Bears

Bears schedule: No breathing room

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Bears schedule: No breathing room

The loss to Houston hurts even more now that both Green Bay and Minnesota wont stop winning. The early walkovers built some momentum for the defense, but the offense is still looking for its own and now has to go against an elite San Francisco defense without the key figure in the offense.

Indianapolis Colts (6-4) W 41-21

Balanced identity established with 33-35 run pass ratio and O runs up 428 yards with Jay Cutler throwing for 333 yards and 2 TDs to go with rushing TDs by Michael Bush (2) and Matt Forte (1) as part of 122 rushing yards. Nice to have caught this team while Andrew Luck was still a puppy.

@ Green Bay Packers (7-3) L 23-10

Cutler berates offensive linemen on national TV for seven sacks; linemen just have to accept Cutlers four INTs apparently. Embarrassing offensive performance all around as defense holds Aaron Rodgers and Pack to three FGs and one TD.

St. Louis Rams (3-6-1) W 23-6

Defense sacks Sam Bradford six times and holds Rams out of the end zone. Offense scores only one TD for the second week in a row and Cutler continues to find a groove with receivers.

@ Dallas Cowboys (5-5) W 34-18

Five interceptions of Tony Romo, two returned for TDs (Lance Briggs, Charles Tillman) and a workmanlike 360 yards on offense produce a crucial road win on MNF against the most overrated (annually) team in the NFL.

@ Jacksonville Jaguars (1-9) W 41-3

Bears offense runs up 501 balanced yards (214 rush, 287 pass) and explodes after a sluggish first half. Briggs and Tillman make NFL history with TD interceptions for second straight week and Brandon Marshall puts up 144 yards on 12 catches.

Sun., Oct. 14 Bye week

vs. Detroit Lions (4-6) W 13-7

Cutler sacked five times and survives Ndamukong Suhs WWE takedown. Bears RBs net 132 yards as run game clicks. Offense cant put Lions away but Tillman D on Calvin Johnson virtually locks Bears DB into a 2nd Pro Bowl.

vs. Carolina Panthers (2-8) W 23-22

Robbie Gould 41-yard FG as time expires caps 16-point fourth quarter and rally from 19-7 deficit. Offense and defense struggle badly for three quarters but Kellen Davis catches TD pass and Tim Jennings TD return to turn back Cam Newton and reeling Ron Rivera team.

@ Tennessee Titans (4-6) W 51-20

Tillmans bid for Defensive Player of the Year got a boost from four forced fumbles, Brian Urlacher returned an INT for a touchdown and Corey Wootton scored on a blocked punt. Cutler throws three TDs to Brandon Marshall in a game Bears led 28-2 after one quarter.

Houston Texans (9-1) L 13-6

Cutler goes out with concussion and offense improves with Jason Campbell. But too many wasted chances with good field positions with two INTs and two lost fumbles. Arian Foster rushes for 102, but Bears adjust to control Texans offense in second half. Next: vs. Jacksonville

@ San Francisco 49ers (6-2-1) Mon., Nov. 19, 7:30 p.m.

QB Alex Smith went down with a concussion and Niners struggled to a 24-24 tie with the Rams after blown plays in OT. Rams put 24 points and 458 yards, 159 rushing, on NFL elite defense. Next: BEARS, MNF

Vikings (6-4) Sun., Nov. 25, noon

Off week to prepare for Bears. Next: BEARS

Seattle Seahawks (6-4) Sun., Dec. 2, noon

Off week after two straight wins. Streak should be three next weekend. Next: @ Miami

@ Minnesota Vikings (6-4) Sun., Dec. 9, noon

Green Bay Packers (7-3) Sun., Dec. 16, noon

Rodgers directs second-half comeback with a late winning TD pass to Randall Cobb. Packers got that fifth straight W with key starters (Clay Matthews, Charles Woodson, Greg Jennings) injured. Next: @ N.Y. Giants

@ Arizona Cardinals (4-6) Sun., Dec. 23, 3:15 p.m.

