Chat with Jeff Dickerson
Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! On Monday, Jeff Dickerson stops by for his weekly Chicago Bears chat.
Dickerson, who will chat from noon to 12:30 p.m. CT, is a Bears beat reporter and weeknight host on ESPN Radio 1000.
Send your questions now and join the chat Monday at noon CT/1 p.m. ET!
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Jeff Dickerson (12:58 PM)
Sitting in an empty media room at Halas Hall. We hear from Marc Trestman at 1:30, but we address your issues from the 40-32 loss to the Lions right here for the next 30 minutes.
Jimmy Musial (Illinois)
Jeff,Is it possible that we are just panicking too early because of one bad game? Yes the turnovers were unacceptable, but there were still signs of hope throughout the game.
Jeff Dickerson (1:01 PM)
There is no reason to panic. The NFL is full of ups and downs. It's only one game. To me, the Bears appear to be a 9 or 10 win team. There are going to be weeks when things don't go according to plan. Yesterday was one of those days. But 9 or 10 wins, if that indeed turns out to be the Bears' final record, should still likely get them in the playoffs - although the Bears did fail to reach the postseason last year despite 10 victories.
I was surprised Zach Minter wasn't active for the last game. Any insight on why he wasn't?
Jeff Dickerson (1:03 PM)
Probably his lack of experience. Landon Cohen played 14 snaps despite signing late in the week. A good question for Trestman to answer later. But with all the other stuff going on in the postgame locker room, I did not talk to Minter about being inactive.
Biggest concern for the bears w/ facing the Saints this weekend?
Jeff Dickerson (1:05 PM)
The Bears' defense giving up big plays. The Saints are a better team in the dome, but are still dangerous on offense in any climate. I've been surprised the Bears have had so many breakdowns on defense. That needs to change.
Jim Misunas (Nickerson Kansas)
You talk about this 3 technique like everyone knows what this means. Please help educate us.
Jeff Dickerson (1:11 PM)
Jim - When a defensive tackle plays the three-technique, that means he lines up over the outside shoulder of the guard. There is a numbered system for defensive linemen. If a DT lines up directly over the center, that is a zero technique. The two outside shoulders of the center are 1. The inside shoulder of the guard is 2. Outside shoulder of the guard 3, etc. Lighter pass-rushing DTs usually play the 3 technique because they don't face as many double-teams. Think about it; an OT is generally concerned with blocking a DE, so if the DT is lined up over the guards outside shoulder, it makes it difficult for the center to slide over far enough to help the guard out. Does that make sense?
Why haven't the Bears brought back Okoye? I thought he played well in spurts a couple years ago
Jeff Dickerson (1:12 PM)
As of last week, I don't believe Okoye was healthy enough to pass a physical. He's had some health issues.
pat. from mokena [via mobile]
With melton gone nd others on the line underperforming, would the bears be better off playing 3-4 style defence?
Jeff Dickerson (1:13 PM)
I don't think so, Pat. The Bears' personnel is built for a 4-3, not a 3-4.
What's the latest on Charles Tillman's health? Hope he's feeling okay, and hoping that he didn't aggravate his injuries too badly.
Jeff Dickerson (1:14 PM)
We spoke to Tillman in the postgame locker room yesterday. I think it's safe to say he'll have to deal with these nagging injuries until at least the bye week when he can get some rest. That's just the life of a 32 year old NFL cornerback.
David (Morton grove)
Jeff, why the decrease in plays for D.J. Williams? Was it a coach's decision or is he playing hurt?
Jeff Dickerson (1:17 PM)
The Bears were in nickel 43 times yesterday. D.J. Williams is the LB that comes off the field when Isaiah Frey enters the game as the extra DB. I don't think Williams has done anything wrong, that's just what happens when the Bears call for the nickel package.
JD, thanks for doing this. I thought Podlesh's performance (and punt team as a whole) arguably cost us the game. How in an inside stadium does one average 28.8 yards net?? That long punt return absolutely killed the bears at a time we were only down a score. Rarely did we see special team mistakes under Toub.
Jeff Dickerson (1:20 PM)
I don't know what to say about Podlesh yesterday other than he simply had a bad day. A 40.2 yard average and a 28.8 yard net average just isn't going to cut in when the Bears play indoors. Ford Field is a kicker's dream, especially a kicker that has to deal with the harsh conditions when playing in Chicago. I don't know what to say. I believe Podlesh is healthy. I'll follow up later. And yes, the coverage unit had another massive breakdown yesterday on the 57 yard punt return.
Mike S (West Loop)
Jeff, I watched Kyle Long get tossed a couple times yesterday. Do you think this is him showing his true colors or is Suh just that good? Also, what can you attribute these big individual performances against the Bears defense to, and more importantly how do we solve it?
Jeff Dickerson (1:24 PM)
Suh is one of the best defensive tackles in the league. That straight bull-rush he put on Long to sack Cutler was an amazing display of strength. But I watched the two go at it as much as I could from the press box, and I really felt like Long held his own during most of the battles. If I had to bet, I'd say Long does a much better job vs. Suh later in the year when the Bears and Lions square off in Chicago. This was a great learning experience. Remember, despite all the hype, Long is still leaning on the job. He's inexperienced. A game like yesterday will only make him better, in my opinion.
Lance (Asheville, NC)
Hey JD, it looks like Henry Melton meant more to the Bears defense than people thought. What is your take?
Jeff Dickerson (1:25 PM)
Melton really isn't known as a great run defender, so hard to know if he would've made a difference against Reggie Bush. At least the Bears are consistent; they weren't pressuring the QB with Melton, and they're still not without him.
Mike (La Grange)
Will Bostic face discipline for the hit he landed on the Lions player during the onside kick attempt at the end of the game?
Jeff Dickerson (1:26 PM)
I bet he does. Another good topic for Trestman to discuss at his Monday press conference. Seemed like a dumb move by Bostic.
Kevin King (Huntsville, AL)
Jeff, any legitimacy to the rumor that Idonije schooled the Lions on some of our defensive formations?? That doesn't excuse tackling or Cutler's picks, but that second quarter seems like a statistical outlier. The other three quarters we slowed their offense pretty well. I don't believe the Lions are that much better than the Bears.
Jeff Dickerson (1:28 PM)
Idonije helped the Lions prepare for the Bears, no doubt about it. Izzy is a smart guy who played here his entire career. He knows the defensive calls like the back of his hand. But like you said, Kevin, it doesn't excuse the Bears performance. Reggie Bush would still be running if the game hadn't ended.
Omar (LA) [via mobile]
Hey JD, Is it me or when Cutler is having a rough day, it's worse than most? Why can't Trestman pull him aside and help address these issues through the game? It seems like if we reduced or turnovers by 1, or possibly 2...the result could've been different?
Jeff Dickerson (1:31 PM)
Omar, it's not easy to have calm, rationale conversations with players on the sidelines during games. Cutler sits with Matt Cavanaugh on the bench and listens to their instructions, but the time to truly refine things is during the week before the game. Cutler is always going to have these high turnover games. It's who he is. But I did like how the offense fought to the end. If Cutler can limit these kinds of games to just a couple times a year, the Bears offense should still be able to function at a high level. It's the defense that really has me concerned.
Jeff Dickerson (1:32 PM)
Thank you everybody. Have a great rest of your week.