles. Antoher problem with the line is Kruetz is really showing his NFL age. The final problem is that a lot of the blocking problems can be fixed rather easily, in fact pad level adjustment and poor body lean are easy to fix and should take no more than a few weeks to get right. Yet they are not getting fixed. The question should be why are simple problems with the line not being addressed. Its not to say it make them an elite line, but any help at this point is help. They should be better at pulling, they should no how to drive block, they should not be catch blocking on running downs, they should know what to do when Cutler audibles. Yet they have no clue what to do.

Take a look at Denver, they have an elite line built mostly with draft picks. They have elite recievers, and they have very good Tigh Ends. They are taking an average QB and making him look like Montana. ESPN showed five passes by Orton that should have been picks had Marshall not jumped over the DB's and stripped the ball out twice he got TD's. We will never see talent like that in this town while Lovie and Angelo are in charge. The biggest need for this team was offensive line help, so Angelo went out and traded for a DE, even though the Bears Ends have been decent.

We will never see a line put together in this town by Angelo, that is not a last stop for retiring players or never have been players. He has not shown the ablity to draft line talent over his career and he almost never focuses on it in the draft till late. This is the home of the Miller's, Pace's, Brown's, St. Clair's, Omiyales, Garza's, and Shaffers of the leagues. He has had chances to get some big names, instead choosing to go with no names or players on their last leg with Angelo hoping to squeeze a season or two out of aging vets who should retire. His lone high draft pick for the line is Chris Williams a kid who looks more and more like a bust. If we where going to draft a RT or a LG/LT both Albert and Otah have shown themselves to be the better talent at their respective positions than Williams and at worst would have been an elite level LG or RG. But Angelo and his staff felt like they new better when the knowingly drafted a kid with bad back and questionable motor. His run blocking was considered sub-par and he was considered weak for a Linemen.

This bears offensive line is both old and lacks talent, with nothing much in terms of quality depth. Beekman may one day become a decent center but that does not help the tackle or the LG position. Who is going to protect this very talented young QB now and in the future. If you want him to excell then you need the right people around him and right now he does not have the right people not only protecting him but calling plays for him and teaching him.

The reciver position is a problem as well, while Hester has improved it is clear he will never be this number 1 Lovie thinks he is. But he is a sold number two guy and Knox is slot reciever who has shown he has speed and talent but he also seems contact shy at times. Olsen is fast but he is not a fighter, does not jump up and battle for many balls and will not make the tough catch in traffic that often. Clark is solid but old.

Unless some future changes are made to help out Cutler, he will probably begin to loose some confidence and start to regress with this team.

Angelo and Lovie once again showed they never met a pass rusher they didn't like when they traded for Adams. While I don't think it was a bad trade, it really will not help the team that much this year and it was not a need. The O-Line is a need and not only do they not seemed intrested in helping solve this problem, Lovie seems to think they are playing pretty good.

All you need to do is look at Denver to see what talent can do for a QB. They are the best line in football with two really good recievers, in fact Marshall is top 5 in my book. You could drive a bus through the holes they open up. But what about that horrible defense from last year?

They took a terrible defense and turned it into one of the top defenses in the league by going out and getting a top notch DC and switching schemes and making some smart moves. The Bears defense is really not much different from last year and the year before. It is average in terms of points, yards and passing. It has not improved much at all with Lovie calling the plays. Say what you will but the front 4 still need blitz help to pressure the QB and can't get it done on there own.

