Sunday, after the Bears suffered an ugly loss to a suddenly potent Tennessee Titans passing attack, Bears defensive end Alex Brown was talking to reporters. He was not pleased:
"When you give up 7-yard passes, 10-yard passes and guys are running free and unblocked ... we're just not getting there," defensive end Alex Brown said. "I'm going to stop here before I say something I regret."
If only Alex hadn't stopped himself. We can only imagine the frustration that would have seethed from Brown after his team's 21-7 loss to the Titans, a game that saw the Bears stop the Titans' usual mode of success, the running game, with ease, and instead allowed Kerry Collins, retread quarterback extraordinaire, to complete 30 passes in 41 attempts for 289 yards and two touchdowns. Seeing Brown explode would have been awesome, and cathartic.
Why? Because few things are more frustrating than watching the Bears stop the Titans on first on second down only to see them give up 10-yard pass after 10-yard pass. It would almost have been easier if the Bears would have surrendered more yards on first down; at least we wouldn't have had to deal with the constant pendulum shift between success and disappointment. It was emotionally exhausting.
There's no secret why Kerry Collins was able to disappoint us so much yesterday. He didn't suddenly become an amazing, blitz-defying quarterback. It's that the Bears are committing two grievous errors in the secondary: playing with overmatched talent, and failing to adjust their schemes. Via David Haugh's reporting in the Tribune:
Vasher mentioned after the Lions game how the league knows how Bears cornerbacks take outside position in the red zone that invites the slant pass. Then Gage beat him on a slant pass for a TD on third down. Why not adjust the scheme if it's so well-known in those situations?
"I can't get into that," Vasher said. "That's a coaching-staff decision into how we play and what we play. We just have to step up and make plays."
That, in a nutshell, is the 2008 Chicago Bears secondary. The players know the scheme isn't working, but they can't complain. Not only would it be counterproductive, but they aren't holding up their end of the bargain, either.