Bears’ Martz takes blame
LAKE FOREST – Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz took responsibility Wednesday for an unbalanced game plan that included 45 passes and 12 rushes in Week 2.
“If you’re looking for blame,” Martz said, “blame me.”
Martz vowed to take a more balanced approach Sunday when the Bears host the Green Bay Packers. He made the same promise to Bears coach Lovie Smith, who stressed the importance of establishing the run after a 30-13 loss at New Orleans.
In the second half of that game, the Bears attempted 23 passes and ran the ball twice.
“When you get into that part of the game, obviously, you’re behind,” Martz said. “But what happened, to be honest with you, is I got into a two-minute mode too soon.”
“... There’s a lot of things involved. It’s not simple. But none of them are a justification. We went into that game thinking we were going to run the ball more. We didn’t do that.”
Next man up: Bears right tackle Gabe Carimi (knee) and wide receiver Earl Bennett (chest) could miss extended time because of injuries, Smith said Wednesday.
Carimi, 23, struggled to walk off the field after he was injured in the first half Sunday against the Saints. He was the Bears’ first-round draft choice (No. 29 overall) this spring after starting 49 games in four seasons at Wisconsin.
Bennett, 24, has caught 103 passes for 1,298 yards and five touchdowns in three-plus seasons with the Bears. His absence could lead to more playing time for rookie Dane Sanzenbacher, who caught his first career touchdown Sunday at New Orleans.
On the mend: Bears running back Marion Barber returned to practice on a limited basis Wednesday after missing most of the past three weeks with a calf injury.
Barring a setback, Barber could make his Bears debut Sunday against Green Bay.
“He should give us a boost when he gets back,” said Smith, who praised Barber’s hard-nosed running style during the preseason. “It was good to get him back out there doing some work today. Hopefully, it won’t be long before we can really get him into the mix.”
Barber rushed for 47 touchdowns in six seasons with the Dallas Cowboys.
Bears bits: Bears safety Major Wright (head and neck) missed practice, but Smith indicated that he could be back soon. … Bears safety Chris Harris (hamstring), guard Lance Louis (ankle) and Roy Williams (groin) took part in limited drills during practice. … Packers linebacker Clay Matthews (quadriceps) and cornerback Charles Woodson (foot) did not practice.