AL HAMNIK: Cautious Bears, Trestman taking it one win at a time

2013-09-23T05:30:00Z 2013-09-24T22:29:07Z AL HAMNIK: Cautious Bears, Trestman taking it one win at a timeAl Hamnik Times Columnist
September 23, 2013 5:30 am  • 

The Bears have been the perfect blind date, so far.

It's difficult to find any flaws.

We didn't know what to expect at first with a new coaching staff, basically a new general manager, a new-look offensive line and a defense some thought was ready for AARP membership.

Boy, did we dial a wrong number.

The Bears are 3-0, Jay Cutler appears to be growing up before our eyes, his receivers are catching everything, Matt Forte is again a dual threat on offense, and the defense has scored on three of its 11 takeaways.

"It's very contagious," middle linebacker D.J. Williams said. "That's all we preach at practice and in games. Not only do we preach taking the ball away, we preach scoring.

"Whether it's a fumble or interception, we're off to the end zone."

Do we dare make reservations for Super Bowl XLVIII in East Rutherford, N.J. on Feb. 2?

Of course not. The season just began and a key injury on either side of the football (Henry Melton's season-ending ACL tear excluded) could send the Bears reeling.

Just take it one game at a time with fingers crossed. That's the best any fan can do to save their sanity.

Sunday night's big win at Pittsburgh was more entertaining than revealing.

"We've still got some areas to clean up," Trestman said at his Monday news conference. "Two quarterback sacks is two too many. Our third-down conversion rate is not good. We've got to eliminate big plays and missed tackles.

"We'll have a laundry list again to get after our guys."

Trestman even included his play calling, saying he should've run on third-and-one against the Steelers.

If he sounds like a perfectionist, it's because he is. The Bears will never attain that lofty level but being close will win a lot of games.

As for the 3-0 record, no one at Halas Hall is giving chest bumps or doing cartwheels. Memories of last season's 7-1 start and 3-5 finish still haunt the facility.

"I haven't really thought about (the great start)," Trestman said. "Every game is independent of the next. We're still in the evolutionary process of finding out who we are. We're kind of a work in process but it's exciting."

The next two games -- at Detroit (2-1) and then home against New Orleans (3-0) -- will tell us a lot because both can put points up at a dizzying pace and Trestman's club hasn't seen that.

"I know our guys will come back Wednesday and their feet will be on the ground. We'll be focused again on trying to get better," he said.

They're not sexy sound bites but Trestman isn't the type to blow smoke or make exaggerated claims. He's giving fans a progress report on what to expect each week and his calmness has a settling influence for all.

"You can't count us out," Michael Bush said.

Bears' skeptics continue waiting for the whole thing to blow up and for naysayers to declare "Told you so," though Seattle is the only elite team at the moment.

Go ahead, Bear fans. Be happy.

In this season of parity, dreaming of a wonderful weekend in East Rutherford, N.J. can be shared by all.




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