Bears issue at hand

The issue on the comment board early in the game was Brian Griese, and in general, the offense's inability to move the ball, score a touchdown, or carry this team if the need be.

I would have asked the players about this, but they answered those questions with a pithy 1 minute, 43 second, 97-yard response.

So I was left grasping at comments, and came up with a couple worth taking to the table.

Toward the end of the first half in Philadelphia, as it was the week before against Minnesota, the Bears had the ball as time was ticking down and Griese was checking the ball down. Wondered WillieP on the comment board: "Perfect opportunity to hurl one down the field, why not take a chance?"

Griese: "I think at the end of the half, if you have an opportunity with some time on the clock to take a few shots, maybe you try to pop a draw or something, see what you get, and at that point make an assessment of how much yardage you have. You have to take into account whether you want to punt and take the risk with that."

Offensive coordinator Ron Turner: "We try to run the offense, and we want to take some shots downfield. The thing is, at the end of the half and the end of a game, especially at the end of the half, teams are playing almost a prevent defense. You know, cover-2, two safeties deep, the [middle] linebacker's deep, the other two linebackers are also getting deep. If you dump off, you can get 10, 15 yards if they're giving it to you."

Turner went on to say the Hail Mary is an option, but if you have the opportunity to get in position for a field goal, it's better to do that than risk an interception hurling it downfield into prevent defense.

On the Bears' first scoring drive of the game, in the second quarter, Griese stepped away from a Sheldon Brown blitz and hit Greg Olsen for a first down that put the Bears in the red zone. However, that blitz would have been a non-issue had Cedric Benson spotted Brown coming in on the blitz. "Saw how Benson missed the blitzer? That play is why Benson isn't in on passing downs," suggested Sharpshooter. I also thought Benson whiffed on a block.

Running backs coach Tim Spencer: "I'd say that's an inaccurate assessment. What I saw from him was a step forward. … We would have liked to for him to see [Brown coming through] but he was locked on his guy. What's interesting to me is that if you don't really know the protection, you can't always assume, just because you see a guy come through, you can't always assume it's [Benson's] guy. He was locked in on his guy. Now, if he would've got that guy [Brown], he would have cleaned everything up, everything would've looked good, but as it looked like, it looked like he was the guy who was wrong. … I see improvement. I see him knowing who to get on."

So maybe Benson just needs some more time in the passing game to be able to adjust on the fly. Maybe he's incapable of that. But according to Spencer, he's doing his job so far.

Now on to a few scattered comments that caught my eye. First, Fuad Fetid said, "I bet the Bears could get a second-round draft pick for Urlacher. Too bad the trade deadline passed last week. Can we cut him?"

I seriously hope that was a joke. I have to watch this team for a living, Fuad, don't wish an Urlacher-less defense on me. What have I ever done to you?

For the Nelson Muntz "Ha-ha" moment of the week goes to Philly#1, who said this with 1:53 left in the game: "Like you guys are really going to go 97 yards with no time outs, HA."

Finally, Brian Griese has been coming out with some gems in his press conferences since he was named the starter, and had a couple this week. First, his reaction to being named NFC offensive player of the week: "Honestly, my initial reaction was, 'Must not have been a good week for the rest of the NFC.' "

Then, when asked later what the source of his humility is, despite being the son of a Hall of Famer and a college national champion (OK, co-national champion): "I think my mother. Not to ... well, now my dad's going be mad at me."

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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