Adjusting in face of defeat paramount to Chicago Bears success

Adjusting in face of defeat paramount to Chicago Bears success
Chris Sweda, Chicago Tribune

Well, as Tom Thayer said Monday after the Bears’ 40-32 loss to the Detroit Lions, “I know all about going 15-1 and it isn’t that bad.” For so many years, us as fans have heard and adjusted to the “quarter system” implemented by Lovie Smith.

By that system, the Bears have effectively finished the first quarter of their season with a 3-1 mark. But after learning Marc Trestman’s philosophy on the NFL, I’m sure that the team’s goal for the rest of the season much resembles the tongue-in-cheek statement of the 1985 squad’s Super Bowl winning guard.

The most important and encouraging thing I have heard from the 2013 version of “Da Coach” is that it’s all about making adjustments. Win or lose, that idea will always be paramount when it comes to the likes of the coaching world.

Those who can adjust best and in the least amount of time to their surroundings will be the most successful, and that holds true week after week, but especially after a performance like the one thrown out by Jay Cutler and the gang up in Detroit.

We all know that Jay Cutler had a bad game — it’s old news and it is going to happen throughout the course of the season. When Cutler has one of his negative, gunslinger-type games, the most important thing is how the Bears make the in-game changes needed to still come away with a victory.

Overcoming adversity is something the coaching staff and players deal with on a snap-to-snap basis; it’s nothing new. Besides, there were some good things to take away from the loss as there usually are.

Alshon Jeffery was the team’s leading receiver with 11 targets, resulting in five catches for 107 yards, a TD and a two-point conversion. This broke the trend of Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte being the most targeted men in the passing game.

Chicago also had success in the running game (even though they abandoned it earlier than I would have liked), amassing 131 yards on 16 carries.

On the defensive side, there wasn’t as much to write home about, but we have to take the good with the bad. Some of the good was Julius Peppers deciding to heed my advice and look for his game under the couch cushions, where he came up with six tackles and a sack (the only one of the day for the Bears).

The bad side is that was the only QB hit they had all afternoon, and that is something that has become all too familiar. Major Wright was another positive. Even while playing 25 yards off the ball for the majority of his snaps, he managed to come up with six tackles and the lone interception of Matthew Stafford.

However, the most disconcerting thing lies in the hands of the coaching staff and the jostling of the defensive line. I cannot for the life of me understand why they decided to slide Stephen Paea to the 3-technique (playing on the outside shoulder of the guard) and fill Nate Collins in over the center.

Paea was just starting to grind out a niche for himself at that position, and Collins had familiarity with lining up over the guard. It just makes more sense to only have one player come in and move out of his comfort level. We are all well aware that players need to be adept at playing multiple positions, especially those guys who make a living in the trenches.

But, the fact of the matter is everyone has a place that they are clearly most comfortable and better suited for playing, and when it comes to Collins, his larger frame and inability to generate a lower pad level in his match-up with Dominic Riola had a direct correlation to Reggie Bush’s 111 rushing yards in the first half.

Paea is much better suited to take on the double team and in turn create a pile of bodies in the running lanes which allows the rest of the defensive line and linebackers to flow and make tackles.

And things don’t get any easier this week as Drew Brees and the ever potent air attack come to town. With a win on Sunday, however, the Bears would supplant themselves as a team to be reckoned with in the NFC and ease the doubt of their fans that was brought out with last week’s performance.

Until next time, folks …

Bear Down.

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Filed under: Post Game Report

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