LINK to the article Chicago Bears don’t need to run
(as much) anymore
LAKE FOREST — A lot has been made of the lack of run game in the preseason when it comes to the Chicago Bears.
Even offensive coordinator Mike Tice has showed his displeasure each of the past two weeks during chats with the media.
“Where we continue to need to hone it up and get our timing down, figure out what we want to be, is in the run game,” Tice said Sunday. “We need, need, to make some strides in our run game.”
As a team, they’ve rushed for 212 yards with a 3.0 yard-per-carry average in the three preseason game Not horrific numbers, but with the naked eye (or any eye, for that matter) it has looked even worse than that. The Bears have not been able to punch out 3-5 yards on critical downs, and have yet to establish any rhythm when it comes to pounding it inside.
So lately, Tice, some players, and plenty of fans, have been getting restless. “Yeah, it just hasn’t been happening,” tight end Matt Spaeth said. “We all know it. We all know it needs to be better.”
For two reasons, I say to those guys: “Relax.” (Although to the 6-foot-6-plus Tice and Spaeth, I would say it very nicely.) 1) The Bears have focused on pass this preseason
Chicago has focused a lot more on the passing attack this off-season and during the early exhibition games because that is where most of the work needs to be done. The Bears have run 70 running plays while 106 passes have been thrown, and they’ve chalked up just eight rushing first downs compared to 31 through the air.
The pass-protection on the line; integrating new receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery; learning a new system under Tice and passing-game coordinator Jeremy Bates; and getting quarterback Jay Cutler mentally back to where he was just before his season-ending injury last year. There is a lot that needs to be fine-tuned when it comes to the passing game.
The run game? Not so much. Matt Forte has been around, and Tice knows how to use him. Forte (14 carries for 55 yards with a long of 24 yards) and Michael Bush (9-25 with both of the Bears rushing TDs), expected to be the team’s top two ballcarriers, have been quiet early on.
But they both know what they’re doing, and know what will need to be done when Sept. 9 rolls around.