(CBS) The Bears’ special teams, for so many years a point of pride, have pieced together a rather poor resume to date this preseason.
In Friday’s debacle at Seattle alone, Chicago allowed Percy Harvin to return the opening kickoff 46 yards, allowed Earl Thomas to take a second-quarter punt return 59 yards close to paydirt and saw kicker Robbie Gould miss a third-quarter field goal.
In the second preseason game against the Jaguars, return man Eric Weems fumbled a kickoff. He was cut shortly thereafter, but through three preseason, he’s symbolized the trouble of not having returner who has distanced himself in the chase to replace Devin Hester.
In the preseason opener against the Eagles, Micheal Spurlock fumbled on a return and Philadelphia’s Josh Huff had a 102-year kick return for a score. And those are just the glaring mistakes.
To put it simply, the special teams have been disastrous thus far.
Naturally, this has raised some concern, but the dean of the unit isn’t getting too worked up. The veteran Gould admits it’s been ugly, but he said the special teams units will be fine once Chicago finds continuity.
“I’m not too concerned now,” Gould said. “You’re still trying to find your guys. You’re still trying to find guys who will make the roster. I mean, these are all evidence-based decisions on who’s going to make your 53-man roster. Obviously, we’ve made some mistakes. There’s no doubt about it. You can’t deny it. But everything on tape is very correctable. It’s things we can fix. It’s not like your first team’s out there all the time. For us, it’s great to learn from those mistakes and make sure they don’t happen come Week 1.
“There’s a lot of new guys. If you look at the locker room, you don’t have the same guys you had in this locker room on special teams like you had last year. For us, it’s getting guys in the learning process.
“Like anything else, it’s going to take some time to jell and mesh. Realistically, is there cause for concern?
“I can understand why people are concerned, but to be honest with ya, I’m not concerned yet.”