Losing two games in a row is something every team has to endure from time to time. The question is can they settle down and recover? The Chicago Bears face that challenge, and they may have the quality NFL coaching to do it.
Marc Trestman has Jay Cutler and offense pointed in right direction
The overall goal for GM Phil Emery to start the 2013 off-season was find a head coach who can turn around an offense that hadn't finished above 15th in over a decade. His hire was as unorthodox as it was interesting. Marc Trestman came out of nowhere from the CFL where he won two championships and furthered his reputation as a quarterback savant. Thus far through five game his impact hasn't been enormous, but it's certainly clear. Quarterback Jay Cutler is on pace for over 4,300 passing yards and 32 touchdowns this season, which would both be Bears franchise records. It doesn't stop there though. The offensive line, perhaps the biggest reason Lovie Smith and three of his offensive coordinators were fired, is on pace to give up 28 sacks. That is 21 fewer than last season. Trestman has brought about some very positive changes to an offense long though lost and unsalvageable. Cutler has gone over 300 yards pass his past two games. Alshon Jeffery broke a 54-year old franchise receiving record with 218 yards. The only missing link is every piece coming together to put forth a strong game for four quarters. Trestman believes it's coming, and his teams' uncanny knack to close gaps quickly after falling behind is a testament to that faith.
Mel Tucker proved against New Orleans Saints he can adjust
Trestman doesn't deserve all the credit though. Despite the Bears defense playing poorly more often than anyone expected, defensive coordinator Mel Tucker deserves credit for his ability to make adjustments. Already he's having to do without Pro Bowl defensive tackle Henry Melton and a conspicuously ineffective Julius Peppers. A good example of his ability to adjust is the New Orleans Saints game. Hampered by offensive turnovers and the loss of Nate Collins at defensive tackle, Chicago gave up 20 points in the first half. Instead of hoping things got better, Tucker made some tweaks to the game plans and began to move some players around. The result? They surrendered just six points in the second half. The same goes for the other loss in Detroit, going from giving up 30 points in the first to just three in the second. It proves that Tucker knows what he's doing. He just needs the offense to start faster so the defense he is still getting to know isn't left high and dry.
The Chicago Bears are still a team settling into an identity. Coaches like Marc Trestman and Mel Tucker haven't gotten a full grasp on players like Jay Cutler or Julius Peppers yet. When they do, if the trends show anything, the team could become a bigger force than many expect.
Photo Credit - AP