Chicago Sun-Times

Initial thoughts: Collins carves up Bears' D

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The Bears' run defense could not have been any better than it was in the 21-14 loss to Tennessee this afternoon.

The Titans were held to 20 yards rushing on 29 carries. Any time a team has more runs for no gain or a loss of yardage than it does actual gains, well, the defense is working.

But there was no answer for Kerry Collins, the quarterback who came in having not passed for 200 yards this season. Yeah, the same guy who had gone the last three games without throwing a touchdown pass.

That didn't stop the Bears from making him look like a new man as Collins passed for 289 yards, completing 30-of-41 passes. He had two touchdown passes and was sacked just once as the pass rush was minimal, at best, even with an array of blitzes.

The reaction from the locker room, which we'll get to later on, wasn't very enthusiastic. You seem to get the feeling the players are beginning to have some doubts in the scheme. Collins didn't do too much different than Brian Griese when he was here in September and passed for 500 yards, or 407, whatever it was.

On the other side of the ball, did you expect a lot different from Rex Grossman? Sure, the Bears could have been more competitive with Kyle Orton. Would they have scored 22 points needed to win? Maybe.

More later on.

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Another winnable game we let slip through our finger tips....

Blame the pass rush or the cover2 all you want, the players are not the real problem here. Babbich, Lovie, the D-line coach all need to look long and hard at the techniques they employ and consider a serious shift in defensive philosiphy. Monte Kiffin said it best, you have to modify the cover2(Tampa2) if you run it today if you want it to be successful. It just won't work the way it has in the past.

This is a professional league, you can stick with a scheme for a while but eventually teams adjust and figure out how to attack your weaknesses. Evey team, every scheme has an inherant weakness / vulnerability, the better teams just find ways to hide them. Alas, that is why I blame the coaches for the lack of effectiveness on Defense.

Obviously, the D-tackles and DE's are not generating the kind of consistant pressure that Lovie's defense needs to be effective. I have seen enough of the DT's and DE's just running straight ahead and getting swallowed up by the O-lineman. We need to get more creative with our pass rush, line the DT's off center, overload one side of the O-line, have the guy's stunt, bring in an extra D-lineman to mix things up, ect.....

The blitzes need some work also, today we got some good pressure when Urlacher and Brown blitzed the same gap but that was not enough to get Collins panties in a bunch in clutch situations.

The Bears have to take more risks, bring (6) or (7) every play, shot gaps accross the line, blitz the safeties on delayed blitzes with the D-lineman stunting up front, make the CB's bump and run... Enough of that stupid soft cuhion we allow most of the game.

This loss doesn't really hurt being a loss to an AFC team. Next week however is a must win against GB.... GO Bears !!

The Bears clearly would have won with Kyle Orton. However, they also would have won 14-7 with any pass rush, and this problem is strictly the fault of Lovie Smith and his passive defense. I can't imagine the Bears ever being a Super Bowl contender again with Smith as head coach. His defensive scheme is totally lame -- it does not put the defense in a position to succeed, even with eight Pro Bowlers in the starting lineup -- and he's too stubborn to change things enough when his defense is not working.

We are paying our defensive line way too much money for what we are getting. Week in and week out this team has zero pass rush and is picked apart by average QB's at best. Lovie Smith has been out coached on a consistent basis and there never seems to be any adjustments made during the game at all. This is especially true after halftime. This Bears team is an 8-8 team at best. Very average. I would hate to think where we would be without Matt Forte.

Hey Rex: Na na na na, Hey hey hey, GOODBYE!!!!!!!!!!

it's starting to look more and more like the '05 and '06 defenses were really Rivera's scheme. Now that Lovie has his puppet in place running things...the defense looks ordinary, and now that Rivera has taken over in SD...suddenly their defense looks great. How many more years of Lovie do we have to watch again?

Yeah, Collins & Griese had their way with our defense, but you forgot about rookie "gulp" Matt Ryan, I think he tore us up the worst this season, it seemed like every time Ryan cut back to pass, he threw a completion. Chicago's front four needs to figure out how to get to the QB, and fast. On paper, the Bears seem to have the personnel to do the job, with players like Tommie Harris, Adewale Ogunleye, and Mark Anderson, but for whatever reason, their simply not getting the job done on a consistent basis. Maybe its the scheme? If the front four can't do it, blitz, but the problem with blitzing all the time is your leaving your defensive backs on an island, if you blitz, you better get to the QB, or chances are, someone is gonna be open, and any quality QB, like Matt Ryan, will have his way with your defense. When it all comes down to it, your front four simply must get to the Qb to make any defensive scheme work. Mike Ditka said it best one time, "football is simple, beat the guy in front of you" this is what the Bears front four needs to figure out, if not, Chicago needs to address the defensive line this april and during the free agency period. I say draft an end like South Florida's George Selvie in the first round, Selvie can get to the QB, and this is what the Bears need the most on defense right now. As far as if Orton would have played, yes, we would have won if Orton would have played, Grossman was off on a lot of passes yesterday, Orton seems more accurate, I think Orton could have converted a lot of them third downs yesterday, hopefully Ortons ready for the Pack, GO BEARS!!

