By Adam Hoge-
HALAS HALL (CBS) Marc Trestman called the Bears’ 24-21 win over the Bengals a “team win” but the head coach saw plenty of room for improvement, specifically with the running game and the defensive line.
“We didn’t get any explosive (running) plays,” Trestman said. “Matt (Forte) touched the ball approximately 25 times and not the productivity that we’d expect him to have. There were no explosive plays. We’ve got to do a better job for Matt of running the football and we think we can.”
Forte finished the game with just 50 rushing yards on 19 carries, good for just 2.6 yards per carry. Backup Michael Bush contributed 15 yards on six carries, most of which came when the Bears were running out the clock at the end of the game.
Meanwhile, Trestman wants to see his defense limit explosive plays from the opponent.
“We’ve got to improve defensively,” he said. “We’ve got to get off the field. We didn’t do a good job of getting off the field yesterday on the defensive side. We’ve got to limit their explosive plays — 130 yards of their offense was on three plays and we know we’ve got to do a better job there and I think we will.”
No pre-snap penalties
While the Bengals melted down at times Sunday, the Bears were extremely disciplined, which has Trestman very happy.
“Discipline-wise our football team was awesome again, not just in four preseason games but coming up with only four penalties and only one on defense,” he said. “No pre-snap penalties on either side of the ball was huge.”
Pre-snap penalties plagued the Bears last year, stalling drives and sometimes ending them before they even started. Surprisingly, Sunday, the Bears converted first downs after all three of their offensive penalties, keeping those drives alive.
Trestman said tight end Martellus Bennett changed his route on his touchdown catch in the back of the end zone and that’s what got him open.
“Martellus has a real knack,” Trestman said. “He could see that if he ran the original route called that he would have run the route to get covered. So he kind of made himself skinny between the Mike linebacker and the safety. They were in a shallow two coverage and just kind of worked himself open and Jay back-shouldered the throw.”
Meanwhile, Bennett was not at all happy with how the offense plays in the first half, despite his touchdown catch. Asked how the offense was feeling at halftime, he said: “Felt sh—-.”
Offense Goes ‘Spontaneous’
Trestman was very pleased with how Jay Cutler handled the play calls Sunday, particularly at the line of scrimmage.
“We went with some at-the-line things, we did what we call spontaneous where we just call a word or a code and we get plays run very fast quite frankly,” Trestman said. “I thought that we were good just seeing it out there.”
– Trestman said he kept Taylor Boggs active over James Brown because if center Roberto Garza had gotten hurt, they would have had to otherwise gone to left guard Matt Slauson at center and that would have affected two positions.
– The head coach said cornerback Tim Jennings was expecting help over the top from Major Wright on A.J. Green’s 45-yard touchdown catch.
– Per Trestman, Earl Bennett will get more work this week. The wide receiver only had one target Sunday.
Adam Hoge covers the Bears for CBSChicago.com and is a frequent contributor to 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamHoge.