LAKE FOREST, Ill.—One of the real issues for the Bears this season has been the lack of an identity on offense as the team that gets off the bus running, as Lovie Smith puts it, makes the transition to quarterback Jay Cutler rockier than anyone anticipated.
Smith still proclaims the Bears are a running team even though they now rank 32nd in the league running the ball. That bus the Bears got off of running is broken down now somewhere along the Kennedy Expy. The Bears were throttled 36-10 Sunday in Minnesota, and the Vikings limited the Bears to 43 rushing yards and just 38 offensive plays. It was the fourth time this season the Bears have been held under 50 yards rushing in a game.
And one person is having trouble taking it all—middle linebacker Brian Urlacher, who suffered a fractured wrist in the season opener at Green Bay and has been out for the season.
“Look, I love Jay, and I understand he’s a great player who can take us a long way, and I still have faith in him,” Urlacher told Mike Silver of Yahoo! Sports. “But I hate the way our identity has changed. We used to establish the run and wear teams down and try not to make mistakes, and we’d rely on our defense to keep us in the game and make big plays to put us in position to win. Kyle Orton might not be the flashiest quarterback, but the guy is a winner, and that formula worked for us. I hate to say it, but that’s the truth.”
Offensive coordinator Ron Turner figures to get the axe when this season finally screeches to a halt. Now, it’s a question of whether or not more than just Turner and some of his staff will exit Halas Hall not to return.
The Bears are now 20-23 since losing Super Bowl XLI. Smith’s defense, that he’s running as the play caller, is being overrun. The Vikings put up 537 yards offense. The talent on the roster is suspect following a series of questionable drafts by general manager Jerry Angelo and college scouting director Greg Gabriel.
Pressure is mounting.
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