Like most teams, the Bears have specific statistical goals that they hope to achieve every week. In their training complex are magnetic boards used to illustrate coach Dave Wannstedt's game-stat targets for offense (12 goals), defense (13) and special teams (10). When a goal is met in a given game, a 2�-inch Bear-helmet magnet is affixed, signifying success. Failure means that the space is left helmetless.
These days a large rectangular piece of black posterboard covers the results for the first three weeks of the season. In embarrassing losses to Philadelphia and Minnesota in Weeks 2 and 3, the Bear defense surrendered a combined 72 points and achieved only four of 26 goals. So Wannstedt ordered the funereal shroud and told his troops that they were starting a new season.
It may be sophomoric, as many motivational techniques in sports are, but the Bears got the point. "We saw it as an opportunity to start the season over," says defensive tackle Chris Zorich. The Bears are now 3-0 in the postblackout era. Here is how the Bear defensive goal list looked after Sunday's 17-7 win over New Orleans, with an X marking the spot of each goal fulfilled.
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]