Bears offense sloppy in practice, but believe there's time to fix it

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Why Bears believe there's time to clean up mistakes originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

In the Bears sixth practice of training camp, the defense held the offense in check for most of the day. It’s still early, but it’s become a trend.

“Yeah, we ain’t lost a day yet, if you ask me,” said Jaylon Johnson.

I’d say the same thing if you ask me, too.

The offensive line has looked shaky, wide receivers have struggled to get open, and the operation has struggled for the most part in situational team drills. To be fair, the offense had their way with the defense on Tuesday when working inside the five-yard line, and scored on practically every rep. Other than that, the defense looked sharp, while the offense made mistakes.

Last week we spoke to offensive coordinator Luke Getsy, and he said that “what pisses me off more than anything” is the lack of execution on offense, especially false starts. With linemen shuffling in and out, some of that is to be expected. But in the five days since Getsy bemoaned those would-be flags, the Bears haven’t cleaned it up much. In team drills, the Bears committed at least four false starts. With Big Ten officials in attendance to throw the flags, each play drew jeers from the sidelines.

“Early on, especially, I think it might not look as clean but you’d rather it happen now versus week four, five, six,” said backup quarterback Trevor Siemian. “I think we’re just in the process of digesting and handling a ton of cadences. The execution’s got to be better, right? We’ve got to get off on the ball at the same time. That’s paramount. At the same time, I’m really enjoying working with all these cadences and I think it’s good that we’re challenging guys with the variety.”

Braxton Jones committed one of the false starts on Tuesday (Michael Schumaker, Ryan Griffin and Jake Tonges were the others), but he disagreed on the point that the Bears’ cadences might be causing an issue over the first week.

“The cadence is fairly consistent,” Jones said. “We know the cadence. We've gone over the cadence, especially for me. Any cadence issues I'm having is I'm trying to get better with the cadence and just clue in a little bit better with doing my job, trying to play fast and everything at the same time.

“I would say for me, I'm kinda trying to clue in to the cadence as much as I can, and some of them come from just trying to jump it and being as quick as possible off the ball, and some of them are just mishaps that just gotta clean up. They can't be a thing anymore, especially for the young guys.”

There have been plenty of young guys taking first-team reps throughout camp. Besides Jones, fellow rookies Doug Kramer and Ja’Tyre Carter have slotted in at center and right guard, respectively. Second-year player Larry Borom looked locked into the right tackle spot, but on Tuesday Riley Reiff started splitting snaps with him there. Each day it seems the coaching staff tries a new combination, with no timetable to figure out Week 1’s starting five. It appears like a legit cause for concern at this point, but Siemian insisted that it’s still early enough in the year for the Bears to be working out the kinks. The team’s first preseason game is 11 days away. The regular season kick off is 40 days away. Is that enough time to clean up some false starts? Probably, yeah. But is that enough time to get the offensive line set and grooving when they take on Nick Bosa and co.?

“We just put the pads on today, right?” said Siemian. “So I think to this point, there’s probably a lot of overreacting to practice reps. I think football is meant to be played with pads on. That’s my opinion. It’s a violent, physical game, so we’ll see what we’ve got here in the next two weeks going forward and getting into some real competition. I’m looking forward to it myself and I’m sure the other guys are, too.”

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