I do not think much of McDaniels but Nolan is top notch as a DC, how come we didn't bring in a top notch DC? In fact why are we using Lovie's defense? Cowher did not bring in the Cowboy's defense to the Steelers. McDaniels did not bring in the Patriots defense? GB went and got a new DC and it has improved their defense as well. Lovie was never Rex Ryan, or Nolan, or LeBeau. At best he had one really good year with the Rams and has been average with the Bears the last three years. This defense peeked in 05 and then got worse for about two years and has sense been nothing but Average. Head coaches should be just that head coaches. His system is average at best, teams have been ditching it in favor of better schemes. Lovie likes to preach takeaways well you don't need the Tampa 2 or a 1 gap 4-3 scheme to preach that. If Lovie was brought in to give the Bears a dominant defense then he has not done it. 2 really good years out of 6 years is not very good. I have not heard of a top defensive coach in the NFL who has had that kind of defense and been considered a great defensive coach. Gruden had a super bowl win in tampa and a winning record, but after back to back 9-7 seasons he was fired, he won the south 3 times and made the playoffs three times in that period. But the Bucs organization fired Gruden because they new they where not going anywhere with him. Lovie is the defensive version of Gruden and the Bears have been and continue to go nowhere.

I agree with chitownbear; the pass blocking wasn't bad, and protection also has a lot to do with the WRs being able to get open, which is an inconsistency for the Bears.

A lot of us were ready to run Beekman (and Garza) out of town last year, but right now it's the "Fading Memory of Beekman" vs. the "Nightmare that is Omiyale" duking it out. I don't remember Beekman being particularly effective (actually, I remember he wasn't very good), but I did like that he played with a lot of heart and didn't give up on plays. I'm sorry to say I don't see much of that in Omiyale, and given that this was his big chance to break out, it's disappointing, I'm sure to him too. Omiyale has long arms, and once he gets them extended, he can't retract them fast enough and seems to get knocked to the side easily. I kind of understand why he would be a better T than a G. I actually thought he was improving his play as the season progressed, but the Falcons game seemed like a regression for him.

I have to side with giving Beekman a shot. Although continuity is important in line-play, at this point the Bears have to shake it up a bit. Forte is going to get frustrated, and I fear it will affect his play. This shouldn't mean that we're just going to give up on Omiyale, but I think he needs time to get his confidence back and get into a groove.

To shake things up, Ron Turner can also give Wolfe more reps. Change pace, get a guy in there who can outrun the defense, shake the defense sideways to open up the middle. Giving Wolfe one series each half is just a way to give Forte a break and nothing much else, but if he really wants to mix it up, Turner has to sprinkle Wolfe in there on a play-to-play basis, so that defenses will have to adjust their thinking each play. Be creative Ron.

Hey Mike, I would be interested to hear your take on how the Bears were able to hold Michael Turner to just 30 yards.

I agree with Chitownbear. We have to stop sniping at individuals and focus on the bigger picture. The O-line as a unit played poorly, yet we had several long drives in that game and dominated ToP in Atlanta’s home stadium. The defense did not get any sacks, but Ryan threw a number of passes out of bounds while under pressure and they completely shut down Atlanta’s run game. The game was lost on some unfortunate turnovers in the red zone. It would help if the plays called near the goal line recognized certain weaknesses we have. Why we insisted on trying to run between the lines when we had no success all game is just plain stubborn.

Josh Beekman needs to be in the starting lineup, I don't know why they ever took him out. Last summer all I heard on Beekman were good things on how he was playing, especially when he was running with the ones. Some say they put Omiyale in to add size, I disagree. The only size Omiyale adds to Chicago's front is around 2 inches. Beekman is listed at 6-2 310lbs, Omiyale is 6-4 310lbs, again, thats only a 2 inch difference. If anything, with Omiyale, the Bears are giving up bulk. With Omiyale at around the same weight as Beekman, but two inches taller, Beekman is actually more stout. In the end, not much of a size difference. Josh Beekman might have started slow last season, probably because he was a first year starter. I think in year two as a starter, you'll notice a difference in Beekman's play for the better. I hope he gets the nod.

