2013 DRAFT GUIDE
Briggs realizes Bears toeing thin line at 2-0

    2013-09-17 02:32

(With AP Photos.)
By ANDREW SELIGMAN
AP Sports Writer

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) - Lance Briggs understands just how thin a line the Chicago Bears are toeing at the moment.

They could easily be winless rather than unbeaten, and they just might be regrouping from a loss had Jay Cutler not delivered a perfect pass to Martellus Bennett in the closing seconds to beat the Minnesota Vikings 31-30 Sunday.

That came on the heels of a season-opening win over Cincinnati in which they rallied from 11 down in the second half.

That line between 2-0 and 0-2?

``It's minute, very, very small,'' Briggs said on Monday. ``In those critical situations, a guy could just as easily gotten his hand up, come through that line, gotten a sack, disrupted the throw, or the throw be a little to the left or right, and we lose that game.''

The linebacker said the Bears are ``starting to create an identity,'' and resilient is looking like a good description.

That doesn't mean they're a polished bunch. It would help if they got more from their pass rush, starting this week at Pittsburgh, and that largely hinges on a healthy Julius Peppers.

He's been a nonfactor so far and the Bears have just two sacks so far. Peppers sat out some preseason practices because of a hamstring issue, and he was sent home from the Bears' facility last week because of flu symptoms, missing practice on Thursday.

He played against the Vikings, but coach Marc Trestman said he was probably feeling worse than he did in the days leading up to the game.

``I don't know that he had the energy to play as hard as he possibly could play,'' Trestman said. ``I thought he was involved, he ran some plays down, but overall, in his defense I think that he wasn't getting better at the time. He was still not ascending, and he didn't look well to me this morning when I saw him in the meeting as well.''

He said the wet conditions hindered the pass rush and that it will improve with Peppers healthy. That issue aside, there are plenty of positives the Bears can take from the first two games.

Cutler has been sacked just once behind a rebuilt line. The Bears are getting balance in the passing game with Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte at 15 catches and Bennett with 10. Devin Hester - remember him? - re-emerged as a force on kickoff returns, returning five for a team-record 249 yards against Minnesota.

All those were encouraging signs, as was this: The Bears showed again they're at least a resilient bunch even if they're not quite a finished product and that they can pull out games late.

``We've seen a unique team resiliency, an ability to keep our poise, an ability to just move onto the next play without what happened on the last play inhibiting us,'' Trestman said. ``What's exciting now is we have to do it. We don't have the help of our fans, we don't have the help of Soldier Field. We've got to go do it on our own and this will be the first week we'll have a chance to do that.''

Down six after the Vikings' Blair Walsh kicked a 22-yard field goal with just over three minutes left, the Bears didn't flinch. They took over at the 34 and quickly made their move.

Cutler capped the drive with a perfect 16-yard pass to the back shoulder of a twisting Bennett in the end zone with 10 seconds left, and Robbie Gould kicked the go-ahead extra point, keeping Chicago unbeaten and atop the NFC North.

``Our guys are playing smart,'' Trestman said. ``They're playing disciplined. And they're giving themselves a chance to win games in the fourth quarter. That's all you really want to do in the National Football League. You're seldom going to blow anybody out. You're going to have to play four quarters. And every minute counts. If you stay disciplined and stay poised and take care of the ball you've got a chance.''

NOTES: Trestman said Bennett is expected to play this week after bruising his shoulder against the Vikings. He landed hard behind the back of the end zone catching a pass in the second quarter and was in pain after the game. Trestman said Bennett had full range of motion on Monday.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Terrelle PryorApr 23 08:58a

The Seattle Seahawks acquired QB Terrelle Pryor from the Oakland Raiders Monday, April 21, in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick in this year's draft. He will compete with [ More ]

Matt RyanApr 22 10:53p

Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith is calling for major improvement on both sides of the line of scrimmage. He fears the team could bottom out for a second [ More ]

EJ ManuelApr 22 08:13p

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel (knees) is healthy entering voluntary workouts and feels normal and had no limitations during the Tuesday, April 22 conditioning program. Bills head coach Doug [ More ]

Rolando McClainApr 22 07:53p

Updating a previous report, the Baltimore Ravens have officially placed LB Rolando McClain on the reserve-retired list for a second time. The Ravens will retain McClain's rights if he changes his mind again.

Eli ManningApr 22 07:33p

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) expects to be 100 percent for the beginning of training camp. Manning has no concerns about learning the Giants' new playbook, instead [ More ]

Ray RiceApr 22 04:43p

Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice looks great physically, according to strength and conditioning coach Bob Roguck. 'He's doing some things differently as far as his diet and so forth, [ More ]

David WilsonApr 22 02:43p

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) said he is still waiting for a clear MRI to be medically cleared, but is currently ahead of schedule.

