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After Further Review

Lack of pass rush key factor in loss


After watching tape of Sunday's 38-17 loss to the Packers, coach Marc Trestman reiterated Monday that a lack of pressure on quarterback Aaron Rodgers led to the Bears' demise.

Rodgers passed for 302 yards and four touchdowns against a defense that was credited with one sack—when rookie tackle Ego Ferguson chased Rodgers out of bounds for no gain—and no quarterback hits.

"We didn't get any kind of extensive pass rush," Trestman said. "We didn't win the one-on-ones inside when we had opportunities to win the one-on-ones. He just had too much time."

The Bears relied primarily on their defensive linemen to generate a pass rush.

"We rushed four," Trestman said. "We did very little blitzing. We felt that the best way to beat [Rodgers] is to try to get a pass rush and play coverage behind him. But we didn't get the pass rush we needed, and then when those moments came, he was able to extend the play and make plays on the move with his legs or with his arm."

Trestman feels that blitzing an established quarterback such as Rodgers leaves the defense susceptible to big plays.

"With any experienced passer in the National Football League, you can take advantage of the blitz. Jay [Cutler] did on three or four occasions [Sunday], where he knew exactly where to go with the football.

"The normal trend of thought is, 'We want to try to get a pass rush on him to try to keep him in the pocket, to try to stop the run, get him in some third-and-longs, but we didn't get that done."

After Rodgers completed 13 of 17 passes for 184 yards and two TDs in the first half without any pressure to contend with, why didn't the Bears make an adjustment and employ more blitzes in the second half?

"We were hoping we could make the corrections and get our guys on some edges," Trestman said. "The score was such that we wanted to keep playing and not put them in a position where they had to do anything but go the long way. You start bringing too many people, all of a sudden you start getting more explosive plays.

"If we could make them go the distance, if we could get them in third-down situations of six-plus, seven-plus, we felt we could match them without giving them the explosive plays they would need to get it done through the blitz."

While the lack of a pass rush made things difficult on the secondary, the Bears' defensive backs were also at fault.

"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 No. 1. We didn't play as well as we can play and it starts with fundamentals and techniques."

Trestman also went further into detail about the miscommunication between Cutler and receiver Brandon Marshall that led to a costly third-quarter interception. After the game Sunday, the Bears coach said that Marshall ran a go route when he was supposed to do an 18-yard curl.

"I want to be really specific on that," Trestman said. "We give Brandon and Jay opportunities—and we've done this throughout the last two years—where they're communicating verbally or visually during the course of a game on changing routes.

"They had a communication error there. You can't put it on any one person, and that wasn't the case. What I said [Sunday] clearly was the called play to Jay was a deep hook route, but they do have the flexibility to change that."

Cutler and Marshall clearly weren't on the same page, which has been a rarity during their six NFL seasons together with the Broncos (2006-08) and Bears (2012-14).

"Brandon ran a very good hook and go off a corner who was squatting on him," Trestman said. "They just had a miscommunication—the signal. They've done this countless times in the last couple years. This is one where there was a communication error between the two of them.

"There has to be confirmation between the two of them. One thought there was confirmation and one didn't think there was confirmation. That's never happened in the two years, because we want them to have that flexibility. They have a good feel for the game."

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