As Black Monday approaches, Bears say they're focused on Vikings
Black Monday is rapidly approaching -- the day when, in an average year, several NFL head coaches and their staffs are fired.
This year, the fallout is expected to be felt at Halas Hall, which would seem to make focusing on a mostly meaningless season finale against the Vikings in Minnesota difficult.
"No, not at all," Bears offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said. "For the simple fact (that) when you care as much as this coaching staff cares about our players and (quarterback) Mitchell Trubisky, that's my focus. Just making sure I do everything I can in the time I have with him to help him get better from day to day from hour to hour, minute to minute."
Most NFL coaches have been through regime changes before, and Loggains is with his fourth organization in 13 NFL seasons.
"You can't worry about things you can't control," he said. "The only thing I'm focused on right now is making sure we put together a really good game plan, to make practice as hard as we possibly can for Mitchell, so the game is easy because this is going be a challenging game for him, and that's all I'm thinking about right now."
The Vikings' defense is No. 1 in the NFL in points and yards allowed. That is enough to keep Trubisky focused as well, so he says it's not difficult to tune out the noise.
"Not at all," Trubisky said. "(You) block it out. I don't really listen to anything. It's not up to me. It is what it is."
Sickness and health:
Lineman Akiem Hicks, rookie safety Eddie Jackson and cornerback Kyle Fuller are the only Bears defenders to have started every game this season. On offense, running back Jordan Howard, left tackle Charles Leno and right tackle Bobby Massie have started every game, as has Cody Whitehair, who has started 12 games at center, two games at right guard and one game at left guard.
Massie (knee), however, was unable to finish last week vs. the Browns and did not practice Wednesday, so the Bears are currently suffering from a dearth of healthy bodies along the offensive line, although they added offensive lineman D.J. Tialavea to the practice squad.
Left guard Josh Sitton (ankle) also did not practice Wednesday. Bradley Sowell (back), who got his first start of the season last week in place of Sitton, was limited at practice. On the bright side, guard Tom Compton, who missed last week with a concussion, was back to a full practice. Tight end Adam Shaheen (chest) was limited.
Read it and weep:
Dowell Loggains coordinates a Bears offense that is 30th in total yards, 31st in passing yards, 29th in scoring and 11th in rushing yards.
But the Bears are quarterbacked by a rookie, Mitch Trubisky. Three starting pass-catchers; wide receivers Cam Meredith and Kevin White, plus tight end Zach Miller; have played in a total of nine games. Pro Bowl guard Kyle Long is on injured reserve.
So how does Loggains rate himself as a playcaller this year?
"You're as good as your record is," Loggains said. "Obviously we're not good enough or where we want to be, because our (5-10) record says that."
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