Julio JonesApr 22 01:13p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (foot) will be limited during the team's offseason workouts while he recovers from offseason foot surgery. 'Julio is participating with our athletic performance department,' [ More ]

Eli ManningApr 22 01:03p

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) said his ankle is progressing but he does not have a timetable for his return to the field. Manning is currently in a walking boot.

Stevie BrownApr 22 12:33p

New York Giants FS Stevie Brown (knee) said he feels like he is ready to go when the Giants hit the field after recovering from a serious knee injury. [ More ]

Will HillApr 22 10:33a

The New York Giants are likely to cut FS Will Hill after his third potential drug suspension.

Josh MorganApr 22 09:52a

Chicago Bears WR Joshua Morgan is likely to compete for the No. 3 or 4 wide receiver role this year, and he'll compete with WRs Domenik Hixon, Eric Weems [ More ]

Will HillApr 22 09:33a

New York Giants FS Will Hill is facing a year-long suspension after reportedly failing another drug test. He will appeal what would be his third drug-related suspension.

Kyle WilliamsApr 21 09:33p

The Kansas City Chiefs re-signed WR Kyle Williams Monday, April 21. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Colt AndersonApr 21 07:12p

The Indianapolis Colts signed free-agent FS Colt Anderson (Eagles) to an undisclosed deal Monday, April 21.

Jamar TaylorApr 21 06:43p

Miami Dolphins CB Jamar Taylor (groin) is healthy following hernia surgery and began offseason workouts with his teammates Monday, April 21. Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said he expects [ More ]

Dustin KellerApr 21 05:42p

Eugene Parker, agent for free-agent TE Dustin Keller (knee), said Keller is ready to participate in offseason workouts when he signs with a team.

Eric FisherApr 21 05:12p

Kansas City Chiefs OT Eric Fisher (shoulder, hernia) said there is no timetable for his return following multiple surgeries, but he doesn't think he'll be out for long. 'He's [ More ]

Josh MorganApr 21 04:02p

The Chicago Bears have signed free-agent WR Joshua Morgan (Redskins) to a one-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

A.J. GreenApr 21 03:32p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green said he has added around six pounds this offseason, because he wants to be more physical as a way to beat coverage at the [ More ]

Michael VickApr 21 02:42p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith said he believes he will be the starting quarterback this upcoming season even though the team added QB Michael Vick this offseason. He [ More ]

Navorro BowmanApr 21 02:12p

The San Francisco 49ers plan to place LB NaVorro Bowman (knee) on the Physically Unable to Perform list when training camp begins, because he is not expected to be [ More ]

Eric FisherApr 21 02:02p

Kansas City Chiefs OT Eric Fisher (shoulder, hernia) underwent shoulder surgery and had a procedure to fix a sports hernia. He's currently rehabbing in Kansas City.

Tony CarterApr 21 01:22p

The Denver Broncos signed DT Mitch Unrein to his restricted free-agent tender Monday, April 21. CB Tony Carter, SS Duke Ihenacho and LB Brandon M. Marshall all signed their exclusive rights tenders.

Rolando McClainApr 21 01:02p

Baltimore Ravens LB Rolando McClain is retiring from the NFL again Monday, April 21. 'I gotta follow my heart. It ain't football. If football made me complete I would [ More ]

Tony RomoApr 21 12:42p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) will take part in the team's voluntary offseason program beginning Monday, April 21, according to a source. Players are allowed to lift weights, [ More ]

Marcus LattimoreApr 20 09:12p

San Francisco 49ers RB Marcus Lattimore (knee) is not expected to be restricted in any way when offseason workouts begin.

Michael EgnewApr 20 08:42p

The Miami Dolphins likely will add at least two more tight ends this offseason that will compete with TE Michael Egnew for a roster spot.

Armon BinnsApr 20 12:02a

Miami Dolphins WR Armon Binns is currently the team's No. 4 receiver, but the Dolphins have had discussions about WR Rishard Matthews replacing Binns at the spot, according to a source.

Tyrone CrawfordApr 20 12:02a

Dallas Cowboys DT Tyrone Crawford (Achilles') is expected to be ready for the team's offseason program, and he is expected to be a key piece to the defense this season.

M. Jones-DrewApr 20 12:02a

If healthy, Oakland Raiders RB Darren McFadden is expected to be the team's starting tailback with RB Maurice Jones-Drew as his backup.

Brian HartlineApr 20 12:02a

Miami Dolphins WR Brian Hartline (knee) is expected to be ready for the start of mini camp, according to a source. He suffered a torn posterior cruciate ligament in the 2013 regular season finale.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group