A couple players on defense lost their composure in the Vikings game. What was your main message to them after the game heading into this week?
COACH DAVIS: I think all of us realized that going into that fourth quarter, we didn't play our best game up to that point. I believe it was third‑and‑14. We still had opportunities to turn that game and win it even though we weren't playing at our best.
We had a couple things go wrong. Multiple people lost their composure. I wasn't the most composed either as it started to unravel.
The NFL is tight. Adversity hits. You have to overcome adversity and handle it. Collectively we all learned that we have to do better or bad things happen. We gave up 21 points in the fourth quarter and shouldn't have.
Did you think your cornerbacks were playing too soft in coverage?
COACH DAVIS: At times they were. But they were reducing some formations and taking away some of where we can press and some of the zone coverages. When everybody snugs in and gets real tight, you can press everything in all zone coverages. In man, you can. Zones you can't.
There were different things they were doing formationally to take some of the press off. When they were out, there were calls we should have been tighter. There were calls they were exactly where I wanted them. There was a little bit of a mix. Different formations and groupings than they have shown in the past. Something we were adjusting to.
Is there give‑and‑take there, time when you have to say we have to start pressing more because they're killing us underneath?
COACH DAVIS: It is give‑and‑take. As the game wears on, you see the different formations they're giving us, there is sometimes. We at halftime went to more man. We talked about it, said we're going to be a little bit closer to everybody. We know [Matt] Cassel was very hot, throwing it well, decisive with it. Hats off to him. We were trying to get a little bit closer in our coverage.You have given up a lot of yards in a good amount of your games but not a lot of points. What was the difference on Sunday? Was it just not getting the turnovers?
COACH DAVIS: We gave up too many big plays, six X plays. I believe there were six X plays of over 20. Three of them were thrown for over 20 yards. We did not make those plays. The others were thrown for under 20 and we missed tackles. They became big plays.
Pass interference calls, we haven't had a lot of those being called. Put them all the way down inside the goal line. We did not take care of keeping the big pass off of us like we had been. We only had one turnover where in the past we had a couple more.
The big part of that game, the disappointment we had was the big plays through missed tackles. The throw to [Bradley] Fletcher down the sideline, that's a big catch. It's the NFL, some of those are going to happen. You have to line up and play the next snap.
When you look at this film, do you get some comfort in looking at the stuff you saw are correctable errors if you tighten up?
COACH DAVIS: Absolutely. The one thing I know, I have never coached in a game where we didn't have multiple errors. I don't think anybody has. It just doesn't happen. There's always the little things you have to tighten up and get better. When you lose, a lot of times the mistakes you make, they found. Sometimes you don't find them and they win.
The mistake is always there. You always have to correct them. You always have to tighten it up. But part of the NFL is each week you can either be dominated or dominate them. Most of them come down to the fourth quarter.
You have to be really tight in your coverage and your assignment and doing your job. That way the teams that are a little bit more crisp in their assignments make less mistakes win. That's basically what I'm trying to say.
The Bears have two big wide receivers.
COACH DAVIS: Chicago might be one of the most talented offenses we face. Top five in scoring. Big, physical Pro Bowl receivers, two of them. They have a tight end who is a big, athletic passing tight end. The running back is as rounded as any running back we’ve faced. His pass protection is great. He runs the ball well. He catches out of the backfield well.
The offensive line is young on one side, but it's getting better and better as we go. The quarterback can make all the throws. You can tell he understands this offense because his eyes are downfield and he's getting the ball where it needs to be. This is overall our biggest test.
COACH DAVIS: Yes.
He’s not on the field today?
COACH DAVIS: No.
Looked like you were in base and Boykin wasn't out there. What happened on that play, the one to Greg Jennings?
COACH DAVIS: We were in a pressure that had a carry technique from the safety. Actually lined up too close to us. He got inside of us, got across the field.
We have to play that defense better than we played. Our alignments weren't perfect and got us in trouble. It was a big play on their part. The pressure actually got there. Cassel did a great job of sidestepping Fletcher [Cox] and extended the down for a second. Had a great pass down the field.
We weren't good enough in our coverage and our rush. They out‑executed us on that play.
Who is your nickel if Brandon can't play?
COACH DAVIS: Multiple guys. [Patrick] Chung, Roc [Carmichael] can get in there and work at it. Those are two guys that come to mind first.
Your secondary is pretty banged up.
