Tempers flared for the Bears on Sunday afternoon, following the team's 27-14 home loss to the Miami Dolphins. Observers overheard yelling in the locker room after the game, prior to several players venting their frustration to the media in interviews.
On Monday, as they appeared on local radio shows, Chicago players and coaches were much calmer and more composed, acknowledging the mistakes they made both on the field and off the day before.
"I absolutely don't agree with my initial comments after the game. What I said was very stupid," right guard Kyle Long said on WMVP-AM 1000's 'Waddle and Silvy Show.' "The last thing you want to do is put the blame on somebody who doesn't even have a helmet on, who isn't even participating in the game. It's up to us to give the fans here in Chicago something to cheer about, especially at home. We have the best fans in the league."
The apology came in lieu of Long's postgame comments, where he was critical of the Solider Field crowd for booing during the loss. The defeat to Miami dropped the Bears' record to 0-3 on their home field this season and 3-4 overall.
"It's not a good look to go at the fans like that. And I don't know why I did that," Long said. "It's never fun after a loss and we will do better. The only thing we can do is go forward and be physical and play smash-mouth football."
One area of the team's on-field performance that drew comments had to do with the team's running game. Chicago ran the ball only 14 times all game, including only two attempts in the first half. The Bears scored no points during the game's first 30 minutes, and running back Kyle Long finished with both of the team's touchdowns.
"As an offensive lineman, with the talent we have – with Matt and then you look on the outside with the receivers and tight ends we have – we can not only run the ball, but I'm sure that the running game would set up the passing game," Long said.
Coach Marc Trestman agreed, speaking on WBBM-AM 780's 'Chicago Bears Coaches Show' later on Monday evening.. He credited the Dolphins' defense with making the proper adjustments to take away the Bears rushing attack, but also saying the team needs to do a better job moving the ball on the ground.
"We had a couple run-pass options where we would up throwing the bubble (screen)," Trestman said. "We didn't get it done the way we wanted to get it done in that regard. And we didn't convert. And when you don't covert you don't get the chance to turn over plays and get more runs called. We certainly wanted to."
Utilizing Forte is a key aspect of the Bears offensive attack, even when the running game isn't working as well as the team would like. The back was on the field for all 53 offensive plays the team ran versus Miami, and along with his 12 rushing attempts, he also led the team with 60 receiving yards on six catches.
Forte's 52 receptions is the most in the NFL this season.
"We utilize our running back in our passing game quite a bit," running backs coach Skip Peete said on 'Chicago Bears Coaches Show.' "We utilize him on various routes, not just check downs, but we try to get him involved in individual routes on linebackers and things of that nature."
With road trips to New England and Green Bay coming up, sandwiched around the team's bye, getting back to Chicago Bears football and not letting the emotions of some setbacks get the best of them is vital.
"We've got to come to realization – and we have – that we've played very inconsistent football over the year," Trestman said. "We've had moments where we thought we were moving in the right direction, and (on Sunday) we descended and didn't play at our best. And that's frustrating."