Wednesday, December 11, 2013
'MNF' affects Bears' prep for Browns
By Michael C. Wright
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- After playing in a Monday night game against the Dallas Cowboys, the Chicago Bears go into the week of preparation for the Cleveland Browns with one fewer day to practice.
Bears coach Marc Trestman put the team through a walkthrough on Wednesday, and said the abbreviated week will force him to switch up the schedule to accommodate.
“There’s a cost-benefit to this process of putting the guys out there and running them today, and working them out in our base football would inhibit them in our opinion because they wouldn’t be fully recovered,” Trestman said. “They won’t even be fully recovered tomorrow because they normally aren’t on Wednesday. So we have to combine the practices with our third-down and our base packages and things that are at the top of the list in terms of things we have to get accomplished.”
During a normal week of practice, the Bears would use a Wednesday workout to install the first-down packages before going over special situations on Thursday such as third downs.
Special situations receive priority for the Bears on Thursday, but Trestman admitted “we won’t get the opportunity to practice as much as our first-down” package because of the abbreviated schedule.
How that will manifest itself on Sunday remains to be seen. But it’s clear the abbreviated schedule brought on by playing Monday night has affected the preparation.
Coming off the team’s Monday night win over Green Bay on Nov. 4, the Bears received just six days to prepare for the Nov. 10 matchup against the Detroit Lions, and the club wound up losing that game 21-19.
But it’s important to note that extenuating circumstances presented themselves in that game because quarterback Jay Cutler suffered a high ankle sprain in the second quarter that knocked him out for the second half.
It's also worth mentioning the abbreviated schedule could also prove detrimental in Cutler's bid to return this week from that ankle sprain. The Bears plan to put Cutler through a workout Wednesday to determine whether he's healthy enough to face the Browns.
"I think that with the workout we’re going to give him today it’s going to be a lot of the script that we’ll have tomorrow, so he’d be able to work through it at full speed and then the two days -- Thursday and Friday -- I would consider that to be sufficient [prep time for Cutler]," Trestman said. "Today is Wednesday to us, but it’s Tuesday to our players. We wanted to make sure they recovered fully from Monday night’s game. Today will be spent in meeting, and in a walkthrough. We won’t do any full-field work at all other than at the end of the walkthrough.”