Sunday, October 20, 2013
Special teams call goes against Bears
By Jeff Dickerson
LANDOVER, MD -- Chicago Bears assistant head coach/special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis appearance in the FedEx Field visitor’s locker room on Sunday after the Bears’ 45-41 loss to the Washington Redskins said it all.
Although the Bears prohibit assistant coaches from speaking to the media following games, DeCamillis’ foul mood can likely be attributed to a controversial fourth-quarter call that went against the Bears as the club attempted a surprise onside kick.
After a Robbie Gould field goal cut the Redskins’ lead to 38-34 with 8:44 left in the game, Gould executed a perfect onside kick that was recovered by Zack Bowman at the Bears’ 46 yard line.
However, the officials ruled that Bears’ special teams ace Eric Weems was offsides on the play, which negated the Bears’ recovery and forced Gould to re-kick. With the element of surprise no longer on the Bears’ side, Gould did not attempt a second onside kick.
Television replays of the Weems penalty appeared to be inconclusive.
Bears head coach Marc Trestman explained why the team called for the onside kick at that specific juncture of the game.
“We needed a possession back,” Trestman said. “We had planned for it. It’s something we had planned for during the week. Special situation football decisions are not made at that moment. It was evident that their offense was on the field too much.”
DeCamillis later called for another high-risk special teams maneuver when he instructed Devin Hester to lateral the football across the field to Joe Anderson during the Bears’ final kickoff return of the game. Anderson gained 25 yards on the play to give the Bears’ the football at their 38 yard line with 33 seconds left on the clock. But the Bears eventually ran out of time when Josh McCown got sacked on the final play of the game.