NFC North: Chicago Bears

Allen practices, Marshall sits

September, 19, 2014
Sep 19
3:54
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LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Chicago Bears defensive end Jared Allen (lower back) practiced without restrictions on Friday, but wide receiver Brandon Marshall (ankle) remained sidelined for a second consecutive day.

 Marshall and Allen are both expected to play Monday night versus the New York Jets.

Besides Marshall, six other Bears were held out of Friday’s practice: defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff
(concussion), linebacker Shea McClellin (hand), defensive end Trevor Scott (foot), cornerback Sherrick McManis (quad), center Roberto Garza (ankle) and left guard Matt Slauson (ankle).

McClellin’s situation took a turn for the worse. The linebacker had limited in participation in practice on Thursday, but he sat out the entire workout on Friday.

According to head coach Marc Trestman, McClellin suffered the hand injury in practice this week, not during the 28-20 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Week 2.

In other health news, wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (hamstring) and safety Chris Conte (shoulder) were both limited for the second straight practice, while receiver Josh Morgan (groin) had full participation. Morgan should be available to face the Jets.

Bears re-sign CB Demontre Hurst

September, 18, 2014
Sep 18
12:05
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LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears used their final open roster spot to re-sign cornerback Demontre Hurst, the team announced on Thursday.

Hurst earned a place on the Bears’ 53-man roster at the conclusion of the preseason, and made his NFL debut versus the Buffalo Bills in Week 1, where he recorded two special teams tackles. However, the Bears waived Hurst following the loss to the Bills.

Hurst spent the entire 2013 season on the Bears’ practice squad after joining the club as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Oklahoma.

In addition to possibly contributing on special teams, Hurst has practiced at the nickel back position in the past.

With veteran cornerback Charles Tillman lost for the year and Sherrick McManis dealing with a quad injury, the Bears have spent the past three days figuring out what to do in the nickel sub-package.

Rookie first-round pick Kyle Fuller is expected to stay outside at cornerback full-time in place of Tillman, and the Bears may ask Tim Jennings to do the same. If the Bears go that route, it opens a hole at nickel back. The team had rookie safety Brock Vereen slide inside and cover the slot after Tillman got hurt in the 28-20 win over the San Francisco 49ers, but head coach Marc Trestman said on Tuesday the team still considers Vereen to be a safety.

The Bears elevated last year’s starting nickel back, Isaiah Frey, off the practice squad on Tuesday. Frey is a logical candidate to take over nickel after he started six games and recorded 62 tackles for the Bears in 2013.

It should be noted, however, that McManis had an excellent preseason. If healthy, McManis is fully capable of lining up at cornerback in the nickel defense if the Bears preference is to continue having Jennings cover inside.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The roster shuffling continued at Halas Hall on Tuesday, with the Chicago Bears elevating cornerback Isaiah Frey and receiver Rashad Ross off the practice squad to the 53-man roster while waiving running back Shaun Draughn and receiver Chris Williams, in addition to terminating the contract of vested veteran tight end Matthew Mulligan.

The moves come in response to the Bears placing cornerback Charles Tillman on the season-ending injured reserve, as well as to the club’s struggles on special teams during its win Sunday over the San Francisco 49ers.

The Bears also added defensive tackle Roy Philon to the practice squad.

A third-year veteran, Frey spent all of the 2013 season as the team’s primary nickel corner. But he struggled throughout the season due to a broken bone in his hand and failed to force a single turnover. Frey started six games, producing 62 tackles and two pass breakups, in addition to generating five quarterback pressures.

Frey spent his rookie season (2012) and the first two weeks of this season on the practice squad. It’s unknown whether the Bears plan to make Frey the starter at nickel for Monday night’s matchup against the New York Jets, and it’s likely the club is continuing to explore options at the position.

Because of Tillman’s injury, the Bears will move rookie Kyle Fuller into the starting lineup to play opposite Tim Jennings. Still, the club seeks a proven player to take snaps from the slot corner position, as the Bears spend approximately 50 percent of the time executing out of substitution packages.

Ross, meanwhile, spent the bulk of last season on the practice squads of the Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs after the former signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Arizona State.

Ross played in 26 games at Arizona State with 14 starts, and he caught 55 passes for 864 yards and seven touchdowns while also contributing as a return man (779 yards and two touchdowns).
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- A black briefcase lying in front of him at the podium, Chicago Bears guard Kyle Long took a businesslike approach Monday in assessing the team's dismal performance in the run game during the club's triumph over the San Francisco 49ers.

