Wannstedt hopeful


LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP)—Even though nothing is going right for the Chicago Bears these days, coach Dave Wannstedt said Monday he’s not ready to throw out his master plan.

‘‘You have to have a plan and you have stick with it,’‘ said Wannstedt after the team’s 17-3 loss at Green Bay on Sunday. ‘‘We’re looking for good things to happen but you can’t stick your head in the sand. You have to look for ways to improve.’‘

The Bears have not scored a touchdown in 10 quarters and Jim Harbaugh has been sacked 16 times in the last two games including seven by the Packers who had a total of only 13 in their first six games.

The solution to that problem, said Wannstedt at his weekly Halas Hall news conference, is to get rid of the ball quicker and stay out of long-yardage situations.

‘‘We’re looking at it right now. We have to improve the protection, the receivers have to work on getting open quicker and we have to get rid of the ball quicker,’‘ he said.

Wannstedt said the Bears have wasted what few scoring opportunities they had.

‘‘We’re not good enough to pass up our opportunities,’‘ he said. ‘‘When you don’t capitalize on them, you don’t have a chance to win.’‘

There was Chicago safety Mark Carrier’s interception on the second play of the game and return to the Green Bay 16 that resulted in no points because of a botched field goal attempt.

Later, they tried a halfback pass with Neal Anderson making a perfect throw that Ryan Wetnight dropped on the Green Bay 10-yard line. On the next play, Craig Heyward fumbled the ball away.

The Bears blew another chance in the fourth quarter. After driving to the Green Bay 12, Harbaugh was hit by a blitzing LeRoy Butler who recovered the fumble on the Packers 37.

‘‘That was a sure three points that would have made the score 10-6,’‘ said Wannstedt. ‘‘When you see the guy coming, you have to get rid of the ball.’‘

Harbaugh’s arm was cocked when he got hit and Wannstedt said it was a judgment call that could have gone either way as to whether it was a fumble or an attempted pass.

On this Sunday, the Bears face a Los Angeles Raiders defense that is second in the NFL with 27 sacks. Raider Anthony Smith is the league’s individual sack leader, with 11.