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updated: 8/26/2014 2:20 PM

Rozner: Bears' feet firmly back on ground

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  • If nothing else, Friday's 34-6 loss at Seattle makes it easier for Bears coach Marc Trestman to convince his team that there is still much work to be done.

      If nothing else, Friday's 34-6 loss at Seattle makes it easier for Bears coach Marc Trestman to convince his team that there is still much work to be done.
    Associated Press

 
 

At his inaugural news conference, Marc Trestman talked at length about the humility with which he accepted the job and its myriad responsibilities for an NFL franchise in existence nearly a century.

After winning his first game as an NFL head coach -- and the next two as well -- Trestman continued to stress that policy.

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And when Martellus Bennett got in trouble earlier this month, Trestman again insisted that his players act with humility, especially when relating to the other members of a 53-man squad.

Well, it may not have been what he wanted Friday night in Seattle, but the Bears sure got a heaping helping of humble pie.

But that may not be such a bad thing.

"We have to keep it all in perspective. I think our team does. We're humble enough to know we have work to do," Trestman said. "What we saw out there (in Seattle) is correctable, but we have to clean up our football in all three phases."

It was only a preseason game that matters not a whiff in the regular-season standings, but the smell of the game ought to be a enough of a reminder that the Bears have also not won so much as a snap in 2014.

The real games are less than two weeks away and expectations are as high as any since perhaps 2007, with the Bears coming off a Super Bowl appearance.

There's good reason for it. The Bears' offense in the second year of marriage for Trestman and Jay Cutler should improve off what was a terrific first season of progress.

The defense can't possibly be worse, and if it's marginally better the Bears should improve by a couple victories off an 8-win season.

As for the special teams, early returns are bad, even worse than a year ago.

Still, the Bears ought to threaten for a playoff spot.

That doesn't change the effect of Friday's disaster in Seattle, which is good. It should serve as a wake-up call to a team, coaching staff and fan base that has Super Bowl aspirations and perhaps got caught up in pre-camp forecasts.

That can only help remind the Bears that nothing is guaranteed and nothing will be handed to them.

Except, maybe their hats. They had those furnished to them by the defending champs, who wiped the field with the Bears in Seattle.

It's worth noting, however, that the Bears actually did a few things well. The run defense was solid. They got pressure on Russell Wilson. They may have found a third receiver in Josh Morgan. And in general Cutler looked in sync with his offense against the best secondary in the NFL.

"We're not going to lose our confidence offensively," Cutler said. "The guys handled themselves well.

"We were never shellshocked out there. We handled the noise well. Got through our checks in a reasonable time. We just missed a few big plays out there that could have changed the game for us."

But the linebacking corps continues to look awful. Chris Conte left with a concussion. Right tackle Michael Ola was walked around a couple times. Brandon Marshall dropped a couple passes. Alshon Jeffery dropped a touchdown pass. A questionable call wiped out a TD. And after a premature snap Cutler forced a throw that was intercepted and returned to midfield.

Some of that is a lack of concentration, perhaps even a hint of arrogance, and if the beating they received Friday gets them back on track, well, that's not a bad thing, either.

"I've been on a Bears team (in 2010) that lost every preseason game and had everybody bearing down on us saying that this was gonna be a bad season, and we went to the NFC championship," said 12-year veteran Lance Briggs. "So it's a training tape."

Meanwhile, if you're searching for the positives, consider that the defense gave up so many scores that the kick returners got plenty of work.

They were terrible, too, but at least they got work.

So, we say humbly, there's that.

brozner@dailyherald.com

• Listen to Barry Rozner from 9 a.m. to noon Sundays on the Score's "Hit and Run" show at WSCR 670-AM.

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