"I was embarrassed," Long said.

Bears coach Marc Trestman worded his thoughts a tad more delicately, but the fact remains the offense -- after averaging 4.8 yards per rushing attempt in the season opener -- took a major step backward running the ball against the 49ers.

Obviously several factors played into the performance, most significantly, a 17-point deficit in the second quarter, which put the team into passing mode. Still, when Chicago ran against the 49ers, it averaged just 2.7 yards per attempt, with Matt Forte finishing with 21 yards on 12 attempts.

[+] EnlargeMatt Forte
AP Photo/Tony Avelar)The Bears struggled to run the ball against the 49ers, averaging just 2.7 yards per carry.
Jay Cutler led the way with 25 yards rushing, with all of that coming on one scramble.

"Very poor in our run game performance," Trestman said. "We're gonna throw that away, and try to work off where we got started in the Buffalo game, and try to continue progress and get better there. [San Francisco is a] very difficult defense to run against. But nonetheless, the tape has certainly shown us we have some work to do. It got our guys' attention, which is a good thing."

The club's rushing aspirations become more difficult Monday night on the road when the Bears face the New York Jets, which boast the league's to run defense. Jets opponents averaged 2.8 yards per attempt and 52.5 yards per game on the ground. New York's defense is one of just seven units in the NFL which still hasn't given up a rushing touchdown.

The longest run surrendered by the Jets this season was 12 yards.

"We need to run the ball," Long said. "I know we got the win on the road, and it was big. I'm sure everybody else in our room will echo that. So will Matt. You need to run the ball in the National Football League, and we'll be better at that."

Chicago certainly needs to be Monday night to prevent New York from making it one dimensional, which in turn would allow the Jets to pin back their ears and come after quarterback Jay Cutler. If the Bears can string together success on the ground against the Jets, the playbook opens up and allows them to attack with all the weapons at their disposal as opposed to relying solely on Jay Cutler and the receivers to make the offense go.

Long attributed the offense's problems running the ball to simply "techniques, different looks." But ultimately, Long said there's no excuse for Chicago's inability to run the ball effectively.

"You run the ball. You grab the guy in front of him. You move him, and the running back has an opening," Long said. "It's hard to break that down any simpler than that. [The Jets] pose another challenge for us. When you can break through walls like those, you become stronger as a unit. I feel like it's an opportunity for us. It's a mountain. We've got to climb it, and we've got to put our flag in the top of it. We're gonna figure out a way to run the ball against the Jets."

Balancing out the run-pass ration might help (83 passes to 35 runs so far this season), as well as bringing back fullback Tony Fiammetta. Fiammetta missed the opener due to a hamstring injury. Then the team -- reeling from injuries along the offensive line and receiver -- cut the fullback last week as it adjusted the roster to compensate. The Bears brought Fiammetta back on Monday, and Trestman is hopeful he can help spark the rushing attack as Forte's lead blocker.

"He certainly could [help]," Trestman said. "Tony Fiammetta is an excellent player, and we haven't had a chance to utilize him because of the hamstring injury. Very, very good as a lead back. I know Matt likes running with Tony leading the way."
Charles Tillman said “this isn’t the end of the road for me” in a statement released by the team on Monday after it announced he’d go on the season-ending injured reserve due to a ruptured triceps. The first thought to come to mind was it may not be the end, but in Chicago it’s essentially over.

That’s not the way to think regarding a player of Tillman’s ilk. But reality is reality.

Tillman
Tim Jennings signed a four-year extension back in January worth $22.4 million, and rookie Kyle Fuller received a four-year deal with a club option for a fifth year which pays $9.687 million, including a signing bonus of $5.365 million.

Tillman, meanwhile, was playing on a one-year contract worth $3.25 million, and he signed that late after free agency proved fruitless.

Moving forward, the Bears can't afford to pay starter's money to three corners, especially with Jay Cutler's monstrous salary and potential extensions coming down the pipe for several players such as Brian de la Puente and Alshon Jeffery, just to name a couple.

Tillman certainly deserves to finish his career in Chicago. But with the corner set to turn 34 before the start of the 2015 season, it’s unlikely the Bears bring him back at a salary he wouldn’t find to be a slap in the face.

