Bears In Similar Position To Vikings

The Bears are trying to avoid pushing the panic button, just like the Vikings. They are trying to correct errors without making drastic changes. One of the changes they did make was at kicker, releasing former Viking Doug Brien.

Bears linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer said it's too soon for the Bears to worry about where they stand in the downtrodden NFC North or to take any consolation from being just one game behind the first-place Lions.

"This is the same thing we were saying last week when we had a chance to take the lead if we had won," Hillenmeyer said. "There's too much football left, and the important thing right now is to get wins, not necessarily to stay ahead of everybody else. We're not going to try to go 7-9 and make the playoffs because everybody else in our division stinks. We want to get as many wins as we can and let all that sort of fall into place."

Hillenmeyer also said the defense isn't feeling any more pressure to perform especially well because of an offense that has scored just six touchdowns. Even with the return touchdowns contributed by safety Mike Brown on an interception and Bobby Wade on a punt, the Bears have scored only 62 points, the fewest in the NFC.

"I think we're feeling pressure because we're losing," Hillenmeyer said. "It's not so much what the offense is doing. I don't think it has anything to do (with that). No one in our defensive room is trying to figure out what we need to do on offense. We're worried about what we need to do, what we can do to get better, and by no means are we sitting there pointing fingers, (saying) ‘If only we had an offense that was putting more points up.'

"Our defense is not good enough to be in a position to do that."

  • Fullback Marc Edwards' 8-yard touchdown catch that gave the Bears a 10-6 lead with 5:29 left in the third quarter Sunday was his first since 2001, when he was with the Patriots. It was Edwards' first touchdown of any kind since he scored on a 2-yard run on Sept. 7, 2003 with the Jaguars.

    Edwards previously had four receptions this season for just 14 yards, since he usually finds himself in heavy traffic after the catch. On the TD catch, he was wide open, which was a welcome change.

    "Every time I've caught the ball this year, I've gotten hit immediately," he said. "So it was nice not to take a shot the second I caught the ball. It was just nice because at the time we felt pretty good but things just kind of went south a little bit after that."

  • The Bears added another member to their youth movement Wednesday when 12-year veteran kicker Doug Brien was released, leaving the job at the foot of rookie Robbie Gould, who connected 1 of 2 attempts in his debut last week.

    Brien missed the last game because of a muscle strain in his back, but the injury wasn't the reason for the move.

    "It was a kicking decision, a football decision that we had to make," special-teams coordinator Dave Toub said. "The guy (Gould) has a strong leg. That's one of the things that we're real excited about, and his mentality right now is what we're looking for."

    In last Friday's tryout, Gould outkicked a veteran group that included Steve Christie, Martin Gramatica and Tim Seder. What Gould lacked in experience, he made up for in talent and potential.

    "His leg strength was far and above everybody else's, and he was consistent also," Toub said. "We like what we see so far."

    After being waived by the Patriots on Aug. 30, Gould was back home in Lock Haven, Pa., and was helping a family friend in the construction business when the Bears called.

    "I was in the middle of making phone calls to buy supplies and get ready to build a different construction site," he said. "It's a great opportunity because as a rookie you're looking for a break. Just a couple days ago I'm sitting at home and I don't have a (kicking) job, and now here I am sitting in front of all you guys and kicking in front of 70,000 fans in the NFL."


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