Chicago Bears special teams coordinator Dave Toub will be working with a lot of replacements on Sunday. The Bears need every edge they can get against the Packers, but will special teams become a weakness?
Chicago Bears special teams coordinator Dave Toub will be making plenty of changes on his kickoff and punt units for Week 15, but those alterations are based on necessity. Injuries have ravaged the Bears in recent weeks, and in Week 14 alone the team lost kicker Robbie Gould as well as cover men Craig Steltz and Sherrick McManis for the season. Now its fair to worry that the special teams units could be an issue for the Bears on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.
Chicago elevated wide receiver Joe Anderson from the practice squad and signed linebacker Jerry Franklin as well, but it's unlikely those two will be able to replace two of the top tacklers on coverage units for the Bears. Olindo Mare dominated the competition in a kicking tryout held at Halas Hall on Tuesday, but the 39-year-old won't have the range (or even the accuracy) that Robbie Gould brought to the table. If any extended drives by Jay Cutler and the offense do not lead to points, the Bears will have trouble beating the Packers and their high-powered offense.
Toub is doing his best to temper expectations heading into Week 15 (via ESPN Chicago):
"It's very difficult at this point. There aren't a lot of guys on the street you can take in, get here, and all of sudden come in and be a great player for you because he hasn't been in the room, hasn't heard your system, (and) he doesn't know the plays. So we have to go it done with the guys that are here. The guys that are on our team. I explained that to the guys, and those that we are going to ask do a little it more are going to step it up, and they will do a good job for us.
"Anytime you have this many loses on special teams it's going to be tough. We have the guys in that room that will step up, I feel confident in that."
The Bears host the Packers at noon CT on Sunday.