When Tillman hits free agency, he likely won’t be looking to break the bank. But he’ll definitely feel he’s worth more than a veteran minimum type of deal, which is probably what the Bears will offer given Tillman’s age, recent injury history, and the emergence of Fuller, who picked off a pair of passes Sunday in the club’s win at San Francisco. Besides that, if the Bears did decide to bring back Tillman for another season, would it be as a starter? Would he feel comfortable taking on the role as the nickel corner?

It’s sad to be pondering all this with emotions still raw, fewer than 24 hours after Tillman’s latest setback.

But that’s the reality we’re faced with; one in which special players such as Tillman always leave on someone else’s terms.

“He’s one of our leaders on this team, and much needed,” receiver Brandon Marshall said during his radio show Monday on ESPN Chicago 1000. “It’s sad for the city, it’s sad for our team, it’s sad for him.”

It truly is.

Tillman was correct in saying it’s not the end of the road, because it isn’t. Once Tillman rehabs from this injury, he’ll still be a player capable of starting and playing at a high level in the NFL.

But the problem is this team, even before Tillman’s injury, has already moved on. If Brian Urlacher and Devin Hester have taught us anything, it’s the fact the Bears -- like every other team in the NFL -- always moves on.
The Chicago Bears signed fullback Tony Fiammetta to the 53-man roster, while also adding rookie quarterback David Fales to the practice squad.

Fales
Fiammetta
The Bears brought back Fiammetta and Fales after cutting the duo last week in a series of roster moves brought about due to a rash of injuries along the offensive line and at receiver. Fiammetta had been nursing a hamstring injury headed into Week 2, while Fales had missed practice time because of a shoulder injury.

A six-year veteran, Fiammetta serves primarily as a lead blocker for Matt Forte, and has run the ball 11 times for 26 yards throughout his career, while also producing 130 yards on 12 catches in 50 games with 24 starts.

Fales, meanwhile, joined the Bears as a sixth-round pick out of San Jose State.

Over two seasons at San Jose State, Fales started in 25 games, throwing for 8,382 yards and 66 touchdowns with 22 interceptions. Fales has impressed the staff enough throughout his brief tenure with the Bears, that he would likely develop into a potential backup to starter Jay Cutler.

With the Bears placing cornerback Charles Tillman on the injured reserve, it's expected the club in the coming days will make more roster moves.

The Film Don't Lie: Bears

September, 15, 2014
Sep 15
4:00
PM ET
A weekly look at what the Chicago Bears must fix:

The run-pass ratio remains lopsided for Chicago (35 runs to 83 passes), and although the club faces the league’s top run defense next Monday night in the New York Jets, the Bears need to achieve some balance in that area.

Consider the Bears' run-pass ratio in their 28-20 win over the 49ers in the context that the Bears played catch-up most of the night. But Chicago needs to run the ball into the teeth of New York’s run-stuffing unit to keep it from dictating the flow. If the Jets can make the Bears one-dimensional, they can pin back their ears and come after Jay Cutler.

Matt Forte averaged 4.8 yards per carry in the Bears' opening game against Buffalo. Make him more of a focal part of the offense to get him into the flow of the game while opening up play-action and bootlegs for Cutler to make things happen on the move.
CHICAGO -- A rash of injuries on the offensive line and at wide receiver prompted the Chicago Bears to make a handful of roster moves in advance of Sunday night’s road game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Sources confirmed the Bears waived quarterback David Fales and released veteran cornerback Kelvin Hayden and veteran fullback Tony Fiammetta.

The Bears announced following Friday’s practice that Fales (shoulder) and Fiammetta (hamstring) had been officially ruled out for Week 2.

Hayden was a healthy inactive in Chicago's 23-20 overtime loss to the Buffalo Bills in the season opener.

The expectation is the Bears will look to fill some of the open roster spots off the practice squad. With Brandon Marshall (ankle) and Alshon Jeffery (hamstring) questionable, and Josh Morgan (groin) doubtful, the Bears could choose to promote one, or more, of their current practice squad wide receivers: Josh Bellamy, Greg Herd, Chris Williams and Rashad Ross. Practice squad center/guard Taylor Boggs is a candidate to help with depth on the offensive line after starters Roberto Garza (high-ankle sprain) and Matt Slauson (high-ankle sprain) were both declared out for the 49ers game.

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- San Francisco’s Jim Harbaugh provided glowing reviews of Chicago’s Marc Trestman back in 2013, saying he “taught me everything." The latter reciprocated on Friday as his team prepared to board a flight for the Bears-49ers matchup Sunday at Levi’s Stadium.

