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Viking defensive end Everson Griffen (97) strips the ball from Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky (10) after beating left tackle Charles Leno on Monday night at Soldier Field. Linval Joseph recovered for the Vikings. (Charles Rex Arbogast/AP)

Bears looking to give Mitch Trubisky better support

SHARE Bears looking to give Mitch Trubisky better support
SHARE Bears looking to give Mitch Trubisky better support

Bears offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains can see the potential in a Mitch Trubisky offense. But that wasn’t foremost on his mind after the rookie quarterback’s encouraging but uneven performance in his NFL debut Monday.

‘‘My biggest concern is to make sure the other 10 guys around him are doing their jobs,’’ Loggains said.

Loggains doesn’t make a habit of calling players out, but his disappointment in the collective breakdown of Trubisky’s supporting cast was difficult to hide. On the first 28 snaps of the Trubisky era, the Bears had nine negative plays.

Besides tight end Dion Sims’ dropped pass and four plays that lost yardage, the Bears had five penalties — including center Cody Whitehair’s holding penalty that nullified Trubisky’s 26-yard pass to Tre McBride to the Vikings’ 9-yard line and wide receiver Markus Wheaton’s holding penalty that nullified Jordan Howard’s 42-yard touchdown run.

‘‘I think we hurt him a little bit, those two plays — the 66 yards taken off, the touchdown, the holding calls,’’ Loggains said. ‘‘This kid’s going to be special, and we’ve got to do our jobs around him — keep getting in the right spot, make plays and catch the football and make sure we’re keeping him out of first-and-17s. We have a lot of faith and confidence in Mitchell.’’

Truth be told, three of the penalties were not egregious. The penalties on Wheaton and McBride, in particular, were ticky-tack calls. Still, Wheaton’s holding call was especially critical because it took a touchdown off the board.

‘‘It goes back to fundamentals,’’ Loggains said. ‘‘It’s unfortunate it got called. A lot of people did a really good job on that play. You just have to keep moving your feet. . . . You just wish [Wheaton] got that left hand inside a little bit and moved his feet.

‘‘But it was unfortunate [because] we’d have been up 9-0 at that point. We had the momentum. The crowd was awesome. The defense was playing great, and we had a chance to really take advantage of that early because I don’t think the game turns out [like it did] if you go up 9-0 against that team, the way our defense was playing.’’

The Bears aren’t expected to be perfect. Penalties will happen, and even veteran linemen will get beaten for sacks. But they needed to be on-point in Trubisky’s first start, and they were not. Tackle Charles Leno thought he let Trubisky down with two bad plays. He had a false start that put the offense in a second-and-15 situation, and he was beaten by Emerson Griffen for a strip-sack that cost the Bears a possession and led to a Vikings field goal.

‘‘I felt terrible about it because I didn’t want to put him in that situation,’’ Leno said. ‘‘Defense is playing fantastic. That happens, and they get three points out of that, and it’s 3-2. We hurt ourselves in a lot of different areas, including the play I had. Everyone just [has to be] better around him. Just eliminate negative plays, and that game can be completely different.’’

The Bears have been penalized 38 times in five games, tied for eighth in the NFL.

‘‘Coach [John] Fox had a meeting on it,’’ Loggains said. ‘‘We have to clean that up, especially up front.’’

The Bears have been trying to clean stuff up for three years now.

‘‘We talk about it all the time with the team,’’ Loggains said. ‘‘You have to find a way not to lose before you win, and we’re still in that battle right now, trying to do that and play smarter football.’’

Follow me on Twitter @MarkPotash.

Email: mpotash@suntimes.com

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