Bears Aim To 'Finish' Against Seahawks

The Bears are trying to move on from a disaster in Green Bay.

September 12, 2018 - 6:03 pm
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By Jeff Joniak--

LAKE FOREST (WBBM Newsradio) -- Here are my latest obsverations on the Bears' preparations for their game against the Seahaws on Monday night.

First impression

It still stings.

"We’re on to Seattle, but I don’t think anyone can actually get over this game," Bears cornerback Prince Amukamara said of team’s 24-23 loss and late collapse to the Packers on Sunday. "I think you just push it back, back, back, back to the back of your head and still kind of remember it."

While excited about another primetime game Monday, the Bears' first mission is to get the bad taste of the Packers’ loss out of their collective mouths.

One bad loss can't be the reason for a second.

"Like Mitch (Trubisky) said, we can’t let one game dictate the rest of our season," safety Eddie Jackson said. "We’ve got to put that one behind us even though it was tough. We really wanted that one really bad."

From Jackson to Amukamara to defensive lineman Akiem Hicks, they all shared a hint of regret. That's normal. The Bears' goal is to come out as aggressive against the Seahawks as they were agains the Packers, but this time, as Jackson put it, "finish, finish, finish."

After watching the game for a third time, I keep finding plays in all three phases that could have or would have led to a Bears' win instead of a loss. All Chicago needed to do was make one more clutch play in any of the four quarters.

We all know what would have, could have and should have means: regret.

Second thought

Veterans offer perspective, even three days after the game.

"There’s 32 teams in the league and half of them started – well, almost half of them -- started out with a loss," right guard Kyle Long said. "So, moving on this week, we have an opportunity to go 1-1 and defend our home field, so that’s all we can really aim to do."

Third Degree

There's a reasonable expectation that rookie inside linebacker Roquan Smith will, at a minimum, get more than the eight snaps he picked up in Green Bay. He's ready for more.

"I felt fine for the little time I was out there," Smith said. "Whatever coach feels like is best for me as far as playing time-wise, if it’s one quarter to (the) entire game, whatever that may be, I am just with it."

Smith’s speed, range and explosiveness from sideline to sideline and excellence dropping into coverage may be the way to go with Danny Trevathan at inside linebacker against Seattle’s pesky and mobile quarterback Russell Wilson.

Texts from friends and family swamped Smith's cell phone after his first NFL snap turned into his first NFL sack of Packers backup quarterback DeShone Kizer. 

"It was awesome," Smith said. "First snap actually having a sack, but it’s more to it than that."

Smith recognized edge rusher Khalil Mack’s dominance at the line of scrimmage as Kizer moved out of Mack's path, allowing Smith to drop him for a nine-yard loss late in the first half.

Smith is a confident rookie. While the NFL is more complex in terms of schemes and how to use them, it doesn’t sound too big for him making the jump from Georgia.

"Obviously, people are bigger and a little faster, and I guess the mental side of things," Smith said. "Other than that, I don’t really see any crazy differences."

Smith felt ready to play physically and mentally. He knew the game plan cold. Knowledge is always power in the NFL.

Fourth-and-short

Gus Bradley was Allen Robinson’s first NFL head coach in Jacksonville. He practiced against the Jaguars defense for parts of three seasons. Doug Marrone took over for the fired Bradley during the 2016 season. Bradley was Seattle’s defensive coordinator from 2009-'12, as he was retained by head coach Pete Carroll for his 2010 debut season. It means Robinson has a good feel for what to expect from the Seattle scheme Monday night.

"You know that they’re going to be fast," Robinson said. "I have a pretty good grasp of what they like to do and the type of players in certain positions they like to have. It’s a real speed-based defense."

Ken Norton Jr. coordinates the defense for Carroll, but the "Legion of Boom" is a memory. Free safety Earl Thomas, linebackers Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright (knee injury) are about all that is left of the once-dominant defense. However, to Robinson’s point, they do have speed to respect at each level of the unit.

Jeff Joniak is the play-by-play announcer for the Bears broadcasts on WBBM Newsradio 780 & 105.9 FM. Follow him on Twitter @JeffJoniak.