I don't know if anyone else has noticed, but man is Charles Tillman a heck of a corner. He did a good job sunday night vs Roddy White, and you could really notice the difference in the Lions game when they put Tillman on Calvin Johnson. He held two of the leagues better receivers in check. I see no reasons why he won't continue the trend sunday vs Chad Ochocinco. Also on defense, I see linebacker Nick Roach [10 tackles again!] continues to rack up the tackles, he's really been a pleasant surprise for the Bears this season. I liked what I saw out of nose tackle Marcus Harrison also, he seems to be a force vs the run. I've always liked him as a nose tackle because of the size he adds to the position. Can't wait for the Benson Bowl as always GO BEARS!!

To nbs:

Orton looked great last night, No way he makes that scramble and throw here last year. Could it be our Oline? lol Anyway's I would love to see a retraction from nbs!!! But of course ;) It's not Orton at all, any QB could that in Denver, yes they have a great D and good WR/Oline (every thing we don't have) but Orton's throws were on the money and he played a smart game. Orton looks great as a QB, in control of Josh Offense.
I like Cutler and I am glad he is here but just admit you were wrong nbs. and change your blog name cause its wrong.

Come on nbs admit it!!!
Orton is a good QB!

I went to the game Sunday and saw a lot of things that really frustrated me and most of it has to do with the lines and coaching. If you look at Forte, as soon as he gets the ball in his hand, he's being tackled. The same thing happened when we had Cedric benson. The same thing happened when we had Thomas Jones. It's hard to run that way. Next, I was disappointed with the D-line not getting as much pressure on Ryan as they have throughout the season. That would have made the difference in the game, especially on that 3rd down play where Gonzalez caught that pass across the middle. And finally the coaching was disappointing in the fact that they had TWO WEEKS to prepare the players for this game. And with all of the lapses we saw from the team throughout the game (holding penalties on the last drive, false starts, punt and kickoff returns of 40 yards or more), it looks like they really didn't prepare them properly. The Bears are gonna make the playoffs. BUT Lovie HAS to make changes with the O-line (Omiyale HAS TO GO!!) and focus on FUNDAMENTALS (Holding onto the ball, false starts, blocking in the back, blocking, etc)

Until we make a change at the coaching position, nothing will change. Lovie Smith does just enough to lose the game. This is a repeat of last year. Jerry Angelo never gave Dick Jauron this much rope so it is puzzling to me why he would let a coach miss the play-offs 3 years in a row with 4x the talent we have had in the last 12 years. Lovie Smith is a horrible coach. I mean they had to bring in another head coach to help him. Btw...in typical Angelo fashion, they happened to bring in a coach that was the first to go 0-16 in a season. If the bears miss the play-offs this year, Love must be gone or much like we, the season ticket holders did during the Wanny years will boycott everything with the bears logo, not show up to the games or give our tickets away and make the org pay. it's that simple.

What the Bears need, is to put the quicker tackles in the games to defend against the fast pass rushing teams which leaves Orlando Pace to sit on the bench. He's been out matched against the smaller, and quicker pass rushers. They seem to go around him pretty fast. By the time he's able to turn Jay has to throw the ball away or throws an interception.

Hard to believe this kind of performance after a bye week. I think the team and coaching staff literally took the week off rather than use if for game planning and preparation for the next game. They all looked rusty and not ready to play. Disappointing to say the least....

I agree 100% with chitownbear. It was a tough loss, but it is not the end of the world. This team can move the ball at anytime during the game. It is just a matter of working on the details. I wish the coaches talk to players before important plays and remind them of the basics (i.e. throw it away if the heat is on you, hold on to the ball first, look for the sidelines, etc.) I also live in Cali, but travel to Chicago once a year to watch them play. I was at the Steelers game, which initially did not look very good. However, what we have seen this year is that the team will be in a position to comeback every game. That, my friends, is a luxury we have not had for a long, long time. Go Bears!

I don't claim to be the 'second-coming' of former head coaches Mike Ditka, "Ground' Chuck Knox, or Mike Holmgren to help suggest ways to improve the Bears struggling running game. But, if the Bears hope for any success this year with the running game, I do suggest the following:

1. Replace offensive guard Frank Omiyale with Josh Beekman and start thinking of replacing Orlando Pace with Kevin Shaffer in periods throughout games due to Pace's lack of conditioning.

