Bears notes: Defense takes a step backward

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013 5:30 a.m.CDT
Philadelphia Eagles' Cary Williams, left, breaks up a pass intended for Chicago Bears' Brandon Marshall during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)

LAKE FOREST – As ugly as the Bears’ 54-11 loss to the Eagles was Sunday night, watching the tape Monday wasn’t any better for coach Marc Trestman.

“There’s no sugar-coating on this one, and nothing’s changed,” Trestman said. “I had a chance to look at the offense and defense this morning and nothing’s changed in terms of what I said [Sunday]. It was a poor performance in both phases.”

The gaudy numbers for the Eagles’ run game – 289 yards, two 100-yard rushers – meant an ongoing problem for the Bears all season not only continued, but got worse on the national stage.

“[The gap integrity] wasn’t good. It spread out over the whole group,” Trestman said. “After two weeks of moving forward, we certainly took a step backwards.”

Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker echoed a similar sentiment, saying the defense “took a step back,” and tackling was a major issue.

“I think we counted at least 20 missed tackles in the game, which is way, way too many,” he said. “You’re playing a good offense. They’re going to have to spread out and get the ball to people in space and you’ve got to get a tackle. We didn’t do that.”

Trestman said Sunday night, however, that the team would quickly shift focus to the season finale against the Packers, with a chance to win the NFC North.

“I think that’s been Marc’s strength is trying to get the guys ready at the same level every single week and having a stable atmosphere,” special teams coach Joe DeCamillis said. “I think ,when you start bouncing around and saying ‘This game’s bigger than the next,’ I don’t think it’s as positive.

“They’re going to have juice. They’re going to feel it anyway. They’re going to know how important this game is. If they don’t, we don’t need them here that’s for sure.”

Rodgers or Flynn: Mike McCarthy did not have any updates as to who will start at quarterback for the Packers on Sunday. Trestman said that it won’t affect the Bears’ preparation. “We know we’re going to get Green Bay’s best shot. We’ve got to, right now, be focused on us,” he said. “Green Bay’s offense isn’t going to change whoever’s playing.”

Punting problems: Adam Podlesh had a net punting average of only 37.5 yards on his six punts in the loss. “He had a decent warm-up so again timing sometimes plays into his games like that and he just didn’t hit the ball great at the start of the game and then it continued as it went on,” DeCamillis said. “He did have a couple punts towards the end that were better, just got to keep working and get him better, that’s all. He’s had some good weeks of practice and just unfortunate that showed up last night.”

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