Expert analysis

There's been a definite improvement in Chicago's offense as we saw in yesterday's game against San Diego. They are moving the ball and the pace of the game seems to have quickened noticeably.

I particularly liked the way they began the game with longer passes. That's really the only way to compete in the NFL today. If you happened to watch the Green Bay-Minnesota game on television last night, you'd probably have noticed that Favre did most of his passes deep on the field. It seemed as if he was always trying to find the end zone. That spreads the defense out and gives the quarterback more options. Chris Chandler tends to do exactly the same thing.

I was very impressed with the play of the rookies Justin Gage and Bobby Wade. They have a good sense of the game and showed considerable athletic ability. They had the opportunity to make an impact and they handled it well. Their attitude seems good, which is also quite important in a young player.

Chandler brings so much to the offense. He's been in the league for 16 years and it shows. He can see things on the field that many of the more inexperienced quarterbacks might miss. He can get the ball to the receivers. Chandler also seems to work well with the rookies, which is good, as there are so many of them playing right now.

I also think that Chandler has an excellent sense for the pace of the game. I don't believe that the Bears did any no huddle plays yesterday, but they did seem to control the speed of the downs. It's always an advantage when the opposing team has to adjust to your tempo.

The play calling seems to have improved as well. When I coached, I always felt that nothing was more important than having an "eye in the sky," a coach in a box above the field. Often, I would have two coaches up there and one in the end zone. That way I got the full scope of what was happening on the field. Even with today's technology, it's just too difficult to see everything from ground level on the sidelines.

The only thing I found problematic in yesterday's game plan was when there would be a series of short passes out to David Terrell. That doesn't make sense to me. If he is standing around on a short route, it gives the defenders time to cover him. That's why most of those plays didn't work. Terrell is very athletic. Give him a chance by sending him deep. John Shoop should have been able to see that.

I do think that Shoop has a much better sense of the flow of the game right now. You can see that there seem to be more options for plays, which helps make the offense more dominant. Again, this is probably because he finally has a good vantagepoint. Shoop is in constant communication with his coaches on the field and can implement the game plan with much more certainty.

The defense did very well yesterday. They held San Diego and gave the Bears more of a chance to score needed points. Even with Flutie's late drives, the game never got out of control. Again, some rookies were out there making good contributions.

Anthony Thomas had a very good game. He seems to have recovered well from his injury. I liked the fact that he seemed able to find holes in the San Diego line and break through them.

The only problem that I saw was that at times he would run straight ahead and fail to find a hole. What a runner should do in that circumstance is to give more of a forward body lean. That's how you create your own path. Thomas seemed to hold his body slightly upright which makes breaking through that much harder. That could be a holdover from his injury, or just the way he likes to run. If I were coaching him, I'd work a little on that.

It's good that the team now has two wins in a row. This momentum is very important because that's the way the players build confidence. The Bears have a good chance to come out on top when they play Detroit his coming weekend. I'll hope that the team will build on their recent achievements and can continue to be successful.

Beth Gorr contributed to this article.


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