BOURBONNAIS — Whether it was a good day or a bad day depends on which side of the football you happened to be standing on or which phase of the Bears you happen to think needs a big day.
With assistants keeping “score” on an electronic board along one sideline — the defense triumphed, 24-20, based on the in-house point system — the offense that had been virtually turnover-free through the first week of training camp was throttled.
One pass was intercepted (though it wasn't thrown by either Jay Cutler or Jimmy Clausen). Plays were repeatedly stacked up. Pernell McPhee and Shea McClellin so swarmed Cutler on one drop-back that the quarterback was hard to find in the mayhem, even in his bright orange jersey.
Cutler located 6-foot-4 wide receiver Marquess Wilson deep against single coverage on a 60-yard touchdown attempt, only to have veteran cornerback Tracy Porter easily break the play up with a deflection. Even in one-on-one pass protection work, Pro Bowl guard Kyle Long was sent flying by veteran defensive lineman Jeremiah Ratliff on one rep.
“Jeremiah Ratliff is the final ‘boss’ you gotta face in the video game,” Long said. “You play it all summer, and then you gotta beat Jeremiah Ratliff. He’s who I go up against every day, so it’s always awesome to line up on Sunday and not see No. 90 with a giant beard across from you.”
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The offense saw a whole lot of Ratliff and associates in Wednesday’s sessions. One hallmark of the 3-4 as practiced by coordinator Vic Fangio is its unpredictability, and that was very much in evidence, with the offense struggling to execute and establish any sort of consistent rhythm.
This could be considered good news for a unit still very much its formative stages. Or it was a sign that the offense has not yet shaken off all the vestiges of the past year or two.
“Today was a bad day for us offensively,” Cutler said simply. “I think everybody across the page isn’t going to be happy with the performance.”
The boss chose to look at the overall, not just the day’s receipts.
“I like their progress (on offense),” head coach John Fox said. “I like their toughness up front. I like that our starting group has not had a turnover yet.
“Again, it’s not a game or anything, but in practice it’s something coach (Adam) Gase and the offensive staff, they stress ball security. I like where they are now.”