Chicago Sun-Times

Airing out the problem with just stopping the run

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That was not just a good outing by the Bears when it came to stopping Tennessee's two-headed running game Sunday. It was a great effort, marking just the fifth time in the last 21 seasons the Bears have held an opponent to 20 yards on the ground or less.

A look at those games:

Nov. 9, 2008 Tennessee 28 rushes, 20 yards L, 14-21
Nov. 18, 2001 Tampa Bay 15 rushes, 19 yards W, 27-24
Nov. 9, 2003 Detroit 20 rushes, 17 yards L, 12-10
Oct. 28, 1996 Minnesota 14 rushes, 11 yards W, 15-13
Oct. 2, 1988 Buffalo 10 rushes, 0 yards W, 24-3

The problem was Titans quarterback Kerry Collins became the fourth passer in as many weeks to have a season-high in passing yards against the Bears and the fifth this season.

So, questions will abound today at Halas Hall when it comes to how the Bears are sizing up an opportunity to make some improvements against Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers this Sunday at Lambeau Field. We'll see how that shakes down.

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7 Comments

am a firm and steadfast supporter of our team, but it is time to make a change. I never thought I would say this but, Nate Vasher needs to be benched. Not only was he getting beat Sunday, but he also he has no interest in making a tackle. He completely whiffed on a play trying to help tackle a tight end, on third an long. If he had even made contact with the ball carrier, we would have been able to get off the field, by putting the Titans in punting position. Later in the game almost the exact same scenario presented it's self. Pass to the tight end, on Vasher's side, but thank goodness vasher wasn't there, Corey Graham was. This young hungry player needs to be put in front of vasher until he regains enough passion for football that he doesn't mind participating in one of the games most rudimentary aspects, TACKLING! This change would also allow us to put Manning back at Nickel Back, which is where he was excelling at, before his injury. This should also help our team get better overall instead of just stopping the run.

Big E, I agree with you totally. I have been telling people I know about Vasher's poor play. It seems to me he hasn't been the same player since he put the muscle on after the '06 season. He was hurt most of last year and now doesn't seem to be able to move quickly. Is the muscle the cause for his apparent lack of speed? Graham needs to be starting. If Vasher can improve his tackling maybe he can move to Safety where we always seem to need help.

I think enough is enough. Its been 25 miserable outings for this pass defense and absolutly nothing has changed. Someone needs to be held accountable (see the SD chargers). The players got paid and now don't perform, has to be a coaching issue! No motivation at all. You never see a player, or coach, blowing up on the sidelines trying to light a fire under their $%#! There is no passion on that side of the ball anymore, except for Briggs, the one everyone wanted to run out of town.

Babich, Haley, or Wilkes... someone has to go!

i agree a with Big E and Mike.But what you forgot is that Vasher just came back from injury.That means the pass defense been a problem before he got on the field.but i will say i am a little upset with Vashers play considering he was my favorite (CB on the Bears).What i think people need to understand is there is no one person to blame for this problem.Vasher is not playing up to his level,Neither is Tillman if it wasnt for those FF he would be in the hot seat too.Mike Brown just turn it on this game.Urlacher is not making the pro bowl this year.Neither is Tommie Harris.Awale isnt getting any pressure.Alex Brown is playing pretty good he was never considered a person who would put up big sack numbers.(Lance Briggs)the one i thought we really didnt need to sign on the off season,is the only 1 playing at a pro bowl level.Dont get me wrong he has been my favorite LB in the NFL for the last 4 years,but i didnt think he was a great need (intil now).(Pass Rush)is what makes good CBs look Great.Pass rush is the reason the bears back the CBs 7 yards back.Because once that pressure get to the QB the Cbs can just eye and fly to the ball.Now the Cbs are forced to be Champ Bailey which none of them are.THE ANSWER we need to start puting SS size DE on the team like the Colts done for years.

The problem can be traced in two directions in this situation:

1) opponents are getting rid of the ball in 3-4 seconds on most plays, which doesn't give the pass rush time to get there. When our CBs play 8-10 yards off, and allow for an inside release, the slant is open all day, as is the skinny post. These are quick developing routes, and do not take long for the QB to read the open man and deliver the ball where the CBs can't get to it. Loose coverage allows for the ball to be thrown in the short to intermediate range, and 2 of those is a first down, regardless of how well we tackle once the ball is caught (and we aren't lighting the world on fire with our tackling)

2) on 5 and 7 step drops, the pass rush is not getting to the QB without using the blitz. When we don't blitz, the coverage can't stay with the receivers for 5-7 seconds. Add in that we play the umbrella zone, where there are holes, and all of a sudden, Kerry Collins looks like Drew Brees. Either play man/press coverage, or we stand to lose a lot more games by getting gouged by the passing game.

When you look at Tampa, they press all the time, and only bail if they are sending a ton of pressure. Monte figured out that all it takes is a little disruption, and the pass rush has a chance. Our guys, even when they press, don't get the jam. It's like they don't even use their hands. The receiver just has to make a stutter step move, and they are clear. Tillman is a physical corner, and is being rendered useless by scheme. Vasher is more of a finesse guy, but he needs to be able to jam guys at the line to help out his DL. If he can't do it, bring in Graham, who is more physical. The outside technique is not working, as we are focused on stopping the run (which we completely stunk at last year), which prevents Briggs and Hillenmeyer from jumping the slant zone. So you have to play inside technique, and be willing to surrender the FB and RB pass into the flat rather than the 7-10 yard slant. The LBs can flow to the outside and the DBs can attack the ball when they dump it off, but we cannot survive if we keep giving up the slants and skinny posts. If we have to run with the WRs for an extra beat before passing them off to Payne/Brown, so be it. We will be better off in the long run.

STOPPING THE RUN IS A GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENT WHEN IT COMES TO TENNESSE BUT IT DOSENT MATTER AT ALL WHEN U LOOSE THE GAME.ESPECIALLY WHEN YOUR PASS DEFENSE STINKS.WOULD SOMEONE AT THE SUN-TIMES ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THE COACHING STAFF,ESPECIALLY THE DEF AND HEAD COACH NEED TO BE FIRED?WHY DO YOU GUYS CONSTANLY LOOK AT THE BRIGHT SIDE OF NOTHING? I MISS THAT GUY WHO LEFT SUN-TIMES SPORTS YOU KNOW THE ONE WHO TOLD IT LIKE IT WAS AND DIDNT KISS THE OWNERS BUTTS!U KNOW JAY MARRIOTTI!!!!!

Like Joe said above, we can't get to the QB on passing downs. Our problem isn't our CB's so much as it is the 15 seconds they need to cover everyone.

They have to play 8 yards off because if they sit on the slant, hook or skinny, and let the WR get behind them the opposition will find them because NOBODY will be in their face.

The Defense needs to make a freakin' decision. Do they want to attack the passer with the blitz and press or follow other defensive schemes where (especially in 3rd and long...where we are terrible) they only have 3 D-Linemen and drop 8? Face it, there is no value in adding a 4th DL because they won’t help get any more pressure. Put in another CB to close those gaping holes in our zones and hope Harris, or one of our DE's get some pressure in less than 6 seconds.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on November 10, 2008 5:47 AM.

Initial thoughts: Collins carves up Bears' D was the previous entry in this blog.

Bears aren't only team with defensive issues is the next entry in this blog.

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