Our D linemen are not as good as we want to make them out to be. I'd keep Tommie Harris and Dusty Dvoracek and start re-thinking the rest, including Idonije and all the rest who rotate in. In fact, Tommie Harris is probably overrated. Let's see what he does next season. I'd love to seea monster interior D lineman. Dvoracek might be that.

We have the same players we did a few years ago. Except Mark Bradley isn't getting to the QB, Alex Brown and Ogunleye are not getting to the QB. That's the difference.

Our secondary is older and there are some questions about Vasher. You gotta love Cory Graham, and Tillman is a top 5 corner in my book. Safety is a big question mark.

It starts up front--if your front four can't get to the QB and your LB's are playing close to play the run, then you are going to give up yards in the air. Period.

Remember the Doug Buffone Holy Trinity. Run the Ball. Stop the Run. Get to the opponent's QB. We got 2 out of 3, but you see where that gets you.

I suspect that, just like last year when we saw our O-Line suddenly "get old"--this year, I think we are seeing our entire D "get old" Urlacher is playing like crap. Tillman and Briggs are having good years, and short of that, Dvoracek is doing better than some expected. Short of that, I do not know a single D player, other than Rookies, who are playing worth a damn.

Well, let's start with the bad:

Rex Grossman is plain bad. He couldn't hit water if he fell out of a frickin' boat. He can't handle the pass rush or - even worse - handles it by flinging the ball into double coverage off his back foot for the easy INT. We need Kyle Orton back. With Orton the offense is flexible and efficient as he can audible at the line or run the no huddle in a complicated chess game against the opposing defense; in comparison, Rex plays checkers and keeps choking on the pieces.

Fire Bob Babich ... personally I thought it was physically unpossible to both suck and blow at the same time. We stopped the run but made made the opposing QB look like Johny Unitas ... no that's a not a repeat from week 3, 4, 6, 7 and 9. How do you stop a team to 29 yards on the ground but still give up 21 points? Well Bob, how do you?

Nathan Vasher does not look good right now. I don't know if he's injured or ill-prepared but he does not look like "the interceptor" of old.

Special teams was a complete and total clusterfark yesterday. Hester was a non-factor ... again. It's time we a) relegate him to being just a return man, or 2) make him a full-time WR and get someone else back there. Teams are no longer scared of Hester so they'll keep putting the offense in a hole via special teams. I vote for the first option as he's a mediocre WR but is absolutely deadly when he's on his return game.

Now, the good:
Hopefully Kyle Orton can get back to health soon. If this game is any indicator the Bears need him against the Packers next week.

They get to play the Packers next week! Lovie and company have been a thorn in the side of the Packers ever since he took over. If Chicago can win on the road next week you nearly eliminate the Packers dropping them to 4-6 while Minnesota has to travel to Tampa Bay and Jacksonville the next two weeks.

The ugly:
Chicago has a 3-game road trip starting at Green Bay and ending at Minnesota. If there was a more crucial time in their schedule I'm not sure what it is. With Kyle Orton uncertain and our defense in shambles, this road trip couldn't come at a worse time. On top of everything else, the Rams come in a classic sandwich game ... a terrible opponent sandwiched right between two division rivals is always a good time for a letdown. Remember, St. Louis's only wins have come over two quality opponents in the Redskins and Cowboys. I'm not saying this is a loss, but it's not one we can so easily makr off as a win.

Kevin and Zion good stuff. A few things to consider.

The coaching staff of the Bears is pathetic!!! It is 7-7 at half time and guess who makes the half time adjustments The Titans and Fisher, not the Bears coaches, never the Bears coaches.

Anyone with a brain would know that the Bears have kicked the ars of the Titans in the running game during the first half, so wouldn't you think that in the second half the Titans would be moving to the pass on 1st down with a focus on the tight ends on a more consistent basis!! DUH :ets remeber the Titans have what is considered one of the worst set of receivers in the league. they sure kicked the Bears around the block a few times.

Well same old D, no pass rush, no creative blitzing, no stunts, soft
coverage, playing 8 in the box in the second half when you know they are going to be throwing on 1st down more often etc.

Maybe Lovie and his cronie Babich should take a few lessons on Defensive football from Ryan (Buddy's kid) the D coach of Baltimore or call Fisher and have the Bears learn how to play D again.

The offense was stagnant but the Bears D lost the game again, it was the fourth loss this year directly attributable to the D.

As for the players, the D line is pathetic, Ogunleye and Harris have not shown up all year, maybe they are soft and certainly over paid for their performance. The corners have played poorly and soft as well, but without a pass rush, kiss it good bye, the season will be over before the playoffs begin.

Every time after a few beers and go take a break during a comercial I ask myself why, why, why have I put myself through such weekly pain watching the Bears for the last 40 years!!!!!!!!

I will be right in front of the TV next week hoping to watch the BEARS analyate the Packers!!!

Go Bears!!!!

