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Bears O-line actively working to make corrections

Sep 28, 2021 at 02:07 PM
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Larry Mayer

Bears Senior Writer

Watching tape of Sunday's deflating 26-6 loss to the Browns wasn't a very pleasant experience for Bears center Sam Mustipher and his teammates.

"It was like going to the dentist," Mustipher said Tuesday. "No one likes going to the dentist. [Coaches] give you honest feedback. We had a lot of cavities on Sunday. That's something you've got to improve on, got to fix. Gotta floss every day. So it's back to the details, back to the execution."

And seemingly back to the drawing board after the offense failed to score a touchdown in Cleveland, mustered the second-fewest yards in a game in Bears history (47) and allowed nine sacks, one shy of the team record.

So, where does the offense go from here?

"It's not about 'woe is me,'" Mustipher said. "We could be like that and allow the Browns to beat us twice. Or we can get back to what we need to do. How can we improve? What are the solutions we need to make and the corrections? I feel like we did a good job of that yesterday and today.

"Just focus forward. We've got a lot of football left to play. Look for solutions. Look for corrections, things that we can improve on. Obviously, the only way to go is up … It's just being honest with yourselves. That's all it is. It's not taking personal criticism, it's just understanding: 'I have to be better for my guys. I have to be better for my room. And how can I do that?'"

Mustipher blamed the offensive line's woes in Cleveland on "us not executing our assignments, not using fundamentals and techniques in situations where we were giving them certain things we didn't need to give them."

"For me specifically, I think back to a run with David [Montgomery]," Mustipher said. "I took the wrong angle. I've got to make that block so he can make that cutback and make the play. There's multiple cases like that throughout the film. I'm not happy with my own performance from that front. 

"I think everybody in the offensive line room and our offense is capable of doing that. We're grown men. We're professionals. We know what we put on the field Sunday was unacceptable on multiple fronts." 

 

Mustipher was asked what type of communication he's had with rookie quarterback Justin Fields, who was under constant pressure while making his first NFL start against the Browns.

"How can I help you improve? How can I help you do your job better? That's the only conversation that we had and that's the only conversation that needs to be had," Mustipher said. "How can I do my job so that you can execute your job at a high level? We didn't do that for Justin on Sunday." 

Mustipher and the rest of the offense are eager to rebound this Sunday when the Bears host the Lions at Soldier Field. 

"We all are," he said. "You kind of want to wash that stink off of you and get back and prove to yourself, to prove to each other, that we're better than we showed. I truly believe that we are better than we showed. Now, it's all about getting to that point. 

"We can talk about it or we can actually act on it. That started yesterday and is going to continue throughout the week. It's not going to be a magical fix and we're not going to snap our fingers. It's all about putting in the work."

“It’s not about ‘woe is me.’ We could be like that and allow the Browns to beat us twice. Or we can get back to what we need to do.” Bears center Sam Mustipher

Mustipher is well aware of the widespread criticism that's being directed at the Bears offensive line from outside Halas Hall. 

"Any player who says they don't hear anything, they're lying," he said. "We're in one of the biggest media markets in the world. Like I said, let's be honest today: We didn't perform at the standard we need to perform. So, as a professional, you take onus upon yourself to say, 'I've got to correct those things.' 

"We have a lot of guys in this locker room that are willing to correct those things, that are willing to put in the work, the time, the effort, the sacrifice to correct those things. Now, it's just time to go do it, and it's really that simple."

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Sam, you can keep sugar coating it and twist the words or use enough "Nagyisms" to chew up 15 minutes as you like but what are you gonna do to change "We Suck" into playing as a cohesive unit.  Be honest with yourself.  A lot of this is on you.  You're a "try hard" kinda guy but you are not and NFL level starting OC.

The solution is already there if the coaches will accept it.

Mustipher returns to being a backup.  Whitehair moves back to OC with Daniels moving back to LG where he belongs and has played his best.

Then either play Bars at RG or move Ifedi back to RG and use Wilkinson and/or Bars at RT.

If they can't at least solidify the interior of the OL there's no running game and Fields or whoever is playing QB will never have time to go through his reads and progressions and conduct a productive passing game.

Play your best 5 guys and Sam Mustipher is not one of them.