2. Design more plays for running back Matt Forte to run to the outside with quick pitches or by pulling out minimal lineman to block for him.

3. Start having center Olin Kreutz step and snap at the same time to stop defensive lineman from neutralizing the snap count and clogging up the middle by driving Kreutz into the backfield.

4. Change offensive formations for their running plays and use more motion and fakes.

5. Use running plays with more misdirection. ie) The Option out of the Wildcat Offense, Reverses, and Counter Treys.


****Also, let's pray a decent college job opens up and Ron Turner takes it****

Brad, what are the odds of the Bears signing the recently released Galloway from the Pats for at least the remainder of this year?

Please guys don't bash our team the way u guys r ! Yes it was a difficult lost but it was just our second lost of the season. I agree with some of u about O(my god we paid too much 4 him)miyale. He needs to be replaced with Beekman (don't know why he lost starting job, was and is not the problem, actually was a bright spot on O-line in "08" really helped Capt.Kreutz) This off season we need to address our center position.As far as coach NELLI he has provided a very noticeable spark to our D-line so lay off!If you r not a real DIE-HARD CHICAGO BEARS FAN STOP WATCHING THE GAMES EMOTIONAL LET DOWNS IS PART OF THE GAME ( just imagine what the players have to endure over the course of reviewing film of this STINKER)---BEAR DOWN---GO BEARS!!!

Neil Hayes is right on about the Bears and the coaching team.

This team is not disciplined, too many penalties when clearly they should not happen. The Bears are not winning games they should win such as Atlanta this year and last and all of the others lost with a lead late in a game the last few years.

This year should be the year that determines Lovie and Ron's fate whether they stay or go. Getting to the NFL Championship game (not even winning it) would in my estimation be enough to keep them both but just making the playoffs and losing the first or second game of the playoffs is simply not enough. This team has the easiest schedule in the NFL.

Lovie sets the tone and establishes the discipline for the team, so far in my opinion he has shown that he is a mediocre coach. I hope he and the Bears prove me wrong. JA has given Lovie enough talent to get er done, he just has not got er done!!! With Parcels and Belichek, if a player does not produce they are gone off of the team plain and simple. There are a few Bear players that these two coaches simply would not have put up with, they would be sent packing.

With Cowher, Gruden, Shannahan available, it may be sooner rather than later to pull one of these guys in as numero uno.

Just gotta give Wolfe some love for some pretty tough running. Every opportunity he's had he performed reasonably well. At this point I'd almost say in a game if he's getting more yards than Forte just let him play. Or heck I'd even like to see some 2 running back formations. We gotta get creative on offense.

Oh yeah, and bench Frank O.

Guards and tackles have totally different approaches to the way they block. You can tell Omiyale is a tackle by the way he shoves his opponent, where Garza tries to drive and wall off. On the big fumble by Forte, Omiyale shoved Babineaux, and let him peel off and move to the hole. What he should have done is engage with him, lean on him, and if he had to, collapse down the line with him to open a cutback seam.

That tells me Omiyale should not be playing guard. He needs to be outside at tackle. He is instinctively pass blocking on running plays, and that works fine when you need to kick out or re-direct a DE, but not when you are trying to tie up a DT.

Beekman needs to be in there, and Omiyale should be put back in the mix at tackle. Shaffer, Williams, Pace, and Omiyale should be duking it out for the starting tackle spots. I have seen enough of Pace to know that while he still is an effective pass blocker, he is not getting it done in the running game. Would Williams be better on the left side, with Shaffer in at right tackle? If nothing else, we would on paper be a more physical line with a left side of Williams, Beekman, and Kreutz.

