Wannstedt learns from his coaching debut 26-20 loss


LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP)—One thing Dave Wannstedt learned in his head coaching debut with the Chicago Bears is to streamline the system of calling defensive signals.

In his first Monday news conference after a harrowing 26-20 loss to the New York Giants, Wannstedt said the Giants substituted so much on offense that it made it hard for the Bears to get the right people in on defense.

‘‘We have to get the calls in quicker,’‘ said Wannstedt, who last year made the calls himself as defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys.

‘‘A year ago I’d see it (the situation), make the call and we’d get it done,’‘ said Wannstedt

Under the present system, Bob Slowik makes the call from upstairs to the sidelines and the signals are sent to safety Mark Carrier who makes the calls on the field.

Confusion reigned on the pass interference play that set up the 1-yard winning touchdown pass from Phil Simms to Jarrod Bunch with 1:07 to play to wipe out a 20-19 Bears lead.

Cornerback Anthony Blaylock was called for pass interference against Mark Jackson. Blaylock was playing a zone defense and was expecting help, which he didn’t get since the other backs were playing man-to-man.

Carrier said he calls the plays in the defensive huddle.

‘‘What happened yesterday happened, but it won’t happen again,’‘ said Carrier. ‘‘We talked about it and talked about making things easier.’‘

On Monday, Carrier seemed to shoulder the blame that fell on Blaylock on Sunday.

‘‘I feel worse than anyone when I make a mental mistake,’‘ said Carrier. ‘‘A lot of people count on me. The system is new, but I’m not a rookie.’‘

Wannstedt said, ‘‘I trust Mark Carrier as my defensive quarterback, and I’m happy with Mark Carrier.’‘

Wannstedt said there would be no changes in his defensive unit for Sunday’s game at Minnesota, but there would be changes on offense.

The big one involves tailback Neal Anderson who will start against the Vikings.

Anderson did not play a down in the preseason because of a hamstring injury. He got into Sunday’s game in a couple of plays and lined up as a wide receiver while Darren Lewis started at tailback.

Wannstedt said Anderson was ready to run from the tailback position, but he added: ‘‘I felt Darren deserved the opportunity to start and to play. I am not down on Darren, but we need production from that position.’‘

Anderson said he looked forward to the opportunity.

Asked if he was looking forward to playing alongside Craig Heyward for the first time, Anderson said, ‘‘I’d play alongside you just to get in there and do some things.’‘

One thing Wannstedt would like to see is a 100-yard game from Anderson. He hasn’t had one since the 1990 playoff game against New Orleans which was the 13th of his career.