Bears hoping for quick fix to offense's slow starts

• Tice and his assistants have made shrewd adjustments.

As Bears coaches have figured out how defenses are approaching them, they have found ways to counterattack. They have made moves on the sideline after looking at the Polaroids, and they have reassessed and changed directions at halftime.

"The coaches are doing a good job of communicating and making adjustments as the game progresses," Tice said. "Talking between series, trying to get to the right thing. That's a large part of it."

Early in games, the coaches are "sampling" some formations and plays to see what kind of defensive response they'll get. Some of these plays might not be successful, but they sometimes help set up successful plays later.

The coaching staff also saves plays for the second half, when defenses might not be expecting them based on other play calls.

Tice scripts the first 10 to 12 plays, so the players know what they will run early. This is supposed to be an offensive advantage, but it only works that way if the plays are executed well.

"Maybe we're not scripting them good enough," Tice said.

Much of what the offense has done early in games has left room for improvement. The good news is it has shown it can do better.

"We want to start faster," Tice said. "We'll continue to search for the reasons why we haven't."

dpompei@tribune.com

Twitter@ danpompei

CHICAGO

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