Harbaugh and Trestman worked together on the staff of the Oakland Raiders back in 2002. It was Harbaugh’s first coaching job as a quality control coach on offense, and he reported directly to Trestman, who served as offensive coordinator.

“Jim, he’s an amazing guy. He’s hypercompetitive, was extremely detailed and really worked hard at his job. He was quality control. He was drawing the pictures,” Trestman said. “The standard was very, very high. He took it very, very seriously. He went from there, he moved on. He started working with the quarterbacks in his second year and spending … individual time with them -- just a good friend, and just a very good football coach and person.”

After the Bears hired Trestman as head coach in 2013, Harbaugh spoke on the "Waddle & Silvy" show” on ESPN Chicago 1000, saying the 49ers still use Trestman's system of calling plays.

Asked at the time whether Chicago hit a home run with the hiring of Trestman, Harbaugh, a former Bears quarterback, said, “Absolutely. Grand slam. That was a grand slam hire. You see the coaches that Marc has put around him. They know football. He knows football. He’s a great teacher. That’s something I learned working with Marc, by example and by things he would tell me. That’s one of my lucky breaks in coaching was to work with Marc Trestman, because he took the time to train me and to teach me. I will always be thankful for that.”

During their time working together, Trestman quickly noticed Harbaugh’s competitive nature and drive.

“He was very serious about making sure every picture was perfect. It was always detailed out,” Trestman explained. “If there was a line that wasn’t correctly done, he took it personal that he didn’t do it right. He was a guy [who] spent time at the office, slept at the office, did whatever he could to help the football team.”

Brandon Marshall wants to test ankle

September, 11, 2014
Sep 11
4:57
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LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Chicago Bears Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall plans to test his injured ankle at practice on Friday, with the expectation of playing Sunday night in a pivotal road game versus the San Francisco 49ers.

Both Marshall and fellow wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (hamstring) were injured in the Bears’ 23-20 overtime loss to the Buffalo Bills, although Marshall did manage to re-enter the game and finish with eight catches for 71 yards and one touchdown. But Jeffery (five catches for 71 yards) missed the final 32 snaps of regulation and overtime.

Marshall and Jeffery failed to practice on Wednesday and Thursday, prompting many to wonder if the Bears may be without the talented duo in Week 2.

Marshall tried to alleviate some of those concerns on Thursday afternoon.

“Hey, I’m going to go down swinging. I’ll be out there Sunday,” Marshall said. “That’s what I’m saying, but of course I’m not the head decision-maker here. But I’m going to be out there in my mind, and I’ll be ok.

“Sometimes your body tells you no and your mind has to be a little bit stronger. I was able to fight it off the second half, do some things. I felt a little more comfortable today then I did in the second half. I still have a few more days of healing to go, get out there tomorrow and test it out. It will be ugly and it’s going to be sore and it’s going to hurt. But you’ve got to show the team and the coaches that I can at least be in position.”

Durability is never a problem for Marshall. The five-time Pro Bowl selection missed only five games in eight-plus years in the league. Marshall’s last regular-season absence occurred in 2010 when he played for the Miami Dolphins.

“Brandon will work tomorrow. We’ll see where he’s at,” Bears head coach Marc Trestman said. “We’ve got Saturday the entire day out there. We’ll see where we are. Brandon knows the plays but certainly we want to be safe out there and we want to be healthy as well.”

However, Jeffery’s availability for Friday’s practice is unknown.

“I can't answer that and again, I've tried to be consistent with the fact that I'm not the doctor or the trainer,” Trestman said. “He did not practice today at all. Whether he will at all tomorrow in any or limited fashion, I don't know at this time.”

Further complicating matters, receiver Josh Morgan’s groin injury has apparently taken a turn for the worse. Morgan practiced on a limited basis on Wednesday, but skipped the entire workout on Thursday.

In addition to wide receiver, the Bears are dealing with serious injuries along the offensive line. High-ankle sprains sidelined starting center Roberto Garza and left guard Matt Slauson for the second consecutive day, prompting Brian de la Puente and Michael Ola to once again handle the reps with the first team.

Quarterback David Fales (shoulder) and fullback Tony Fiammetta (hamstring) round out the large group of Bears players who missed Thursday’s practice. Both Fales and Fiammetta were on the club’s inactive list for Week 1.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Sure, Jay Cutler struggled in the season-opening loss to Buffalo, throwing a pair of interceptions which led to Bills points.