Kreutz is suffering because of a poor effort by Omiyale, and that is letting a DT into the backfield on every running attempt, or at the very least a blitzing linebacker. Forte can't get going inside, we can't get to the edges, and there is no chance for him to make anyone miss. The fact that he is breaking tackles in the backfield is staggering to me, since in many cases the defense could almost take the handoff from Cutler as easily as Forte can. it is a truly impressive effort in my opinion.

Teams seem to know when we are running the ball, and where we are running it to. Someone is tipping the plays, or we are so predictable that they don't need a tip. I think it is a combination of both. I bet if you watch closely, someone is in a different stance on running downs vs. passing downs, or something in our personnel or formation says run, and we aren't doing anything else from it.

So not only is there a poor performance by the line, but we have a coaching problem, which is about as shocking as the sun rising in the east. To come out of the bye week with such a weak run game is a condemnation of the coaching staff, both Hiestand and Turner in this case.

It is time for a change on the line, and in the playcalling. Turner has been leaning towards letting Cutler throw on 1st down to set up 2nd and short, but we need to be able to change it up and go to the run from passing formations. We also need to stop running that inside trap, as we are inviting the DT to attack through the gap before Kreutz can move to wall him off, and the play is blown up before it starts. We need to try some straight-up dive plays, or leads, or something that hits quick. Adrian Peterson (our AP) seems to do well on running plays because he hits the hole fast and hard, and can't be brought down by arm tackles. When you have to dance and wait for the hole, you are at a slower speed, which makes it harder to run through arm tackles. Forte's patience is making this running game worse, and he needs to do a better job of hitting the hole, and protecting the ball.

Turner needs to stop being cute, and smack somebody in the mouth in the running game, and see what that does for us. Considering how much teams expect the trap, they will be looking to jump the inside gaps, which makes it easier for Kreutz, Garza, and Beekman/Omiyale to make some room for a running lane.


Beekman needs to be given a chance in the lineup, and find out whether it was Omiyale's problem, or a bigger issue. Cincy is a man down on defense with Odom being out, but they have very good linebackers, and we will need to get Forte into open space at the second level. T

"Hey Mike, I would be interested to hear your take on how the Bears were able to hold Michael Turner to just 30 yards." -MOMO

Hey there MOMO. You must have been a fan of the Chicago Bears all the way since 2009. It's time for a history lesson. In 2008, the Bears were good against the run (except against Minnesota) finishing 5th in the league. In fact, last time they faced Atlanta the defense held Turner to 54 yards with a 2.2 avg. That didn't need to be corrected and they're still good vs. the run. What has been a problem for them is getting to the QB and we're still having that problem even with the Messiah coaching the defensive line.

Class dismissed.

Chitown, yes I saw Pace lying on top of Abraham. I also saw Abraham blow by Pace countless times prompting my cousin's dad to yell at the TV screen that Pace is too old, fat and slow. Nothing said that more than Pace jumping across the line on 4th and 1 because he was afraid he would get beat at the line and wanted an edge.

"As far as coach NELLI he has provided a very noticeable spark to our D-line so lay off!" -HUSKY-BEAR40

Oh boy! A disciple of the Chosen One! Tell me oh wise one, where exactly was this so-called spark last night?

I say we start a signature campaign calling for Ron Turner's dismissal and submit it to the bozos at the Bears HQ. If not anything it will give the high and mighty a feeling of how frustrated we, the fans, are.
Look at K.O and how he is thriving with the Broncos. I understand different teams have different systems but I am afraid of Turner dismantling Cutler and not letting him play his natural game. Plus R.T's play calling sure gives all of us heart palpitations!I say he should be be the first one to leave.

