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Hoge’s Notes: Trestman Admits Defense Needs Improvement

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Brandon Jacobs scores a touchdown against the Bears. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

Brandon Jacobs scores a touchdown against the Bears. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

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By Adam Hoge-

HALAS HALL (CBS) — After getting a chance to review the film, Bears head coach Marc Trestman met the media Friday afternoon to discuss Thursday night’s 27-21 win over the New York Giants.

Here are some of the key topics he touched on:

Defensive Struggles

Trestman admitted what was easily seen on tape: the defense did not have a good game.

“It was not our best performance, no doubt about it,” he said. “On the downside, third down and red zone, certainly not as productive as it had been the two weeks before. Our tackling wasn’t as crisp, (but) we were very physical. We missed some tackles in what we call ‘crack replace’ and we had a couple side-pocket throws in our cover 2.”

He was happy, however, that the defense was still able to force three takeaways and score a touchdown, which was enough to secure the win.

He also thought there was some carry over from the defense being on the field so much against Drew Brees and the Saints just four days earlier.

“I do believe that just experience-wise, playing 36 minutes and the type of game we played on Sunday did have a residual effect on our defense last night,” Trestman said. “We’ll find out more next week because I thought the two weeks previous we were solid in those special-situation areas.”

Stalled Drive

Trestman was particularly unhappy about the first drive of the fourth quarter that ended with no points following an intentional grounding call on Jay Cutler.

“The most disappointing part of the half was certainly when we took points off the board, the quick screen to Brandon (Marshall), and then the screen pass that Jay got the penalty on, and took us out of field goal range, which could have really, really hurt us, obviously, we all know that, and made it a 9-point game.”

There was some debate about whether or not intentional grounding should have been called, as Forte was sort of in the area. Trestman said he didn’t get an explanation on the call.

“I haven’t and we always turn everything in and we’ll hopefully get some response from the league,” he said. “I’m not questioning the call. I mean, I thought it was just disappointing that we took points off the board, obviously, and that’s how it turned out.”

Agreeing With Another Call

Surprisingly, Trestman had no problem with another controversial call that went against the Bears.

On the Giants’ touchdown drive that made it a six-point game late in the third quarter, wide receiver Rueben Randle slipped and then slammed the ball on the ground in frustration. He had never been touched, however, and the Bears immediately jumped on the football. Trestman wanted to review the play, but the referees said Randle had given himself up.

“They said they had declared him down and I thought they made the right decision,” Trestman said. “I thought it was a good decision. It was clear his demeanor was not somebody who was trying to run with the football so I didn’t argue the point with them. It wouldn’t have done any good anyways. But they did come over and explain to me that it was not challengeable.”

Settling For A Field Goal

The Bears tacked on a field goal at the end of the first half, but considering their drive started with 3:34 remaining, it seemed like they could have gotten more.

So could there have been more urgency?

“There could have been,” Trestman admitted. “My thought process, I told Jay, is that we’re sitting there around the 40-yard line and I know we’re going to get the ball back in 12 minutes at halftime and we wanted to make sure we got ourselves into getting points.”

Still, Trestman didn’t have any regrets about the situation.

“You’re always going to be a little bit uncomfortable with those decisions but I look back and I’m really not second-guessing that situation.”

Better Than He Thought

Matt Forte only average 3.5 yards on 19 carries and Michael Bush only had eight total rushing yards on six carries, but Trestman was happier with the run game than he thought he’d be when he turned on the tape.

“I thought that we all saw (Forte) was physical,” Trestman said. “I didn’t think we ran the ball as well last night as I did after I watched the tape. I thought we ran the ball very well. We stuck to it. Matt hit the holes. We got some yardage outside.”

He pointed out that Forte had a 19 yard gain wiped out by a backside holding call on Roberto Garza that didn’t really affect the play.

How ‘Bout A Trade?

With the Bears lacking depth and options on defense, particularly on the offensive line, Trestman was asked Friday if he communicates directly with general manager Phil Emery about personnel needs.

“We talk every day at some point in time about where we are, where we’re going, how we’re going, in terms of improving our football team,” Trestman said. “So that’s always a part of the daily process. We meet twice a week. But we also, I stick my head in the door, he does, once a day just to check in and see what we can do to help each other do their jobs.”

Adam Hoge covers the Bears for CBSChicago.com and is a frequent contributor to 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamHoge.

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