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JEFF'S CHICAGO SPORTS BLOG - COACH SMITH HAS HIS HANDS FULL WITH HIS 2007 CHICAGO BEARS!
 LOVIE FORCED TO EXAMINE HIS ENTIRE GAME PLAN!

Jeff Ardito - Dean's Team Listing Specialist!

The Chicago Bears have a bye week and thus plenty of time to consider what is going on with this team that went to the Super Bowl just nine months ago.  Certainly, injuries have taken a toll and continue to impact how this team plays.  Furthermore, the strategies that the Bears have employed to date are not working.

First, the Bears are not running the ball with any kind of authority.  After trading Thomas Jones, the Bears have only one 100-yard rushing game from Cedric Benson.  Benson is averaging a very weak 3.1 yards per carry and has yet to have a run beyond 20 yards.  He seems to lack the breakaway feature that Jones possesses and yet the Bears arguably haven't given Benson the workload he needs to get into a rhythm.  As soon as he gets about 10-12 carries the Bears will often insert back-up running back and Adrian Peterson who is averaging more than 4 yards a carry.  You can almost feel the frustration Benson has for not getting the proper amount of carries.

In addition to the woes of the running game, the Bears have lost the ability to really stretch the field especially when Devin Hester isn't in the game on offense.  They have also had a tough time getting the ball to their two tight ends, Desmond Clark and Gregg Olsen.  If the Bears could figure a way to establish Clark and Olsen it would open up the lanes for Benson and the offensive line.

On the defensive side of the football, the cover two has been had by most of the offenses we face.  It seems as though the scheme doesn't work as well as it once did and there are a few reasons for that.  For starters, the defense has been riddled with injury to key players including a season ending injury to safety, Mike Brown.  Nate Vasher, Brian Bleacher, Tommie Harris and Adam Archuleta round out those that are hurt but playing as well as they can.  The biggest difference lies in the inability of the defense to force the turnover.  This was a major force for the Bears in their road to last year's Super Bowl and has been void in almost every game.

It will be interesting to see what changes are made in the philosophy, schemes and personnel.   Thankfully, the Bears have this break in the season to address these key areas.   YOUR THOUGHTS?

DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO SPORTS EDITOR,

JEFF AUDITOR

Posted: Saturday, November 03, 2007 2:10 PM by Dean's Team

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