A day off for decompression and hours of film study didn’t do much to assuage the Chicago Bears’ concerns about the offensive line’s performance against the Oakland Raiders.
Veteran center Olin Kreutz took a realistic look at the potential for the club’s high-octane offense paired with shoddy protection.
“All that stuff won’t work unless we stand up up front,” Kreutz said.
The starting offensive line certainly didn’t do that Saturday, when it gave up five sacks in only one half of action against the Raiders. While Jay Cutler’s durability is notable -- he’s started in all 53 games he’s played -- the Bears know they can’t subject him to such punishment on a regular basis if they expect him to stay in the lineup.
The track record for sacks allowed in past Martz offenses gave an indication of what the Bears could expect this season. But that doesn’t mean the offensive line is willing to accept that.
Martz’s offenses ranked among the NFL’s top 10 in sacks allowed in eight of the coach’s 10 seasons, and in the top three in each of his last three years.
“Obviously our base concern is Jay getting hit,” Kreutz said. “We have to remedy that.”
Right tackle Frank Omiyale said most of the lapses in protection against the Raiders stemmed from technical deficiencies, while adding that, “it’s gonna be a different outcome next week.”
“We’ve just got to keep working; sticking together,” Omiyale said. “We know what we did wrong, and the coaches are gonna get it right today. [The Raiders] didn’t do anything that we hadn’t seen before. That’s going to get fixed easily.”
Kreutz wasn’t so sure about that.
Entering his 13th season, Kreutz said there was plenty “to be excited about” regarding the 2010 Bears, but admitted to taking a harsh critic’s view to the club’s performances in the preseason.
“The film was not good enough obviously; that’s always the verdict, no matter how you play,” Kreutz said. “In the preseason, film should never be good enough.”
But are the issues easily correctable?
“Nothing in the NFL is easily correctable,” Kreutz countered. “It is correctable, though. And we will be working on it.”