By Jeff Joniak-
(CBS) The Bears (3-5) face the Packers (5-3) at Lambeau Field on Sunday night. Here’s what’s on my mind heading into the contest.READ MORE: Two Chicago Police Officers Wounded By Accidental Friendly Fire While Confronting Suspect In Lyons, Police Say
A post-bye week first impression is that the time off for the Bears was imperative.
“It’s been a rough eight weeks for us,” safety Ryan Mundy said. “A lot of ups, a lot of downs, so to have the bye week especially after the game we had at New England … it was an interesting spot and I feel like it could have went in a really bad direction.”
Monday’s return to practice was positive for Chicago, with energy and a vibe that quieted any concerns Mundy may have had.
“I feel good about it, and the bye week was beneficial to us as a team and also individually,” Mundy said.
Now, the big question is if all of that transfers to Sunday night in Green Bay and translates into a victory.
Michael Ola has become the Swiss Army knife of the Bears’ offensive line. It’s rare to start at three positions in eight games and play four of the five spots at some point in the season dating to training camp, but that’s exactly what Ola’s done.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Cool Changes
“I personally don’t coin myself that way,” Ola said. “I’ll have more of an appreciation for it when everything is said and done. I have really had no time to sit back and look at the grand scheme of things, and because I’m such a novice at this game, at my craft, as far as being with this team, so much work I’ve got to put in.”
Ola is expected to make his second start at right tackle come Sunday night .
When Jordan Mills was drafted in 2013, the possibility existed that he could at some point in his career move to guard. It’s likely happening after 23 starts at right tackle, with Mills working at left guard after the season-ending injury to Matt Slauson.
“We’ll get him caught up on the terminology here on the left side and just how things need to be done at the guard level,” left tackle Jermon Bushrod said. “It can be quite a transition if you are used to playing tackle. You get that space, the guys are not as bigger, they’re faster. Things happen a lot of sooner, you have to play a lot heavier, a lot sooner, but the good thing about Jordan is that he’s a strong-handed, powerful young man that will be able to adapt.”
Martellus Bennett had a terrific first two months of the season, entering the bye week tied for the NFL lead in receptions for a tight end with 47, including 13 receptions on third down, with three touchdowns. He made yards after the catch a big focus for 2014, and entering the bye week he was 15th overall in the league in that category with 253 yards, according to STATS, Inc.
Replicating production in the second half of the season will be essential for the Bears, who need monster production from every target moving forward.MORE NEWS: North Side Condo Building Residents Alarmed By Mail Thefts Apparently Committed Using A Master Key
Jeff Joniak is the play-by-play announcer for the Bears broadcasts on WBBM Newsradio 780. Follow him on Twitter @JeffJoniak.