Lovie: We will have more balance


Lovie: We will have more balance

Monday, Sept. 19, 2011
Posted: 8:18 p.m.

By JohnMullin BearsInsider Follow@CSNMoonMullin Lovie-speak

The Bears coach had some things to say on Bears Insider Monday night with play-by-play man Jeff Joniak on WBBM-AM 780. The matter of playcalling balance was among the first things brought up and it sounds like Mike Martzs passing fancy wont be allowed to continue for seven games the way it did in the 2010 season.

Its always concerning when you have that amount of rushes, Smith said. You need to have more and we will have more.

Smith looked at the Bears scoring a field goal just before halftime and another by Robbie Gould to bring the score to 16-13 before Jay Cutler was sacked and forced into a fumble that became a New Orleans touchdown five plays later. That turnover really hurt us, Smith said.

But while the offensive line has taken hits on and off the field, between injuries and criticism, Smith was clear that the problems are not all with the front five.

You definitely just cant blame the offensive line, Smith said, citing the receivers, quarterback, tight ends and backs. Its a combinationall of the above.

Receivers coach Darryl Drake joined Joniak and Smith and didnt have a lot to talk about. Not because of anything game-related, just because hes down two wideouts with the injuries to Earl Bennett (chest) and Roy Williams (groin).

I was really pleased with the way Dane came in and stepped up.

What Drake did have was an extended look at undrafted rookie free agent Dane Sanzenbacher, pressed into service after Bennett went down in the first quarter. For his first game with as many plays as he played, Drake said, I thought he did a good job. Sanzenbacher had a drop but managed to catch 3 of his 7 pass opportunities.

Keeping Cutler upright is not just the job of his blockers, as Drake highlighted. Receivers have evolving responsibilities as plays unfold and they can help with giving the quarterback the proper short-term options.

Just understanding whats going on, when pressures coming, when youre a hot receiver, just seeing those things and reacting fast, Drake said. Because theyre going to bring one more pass rusher than you can block, you have to handle that with receivers.

Devin Hester was unfairly credited with being thrown to nine times, and he caught only one. The numbers arent always what they appear.

There really werent nine times he was targeted, Drake said. Sometimes the quarterback is just throwing the ball away. That can sometimes be very misleading.

You might see that it says Devin Hester was targeted nine times and he only caught one, Drake said. Thats so far from the case.

The view from afar

Peter Kings Monday Morning Quarterback is always a worthwhile read, and hes got an interesting quick hit (pun intended) with respect to the Bears (http:tinyurl.com6bes6h9).

Peter still has the Bears in his Fine 15 (at No. 15) and right now he ranks the Packers (2), Lions (5) and Bears in his top 15 teams. One oddity, though, is the Bears being down at 15 and the Atlanta Falcons, whacked by the Bears, are up at No. 9 after beating Philadelphia after the Eagles lost Michael Vick to injury.

Bad timeing

Underscoring (and correcting by 2 seconds) a point made yesterday, one of the real casualties of the Mike Martz runpass program Sunday was the Bears defense. After the Bears controlled the ball for 5:29 on a TD drive in the first quarter, no Chicago possession lasted longer then two minutes 29 seconds for the rest of the game.

Only three of the final 11 possessions lasted even two minutes total. That is putting the defense back on the field too soon and too often when its Drew Brees on the other side.

Lovie Smith touched on special-teams shortcomings in the area of returns, with good reason. Besides the Bears getting just one meaningless takeaway, they started none of their 13 possessions in plus territory, the opponents side of the 50.

John "Moon" Mullin is's Bears Insider and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.

Could Packers make a run at Nick Saban? One ESPN analyst thinks so

Could Packers make a run at Nick Saban? One ESPN analyst thinks so

Let's speculate! 

Earlier on Get Up, ESPN's morning talk show, TV analyst and ex-player Ryan Clark fired off this take about the Packers' head coaching search:

“If you’re Green Bay right now, you sell the farm. You sell the farm. You send everybody to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and you try to get Nick Saban to leave Alabama and become the coach. When you look at quarterback-coach relationships — Sean Payton and Drew Brees, Bill Belichick, Tom Brady — there is mutual respect and accountability there."

It's kind of a reckless heat check of punditry, but some of this stands to reason. Saban's got nothing to prove at Alabama anymore. His disastrous tenure in Miami can't sit well with him. It's Aaron Rodgers.

Rumors of Saban's NFL return pop up every year, so until there's some more substance, it's not even really a rumor yet. But wouldn't that be something! 


The Bears had the most creative playcall of the 2018 NFL season


The Bears had the most creative playcall of the 2018 NFL season

It's been the year of trick plays in the NFL, but the Bears and Matt Nagy can take home the honor of the most creative of the bunch.

Sports Illustrated ranked their top trick plays of the season this week and Santa's Sleigh came in at No. if it was really any competition.

Santa's Sleigh was the touchdown pass from Mitch Trubisky to offensive lineman Bradley Sowell in Week 14 as the Bears dismantled the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday Night Football.

That play featured four — FOUR!! — defensive lineman on the field for the Bears on 3rd-and-goal plus an extra offensive lineman (Sowell) and Trubisky. 

There are so many moving parts there, but the most notable is Sowell showing off his hands with a nice catch to finish the play.

"It’s cool having a coach that’s willing to do that," said Roy Robertson-Harris, who was one of the defensive lineman on the field for that play. "It shows how fun he is. Not a lot of coaches do stuff like that, so it’s fun to be around a coach that wants to do stuff like that, having defensive players get in on the plays. You know, have fun. We’re not here to be robots, we’re here to have fun. It’s a job, but we’re having fun with it right now.”

The Bears were all over SI's trick plays list, including on the bad end of one of Odell Beckham Jr.'s long touchdown passes in that Week 13 loss. But at least the Bears weren't alone, as Beckham also victimized the Carolina Panthers in Week 5.

SI also ranked a trio of honorable mentions, including another reference to that Week 13 game when Tarik Cohen threw the game-tying touchdown pass as time expired against the Giants in a play called "Oompa Loompa":

Who knows what the Mad Scientist Nagy will dial up for his next creative playcall, but maybe it will come when the Bears host a playoff game in early January? 

That's right - The 👏 Bears 👏 will 👏 be 👏 hosting 👏 a 👏 playoff 👏 game 👏 this 👏 winter.

'Tis the season for magic, but then again, this entire season has been magical for the Bears.

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