The Bears’ ineffective pass rush should get a chance to boost its production this week against a Steelers offense that has converted just 7 of 25 third-down opportunities (30th in the league), many of which have been third-and-longs that leave little choice other than passing.
As a team, the Bears have just 2 sacks (26th in the league), and Pro Bowlers Julius Peppers and Henry Melton have a combined for a grand total of zero.
“This week it’s going to be improved,” Peppers said. “I’m not interested in talking about anything from last week. My focus is on Pittsburgh and getting better.
“We’re just going to continue to work. We’re not going to do anything different. We’re going to do what we’ve been doing for four years since I’ve been here, and everything is going to work itself out.”
The Bears’ third-down defense has been a disappointment, allowing opponents to convert 14 of 27 chances for 51.9 percent, which is tied for last in the league with the Giants.
“We just have to rush better,” Peppers said. “We have to cover a little bit better and just have a general mindset of getting off the field.”
Peppers has just 2 tackles this season, although he played despite flu-like conditions last week. He was a full participant in Wednesday’s practice.
“I’m feeling fine,” he said. “I’m not interested in talking about the first two weeks right now. My focus is on Pittsburgh and winning the game this week.”
The Chocolate Factory:
Tight end Martellus Bennett likened coach Marc Trestman to Willy Wonka recently. The coach didn’t have much of a response since he wasn’t familiar with the film, although he knew Johnny Depp was in the remake.
“I wouldn’t even know who Willy Wonka is, quite frankly,” Trestman said, laughing. “I did hear it.
“Martellus is from a different place. That’s just Martellus being Martellus, right? I’m just happy he’s here. He’s been just a joy to work with. He’s been great in our locker room. He loves football, and he wants to get better every day. Who could ask for more?”
Injuries and weather:
Cornerback Charles Tillman (knee) did not practice Wednesday inside the Walter Payton Center, but coach Marc Trestman said it was “just precautionary,” and “he should be ready to go in practice (today).”
Tight end Martellus Bennett (shoulder) and guard Kyle Long (back) were limited.
Why were the Bears inside on a partly sunny, 80-degree afternoon?
“Because (head equipment manager) Tony Medlin said it was going to rain, and we didn’t want to practice in the rain,” Trestman said. “He’s the meteorologist. So, if he says we’re going to have some weather, we’re going inside. I threw him under the bus today.”
The rain didn’t arrive until a few hours later.
For the Steelers, defensive end Brett Keisel (calf) and cornerback Cortez Allen (ankle) did not practice. Tight end Heath Miller (knee), who has not played this season, participated in a full practice. Rookie running back Le’Veon Bell (foot), who also has not played, was limited.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.