Could special teams be an area of concern?
SAN DIEGO -- Three special-teams gaffes by the Bears against the Chargers on Saturday aren’t necessarily cause for concern.
Yet it’s a given that the Bears will spend extensive time this week in an attempt to remedy the mistakes -- two long kickoff returns, and a blocked punt -- they made on special teams in a 25-10 loss to the Chargers.
“I’m not concerned about it at all because I know we’ll fix it,” said linebacker Tim Shaw, one of the club’s top special-teams contributors. “I know we’ll look at it on tape. I know I can personally be better. We’ll be better.”
The club couldn’t have done much worse.
The Bears allowed a 51-yard return by Richard Goodman in the first quarter, which could have gone for a touchdown if kicker Robbie Gould hadn’t pushed the return man out of bounds. The club also gave up a 35-yard return in the second quarter, in addition to a blocked field goal in the third quarter that bounced out of the end zone for a safety.
Shaw, who posted a franchise-record 30 special teams tackles last season, attributed some of the woes to the club utilizing all of its depth on the unit, but mentioned, “that big return they had, that was against our [No.] 1 kickoff [team].”
“Anytime you’re in a situation where you’re going three and four deep [into the each position on the roster], things like that are gonna happen. A lot of times, this is the best experience that we and the younger guys may get. They don’t a lot of reps at practice, so they get chances in the game,” Shaw said. “The tape will show what happened. Those are definitely learning opportunities for guys. We’ve definitely got some things to clean up. I hate to say that’s how a first preseason game goes, but a lot of times, that’s it.”