By Dan Durkin
(CBS) A day after snapping his streak of 113 consecutive starts, Bears defensive end Jared Allen was back to work at Halas Hall.
“He was working out,” head coach Marc Trestman said. “It’s going to be day to day and we’ll see where he is on Wednesday. It was good to see him in the building, good to see him in all the meetings, he got some work in the weight room. That’s encouraging.”
According to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports, Allen was suffering from pneumonia and had lost 18 pounds, but Trestman denied the validity of that report.
“I don’t know where that report came from,” Trestman said.
The Bears’ defensive line didn’t register a single quarterback hit on Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers yesterday. It’s questionable whether or not Allen would’ve made a difference, as he’s still searching for his first sack of the season. However, subbing Trevor Scott for Allen in the Bears’ three-man defensive end rotation is a big drop-off.
Lapses in fundamentals and communication plagued Bears on both sides of the ball
The Bears’ anemic pass rush was a big factor in Rodgers near-perfect performance yesterday, but the Bears’ secondary suffered several lapses in techniques and fundamentals that led to big plays down the field.
“Fundamentally, we’ve got to be better,” Trestman said. “We had some missed assignments back there, we had some guys where they shouldn’t have been, that was number one. I think particularly because we played so much zone yesterday that we’ve got some cleaning up to do with our coverages.”
Trestman said history shows that rushing with four and dropping seven into coverage has been the best way to defend Rodgers, but yesterday the Bears defense wasn’t in sync.
“We rolled the wrong way one time,” Trestman said. “We played a low player one time and they got behind us (early completion to Richard Rodgers). We got our eyes in the backfield a couple of times when we were in man-to-man (Chris Conte on the touchdown to Randall Cobb to start the fourth quarter).”
Rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller got his first on-field experience with Rodgers. Fuller was targeted seven times, giving up five completions for 67 yards and a touchdown, a fade route to Jordy Nelson, on which Fuller put himself in a tough position.
“Really just kind of put myself in a better position to be closer to him and maybe knocking off some timing,” Fuller said. “But it was a good throw and a good catch. Like I said, I’ll just learn from it and next time put myself in a better position.”
Fuller played with inside technique, but gave Nelson a bit too much room to operate on a play where he’s coached to cut off the slant and squeeze the fade.
Yesterday, Trestman was quick to point out that wide receiver Brandon Marshall was supposed to run a hook route on Jay Cutler’s interception. Today, he split the blame evenly, mentioning it was a miscommunication between Marshall and Cutler who have the flexibility to change plays verbally or with signals.
“They had a communication error there,” Trestman said. “You can’t put it on any one person, and that wasn’t the case. What I said yesterday clearly was, the called play to jay was a deep hook route, but they do have the flexibility to change that. Brandon ran a very good hook-and-go off a corner who was squatting on him. They just had a miscommunication — the signal.”
Football isn’t the only game of inches
Tight end Martellus Bennett’s strong start to the season continued yesterday. Bennett was targeted a team-high 11 times, hauling in nine of them for 137 yards and a near touchdown at the end of the first-half, on a vertical route he had to flatten out to protect from a potential interception.
“I had to flatten it more because if I don’t flatten it as much as I did, then it’s an interception,” Bennett said. “With 21 (Packers safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix) breaking on the ball, I had to make sure I cut the defender off.”
Next time, Bennett would like to get a little deeper with his route before he looks back for the ball, but he wanted to ensure he shielded the defender.
“Although I would like to be a little deeper in the end zone, when I’m breaking in there I would break it higher usually,” Bennett said. “But with him breaking on the ball, I had to make sure I protect the throw.”
The old adage says that football is a game of inches, but per Bennett, it’s not the only one.
“There’s two places where inches matter, and one of them is on the football field,” Bennett said, bringing the media room to a burst of laughter.
Dan Durkin covers the Bears for CBSChicago.com and is a frequent contributor to 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter at @djdurkin.