Cutler
 
But former NFL quarterback Scott Mitchell believes Cutler is in the right hands with Bears head coach Marc Trestman. Trestman spent the 1997 season working with Mitchell as the quarterbacks coach of the Detroit Lions, and helped the signal-caller produce a 3,483-yard passing season, which at the time ranked as the second best in team history (it’s now No. 6).

“Jay’s a little bit like Matt[hew] Stafford,” Mitchell explained to ESPN NFL Nation reporter Mike Rothstein. “Big arm, is much more temperamental. I’m really curious to see what Marc can do with him if Jay will actually let him.”

Cutler passed for 349 yards and two touchdowns in the opener, but the performance was marred by the turnovers. Cutler took accountability for the INTs, and offered assurances he’ll make better decisions with the football as the season progresses.

Mitchell, who once started 57 games for the Lions, recently joined the cast of NBC’s The Biggest Loser, and was asked what Trestman does to coax the most from his quarterbacks. During his tenure with the Lions, Mitchell passed for 12,647 yards and 79 touchdowns and played in two postseason contests.

“Marc really understood how to keep your mind calm. Everything happens so fast and the decisions you have to make ... we just spent a lot of time preparing to keep your mind calm,” Mitchell explained. “So you knew on this play, you just know this is exactly what I do. On this play, this is exactly what I do. And he was just excellent at helping you with having a calm mind when you played. Marc was the best coach I ever had, actually. I just really connected to him. He got quarterbacks. He understood the position. He understood all that went into it. He was great at developing and teaching and communicating offenses. He looked so cerebral. But he has this fiery intensity with how he goes about things. It really, really resonated and we connected quite well.”
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- First, the personal day off to open a barbecue restaurant, then the constant barrage of inquiries regarding his nightlife.

On the heels of the team’s season-opening loss, Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs found himself on the defense Wednesday as the club kicked off preparation for Sunday’s matchup against the San Francisco 49ers.

Briggs
“I don’t think you know what I do every day. I don’t think you have any idea,” Briggs said. “I’m here early. Every day that I’m here, I get a lot of treatment on my body. I’m here. I work out in the middle of the day. Even though this is not necessarily anybody’s business, but I’m gonna tell you. After practice, I’m getting treatment, and I do an additional workout after I leave this building to get my body ready. People don’t know that.”

Despite clearing it first with Bears coach Marc Trestman, Briggs took a day off from practice last Monday to attend the grand opening of his new barbecue restaurant, Double Nickel Smokehouse in Elk Grove, California. Briggs admitted to never telling Trestman why he needed that day off, and the linebacker later received a barrage of criticism for not being with the team during the first day of practice leading into the opener.

Rumors surfaced later that Briggs spent Friday night and early Saturday morning leading up to Sunday’s game out socializing, which isn’t wrong, considering the time spent out was his own personal time, and there wasn't a team curfew. Still, Briggs received criticism for it, likely because of his role as a leader on defense. The criticism intensified when the veteran was credited with three tackles in the official box score as the Bears gave up 193 yards rushing Sunday in the loss to the Bills.

Briggs also took responsibility for Anthony Dixon’s 47-yard run in the second quarter.

“I popped out to go get the quarterback and left that gap wide open,” Briggs said. “That’s a mistake that I don’t normally make, and I won’t moving forward.”

Briggs said the criticism he’s received lately “doesn’t bother me at all.”

“We’ve only played one game,” he added. “I told [defensive coordinator] Mel [Tucker] on my day off, I’m like, ‘Man, you know, I once came out in our first game and had 36 loafs and one tackle against Atlanta, and got some of the same criticism. [I] went on to have a regular year.’ I’m not like everybody else. I don’t hit the panic button. For us, it’s time to focus on beating the 49ers.”

Trestman defended Briggs and the rest of the team.

“Regarding Lance or any of our players, I’ve never seen anything significant [that would affect preparation for a game],” Trestman said. “When guys show up to work, they’re here to work. That goes for Lance and everybody else on our team. I’ve never seen anything lingering in terms of guys not being ready to work and ready to practice since the time I’ve been here.”

WRs Marshall, Jeffery miss practice

September, 10, 2014
Sep 10
3:49
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LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears first-team center Roberto Garza (high-ankle sprain), left guard Matt Slauson (high-ankle sprain) and wide receivers Brandon Marshall (ankle) and Alshon Jeffery (hamstring) were held out of Wednesday’s practice in advance of Week 2’s critical road game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Garza, Slauson and Jeffery were knocked out of the team’s 23-20 overtime loss to the Buffalo Bills, but Marshall did finish the game after he sustained his injury. Marshall ended with eight catches for 71 yards and one touchdown.

