Jeffery still learning the tricks of the trade

It shouldn't surprise anyone that the Bears are struggling on offense. They have struggled on offense throughout Lovie Smith's tenure, and really throughout most of their 91-year history.

From Terry Shea to Ron Turner to Mike Martz to Mike Tice, the problems have remained.

From Chad Hutchinson to Rex Grossman to Brian Griese to Kyle Orton to Cutler, little has changed.

Since 2004, the Bears have averaged 291.9 yards per game, according to STATS. That ranks 31st in the NFL. They have scored 262 offensive touchdowns. Only five teams have scored fewer.

Their cumulative passer rating under Smith is 72.9, which ranks 31st. They have 279 turnovers, which also ranks 31st.

Bears quarterbacks have been sacked 375 times over the last nine years, which is fourth-highest in the league.

Front office chess: Missing Bush

A lot of fans thought Michael Bush could have made a difference in the Bears' loss to the Packers. He was standing on the sideline in uniform when the Packers were snuffing the Bears on the goal line.

Why wasn't Bush out there? Here is the story.

Bush had sat out practice Wednesday and Thursday because of a rib injury. On Friday, he was a limited participant and was listed as questionable on the injury report.

But Bush was doing everything possible to play Sunday, and it seemed a good bet he would be ready come game time.

Then Bush warmed up Sunday morning. It wasn't until he came back to the locker room that the team determined he would not be able to help.

By that point, however, the deadline for naming inactive players (90 minutes before kickoff) had passed. Bush was active, but he couldn't play.

Last week, the Bears decided to put Bush on injured reserve and sign Kahlil Bell for the third time since April.

Why keep going back to Bell? The coaches have confidence in him, and he knows the offense. If the Bears find themselves back on the goal line this week, look for Bell to get the ball.

dpompei@tribune.com

Twitter @danpompei

CHICAGO