A week off changed nothing except a closer loss, letting Atlanta get away as tailspin in the desert keeps getting worse. Next: St. Louis

@ Detroit Lions (4-6) Sun., Dec. 30, noon

Matthew Stafford helps the Packers with two INTs and a fumble lost while defense cant keep Green Bay from scoring 10 points in final two minutes. And the schedule is only getting worse. Next: Houston

Roquan Smith helps shear a sheep at Bears community event

Roquan Smith helps shear a sheep at Bears community event

Roquan Smith has more sheared sheep than tackles on his stat sheet as a pro football player.

Smith and several other Bears rookies participated in a hands-on community event at Lambs Farm in Libertyville, Illinois on Monday where he assisted farm staff with the sheep's grooming. Smith said it was a first for him despite growing up around animals. 

"It's like on the norm for me though, playing linebacker you're in the trenches," Smith said of the experience.

"Shaving a sheep, I never really envisioned myself doing something like that," Smith said via ChicagoBears.com. "I was around animals [growing up], but it was more so cows and goats here and there and dogs and cats. I've petted a sheep before, but never actually flipped one and shaved one."

Bears rookies got up close and personal with more than just sheep.

Smith was selected with the eighth overall pick in April's draft and will assume a starting role opposite Danny Trevathan at inside linebacker this season. Here's to hoping he can wrangle opposing ball-carriers like a sheep waiting to be sheared.

The Bears' defense is ahead of its offense, but Matt Nagy doesn't see that as a problem

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USA Today Sports Images

The Bears' defense is ahead of its offense, but Matt Nagy doesn't see that as a problem

Asking players about how the defense is “ahead” of the offense is a yearly right of passage during OTAs, sort of like how every baseball team has about half its players saying they’re in the best shape of their life during spring training. So that Vic Fangio’s defense is ahead of Matt Nagy’s offense right now isn’t surprising, and it's certainly not concerning. 

But Nagy is also working to install his offense right now during OTAs to build a foundation for training camp. So does the defense — the core of which is returning with plenty of experience in Fangio’s system — being ahead of the offense hurt those efforts?

“It’s actually good for us because we’re getting an experienced defense,” Nagy said. “My message to the team on the offensive side is just be patient and don’t get frustrated. They understand that they’re going to play a little bit faster than us right now. We’ll have some growing pains, but we’ll get back to square one in training camp.”

We’ll have a chance to hear from the Bears’ offensive players following Wednesday’s practice, but for now, the guys on Fangio’s defense have come away impressed with that Nagy’s offense can be. 

“The offense is a lot … just very tough,” cornerback Prince Amukamara said. “They’re moving well. They’re faster. They’re throwing a lot of different looks at us and that’s just Nagy’s offense. If I was a receiver I would love to play in this offense, just because you get to do so many different things and you get so many different plays. It just looks fun over there.”

“They’re moving together, and I like to see that,” linebacker Danny Trevathan said. “We’re not a bad defense. They’re practicing against us, so they’re getting better every day, and vice versa. It’s a daily grind. It’s going to be tough, but those guys, they got the right pieces. I like what I see out there. When somebody makes a play, they’re gone. Everybody can run over there. It’s the right fit for Mitch, it’s the right fit for the receivers, the running backs.”

Still, for all the praise above, the defense is “winning” more, at least as much as it can without the pads on. But the offense is still having some flashes, even as it collectively learns the terminology, concepts and formations used by Nagy. 

And that leads to a competitive atmosphere at Halas Hall, led by the Bears’ new head coach. 

“He’s an offensive coach and last year coach (John) Fox, I couldn’t really talk stuff to (him) because he’s a defensive coach and it’s like Nagy’s offense so if I get a pick or something, I mean, I like to talk stuff to him,” Amukamara said. “He’ll say something like ‘we’re coming at you 2-0.’ Stuff like that. That just brings out the competition and you always want that in your head coach.”