Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bring Back Bullet Bob!

The Bears entered the bye week with one pressing question, "How do we play defense if our front-four aren't creating pressure?"
The run defense has been fine with the exception of the 54-yard TD by Peterson, but he's the best in the league so that can be allowed for. The problem is that virtually every time the bears play a cover-2 zone they give up a big completion. I hope Harris is healthy following what I believe to be a more significant knee injury than the team has let on. If 91 is back, they don't even have to answer this question. But if he can't be as dominant as in the past what is the adjustment?
The Bears started the season basically playing 10 on the line, covering every gap and jamming every receiver and leaving Mike Brown as the true safety. They've gotten away from that and it has cost them. Even with injuries and inexperienced players, this defense is too good to play a shell. Briggs and co. are attackers and ball hawks and it just doesn't suit them to lay in wait. This is an easy formation to blitz out of, and the secondary should have enough experience at this point of the season to be able to play the system with any of their personnel. On this point, I think the signing of Terrence Holt could prove to be an inspired move. He provides true cover for Brown and fills the absence left by McGowan. Without Manning, Graham or Vasher available for the nickel spot, Babich seemed to think that he didn't have the physical presence and athleticism required to play the system. Thus he reverted to the soft-2. Holt provides that option and Steltz is far enough along that he should be ready to provide further options.
I don't know if it was just Samurai Mike's press conference Sunday, but I want the Burnt and Blue to come on the field and "hit people in the mouth, No. 1." I trust the Lovie 2 once they've already destroyed the other team, but until that point of complete demoralization the Bears need to be attackers.
The other fun point the bye week gave me a chance to ponder is that there is an actual chance, not a great one but certainly not beyond the realm of hope, that the Bears could clinch the division with their 8th win on Nov. 30. It requires that the Packers lose to the Vikings and that both teams lose all their difficult games in the next 5 weeks. But given the current situation, especially if the Williamses get suspended together after the GB game, it is a realistic enough possibility that I'm willing to hold onto hope.

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