Randy the Denver offensive line is not good and the recievers are not good, the line is the best in football and the recievers are a top 5 unit. Sheffler gave Orton 42 yards of run after one catch and that throw Orton made to him in the end zone was not perfect, it was over thrown and Sheffler made a finger tip catch while falling away and laying out. Not saying Orton hasn't played well in Denver, but put Brady in there and Denver would be averaging a lot more than 19 points a game, don't forget the Denver offense only scored 20 points and one TD was very questionable sense the ball never entered the end zone. Football is a game of inches, and when you have Denvers level of talent you should be putting up more points than 19 a game. Special teams scored 14 points. If you watched the pre-game they showed Orton under throwing balls and Marshall bailing him out of his bad passes by making great plays. Orton is not making that team, that team is making Orton, and that Denver defense is outstanding. They have allowed only 2 third down conversions all year in the second half of games. That is amazing. Give any QB 6 seconds to throw the ball without him having to scramble and by time and you will see them have a good game. This will not stop Orton from going to the Pro Bowl, but its his team moe than its him. He has a better offense then the Saints or Colts yet Orton has only 9 TD's, compared too Manning who has 12 in 5 games, Brees has 13 in 5 games and Brady has 12 and none of those teams have Denvers talent on offense. Go match up position by position.

Dahli most of the time a team knows if the other team is running or passing. It comes down to blocking, can your line beat there line. The Bears lines can't beat anyone, they don't give Cutler enough time and they give him no pocket, and you know how bad they are at run blocking. As for the defense there is a reason they are staking the box and blitzing all the time and the fact is they are avoiding playing thier signiture defense for a reason, because they are not very good at playing it.

Some comments from local writers, the 40 percent thing blew my mind, that is insane.

"Chris Williams, who has escaped scrutiny so far this season because we're so preoccupied with the underperforming Omiyale and Pace, is average at best."

"I still think the Bears would be better off having Rod Marinelli also coach the offensive line, because Harry Hiestand -- who came to the Bears in a package deal with Ron Turner -- isn't getting it done."

"Since he came to the Bears, their rushing game has gone from eighth in the NFL in his first year to 15th, 30th, 24th and now 27th this season."

"When a running game is as bad as it was for the Bears on Sunday, you are seeing a group failure. Did you know, for instance, that Forte was hit in the backfield on 40 percent of his runs -- including his two fumbles?"

"the run blocking was atrocious. And the penalties were game changers, especially the false starts in the red zone on the Bears' final drive by Pace and guard Frank Omiyale."

"This was Omiyale's worst game of the year."

"On Forte's first fumble, Omiyale fell off a double-team block, allowing Jonathan Babineaux to penetrate. That forced Forte to jump early, clearing the way for Curtis Lofton to nail him in midair, which caused the fumble."

"On Forte's second fumble, Omiyale whiffed on Babineaux and Babineaux slammed Forte in the backfield, forcing him to cough it up again."

"And late in the fourth quarter on the potential touchdown throw to Johnny Knox, the man Omiyale was blocking, Babineaux, batted down the pass."

Joe I agree with you but my question is why didn't the Oline Coach/Turner see this before now? We have all commented on how Omiyale is useless at the G position from day 1,

Husky this is why we bash them;

Why would they not make that G change before? or sit Beekman at all?Thats their job to know these things and they didn't. or were too stubborn to do anything about it. I felt Beekman did a credible job last year, I know they want him as Olin's replacement next year, but to give up this season to teach Omiyale the G position says maybe we have the wrong Coach(s) in there.
They could have got another C or G before next year and placed Beekman in that position this year, trying to teach a Tackle that position when we get a QB of Cutler ability speaks volumes about JA and the O Coach.
And I def. remember wondering and posting why we got these rejects in the first place. We all sat here wanting/waiting for Oline help and this is what JA brought us? Thats his job to know players abilities and what we need. I feel Pace would be better with Beekman by his side, and who knows maybe Omiyale would be a good tackle, maybe we can try that this year as well huh.

Yeah 2 losses but its the way we lost AGAIN just like last year.
Believe it or not I would like for this Coach staff to remain, but it's hard saying that every stinking year when we play this bad.

If Lovie goes, then send the entire crew as well, Ted/JA all of them!
Heres hoping we/they win and they stay though.