The veteran wideout spent part of his off-day on Tuesday receiving treatment before he traveled to New York to tape his weekly national television show.

Marshall is expected to play Sunday night against the 49ers.

However, Jeffery’s availability for the 49ers game is unknown. The wide receiver’s hamstring injury isn’t believed to be serious, but Jeffery was sidelined for the final 32 snaps last weekend.

On the offensive line, center Brian de la Puente and guard Michael Ola took the first-team reps at practice with Garza and Slauson unavailable.

Fullback Tony Fiammetta (hamstring) and quarterback David Fales (right shoulder) also missed Wednesday’s practice held inside the Walter Payton Center. Both Fiammetta and Fales were inactive in Week 1.

Wide receiver Josh Morgan (groin) and cornerback Charles Tillman (coaches’ decision) had limited participation.
CHICAGO -- An examination of what the Chicago Bears must do after their 23-20 overtime loss to the Buffalo Bills: Coach Marc Trestman defended Jay Cutler in the aftermath of the quarterback’s two interceptions Sunday that led to points.

Cutler
But if the Bears expect to succeed against San Francisco on the road Sunday night, the coach needs to administer some tough love to his $126 million quarterback behind closed doors, in addition to preparing potential replacements along the offensive line and at receiver as contingency plans for injuries, while cracking the whip on the club’s porous run defense.

That’s quite a bit to accomplish in three days of prep time, but Trestman and the staff need to cover as much ground as possible.

“As I told the guys, it’s continuity football,” Trestman said. “It’s all about team. All three phases are involved in this game. We’ve got to accept responsibility, and that starts with me.”

The Bears turned the ball over three times, leading to 13 points, and the Bills needed to move the ball a total of 58 yards to put those points on the board. That's too easy for Buffalo; too hard on Chicago’s embattled defense.

Cutler’s INTs came on a pass thrown behind Martellus Bennett, while the other throw to the tight end -- which was picked off by defensive tackle Kyle Williams -- should never have been attempted. It’s one thing to try to make a play. But in crucial situations, smart football rules the day.

Had Cutler simply thrown it away instead of forcing the throw on his second INT, the Bears would have had one more down to try to win the game. Trestman also could have helped Cutler on the second INT, which came on third-and-1 in the fourth quarter in Buffalo territory, by making a better play call like a simple run as opposed to the bootleg, which exposes the quarterback to potential punishment, not to mention turnovers.

Trestman and the offensive staff also need to prepare potential replacements for Roberto Garza, Matt Slauson and Alshon Jeffery to take on more significant roles if the trio is forced to miss time.

Defensively, the Bears gave up 193 yards on the ground, including Fred Jackson’s 38-yard burst that set up the game-winning field goal. Take away Jackson’s 38-yard run and Anthony Dixon’s 47-yard jaunt, and the Bears would have surrendered 108 yards on 31 attempts. That’s still too much.

“We didn’t play disciplined football for four quarters, and it hurt us,” defensive end Lamarr Houston said. “We were in a good position to get them stopped, but once again, we lacked in the discipline area. We have to do our jobs, know our jobs, and just play disciplined football.”

That applies in all three phases.
CHICAGO -- Observed and heard in the locker room after the Chicago Bears' 23-20 loss to the Buffalo Bills:

Martellus Bennett
Bennett on INTs: Tight end Martellus Bennett took responsibility for the first of Jay Cutler's two interceptions but claims to not know what happened on the second INT, which led to Buffalo taking a 20-17 lead in the fourth quarter. Both passes were intended for Bennett, with the second being picked off by defensive tackle Kyle Williams.

"I don't know what happened on that s---," Bennett said. "The fat guy got a pick."

Jeffery appears to be fine: Alshon Jeffery missed the fourth quarter and overtime due to a hamstring injury, but Bears coach Marc Trestman said, "Alshon was prepared to go in there at specific times. I'll just leave it at that." Jeffery was seen in the locker room after the game, and he didn't appear to be walking with a limp or any type of discomfort. Trestman said he didn't know the extent of Jeffery's injury.

Garza and Slauson hobbled: Center Roberto Garza conducted postgame interviews with a walking boot lying on the floor in front of his locker while left guard Matt Slauson walked with a limp on the way out of the locker room. Both players missed the entire second half and said they will receive MRI exams Monday morning.

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