Bears’ special teams giving up too many ‘critical mistakes’
BY ADAM L. JAHNS Staff Reporter November 7, 2013 9:52PM
Updated: December 9, 2013 11:08AM
Bears special-teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis won’t divulge the details of what allowed Packers linebacker Jamari Lattimore to race past tight end Dante Rosario and block a punt by Adam Podlesh on Monday night.
DeCamillis just knows it’s another “critical mistake,” as he called it in half a season seemingly filled with plenty of them.
“This was kind of a game where we had 11 out there, but 10 guys played a lot of plays,” DeCamillis said. “When you look back at the film, it wasn’t just that punt. There was kickoff-return yardage that was left out there where there is one guy sitting in the hole because somebody gets beat.
“We’ve got to get all 11 going at the same time, and that was obviously critical during this past week.”
It seems like there’s a problem every week for the special teams. When the Bears first faced the Detroit Lions in Week 4, it was returner Michael Spurlock’s 57-yard punt return.
This week, DeCamillis already is preparing to be without long snapper Patrick Mannelly, who is week-to-week with a right-calf injury.
“It’s pretty big,” DeCamillis said of losing Mannelly. “Pat’s one of the top snappers in the league. We’re fortunate to have the guy that we have [in veteran long snapper Jeremy Cain] coming in off the street. So that’s going to be a good help for us, but obviously Pat’s been good at what he does for a long time, so that’s going to be an issue.”
DeCamillis said practice is the only thing that will get Cain comfortable with Podlesh and kicker Robbie Gould. The specialists were able to start practicing together on Wednesday, when Cain first worked out for the Bears.
“We had a good set with Robbie field-goal-wise,” DeCamillis said. “It’s good to have a veteran, and it’s good to have somebody that you trust, and [Cain’s] that guy.”