John Fox downplays benching of former 1st-round pick Kyle Fuller

The Bears' Jared Allen says the sky is not falling.

Bears coach John Fox on Monday downplayed the decision to bench cornerback Kyle Fuller in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 48-23 loss to the Cardinals.

Fuller, the Bears' top draft pick last year, was a healthy bystander for their final nine defensive snaps, replaced by Terrance Mitchell, a seventh-round pick of the Cowboys in 2014.

"I don't know if it was a matter of one particular player sitting down," Fox said at Halas Hall. "We actually had (Mitchell) playing for Alan Ball as well. It's just a matter of keeping guys fresh and putting a guy in that's earned the right to do that."

Mitchell did replace Ball for three snaps in the third quarter, two plays after Ball landed hard contesting a throw. It was unclear if that switch was injury-related, but Ball returned.

Fox sidestepped a question Monday about what he needs to see out of his cornerbacks. When he was asked whether Fuller's confidence needs repair, he turned his answer toward the entire team and compared the Bears to their next opponent, the two-time defending NFC champion Seahawks.

"At 0-2, guys' mindset, Kyle's or anybody else's in that room, is to get better," he said. "Our opponent we play this week is 0-2, so I'm sure they're going through the same type of adjustments and changes."

No panic button: Linebacker Jared Allen preached calm in the wake of the Bears' first 0-2 start since 2003.

"Trust me, around here, the sky is not falling," he said. "There's a lot of football left."

Allen insisted that many of the differences between the Cardinals and Bears amounted to self-inflicted wounds. That realization overmatched any sense of panic or self-pity before they set in, Allen said.

"It's quit doing dumb stuff and get it corrected," he said. "It's all teachable. And then it's just finding ways to make more plays."

Using himself as an example, Allen said it's not good enough to take on his block and hit the quarterback. In his mind, he must find ways to get sacks, whether it's by sharpening a rush angle, recognizing formations or any other means.

"That kind of stuff — for each guy to own it and do what you can do to get better," he said.

Change of plans: Allen made the defense's biggest play of the young season Sunday when he batted a pass and made a diving interception.

The irony? Allen wasn't supposed to rush quarterback Carson Palmer on the play.

"I was supposed to just roll right out (into the flat) and make the tackle," Allen said. "But just trying to make a play, honestly. I saw the tackle was gone. I saw the screen was coming, and Carson was looking at me. So I figured put my hands up and see what happens."

Coming and going: The Bears re-signed fullback Paul Lasike to the practice squad and released practice squad running back Bronson Hill.

rcampbell@tribpub.com

Twitter @Rich_Campbell

Copyright © 2017, CT Now
71°