Turner knows that he needs to get more out of Olsen and Hester
Head coach Lovie Smith likes to break down an NFL season into four quarters, but the numbers for his offense through four games are downright brutal no matter how you slice them. Not only is Cedric Benson having trouble finding room to run on the ground, but both Rex Grossman and Brian Griese have turned the ball over in the passing game and failed to produce enough points to win ballgames. There was a lot of talk during training camp that the Bears had the talent and scheme in place to be a top-10 attack when they were winging the ball all over the field in Bourbonnais, but so far they're only producing 245.8 yards per game – 30th in the league.
TE Greg Olsen
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One potential contributor who was curiously absent from the game plan in Week 4 at Detroit was first-round TE Greg Olsen, but offensive coordinator Ron Turner sees more ways to get him involved and plans on doing so very soon.
"Definitely, and that will come the more he plays," Turner said after practice Wednesday at Halas Hall. "He's coming off that knee [injury] and still learning to play fast all the time. We definitely will continue to get him the ball. He's going to be a big-time impact player for us, and we're going to continue to work hard to get all of our playmakers involved. And he's one of them."
Smith half-jokingly suggested Monday that WR Devin Hester has been the team's most consistent offensive player with what he's been able to accomplish in the return game, and Turner knows he needs to harness some of that playmaking ability for his offense.
"Well, he's been the most consistent offensive guy for us just with the returns," he said, "But yeah, no question about that. And the same thing I said with Greg. In time, the more he gets out there, the comfortable he's going to feel and the more we'll be able to get him involved in the offense. And hopefully, that will be more this week than it was last week. Last week was a little more than before, so we definitely are continuing to try to get him out there and want to get him involved."
Favre never lobbied for a new teammate like he did for Moss
Green Bay QB Brett Favre seems to be drinking from the Fountain of Youth these days and is playing better than he has in years, but just imagine the kind of numbers he could be putting up right now if he was throwing the ball to Randy Moss. Favre was very outspoken around the time of the NFL Draft about wanting to add Moss to his receiving corps despite the wideout's testy relationship with Packers fans – everyone remembers "Moongate" in 2004 – yet the front office balked and he was eventually dealt from Oakland to New England for just a fourth-round pick. The mercurial Moss has been rejuvenated catching passes from Tom Brady, cracking the century mark in receiving yards four times in four games and reeling in a league-leading seven touchdown already.
QB Brett Favre
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Favre chuckled when asked how badly he wanted Moss, although he did make sure to give a tip of the cap to his own up-and-coming young pass-catchers – rookie James Jones and second-year pro Greg Jennings.
"It's hard to not notice what he's doing," Favre said of Moss on Wednesday at Halas Hall via conference call, "but it's also hard not to notice what our guys have been doing. I think with Randy's situation, I thought a lot of him. I knew what he could do, and, of course, he's lighting it up. I mean, he's a phenomenal player. When he wants to be, he's unstoppable."
When I asked him if he had ever been that public before about asking his front office to make a personnel move, Favre had a little bit of fun at my expense since I was one of the younger media members participating in the conference call.
"I don't know how long you've been in the media," he quipped, "but that I think was like the first time and it's not in my nature."
Pardon me. Have you seen my ego? I think I lost it around here somewhere.
"I think as a leader sometimes," Favre continued, "everyone has their opinion. It was my opinion, right or wrong. I've always considered myself a good leader by example [with] the things I do on the field, and I don't regret any of the things I said then or in the past because they know what they're going to get out of me. And maybe that's something at that particular time they didn't want to hear or maybe I shouldn't have said or however you want to look at it. But once again, it's over and done with. The relationship here is as good today as it was before that. It's the way it's always been. They know what they're going to get out of me, and my job has never changed. It's to win football games here."
For the Bears, LB Lance Briggs (hamstring), DT Tommie Harris (knee), S Brandon McGowan (shoulder), RB Adrian Peterson (calf), OT John Tait (ankle), CB Charles Tillman (ankle), and CB Nathan Vasher (groin) were all held out of practice Wednesday. OG Ruben Brown and OT Fred Miller were both only able to participate on a limited basis. S Adam Archuleta, however, appears ready to play with his broken right hand and was able to participate fully in drills.
As for the Packers, OT Chad Clifton (illness) and RB Brandon Jackson (shin) were both held out of practice Wednesday. S Nick Collins (knee), TE Bubba Franks (team decision), CB Al Harris (back), DE Cullen Jenkins (ribs), Jennings (team decision), DE Mike Montgomery (knee), C Scott Wells (hamstring), DT Corey Williams (back), and CB Charles Woodson were all only able to participate on a limited basis.
News & Notes
Hester, who returned a punt 73 yards for a touchdown in Week 2 against Kansas City and a kickoff 97 yards for a score in Week 4 versus Detroit, was named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Month for September.
John Crist is the Editor in Chief of BearReport.com and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.