A little help?
Jimmy Clausen said he feels better prepared with a full week of practice than he was in a relief appearance last week against the Cardinals. But he could probably use a little better support from his teammates.
The Bears’ offensive line committed six penalties after Clausen relieved Jay Cutler against the Cardinals. Four of the infractions were false starts. And left tackle Jermon Bushrod and right guard Vladimir Ducasse also were called for holding. Kyle Long was the only lineman without a penalty.
“We all have to come together,” Bushrod said. “Not just us up front, but receivers, tight ends, running backs, we all have to do our job.
“We need to give him the looks that are needed, especially up front. We have to have it as clean as possible for him. Last week we had a couple of bad plays, but if you look at when he first came in and when we ended the game, he was able to be successful throwing the ball. We tried to give him some time and he was able to find the people he needed to.”
The false starts could be attributed to Clausen having a different cadence than Cutler. The Cowboys had two false starts (and three holding calls) after Brandon Weeden replaced Tony Romo last week. Still, Bears’ offensive coordinator Adam Gase was a little miffed at the difficulty the Bears had adjusting to Clausen.
“That was ridiculous what we had going on there,” Gase said. “I think the change of quarterback — there was a slight different in those two guys’ cadence and that really got our line kind of shaken up a little bit. It took us a minute to get things straightened out. Hopefully we’ve fixed [it so] we won’t have issues.”
Bushrod accepted the blame for his miscues. He had two false starts and a holding penalty.
“It’s a little different [with Clausen in place of Cutler]. But at the end of the day it’s about being focused and as far as myself goes, those couple of false starts, that was stupid,” Bushrod said. “It’s not like his voice changes or anything. It’s a little different at first, something you’ve got to get used to. But those aren’t on him. That’s me.”
Obviously, the Bears will have a higher degree-of-difficulty battling the crowd noise at CenturyLink Field, considered by many the loudest and most difficult venue in the NFL for an opposing teams.
“It’s going to be a challenge but we’re up for the challenge and looking forward to getting out there,” Clausen said.
His teammates are hoping to give him a little more support than they did against the Cardinals.
“I think we just got to dial in just a little more,” tight end Zach Miller said. “Obviously we’re going to be in hostile territory. We know it’s going to be loud. We know they fly around. We’ve got all the confidence in Jimmy to be a great quarterback for us and a great leader. We’ve got to rally around him and make plays.”