Chicago Sun-Times

Communication breakdown leads to sacks

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What we had here, Bears player after player said afterwards, was a failure to communicate.

That was the reason the Bears allowed six more sacks and are now on pace to surrender 72 for the season, which would shatter the team record of 66 sacks allowed in a season set in 2004. It's the reason why on four occasions the player who sacked quarterback Jay Cutler was not only unblocked but untouched. It's why Cutler had to burn two valuable time outs in the second half and why for the second time this year the Bears completed a game without a single third-down conversion.

Ultimately, it's why the Bears fell to Seattle 23-20 at Soldier Field, blowing a chance to seize firm control of the wobbly NFC North.

"Today we were out of sync, to be honest," guard Edwin William said. "We have to be on the same page and today we weren't. There were a lot of mental errors, myself included, on those sacks. The blame is not on anybody in particular but on the whole offense. On certain plays the O-line has the [blitzing defensive backs] and on certain plays it's a hot and on certain plays the fullback or running back has him. We just weren't picking them up and getting the job done. At the end of the day, if we're all on the same page, we can pick that stuff up regardless.

"Today, we weren't on the same page."

If the Bears are having this many fundamental communication problems this late in the season there is legitimate reason to wonder if they will ever get straightened out.
Much has been made of the constant re-shuffling of the offensive line, but safeties and cornerbacks running untouched off the edge isn't always the linemen's fault. Sometimes tight ends are responsible for picking them up and other times it's a running back. In still other cases, the onus is on the quarterback, who can combat the blitz by throwing a quick pass to a "hot" receiver, which is something Cutler didn't do often enough on Sunday.

"We took a step back today," veteran center Olin Kreutz said. "It's back to the drawing board for us. It was very obvious we weren't on the same page out there today offensive-line wise and that's my job. It falls on my shoulders. I have to get that corrected."
The lack of communication also hurt the team on third down, which has turned into a futile proposition of late. In their past three games, the Bears have converted only 3 of 40 third downs.

Is it any wonder they have lost two of three?

"We played hard but we didn't play smart," Williams said. "You can play as hard as you can but if you don't know what you're doing and aren't on the same page and assuming instead of opening your mouth and talking it doesn't matter who you are blocking. They're going to get you."

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So the Bears cant protect there Quarterback, Thats not news it is a fact!Poor Jay should have stayed off for another week and seen if Tice Can fix a broken front line, NOT going to happen with the personal they Have!So look to Denver and see how a Quarterback Plays,Just like Chicago no running attack there either!But atleast they have a good front line to protect there Quarterback.What worked the week before was forgotten this week,great game planning by the coach(NOT) really.No help from the tight ends,runningbacks,fullback for Jay,whats wrong with this picture?Why bother to get a probowl Quarterback if your going to let him get killed out there?Just a thought or two.

"We took a step back today," veteran center Olin Kreutz said. "It's back to the drawing board for us. It was very obvious we weren't on the same page out there today offensive-line wise and that's my job. It falls on my shoulders. I have to get that corrected."

Why is Olin the only guy on the line that knows what everyone else is suppose to do? In fact why is Olin the only guy that knows what anyone is suppose to do. Shouldn't the other players no their jobs by now?

The line is not going to get better this year. Their talent sucks, and the offensive system doesn't help at all either. Hope Cutler lasts the season, and GB and Minnesota keep sucking.

Good points, Creighton.

I'd like to add that Olin is supposed to be the leader of the OL, yet no one seems to know what they're doing. Is he doing his job? Does Jay need to get in people's faces like Troy Aikman used to do in Dallas? Is that his job? Or is that "taboo" now in the NFL.

I hear people say, "Jay holds on to the ball" and "the Martz scheme doesn't fit." When I watch the game and I see MULTIPLE PASS RUSHERS GETTING IN THE BACKFIELD UNBLOCKED on nearly every down, I have to say, "that's on the players."

The Bears have a horrible OL. They are awful. I have no problem saying they are the worst I have ever seen. Even worse than San Francisco's line in 2007. If they need to communicate more, that's fine. They should also try blocking a little more.

A failure to communicate?

Maybe once, but having the same result every time the Bears left their O tackles uncovered is not poor communication. It is poor awareness and execution. Where is Tice in all of this? He wasn't watching the same game as the rest of us? Even the TV commentators understood what the Bears weren't doing -- and they pointed it out several times during the game.

Cutler was fortunate that occasionally someone did chip one of the blitzing safeties. Otherwise, they would have met in the backfield at the intersection of Jay's head and his shoulders.

Is this or is this not a metaphor for the Bears game? Does this not remind you of Cutler?

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on October 17, 2010 5:55 PM.

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