Bears stressing better study habits

November, 22, 2013
11/22/13
1:13
PM ET
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Despite the Chicago Bears' overtime victory over the Baltimore Ravens, the Bears know they won't be able to count on a weather delay to help them recover if they have a horrid start Sunday against the St. Louis Rams.

That's why quarterback Josh McCown and Bears coach Marc Trestman emphasized that the team -- the offense, especially -- needs to spend more time between Friday and Sunday studying its assignments.

"I think we've just got to be a little bit more tuned in maybe Friday through Sunday," McCown said. "There was a disconnect there [early in the game against Baltimore] for us. It's not coaches, it's just players. We've got to study more. We've got to make sure that we're dialed in to what we're doing, and spend some more time studying so that when we get these first few plays, and we have an idea of what we're gonna be doing, we've got to go and execute them better than we did opening that Baltimore game. That wasn't our standard. That's not who we want to be."

Through the first two possessions of the win over the Ravens, McCown completed 2 of 5 passes for 8 yards and suffered a sack. A bad snap from Roberto Garza on the team's third play from scrimmage further marred the Bears' start, and things improved only after a 1 hour and 53 minute weather delay.

Chicago gained only one first down in the first quarter and failed on all three of their third-down conversion attempts as the Bears fell behind 10-0.

The Bears can't afford such a start Sunday against the Rams in what could be a raucous atmosphere inside the Edward Jones Dome that will make communication difficult, not to mention the home team's swarming pass rush.

"You know, it's encouraging every week to get on the iPad, get with your teammates. On Saturday morning we give them the plays," Trestman said. "They know exactly what we're going to start with during the game, and we hold them all accountable for being on top of those things. It's something that's constantly stressed by assistant coaches, myself, during the last 48 hours before a game, to get back in your game plans.

"Don't get bored with your game plans. Don't get bored with plays. Visualize them. Walk through them. Talk through them. Do whatever you have to do to get ready, and we're all responsible to do that. There's nothing we give them they shouldn't be able to run and execute; particularly with that kind of advanced understanding. So we were disappointed. And Josh has his point. It's a good one. We can't let that happen again. We can get beat physically. But we can't get beat because we don't know what we're doing. That's something different entirely."

Michael C. Wright

ESPN Chicago Bears reporter

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