Dude!! Chitown-you want St. Clair back? Be careful what you wish. Don't you remember what Jared Allen, among others, did to that guy last year? This year he's opening gaping holes ;) on the right side for Cleveland. That's the same Cleveland that currently has one rushing touchdown and 3 passing TDs.

OK they definately are a work in progress, but the O-line is much more talented than last year!!!

Pace has been playing better as the season goes on. He made a mistake Sunday. That kind of mistake is why you don't want to be in that position, on the road, in a dome. Pace did OK against a really good player in Abraham.

Williams is playing OK despite some rookie type mistakes. I think a lot of you are still POed at him for missing last year. So be it. He's a big boy and he took the paychecks. Think about it though. If he had been playing like this at game six last year, you would have been OK with it. Williams is improving every game.

It may be time for a change on the O-line, but not a panic change. My jury is still out on Omiyale. I can see improvement from the opening game. The problem is that he still needs a lot more improvement. He's played more at tackle, so it's hard for us to know his ceiling at guard. This is his 5th year. You would think the learning curve is starting to flatten out.

The problem with putting Beekman in there for Omiyale is that it might be better to put Beekman in for Kreutz. Kreutz has been a mainstay for a long time, but he looks like he is getting pushed around now. His game has always been speed and athleticism, but he is not getting off the ball like he did in the past.

The Bears are 3-2 just past the quarter pole. It's way too soon to panic. I think the current line has a lot better football in them.

Hey Mike,

Again, not funny, and you're the only one calling Marinelli "the Messiah" and I don't know what your definition of "countless" is but Abraham did not "blow by Pace countless times" by the way, but you got me there (no, I've been a fan since 1984).

So the D-line isn't that bad, especially against the run they are pretty good, and then the Bears had 28 sacks all of last year but have 14 so far this year (not all of it is the line of course), our passing defense is 14th in the league so far this year as opposed to 30th last year, and since the Falcons have been one of the best at keeping their QB upright for the last 2 years, that makes our D-line above average and improving would you say?

Hey MS BearsFan that wasn't me wanting him back I actually commented to Anonymous to that very fact. Come on man you know me, I know when we have upgraded a position....LOL.....I agree with you I thought Pace outplayed Abraham in the game, Abraham's youth tired him out and he made a mental mistake on the fourth and one, but I don't expect to see that from O-pace later in the season... Hey I'm with you I think a lot of us are frustrated due to the fact that Denver is sitting at 6-0 and we could see where we should have a better record also...We need to get one this week though, we don't want to be like the Jets and quickly lose two or three in a row......Go BEARS

Boomer Esiason had some nice things to say about Cutler after the game. Calling Cutler a top 10 QB in the league and saying he is playing his @ss off for the Bears despite not having a lot of help.

His comments on Orton where basically that Orton is a good QB doing what he is asked to do with a great cast of players.

Well at least someone gets its it in media land. I think Dilfer wants to have Orton's children.

Hub commented on the game as well saying the whole O-Line is looking suspect, even with Pace playing his best game until the last play. He pointed out that the Bears need to rebuild their line but do not have the draft picks to do it pointing out the Adams trade. He like many wanted to know how they will rebuild this line, which is suspect at best with no draft picks on day one and a need at every position.

When he spoke about the defense he pointed out the only great player they had on defense was Harris, but that this veteran line is average and Harris is no longer great. He did say their was value in the Adams trade, but said he needs to learn how to play and to get in the weight room, he also said that their was a greater area of need on the O-Line and wondered why it was not being addressed because it is so obvious. The Bears where also said to be looking for a LB and DT.

By the way he pointed out that Payne blew it on the White TD.

He said Omiyale is terrible and that Olin is showing his age even though he had been playing well for most of the season. He did say he thought he saw Orton order a pizza last night behind his line.

He said Forte was a decent back but not special. Chris Williams is shaky and looks mediocre. He said Cutler is playing a beat to fast because the line is collapsing to fast.

