Roberto Garza: Blame Bears’ running woes on offensive line
by neil hayes firstname.lastname@example.org September 25, 2011 10:16PM
Updated: November 11, 2011 2:02PM
Maybe the best thing the offensive line did in a 27-17 loss to the Packers on Sunday at Soldier Field was not make excuses afterward.
“We just weren’t on the same page, and that’s two weeks in a row that’s gotten us, and we just can’t do that,” center Roberto Garza said. “We’re too good a football team to be doing that, and if we want to be a good football team, we have to go out there and prove it, which starts on the offensive line and us going out there and getting the job done.”
There weren’t as many breakdowns in pass protection as there were in last week’s loss to the New Orleans Saints, although how 6-3, 285-pound defensive end Jarius Wynn sacked quarterback Jay Cutler without being touched remains mystifying. The big problem this week was the lack of a running game.
The ugliest number in an ugly performance by the Bears was 13, as in rushing yards gained on 12 attempts, and 10 of those came when Cutler picked up a fumble and scrambled 10 yards in the final seconds. The media-relations staff searched records as far back as the 1960s and were unable to find a game in which the Bears had fewer rushing yards.
So much for balance. The Bears now have 24 rushing attempts the last two weeks, which is fewer than Ryan Grant and James Starks had for the Packers on Sunday (28).
“Obviously, we’re not creating the holes, and Matt’s not even able to get to the line of scrimmage,” Garza said. “That’s our fault. It starts with the offensive line. We have to get that done. We have to create movement and create holes for Matt to run through. We have a great running back, and we’re not allowing him to showcase [his] skills.”
The line was also responsible for five penalties. Right tackle Frank Omiyale was called for two false starts. Omiyale and guard Chris Spencer were flagged for holding.
“It’s one thing I thought we do really well, which is run the football,” Omiyale said. “But things like this, it doesn’t mean it’s always going to be like this. We just have to keep our heads up; getting down won’t help anybody. We’re going to have better days ahead of us.”