Joniak: Bears Say Their Offensive Slump Is Over

Jeff Joniak
September 19, 2019 - 7:40 pm
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RIVER FOREST, Ill. (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The latest observations from Jeff Joniak: 

-- Questions about Mitchell Trubisky and the Bears offense in general will not stop, even if and after the unit begins to climb the ladder from its anemic start. With only one touchdown in two games, it only stands to reason. However, it is only two games. While everyone wants to focus on the body of work to this point, it is a new season, and the gears are operating differently as they do every new season. 

-- Belief in an offensive turnaround is the apparent theme as preparations begin for the Washington Redskins. “We’ve got to believe this offense can explode at any minute because of the playmakers and the special guys we have in the locker room,” said Trubiksy. “We have to keep believing that, believe in the plan, have a great week of practice, and go out there and execute it on game day.”

-- The belief lies in trust. “You kind of morph by week six, week seven,” Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy said. “You go okay, you know what? We went through all that now we know who we are."

-- Everyone involved swears the offense is on the verge of snapping out of the slump. “I do, yeah, I do,” said Nagy. “I know that we’ve done the last two weeks, unfortunately, that’s not us. We can’t keep doing that … I like that we’re going through some adversity right now. It’s mentally callousing us. You become a lot stronger in the end. I think that’s where we are at right now.”

-- Tarik Cohen feels the offense is close to turning it around, as well: “I feel everybody is optimistic right now. We haven’t put it out there on the field yet, but we all feel like we’re capable of putting thirty points up.”

-- Nagy is hunting big plays -- period. “Anytime it’s just short of a fifty-yard gain, we need those right now.”  Cordarrelle Patterson’s 46-yard fly sweep in Denver is Nagy’s reference point. “Those are the ones that we need that we are lacking in that area. We all felt that. Right after that play you can feel the vibe. The energy jumped up. That was a spark.  We need more sparks, so that we can get more points.”

-- As tight end Trey Burton grinds through his groin injury, he and was one of four starters limited at practice. He is a believer in Nagy’s scheme and in Trubisky running it. He also feels the big plays will come.

-- Starting defensive lineman Bilal Nichols is likely going to miss some time with a fractured hand suffered in the win in Denver. A decision on whether or not to cast up the hand and play with it taped up is still to come. Injured reserve doesn’t appear to be his destination. Playing with a club in the trenches is a difficult ask. Hand fighting inside is critical. 

-- It is an opportunity for Roy Robertson-Harris to earn more snaps.  He is an important part of the nickel package with his length and strength, so keeping him fresh for those important third down passing snaps is critical.

-- Ha Ha Clinton-Dix played part of last season with the Redsksins, and he’s excited to showcase his skills against players he’s familiar with in Washington. “The competition level gets a little higher,” said Clinton-Dix.

-- Safety Eddie Jackson was close to an interception last week in Denver, but his physicality from the deep post is underrated. He leveled some targets on several occasions, and that stopped some potential first-down receptions. “It’s going to be a little tricky trying to  get the ball,” Jackson said. “That’s what coach basically told me. A lot of quarterbacks are not going to really throw at you.” He admits to picking up the physical part of his game. Jackson knows big plays come from big hits as well as interceptions.

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