COACH DAVIS: Couple guys are day‑to‑day. Earl [Wolff] is one of them. We'll go out there and see what Earl has today. He's getting better and better as we go.
Kurt [Coleman] is probably in that same boat and Colt [Anderson] is probably more week‑to‑week than those other guys. We're looking at them day‑to‑day. As quick as they can get better and get healthy, we'll use them.
COACH DAVIS: Going into the game, both Patrick and Kurt knew we were rotating every two series. On that second series, he had that. Going into that game we were going to rotate. We were rotating because Patrick has been in a little bit of a slump. He's getting better and better. That was a bad snap for them. There was going to be an every‑two‑series rotation of the safeties regardless of that play.Kurt was prepared in practice. We were 50/50 with the reps. That wasn't something that was a knee‑jerk reaction to one play. It was a plan going in.
Kurt was just showing that he was practicing well and we give an opportunity for him to get out there and see what we could do. That's what we could do.
Then the injuries hit us. We had to adjust on the fly. It was getting kind of crazy at the end.
Is that the plan moving forward, to continue to rotate those guys at safety?
COACH DAVIS: Until they separate themselves. Until they separate, they can stay in there. Until then, I'll let the competition get the best out of both of them.
Wolff separated himself before that?
COACH DAVIS: He was starting to. He really was. He was starting to really show some play‑making ability, getting some of those rookie mistakes out. When you play rookies, you get more mistakes. More volume than they've ever been used to.
He got injured and has been out for a while. We have to crawl him back into the mix as we go.
COACH DAVIS: I think Bennie has been fun to watch. He's a fun story that really is a rookie and you're watching a rookie's growth. Bennie probably played his best game against Minnesota. He's getting better and better, more comfortable where as I've said about a lot of rookies, at certain times they have a lot of confidence, but never really sure, Do I really belong in the NFL? Through a lot of success, they relax and excel and say, I do belong, I am good enough. They take a huge spike.
When the confidence hits, I think Bennie is somewhere in that area right now. I think he knows he can play at this level and he's playing better and better every week and he is getting rewarded for it. He made quite a few plays for us.
Is it technique he's improving on or something that you early on were concerned about in terms of how he played?
COACH DAVIS: I would not say technique. Technique is just getting better and better. When they first start, they have to think about moving their technique as they're using it. When you move forward, they don't think about it but still do it. He's been in the place where he's been quicker with everything because he's more natural with it.
Banged up on the secondary, guys coming on and off the field, rotating guys. How much of a challenge is this right now for your secondary?
COACH DAVIS: Probably the biggest challenge of the season. Obviously because it's this challenge. It is a well‑rounded, talented offense that's coming at us.
Our guys, we had a bad day in Minnesota. I think they're ready and we will have a good week of practice. They're in the right mindset. Nobody is pouting about last week. We accepted it, owned up to it. We watched the tape, talked about the mistakes. Now we're going forward and going to attack Chicago and give them everything we have.
Difficult field position against the Vikings. Does that allow the offense to open up the playbook?
COACH DAVIS: When you break down opposing offensive coordinators a lot of the time, the part of the field they're in does change their personality, but that doesn't change our possibility to stop them. We have to get ourselves off of the field. Where on the field, we've talked from day one, it's irrelevant. We have to get the stop, get off the field. It's on us to do that.Do you feel what happened was just a bad day at the office?
COACH DAVIS: I think it was a bad day. But I think you always have your strengths and weaknesses. We've said all along we've got so much more to do. This is year one. We have had a lot of success that probably was unexpected.
But the weaknesses, nothing has really changed. We just continue to try to get better and better as we go. We did walk into a bad game, a good Minnesota team. We have to learn from it and respond to it. I believe they will respond in the right way.
We'll see Sunday night. It's a huge challenge for us. I like the way our guys' attitude is today.
Chung, he plays fast and aggressive. Is it just getting him to rein it in a little bit and be more disciplined and controlled?
COACH DAVIS: With Patrick, like everybody, all of us have peaks and valleys. We have ups and downs. We hit our slumps.
I think Patrick off the injury that he had didn't come back quite as he had when he came out of training camp. I think he's working his way back to that place. I think confidence is always an issue with a lot of guys. You have to get your grooves back, your confidence back. That's all happening with Patrick. A couple bad plays over the couple weeks. I bet he'll have his best game against Chicago.