Scott Mark Bradley was cut as a wide out and then the Cheifs pick him up. The only thing Mark Bradley has to do with a QB is passing a TD to his own QB in a wild and wackey play.

The pass D is one of the worst I have seen since Wanny has been here in Chicago. Last year I could understand a little but this year there is no exuse! When a Detroit QB, a 40+ year old QB, a Rookie QB, and a QB that just came off Tommy John Sergery that had NO Steve Smith tears up a multi million dollar secondary there has to be a change! Heck I bet if Grossman played the Bears pass D he probably would have a career day.

Bears have 7 games. 3 out of those 7 games they play top teir QB in Rogers and Breeze, Rogers Sunday and Breeze on Dec 11th Rogers again on DEC 22nd Monday night game.

Time for a change Lovie if not I can see your boy Babich outta here.
Sad thing is Lovie probably doesnt have enough kahunas to do it himself. Angelo has to make this disition no matter how much Lovie will defend his boy Babitch. Thats the first move Angelo needs to do to save his tush.
2nd thing Angelo needs to do is get a D coach that as been there and done that. PLEASE Angelo no more rookie coaches. Coaches as well as players need a learning curve and this team is a win now team. No rebuilding for the future.

Suggestion number 1 is Romeo Crennel if fired.
Number 2 suggestion no College coaches!

As far as Urlacher he needs to play alot closser to the play. I see him 15 to 20 yards down field. NOT GOOD. His read and react skills have been limited because he is the 2nd or 3rd player in on a play.
PLEASE LOVIE put Urlacher back where he was his best at the MIDDLE LINEBACKER possition. This hybrid middle linebacker turned into a 3rd saftie isnt working.

DaC of DaC,

I basically agree with you, but did see some good things yesterday. How about we add the "Maybe"

Maybe the Bears will win the next two. Actually, on paper, they should. If they do, they can visit the Viqueens in fairly good position. I don't see the Minny mice winning their next two. They have been living on the edge all season.

Maybe we will have decent QB play next week regardless. Orton looks to be back and if not, love him or hate him, Rex has usually played well against the Pack.

Maybe the defense and special teams are coming around. We were one big play on ST or defense from beating the Titans. Maybe we should give Tenn a little credit for being 9-0 because they are good. Hester didn't break one, but had a couple decent runbacks and held onto the ball. The defense is stopping the run, but is struggling with the pass. This is not great news, but maybe not the end of the world. This is the NFC north and it is already November. You don't win this division without being able to run the ball.

I know. maybe, maybe, maybe. But Da C you are right about the next three games. Maybe they win at least two and stay in the hunt. Maybe they lose two and we start paying more attention to Mel Kiper's(horrors, perish the thought) website.

Everyone is being too hard on Rex. He came in and played against the best defense in the league and put up 14 points. Green Bay put up 16 and Minny 17. Maybe could of put more if the defense wasn't allowing Collins to carve them up like this years thanksgiving turkey. Yeah, he was off on some throws but I see Orton off on just as many throws against lesser opponents. I love the Bears but I'll look forward to seeing Grossman somewhere else next year with a better offensive scheme and better coaches.

Last but certainly not least...FIRE BOB BABICH! There is no reason he should be a coordinator at this level. Position coach is fine.

We need to remember that the pass rush and the secondary have a chicken/egg relationship. The DL needs to get pressure, but if our corners/safeties have good covereage, then the QB will have nowhere to throw, giving more time for the DL to get there.

The cushions in the secondary are killing us. We need to bump and run, disrupt routes, play aggressive. Urlacher needs to stay in coverage too. This goofy thing where he's at the LOS and drops back never seems to work.

The thing is that I think this D has the capability to pull it together like they did at the end of 2007. It's not all bad--the Titans had to punt on 8 of 14 drives, and 2 more, we caught a break (the fumble and missed FG). So 8 times, the D played well--it's just the 3 times that they got smoked that really hurt.

That said, the offense not being to sustain drives certainly didn't help. If the time of possession was more even, I doubt we see Collins "carving them up" so badly.

These are the reasons the bears suck and lost!

1.Rex Grossman should have been pulled in the 3rd Quarter.
2.The linebackers and secondary let them throw to everyone.didnt lovie see that the titans were throwing to thier TE"S alot?Where was the coverage on the te's and wr's? why is Vasher and tillman playing off the ball constantly?
3.Coaching:I think the DEF.COORD.SHOULD BE FIRED ON THE SPOT!!!!


Gerald Keefer I agree, Rex really played d... good against one of the best D's out there (is every one forgetting that?)
He had a bad series where if he hit Devin etc.. we would have won it (maybe) and he missed recievers on that series pretty bad, but he came in the next series and hit recievers and they didn't catch it, Booker had at least 3 drops!
Kevin and guy's your on the money, we need a Awsome DE, Where is Dent when you need him??? The sceme sucks, this straight ahead bull rush is bull, and this `give up short passes' sucks as well (see the TD on Vasher).
We should have won another one and we all no it.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on November 9, 2008 4:00 PM.

Graham remains at nickel was the previous entry in this blog.

Airing out the problem with just stopping the run is the next entry in this blog.

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