Despite the Impressive Record Through 12 Games, the Bears Still Have Work to do Before Securing a Playoff Berth

December 9, 2010 – 10:30 am by timgunter

Heading into this season, very few people chose the Chicago Bears to win the NFC North because they were a disappointment last year, and because of the fact that Lovie Smith remained head coach.  Here we are in Week 14 and surprisingly enough the Bears are 9-3 atop the NFC North, leading the Packers by one game.  They have done so by playing great defense, and because their offense is starting to take shape as players have come to understand what Mike Martz is trying to accomplish with them as a unit.  Their next four games are against the Patriots, Vikings, Jets and Packers -  by far their toughest stretch of the season.

Greg Olsen joined WSCR in Chicago to talk about what he attributes the Bears’ offense playing well since the bye week to, his duties as a blocker in the Bears’ offense, what the Bears’ offense has been doing really well, and how their final four games will determine their playoff fate.

What he attributes the Bears’ offense playing well since the bye week to:

“It sounds cliché, I think just as the season has gone on, especially since the bye week, just each week has gone on we have built and have grown within the offense and each week we go we have a better understanding of what we’re trying to accomplish for that given game and I think guys are starting to get a really good handle on what we’re being asked to do.  Earlier on in the season we were still trying to figure out who we were, what we were good at, what we needed to do well, what we couldn’t do well and I think now between the coaches and the players we all have a pretty good grasp of, here is who we are, these guys can do these things real well, let’s put them in these positions to do it.  We have found some success as of late and we are going to need that for these next four games.”

Whether blocking is about technique more than anything else:

“I think so.  Wouldn’t you say Des?  People get real blown away with, it is the strongest guy, it is this.  I think it is a lot of leverage and hat placement and where your hands fit.  Earlier on in my career I would just kind of try to run like I was running the field, and just try to run.  My feet would be narrow and get off-balance and my hands would be wide and just little things that you really need to be taught in order to block good players that you are not just going to be stronger than.  That is not the way the NFL works.  Doing all of those little things and reps I think has led to a definite improvement.”

What the Bears’ offense has been doing really well:


“I think one of the things our offense has that is really a benefit for us versus a lot of other teams, week in and week out we don’t have to rely on one aspect of the game or one player and really try to force feed the ball or hand off 50 times to the same guy.  We have two backs that can split the carries.  We have two backs that can catch the ball out of the backfield, so that alone separates us from a lot of teams that have to rely on one guy.  We have got two that can do both phases.  Between our receivers on any given day it could be Johnny, lately the last couple of games has been Earl.  You always have Devin, who is a fingertip away from always taking it to the house.  D.A. is a big guy that has made a lot of plays for us.  The tight ends we have made a few plays here and there.  Last week Brandon got into the mix.  Obviously Jay is Jay, you know that is a lot of guys right there that the defense has to account for and on top of all of that we have had the same five on the offensive line together since the bye week and I think as our offense has grown a lot of it can be contributed to those guys getting comfortable and really playing well.”

On how their final four games will determine their playoff fate:

“There is no question.  When the schedule came out it was identified early, hey let’s take care of business early.  We know that the final four games are going to be a challenge and that is what we have done.  We are 9-3, the second-best record in the conference, top of the division and now it is now like we have six weeks of the playoffs, like now we have to say before we get that first round bye and play two playoff games, well now we have got to play six.  We have four top teams even though the Vikings record may not indicate it everyone still knows how talented they are and once they kind of get all of their issues out they can play with anybody.  Between these four teams we got and ending with the team we are competing in the division for that top spot…”

Greg Olsen on WSCR in Chicago with Laurence Holmes (the interview starts at the 29:35 mark)

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