The Bears were without Jay Cutler Monday night, but even if he was there, he might not have been for long.
After watching his group allow six sacks to the 49ers, Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice didn’t rule out lineup changes. But mostly, he said the problem was simple.
“At a certain point, a player, a man, needs to grit his teeth, buck up and win a fight,” Tice said, via Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com.
There was significant discussion of backup tackle Jonathan Scott, after right tackle Gabe Carimi was repeatedly abused by Aldon Smith (5.5 sacks). At this point in the season, Tice said he can no longer simply wait for a certain group to gel.
“When you’re at six games to go,” Tice said, “what you have to do is say, ‘That’s it, from now on I can’t say, OK, we’re making strides, let’s do this.’ There has to be a very determined effort on us and our staff to make sure that we do have, always, chip help answers, slide answers, two guys on one guys answers.
“Because I’ve found unfortunately that you can’t take for granted that we’re going to have [a consistent] level of play.”
Given that opponents are daring the Bears to throw it to someone other than Brandon Marshall anyway, taking players out of pass patterns to help with protection isn’t an ideal solution.
But if they don’t, they might not have a quarterback left to throw it at all.