Joniak: Bears Aiming For 'More Consistent Football'

Chicago visits Detroit on Thanksgiving Day on Thursday.

Jeff Joniak
November 26, 2019 - 6:15 pm
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LAKE FOREST (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The Bears (5-6) continued preparations Tuesday for their Thanksgiving Day game at the Detroit Lions (3-7-1) on Thursday.

Let's get to the news and notes of the day.

-- Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has repeatedly pointed to the source of the frustrating and maddening lack of offensive production in 2019. Essentially, it boils down to the erratic, inconsistent, mistake-filled play of the entire unit, himself included.  

-- Framing the rematch with the Lions begins with the Bears cleaning everything up on offense and holding everyone accountable with a mindset of precision. "Nobody can mess up, nobody can take a play off," Trubisky said. "It’s got to be all 11 guys on the same page. That way it doesn’t matter if you are to the play or away from the play, we’re making the plays, we’re in the right spot on the same page. That’s ultimately how you play more consistent football, and that’s what we need to do."

-- With only one touchdown drive on the opening possession in 11 games, the Bears have a renewed focus on starting fast, especially on the road. "Yeah, it’s frustrating," Trubisky said. "Right now, we’re making silly mistakes and it just so happens early in the game. We’ve been inconsistent and we have to fix that, believe in the plan, know it cold inside and out and execute it."

-- Playing on Thanksgiving is a big deal to Trubisky, who missed the Bears' win against the Lions on the holiday last year due to an injury.

-- Bears rookie tight end Jesper Horsted made one catch in his NFL debut against the Giants on Sunday. Horsted admitted he played too hyped and needs to slow it down. "It’s still football," Horsted said. "It was good to get the rust off and get the nerves off a little bit. I feel good."

-- Veteran tight end Ben Braunecker and receiver Taylor Gabriel remain in concussion protocol. It's a "stretch" to think they will be ready to play on a short week, coach Matt Nagy said.

-- Bears safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix goes back a ways with likely Lions quarterback Jeff Driskel. They played against each other in high school, and Clinton-Dix said Driskel is a great friend of his.

-- Driskel was a five-star recruit out of Oviedo, Florida and was one of the top recruits in the nation. "We always talk about taking the head off the snake," Clinton-Dix said. "It’s the quarterback. It’s the quarterback. I’m really excited to go against him."

-- Driskel has been slowed by a sore hamstring this week. His backup is former Purdue quarterback David Blough, who's getting some first-team snaps at practice just in case he must play against the Bears.

-- Any questions about Bears pass rusher Khalil Mack's quality of play or his impact this season compared to last were quickly extinguished by Nagy. "It’s impossible to say that he hasn’t had a good year," Nagy said. "I think he’s had a really good year. There’s a lot of times where he’s getting a lot of people on him. Anytime he gets singled up he’s going to win."

-- Defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano is in the same camp. "The way he effects the game down in and down out doing his job, setting other guys up, taking care of the run game, taking on doubles and triple teams -- he’s had a great year," Pagano said.

-- The running style and production of new Lions running back Bo Scarbrough is on the Bears' radar. "He puts his shoulder down, and if you check the film he’s run over a couple of people," cornerback Prince Amukamara said. "He just runs angry and tough. This is one of those games where even if we’re sore, we have to plan on getting more sore."

-- The Bears have the inside scoop on the 6-foot-1, 235-pound Scarbrough from the Alabama connections on defense with safeties Clinton-Dix and Eddie Jackson knowing everything about him.

-- The all-around great play on special teams by Cordarrelle Patterson is Pro Bowl-worthy. Patterson is a premier kick returner and outstanding on coverage. "I haven’t had a player like this since I coached Josh Cribbs," said special team coordinator Chris Tabor, who previously worked seven seasons for the Browns. "Cribbs was a great returner and an excellent cover player also, kind of the same type of player. Blessed to have him."

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