The Bears ran the ball 41 times on Sunday for 219 yards. Those 41 rushes were more indicative of a game plan designed for a specific game, than a new offensive focus.

With the loss of starting quarterback Jay Cutler, Lovie Smith and the rest of the offensive coaching staff felt that they needed to run the ball more than they have in previous games this season.

“Each week we look at what we think we need to do, to win the football game. Going into this one we felt like we needed to run the ball,” Smith told the media today. Heading into the game wanting to focus on running the ball is one thing. Sticking with that gameplan comes from a team’s ability to execute.

Lovie Smith Talks About Focusing On Running The Ball Against Carolina.

Smith credited the offensive line with providing the team with the ability to stick with their game plan. But, he also made it known that one game focused on running the ball doesn’t change the overall mindset of the offense.

“I don’t think we’ll end up running the ball over 40 times each game,” Smith said. The run focused game plan, which appears to have  been designed specifically for last week, might show a lack of confidence in Todd Collins and Caleb Hanie to carry the offensive load.

According to Smith, neither Collins or Hanie will move up or down the depth chart after their performances on Sunday.

“The same way we went into the game is where everyone is listed right now,” Smith said. Based on Smith’s comments at today’s press conference, Collins will remain the starter until Cutler returns from from injury. And any news of Cutler’s return will more than likely come on Wednesday, when the QB is expected to address the media.

Smith also talked about Israel Idonije’s play helping Julius Peppers and the strong performance of the special teams units.

Lovie Smith On Israel Idonije’s Play.

Lovie Smith On The Special Teams Play.

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