Lovie won't rule out changes in O-line
October 20, 2009
Of all the
problems the Bears' offense had Sunday night in Atlanta,
the turnovers in the red zone trumped them all.
popular cry has been for change on the offensive line --
which coach Lovie Smith didn't rule out -- but just as
in their loss at Green Bay, the Bears would have won if
they had converted near the goal line.
Instead, they were left to dissect what went wrong in a
21-14 loss in which they racked up 373 yards and
should've had at least 10 more points.
cast blame on all three phases, but questions inevitably
came back to the offense, which ranked 19th in the
league entering Monday. The defense kept the Bears in
the game and has played well with the exception of one
half against the Detroit Lions. Matt Forte was limited
to a career-low 23 yards on 15 carries, and the running
back again looked like a shadow of the 2008 rookie
a patient runner last season; now he looks like a slow
runner, due, in part, to clogged running lanes. Cutler
has added a new dimension to the Bears' offense, but
opponents, perhaps not fearing the receivers outside,
have remained bent on stopping the run. The whole game
plan has fallen on Cutler, and that's too much to ask of
strength isn't power running, and offensive coordinator
Ron Turner sent a message that he didn't think the Bears
could knock it in from the 1-yard line when he called an
outside run on third-and-goal, when Forte lost a fumble.
On the previous play, he fumbled failing to go over the
don't know how much of a chance we gave [the running
game],'' Turner said. ''We were trying to mix and do all
that kind of stuff. We'll be able to run the ball; we
just have to stick with it.
have first-and-goal inside the 1 there, we have to get a
touchdown. Not to get points on that and then be down
there a couple other times and not get points, that was
not as if the Bears have the personnel to change running
backs. Kevin Jones is on injured reserve, and Adrian
Peterson still is working his way back from a sprained
knee. Garrett Wolfe showed a spark and could earn more
playing time, but the running game is hitched to Forte.
''[Forte] didn't have a lot of production last night the
way a lot of us didn't,'' Smith said. ''I don't think
any more than that. The week before, we weren't talking
about these things. Matt will be fine, just like the
rest of our team.''
who typically doesn't address personnel decisions on
Mondays, said he doesn't see any major changes coming on
the offensive line. He didn't rule out an opportunity
for Josh Beekman, who started 16 games last season and
started at left guard for the majority of training camp
before Frank Omiyale was named the starter.
it be a major change?'' Smith said. ''That would be a
change. I don't know about major. It would be a change.
Again, we're evaluating everything like we do each week.
No more than that. Josh has done a good job for us.''
Bears also could turn to veteran Kevin Shaffer, but they
aren't likely to remove left tackle Orlando Pace or
right tackle Chris Williams. The question is whether
switching to Beekman will invigorate a running game that
ranked 27th entering Monday.
3-2, so the offensive line has done some good things,''
Smith said. ''They've contributed to all of that. Coming
off a loss, we're not real pleased with anything we did,
starting with me. I'm not pleased with a lot of things I
did last night. We'll go from there.
our offensive line has done some good things.''