He said Hester is not a WR, he said he was a talent, but you can tell he does not have the instincts to play reciever the way it should be played. He pointed out that on one reception by Hester for about a 24 yard gain he had a catch and then made a double move and ran out. If he had not made the second move he splits the seem and its a TD. I had been wondering about that because the second move put him behind a DB and made no sense. He also pointed out the time he broke out for what would have been a TD but pulled up in his rout and did not look back at Cutler but stuck his hand in the air for the ball and then watched it fall right in front of him while jogging. If he finishes his rout and keeps his eye on the QB he has another TD.

He also talked about Cutler being the only reason they where even in this game.

MOMO the Bears had the same amount of hits on Ryan this year as they had last year. Zero, as it stands they have played against 3 of the worst lines in football, GB who gave up five sacks to a detroit D-Line who had 3 starters sitting, PIT who has one of the worst pass blocking lines in football and has given up more sacks then anyone the last two years, and Detorit who has a horrible line. SEA was missing 3 starters and had a backup QB in there who likes to run. The Bears where very good against the run last year and they are again this year, mostly becuase they stack the box. As much as you may like the line it can't get to the QB using just the front 4, they need blitz help. Didn't Lovie say they needed to get pressure with the front 4 more and blitz less? well they are blitzing more than any team in football and have an average pass rush because of it. They still can't get to the QB using the front 4. Watch a game. They are using blitzing to free up linemen, they are overloading and forcing the Offensive lines of other teams to make a choice, do I pick up the blitzing LB or the DE? Generally they pick up the blitzing player and that allows the linemen to come free. That does not make the line better. Against a good line and blitzing like crazy they got zero hits. They have a weak schedual and will fatten up their stats on teams like the Rams, Detroit, and GB who they get to play, Let me know how they do against Baltimore.

Did you notice that before the season started I said they would do well against GB, before anyone knew their line was bad, I said it was bad, did I not say before the season started that they would struggle to get to Ryan again. How do you think I knew these things? How do you think I knew GB had a bad line and that the right side was vulnerable. I even said the Bears had a real good shot to beat Pit because of Pit's line. They don't play any great lines this year, the best line they face is Atlanta. The MIN line will still give Brown trouble. Alex Brown is on pace for 6 sacks again, Wale is on Pace for 14 but I bet he only gets 9 or 10 in his contract year. Harris has zero sacks. This also does not account for hits or hurries, and their is a reason they went out and got Adams. A lot of experts have talked about the Bears line and most of them are not impressed. Neither am I. Its one thing to get sacks against a team with a terrible line its another to do it against a good line, they have faced one good line this year and failed.

Hey Creighton,

I don't recall the exact wording, but I actually do remember you saying something in the line of the D-line not being as effective against the Falcons. So kudos to you for being on the mark in terms of getting sacks.

I honestly thought they would be able to get at least one sack, but the Falcons O-line was better than I thought, Ryan was cooler and fleeter a foot than I thought, and they kept everything short (literally no completed pass went over 16 yards, White's 40-yarder was mostly the run after the catch). Short passes was their game plan, they patiently stuck with it throughout, while the Bears' offense imploded.

While I understand the point you are making, I see it differently. Short 2 starting LBs and a defensive backfield in flux, the Bears are holding their ground against the run, are giving up less yardage than last year against the pass, and have a higher sack total than last year. I'd say the D-line is doing pretty good, NOT GREAT, BUT PRETTY GOOD given the circumstances, and I believe they are doing a better job than last year. We blitz a lot, but that's nothing new. You say the Ravens will be the next big test. It'll be fun to watch how they do.

But I have to disagree with the opinion that Cutler was "the only reason they where even in this game." I thought the defense held it together more than anything. Where's Mike?

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on October 19, 2009 4:07 PM.

Rapid reaction to a game full of too many errors by the Bears was the previous entry in this blog.

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