Marc Trestman wants more from Bears’ defense
BY ADAM L. JAHNS Staff Reporter September 9, 2013 8:54PM
Updated: September 9, 2013 10:00PM
Coach Marc Trestman’s expertise might deal with offensive game plans and quarterback play, but that won’t prevent him from expecting and demanding more from his defense.
Trestman was happy with the three takeaways and how the defense played in the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals — especially with the Bengals having only six plays in the final 15 minutes — but a more consistent pass rush from his front four was missing.
All Trestman has to do is point to the Bengals’ 7-for-11 success rate on third down, the Bengals’ big plays and the one sack the Bears were able to get.
“We didn’t do a good job of getting off the field [Sunday] on the defensive side,” Trestman said. “We’ve got to limit their explosive plays; 130 yards of their offense was on three plays and we know we’ve got to do a better job there.”
Of course, more offensive success would have helped his defense. Time-consuming 97- and 91-yard drives definitely were a factor, especially with it being Week 1 and after defensive end Julius Peppers (hamstring) and defensive tackle Henry Melton (concussion) were limited in the preseason.
“Our defense will be together,” Trestman said. “They played longer [Sunday] than they have obviously throughout the preseason and will be much better next week.
“We’ve got to get our pads down on both sides of the ball. It’s not unusual to see players playing high in the first game and the team that has the lower pad level is usually the team that moves the line of scrimmage. Our pads got much lower in the second half and we played better.”
The Atkins diet
Trestman called Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins the Bears’ “No. 1 issue” and credited guards Matt Slauson and Kyle Long for keeping Atkins in check.
“Geno Atkins wasn’t a factor,” Trestman said. “We weren’t going to allow him to destroy the front, which he’s very capable of doing and we’ve seen him do in a number of games that we’ve watched in our preparation.
“[Slauson and Long] both had to handle him because he flips. He’s always going to work, generally going to work over one of the play-side guards. And it depends on what side of the field we’re on and what the strength of the formation is. That’s determinative … and we’ll give him help with the tackle at times. We did at times [and] they were on their own.”
This and that
Cornerback Charles Tillman sat out a Bengals possession in the second quarter because of an upset stomach, Trestman said.
“He had some stuff done to him, some re-hydration,” Trestman said. “He had a little bit of an upset stomach early, and that was part of the reason. The trainers took care of him, and he was back out. It was nothing out of the ordinary.”
◆ The Bears re-signed veteran offensive tackle Jonathan Scott after cutting him last week. They also re-signed quarterback Jerrod Johnson to the practice squad.
To make room, tight end Kyle Adams was waived for the second time in less than a week, and guard Derek Dennis’ practice-squad contract was terminated.