Bears looking for more from linebacker Roquan Smith
The second-year player hasn’t been as effective in two games since returning from a one-game absence for personal reasons. “He can definitely play better,” coach Matt Nagy said.
Is inside linebacker Roquan Smith OK?
He hasn’t had the same spark since returning from a one-game absence against the Vikings in Week 4 for personal reasons. Smith had nine tackles against the Raiders and six against the Saints but no splash plays in either game.
“He can definitely play better,’’ coach Matt Nagy said. ‘‘And he knows that. That’s where we’re at. I think he will [play better].”
Nagy said he didn’t know if Smith’s muted performance is related to the personal issue that kept him out of the Vikings game.
“I can’t personally answer that,” Nagy said.
He noted that the entire defense has struggled the last two games — allowing 398 yards against the Raiders and 424 against the Saints — both losses.
“We all know exactly what we’ve all done together in the last couple of weeks,” Nagy said. “It’s a part of where we’re at right now. He’s doing everything he can. None of it is because of a lack of effort. And none of it is because of a lack of [ability]. We all look out for each other. We all want to help each other. And we feel like we can coach and play better.”
Smith had a notable downturn in his playing time against the Saints — 54 of 78 snaps (69 percent) after playing 65 of 73 (89 percent) against the Raiders. He was an every-down player before missing the Vikings game, playing 218 of 221 snaps (98.6 percent) in the Bears’ first three games.
Talking it out
One day after vowing to hold a players-only meeting, the Bears did.
While some didn’t want to divulge the details — “We’re going to keep that in-house,” quarterback Mitch Trubisky said — inside linebacker Danny Trevathan said it was a positive experience.
“We’re full-tilt,” Trevathan said. “There’s no pause, there’s no panic. . . . We’re just looking forward to getting better. Anything that was brought to the table were things we thought of that we know can help our team. . . . This is football. This is Chicago football. This is what we signed up for. Guys know that everybody can get a little bit better. Everybody took that attitude.”
The Bears are relatively healthy. Defensive back Sherrick McManis, still in the concussion protocol after the Saints game, is the only active player on the injury report.