Bears

Robbie Gould shoulders blame for Bears loss: 'I feel terrible'

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Robbie Gould shoulders blame for Bears loss: 'I feel terrible'

Robbie Gould was waiting at his locker as soon as the Bears clubhouse opened, ready to face the music.

The Bears limped off Soldier Field Sunday afternoon with a stomach-churning 26-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in overtime, a game in which Robbie Gould missed two field goals - including a 36-yarder as time expired in regulation.

"There's no excuse for it," Gould said. "I just didn't get it done today. I feel terrible. I have a job to do and I didn't do that today.

"This one falls on me and my shoulders. I feel bad for my teammates because I didn't do the job that I'm supposed to do."

It's only the fourth time in Gould's career that he missed multiple field goals in the same game, but it's already the second time this season (he also missed two field goals in Week 9 against the San Diego Chargers).

[MORE - Bears shoot themselves in the foot in OT loss to 49ers]

Both field goals against the Niners fell within Gould's "comfort" range - tries of 36 and 40 yards. Entering play Sunday, Gould had missed just 10 field goals from the 30-39 yard range in his career, going 88-for-98 in such attempts (89.8 percent).

Gould did connect on his first two field goals on the afternoon - a 40-yarder and a 51-yarder in the first quarter.

"I hit the ball really well the first time," Gould said. "I had a lot of confidence going into the last two kicks. I just got quick on both of them and rushed them and hurried them.

"They're both probably the worst kicks I had all year."

Gould's teammates, however, refused to let him take all the blame.

"That's not fair at all," Bears rookie running back Jeremy Langford said. "You learn as a football player that it's not one play that loses a game. There are a lot of those plays that add up at the end of the game to help with that loss."

Matt Forte echoed Langford's thoughts.

"It's a team," Forte said. "Everybody knows that. ... We lost the game as a team. We had a chance to win the game multiple times.

"It's not fair for him to say that he lost the game. ... He can't put that all on himself. And he shouldn't."

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

Gould entered the game 24-for-27 on field goals on the season is also still over 85 percent in his career (269-for-315, 85.3 percent).

"I told him on the sideline, 'You're our brother. We got your back,'" Bears linebacker Pernell McPhee said. "It's football. Nobody's ever going to be perfect, man.

"He's going to be a legendary kicker someday. He's our brother and we got his back and we're gonna fight through this together."

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.”