Same Old Story at Punt Returner

Lake Forest – It's been puzzling to watch the Bears continually use Bobby Wade as the punt returner despite his problems with ball security. Even with his 10th fumble of the season, it appears there's no change in the works.

"There is some concern based on the pattern with Bobby and really with our punt returners in general," said coach Lovie Smith. "All I can say is we're addressing it right now and we'll try to find a way to get that position better."

Smith said the team would consider brining in someone from outside the organization.

Not only has Wade had a problem with holding onto the ball, but he's decided to field several punts inside the 10-yard line, which is a mistake going back to high school football.

"When it's on the 2 or on the 5 or something like that obviously the ball is going to go into the end zone," Wade said. "It's a just a thin line between letting the ball bounce at the nine and dying at the 1 as opposed to you being able to catch that ball and get to the 15.

"It's a tough decision, but I just try to play it by ear and just really try to focus and watch enough film to know what kind of kicks these punters are giving us, just try to get a good read on the ball."

All For One
QB Kyle Orton will continue to get all the game reps according to coach Lovie Smith, who said the rookie showed improvement in the 21-9 loss to the Steelers.

Smith shot down reports that Rex Grossman hasn't fully recovered from his broken ankle.

"When you put a guy in the No. 2 slot, you definitely feel comfortable putting him in to play whenever he needs to and that's the case with Rex," Smith said. "He's No. 2, we definitely feel comfortable with him playing if he had to."

Tackling the Issue
DE Wale Ogunleye, the Bears' leading tackler among linemen, was unofficially credited with one tackle Sunday in the loss to the Steelers.

"As we played well, we've complimented the defensive line quite a bit on their play," Smith said. "(Sunday) wasn't a good day for our defense as a whole, I'm going to put the defensive line in that. I can't say, when you look at the stat sheets sometimes, that's misleading. There were a lot of missed tackles. Wale didn't really miss that many. We need to play better throughout."

Health Beat

  • SS Mike Brown could miss a second straight game with a strained calf.

  • FS Chris Harris might not be back this week after missing Sunday's game with a sprained knee.

  • S Todd Johnson suffered a hip pointer in Sunday's game and is questionable for this week.

  • DT Ian Scott played through a sprained ankle and is expected to play this week.

  • FB Bryan Johnson suffered a lower back injury against the Steelers and didn't return to the game. His status for against Atlanta is uncertain.

  • G Terrence Metcalf missed of his first game of the year because of a shoulder injury. When healthy he will start ahead of Roberto Garza.

  • RB Cedric Benson continues to rehab from an MCL sprain that has forced him to miss the last four games.

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