That was the overriding sentiment in the Bears locker room.
“I liked that call as a lineman,” guard Gabe Carimi said. “We have a strong offensive line group, an intense group. I feel we should be able to make those plays.”
The Bears went with their heavy package, sending in 306-pound James Brown at tight end to pair with Matt Spaeth, and subbing Bush in for Matt Forte. Brown and Spaeth lined up on the left side of the formation, which ended up being the back side of the play.
Bush said the play was called “Strike,” and he was supposed to go wherever he saw a push. And that's where the problem started. There wasn't enough of a push anywhere.
“It's on the offensive line,” leader and center Roberto Garza said. “We have to be able to convert that. It's squarely on our shoulders and it's unacceptable.”
Carimi had similar feelings. “We should get that every time,” he said. “We didn't move the line as well as we could have, and we didn't get up on the linebacker to make the play.”
Bush went up the middle to the right of the line. Carimi, playing right guard, blocked the three technique tackle. A pull from the left side of the line failed to reach Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, who met Bush head on.
“I saw (Bush) about to jump so I met him before he got forward momentum,” Wagner said. “He kind of left his feet, and I left mine too.”
Bush averaged 5.6 yards per carry for the game, but couldn't get a half-yard on the game's most important play.
“They did a good job of stalemating the line,” Bush said. “There was nothing I could do. I didn't have any place to squeeze in.”
If we could borrow the Neuralyzer from “Men in Black” to erase our memory of that one play, we would be praising the offensive line for its play Sunday. With two new starters, and a third starting his second game, the line kept Jay Cutler clean and helped the backs average 3.7 yards per carry.
But on that one play, the Bears missed injured Lance Louis, the guard who had become the team's best run blocker.
What they did not miss on was the play call. It was the right one.
Distributed by MCT Information Services