10 Thoughts On The Bears\' Week 5 Loss To The Vikings

On center Cody Whitehair: “The kid is getting better. He had a solid year last season and obviously in your second year you have to grow from that. It’s tough when you’re moving to different positions. The inside three, playing guard and center is similar, but there are still a lot of different techniques you have to deal with. I like the way he plays center. I thought he had a hell of a year as a rookie.”

On former teammate Kyle Long now that he’s back in action: “I am just glad to see him back on the field and out there playing right guard again. That’s a big bonus. You add him in there and you have Josh Sitton on the left side and I think they have a pretty good group when they’re all in there playing together. Kyle is a physical guy that will battle for you every single play. I hope they give those guys a chance to go out there and establish the run game. They have two elite runners right now and they need to take advantage of that. The issues they are having right now on the outside with the receivers, you’ve got to give those guys a chance to go out there and pound the football. When you have a rookie quarterback, that’s what you want to lean on, the offensive line.”

On rookie running back Tarik Cohen: “That kid is explosive. You can’t put him quite in the Devin Hester category quite yet but he is doing some things that are a lot like Devin when he came out. When he touches the ball, he has the speed, the quickness and the vision that when he’s in open space, look out. He’s impressive and it’s fun to watch.”

On his excitement level for the Bears with a first-round pick at quarterback in Mitch Trubisky: “You have a kid that looked good in preseason. This is the regular season and it’s a lot different. The kid is obviously talented and they went after him for a reason. It’s going to be fun to watch him grow and he is going to make some mistakes but the offensive line and receivers have to step up.”

9. The Bears have zero interceptions through five games. They’re not alone. The Raiders don’t have a pick and the Dolphins (who have played only four games) are also without an interception. The Bears have faced 159 pass attempts compared to 147 for the Raiders and 135 for the Dolphins. This is an ongoing issue and cannot be ignored. The Bears had only eight interceptions last season and eight in 2015. That represents the franchise-low for a 16-game season going back to 1978. The only other time they have been in single-digits is when they had nine interceptions in 2002. That is a contributing reason to why they are minus-9 in turnover ratio, last in the NFL. It’s one of the most telling statistics when it comes to wins and losses and Mike Glennon’s turnover issues were problematic. The defense’s inability to produce takeaways is similarly problematic. You can’t bench the entire defense like you can a quarterback.

10. I’m not sure what to make of the Bears bringing Roberto Aguayo back in for a tryout this past week. I get it that the team wants to update it’s free-agent list after Connor Barth missed two field goals – both wide right from 47 yards – but the continued interest in Aguayo is a little puzzling to me.

“Recent information is better than old information,” special teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers said when asked about the tryout that also involved former Chargers kicker Josh Lambo. “Any time you can get a look at different guys, it's good information to have.”

It’s almost as if the Bears gave Aguayo some homework to do after he was waived during final cuts and wanted to see how he completed it. You wonder if the Bears believe they can fix Aguayo, who flamed out in Tampa Bay quickly. I understand wanting to see what Lambo can do and other kickers that haven’t been to Halas Hall previously would make sense. The Bears would really be extending themselves if they were to take a chance with Aguayo in the event they want to replace Barth. If Aguayo struggles, the rest of the league is going to look at them and say, “You couldn’t figure out it wasn’t going to work the first time?” The Bears are on the hook for the $428,000 guaranteed in Aguayo’s contract for this season unless he’s picked up by another club. Maybe that’s part of the reasoning in keeping close tabs on him but, in my estimation, they’re better off looking elsewhere.

The Bucs still have their own kicking issues. Aguayo’s replacement Nick Folk has failed badly and Tampa replaced him with a former Bucs kicker on Monday. No, Aguayo wasn’t re-signed. The Bucs brought back Patrick Murray, who made 20 of 24 field goals in 2014 before losing the gig in 2015 when he suffered a knee injury.

10 a. That marked only the third time the Vikings have won at Soldier Field since the remodeled stadium was opened in 2003.

10 b. It looked like Everson Griffen might have guessed the snap count on his sack/strip of Mitch Trubisky but the Vikings defensive end told me he was just watching the ball. He really fired out of his stance and was immediately by left tackle Charles Leno.

“I had a lot of self-inflicted plays, self-inflicted wounds where in the red zone a few times we set ourselves back,” Leno said. “We start the first play of the drive and there is a sack/fumble by me. Those things change the game. That’s the way it goes. He had a hell of a jump on the snap but I have to do a better job of finishing at the top and run him by. It doesn’t matter what he did, I’ve got to do better.”

10 c. Everson Griffen was impressed with Mitch Trubisky: “He played well. They came out with a gameplan, run heavy, play action and get the ball out quick, triggery plays and they really didn’t let us pin our ears back. You gotta feel him. You gotta figure him out. You can’t run past him. You’ve got to power downhill, get to him. But they got the ball out quick the whole game. I think we got that one dropback pass where I got the sack. Besides that they really didn’t let us rush.”

10 d. Linebacker John Timu left the stadium with a walking boot on his left ankle and crutches. He will undergo testing on Tuesday to determine the nature of the injury.

10 e. The Ravens opened as a 7-point favorite over the Bears for Sunday’s game at M&T Bank Stadium. They haven’t played there since 2009 when a massive snowstorm paralyzed the city.

bmbiggs@chicagotribune.com

Source : http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/football/bears/ct-mitch-trubisky-bears-vikings-10-thoughts-biggs-20171010-story.html

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