Joniak: Bears Hope To Capitalize On Shaky Giants Defense

Jeff Joniak
November 21, 2019 - 6:46 pm

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Jeff Joniak's observations from Halas Hall Thursday:

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--It sounds like Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky rebounded quite well from the right hip pointer he suffered in Los Angeles Sunday night. I would rather he want to play than not. He is not hiding from what has been a rough third season.

--Reserve quarterback Chase Daniel feels Trubisky set a new bar at Thursday’s practice. “I told him I thought today he threw the ball as best as I’ve ever seen him on a Thursday. And that’s the facts. That’s 100 percent truth. Our whole team felt that today. He had something else about him today-- a pop to him.”

--A gushing Daniel said Trubisky remains even-keeled in the fact of adversity. “I think that’s personal growth on his part,” said Daniel. “If you do good, you’re going to get too much praise. If you do bad, you’re going to get too much blame. That’s just how it is. That’s the quarterback and the head coach of an NFL team, especially in Chicago.”

--Taking advantage of a Giants defense that is giving up a high volume of big plays sounds like the ideal elixir for a Bears team that has made very few big plays.

--“We just try to do what we do,” Head Coach Matt Nagy said. “Execute, stay ahead of the chains. We want to focus on us as an offense. Let’s put together one of those games together than we know we can do.”

--There is still optimism from coaches in kicker Eddy Pineiro. Special team coordinator Chris Tabor understands the frustration after four missed field goals in the last eight games. “Our job is to help him in this little dip right here, shoot out of it quickly.”

--The Bears practiced indoors due to the wet surface and windy conditions.

--Kahlil Mack rarely turns in a blank stat sheet, but surprisingly he did against the Rams. With only a few pass rushing snaps, his day was limited to helping stop the run on the rare occasion the Rams ran to his side of the field.

--Defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano would love to free Mack from the chains of blocking schemes intent on containing the superstar linebacker. “We’re trying,” Pagano said. “We’ll continue to try and be creative and put him in spots and try to get him loosened up a little bit.”

--Roquan Smith played his best game of this season in Los Angeles. Pagano feels he is getting Smith’s best, in terms of preparation, which ultimately leads to opportunity. “I’ve watched his preparation, his practice, his attention to detail in meetings,” said Pagano. “It usually comes down to your preparation, and he’s doing a great job.”

--Keeping Saquon Barkley quiet in the Giants run game will be one of the biggest keys to the game, but despite recovering from a high ankle sprain, the reigning offensive rookie of the year is explosively dangerous.  “He’s got speed, he’s got power, he’s got great vision, he’s got patience,” Pagano said. “Specifically with him, ‘no edge, no chance.’ If he gets in the open field he can take it the distance.”

--Pagano emphasized the need to control the edges of the line of scrimmage to keep Barkley under wraps.

Jeff Joniak is the play-by-play announcer for the Bears broadcasts on WBBM Newsradio 780 & 105.9 FM. Follow him on Twitter @JeffJoniak.