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He likens this to going to the dentist and saying you need to floss everyday.  Flossing is routine dental hygeiene.  The bears OL doesn’t need routine maintenance to fix what we saw last weekend.  They need root canals and/or full blown denture replacements.  But I’m glad that he’s upset with their peformance and is passionate about it.  But now go do it and kick some *** against the Lions, otherwise what’s the point?  

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6 minutes ago, soulman said:

Sam, you can keep sugar coating it and twist the words or use enough "Nagyisms" to chew up 15 minutes as you like but what are you gonna do to change "We Suck" into playing as a cohesive unit.  Be honest with yourself.  A lot of this is on you.  You're a "try hard" kinda guy but you are not and NFL level starting OC.

The solution is already there if the coaches will accept it.

Mustipher returns to being a backup.  Whitehair moves back to OC with Daniels moving back to LG where he belongs and has played his best.

Then either play Bars at RG or move Ifedi back to RG and use Wilkinson and/or Bars at RT.

If they can't at least solidify the interior of the OL there's no running game and Fields or whoever is playing QB will never have time to go through his reads and progressions and conduct a productive passing game.

Play your best 5 guys and Sam Mustipher is not one of them.

Like not trying out other players at slot, I don't get why Bars hasn't been worked at center.  He seems to be 5th best player of any 5 combo.   

Dieter and other guy they cut have shown promise as well.  There doesn't seem to be true competition.   We knew from last year Mustipher had a strength problem.   Not like this came out of left field and we had center locked down with Mustipher.

 

 

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Also what has happened to Bars career has been criminal.   He was stupid to stay on Bears who change is position every minute.   

He could at best be a somewhat bad starter for a lot of teams and at worst be a 6th man.

 

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4 minutes ago, dll2000 said:

Also what has happened to Bars career has been criminal.   He was stupid to stay on Bears who change is position every minute.   

He could at best be a somewhat bad starter for a lot of teams and at worst be a 6th man.

 

Iirc the Patriots tried signing him from the Bears practice squad last year and Bars chose to stay in Chicago.

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5 minutes ago, CBears019 said:

Iirc the Patriots tried signing him from the Bears practice squad last year and Bars chose to stay in Chicago.

I know they offered to put him on 53 to sweeten deal.   I think he wanted to stay with his college coach.  That didn't work out.

 

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20 minutes ago, dll2000 said:

Like not trying out other players at slot, I don't get why Bars hasn't been worked at center.  He seems to be 5th best player of any 5 combo.   

Dieter and other guy they cut have shown promise as well.  There doesn't seem to be true competition.   We knew from last year Mustipher had a strength problem.   Not like this came out of left field and we had center locked down with Mustipher.

 

 

If he can play OC why not?  But here's what I see as a possibility.

Whitehair is our most experienced OL and also an acknowledge leader upfront.  Fine.  Then put him at OC where he then becomes the QB of the OL and also it's inspirational leader.  Even John Fox claimed OC was his best natural position and having been an OT in college at least he gives us a much better pass blocker with both the strength to play OC and saavy to make line calls.

Daniels looked great at LG as a rookie.  He was even able to handle Aaron Donald one on one in that 2019 LAR game.  Since then we've moved him to OC and then to RG.  Much like Whitehair and others no one ever sticks at one spot long before they try something else which IMHO has been one of the other major flaws in Nagy's thinking and way of doing things.  It's like OL musical chairs.

If Ifedi is better off playing at RT than RG because Wilkinson is far worse then play Bars at RG.  He's big and he's powerful.  I also agree that right now Bars is one of our 5 best OL.  If what Castillo now wants from his OL is guys who can dominate with strength then Bars should be playing somewhere but I would play him at RG instead of OC.  He and Ifedi should make a good pairing for run blocking.

Since Bars has chosen to stay in Chicago at least reward him with a shot at a starting role somewhere.

What they're doing isn't working.  Even when they have a moderately good game they're still miles from being one of the better OL in the NFL.

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1 hour ago, soulman said:

But with the exception of Peters they aren't old and slow at all.  Most of them are in their prime age wise.

Maybe he meant coaches. Castillo is old and Nagy is "slow" 😁

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7 hours ago, abstract_thought said:

You can’t fix old and slow in practice.

i mean, you actually can fix slow in practice

drills and conditioning to increase physical speed and repetition and teaching to increase mental speed.  

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