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Plugging Leaky Line Starts on the Edge

Tackles Germain Ifedi and Jason Peters get back to work looking for a way to tighten down the edge of the line of scrimmage to prevent another run of sacks.

Bears offensive line coach Juan Castillo had witnessed the disaster in Cleveland Sunday and had a chance to talk with the culprits—the offensive linemen responsible for nine sacks of Justin Fields.

Castillo rarely lets a bad situation develop to the point where he can find a positive, but even this seemed a stretch considering how the Bears gained a total of 47 net yards against Cleveland, the second lowest total in franchise history.

"Like I said, I've been in this league long enough that I know that sometimes something like this has to happen so it doesn't happen the rest of the year, so you're gonna be happy," Castillo said.

The real problems came at left and right tackle. Left tackle Jason Peters experienced troubles all day with pass blocking and right tackle Germain Ifedi had the same problem but also committed a critical false start early in the game with the Bears on the move. Ifedi had a severe problem with false starts in Seattle, piling up 29 in four seasons. He made it through last year with only three, but has three already this season in three games.

Castillo didn't directly answer whether the Bears were considering benching Ifedi, but it seemed obvious they're going to let him play through the recent penalty problem.

"I think the thing is right now is that you know there's some technique issues that we feel he can correct," Castillo said of Ifedi. "You saw the way he played last year. He did a great job.

"And so we know that he will keep getting better. The hard thing with Germain, just like Jason, Germain missed a lot of time, you know. He missed minicamps, he missed all that, and so did Jason. Jason has been here only a month."

Ifedi had a hip-flexor injury which sidelined him through the first three weeks of training camp. Peters never signed until the middle of August after projected starter Teven Jenkins had back surgery.

"So, for me the thing that I am pushing is, 'Hey, we have to be more consistent with the fundamentals and it takes time,' " Castillo said. "It takes time against good players. Those are elite players so against elite players your technique has to be on point and you have to be consistent with your fundamentals and you know we’re not there yet. You can get away with that sometimes against lesser athletes and those guys were athletes. And it was a challenge."

Rather than turning to either Lachavious Simmons, Elijah Wilkinson or even recently acquired Alex Taylor at tackle, the Bears plow forward with their two starters knowing that while Detroit has Trey Flowers and Romeo Okwara on the edge rushing, at least they don't have Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney for Ifedi and Peters to block.

"Well, I'm going to tell you that both of them, they will work their ass off," Castillo said. "They're going to outwork everybody this week.

"Not that they haven't, but even to a higher point because they both have higher standards than that."

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