We worked on our special situations mainly in the red zone and our kicking game. I say that every week, but that's what we're trying to get done here. The guys again had a very good workday and we understand that there are three regular season home games left. We've got a chance to play at Soldier Field on Sunday, and those are precious times, and we want to try to make the most of them. The guys are gearing up for that emotionally and building their injury towards that as we work into Sunday at Noon.
Martellus Bennett'S DAY OFF HELP?
He did. He worked today, probably 50 percent of the practice. We tried to be smart with him. But he got work in today and did well and hopefully with 48 hours, he'll feel even better. We got some execution done with him. It was good.
WIND AFFECTING GAME PLANNING?
I think the best would be how you handle the weather during the game because you have resources within the game plan to do that. Obviously when most teams are working into the wind, they want to try to taking advantage of that by running the football and using the clock, and keeping offenses off the field. Conversely, when you have the wind you've got to try to make the most of it. So your play selection can dictate that, into the crosswind, certainly what you do outside the numbers is affected as well and depths of route and things like that. It's all incorporated in the framework of the game plan that you have the resources, the tools, the plays – I'm talking offensively, certainly to get that done. And then how you call defenses certainly is predicated on the type of wind an offense is facing.
HOW TO HELP MILLS?
We try to help our protection. We know we've got some serious pass rushers coming on the edge. In every game plan, you say, ‘Who are the difference makers?' Certainly they have a number of them defensively. They're there on the edges with their two outside backers. They're inside with their big thick guys. So we do that within the framework of our protection, our game planning, how we use our backs and our tight ends. We try to be real smart taking on any pressure; doesn't always work that way. They're going to have their one on ones, no doubt about it. They've got to step up and do that, and we expect they will. That's how we do it every week. We try to pinpoint the guys that can make a difference in a game. Those certainly are two guys their sack totals are pretty impressive together. So we've got to be ready for that.
HOW MCCOWN STACKS UP IN PREPARATION COMPARED TO OTHER QBS YOU'VE WORKED WITH
Most of the quarterbacks, all of the quarterbacks really do it the same way. They put in a tremendous amount of time. The guys that succeed are always the gym rats. They're always the guys that are the earliest in and last to leave. They're always the guys who are taking meticulous notes and looking at endless amount of tape. It's really no different anywhere you are. It seems pretty consistent. They love football. They work hard at it. They know the preparation is critically, critically important. The imagery part of it, the quiet time where there's not other players around where they can stand up in a meeting room and walk through the plays and verbally call them out. This is all part of their weekly process. That's something Josh and the guys do and pretty much every place I've been they've done the same.
YOU REFERRED TO NOT WINNING LINE OF SCRIMMAGE WHEN RUNNING AGAINST THE LIONS. DID YOU CHANGE ANYTHING? THE WAY YOU COACH THEM UP?
The point there was, it's not that they played any harder than we did. We just didn't take advantage of the opportunities. A lot of that was assignment, technical, fundamental, and that's not to take anything away from their front. They played hard too. But we didn't win it because we didn't move the ball successfully on a consistent basis running he football. And that's why I said what I said. We went to work this week to try to clean up some of those techniques and fundamentals so we wouldn't be making the same mistake twice.
YOU DIDN'T CHANGE COACHING STYLE?
No, we're not pulling different coaching styles out each and every week based on wins and losses. We give our players dignity. We're extremely demanding. We expect a high standard. Our players do as well. That's the way we're living here. We went back to work. We were very very specific on things we can improve on and how we can go about doing it, and why we're doing what we're doing. And that's the way we approach every week.
ADVANTAGE WHEN FORTE'S GOOD?
I think that when you have a chance to use any of your players (laughs). I know where you're going with this. He's a factor both as a runner and a pass receiver. He got his touches last week but he wasn't as productive as we'd like him to be, certainly. So I think that when you're able to run the football in the national football league, it does make it a lot easier to call plays, certainly. You can do it different ways. You can do it by calling a lot more passes, and you've seen that we're done that and had success. But last week was a week when we needed to take a little bit of the edge off the pass rush. We weren't able to do it. When matt's running the ball successfully, when everyone's doing what they need to do, it give us a better opportunity to neutralize what a team does best. In the case of Detroit or the case of the team we're playing, they're very good at rushing the passer and creating sacks and havoc back there. We've got to do a good job in our run game.
DOES THE BAD GRASS AFFECT PLAY-CALLING?
Not at all.
BUT YOU PRACTICE INDOORS?
We want to have clean practices whenever we can. We don't want to minimize the importance of being outside. And we generally are during the course of the week. But we have this beautiful facility and we want to use it. And it allows the players to focus on the practice; I don't get as concerned about game day weather. The guys are, the adrenaline's up and the guys are ready to play. The temperature really isn't a factor on game day. The wind and the environment can affect practice. We went outside today. We got a great facility; we want to use it.
Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He is in his third season covering the Chicago Bears full time. Follow Bear Report on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Bear Report Web site or magazine, click here.