Chicago Sun-Times

Nowhere to run

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The 56 yards the Bears have allowed are fewest in the league this season. For the first time since 1960, they have also held consecutive opponents to less than 2.0 yards per carry. They are also one of two teams that haven't allowed a run of 10 yards or more this season.

"We're hitting the guy, man," Brian Urlacher said when asked to explain the success. "We're getting to our gaps, we're getting off blocks, we're not getting fooled. There have been some draws and misdirection plays and we haven't gotten fooled on that. And we had a couple tips that helped us in the game. When they did certain things we knew what was coming. That helped Lance last week make a tackle for a loss. We're tackling well. When we get a chance we're taking them down. We're also getting a lot of pentration up the field. We're attacking downhill and getting to the line of scrimmage."

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18 Comments

Neil, most of us have seen this years Bears defense and realize that it is a force to be reckoned with; looking like the '05-'06 days.

However, a small, insignificant number of bloggers who come from the Land of the Kooks will use selective stats to try and make the case that the defense is H-O-R-R-I-B-L-E, regardless of what our eyes tell us.

I think 56 yds/2gms, a 2.0 ypc and no runs of 10 yds or more is a good thing. But these aforementioned Kooks will only get pissed and start wondering why the Bears D isn't holding the opponents run game to -5,000 yards.

Don't take these Kooks seriously though. When they start posting simply sit back and have a good laugh.

What, no Fire Lovie and his cover 2???? I thought running was the weakness of the cover 2??? Maybe it was the offensive gameplan that was its biggest detriment.

Fire Lovie!!!! LOL

Need I say this 2010 Chicago Bears looks more energized and flying to the ball then the 2005 season. This week the Bears are going against unknown running backs. Shutting down the run and keeping Aaron Rogers in check could be a winning formula for the "D".

No Turnovers!!! LetsGoBears! 73 Hours to go.

I think the key to Chicago's run defense is their simply staying healthy, especially the big four in the front 7, Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, Tommie Harris, and Julius Peppers. These are your key cogs to the unit. Peppers is the man making things happen, with teams having to double him so much, it frees up the rest of the unit to be able to make plays.

Now, I'm not taking anything away from Urlacher, the guy is having another Pro-Bowl type season, he seems to be finally back from his various injuries, Lach and Briggs make up one of the leagues best linebacking combos. But like I said, he's staying healthy, thats the key to the unit and to how the team will do down the stretch GO BEARS!!

Still don't like Lovie. A good run deffense for two games doesn't make up for years of bad coaching and judgments.

Mike the run D has been very good, but there pass D is 27th. Now that does sound like I'm just pointing out the bad, but if you are a true fan then give facts to state your case. Be able to call them out when needed, now I'm going to be like you and not back up my facts other than 27th passing D. By the way I am a true fan, I'm 43 and have been a fan since I was 5. I have NO problem calling out the organization when the deserve it, so don't drink to much kool-aid to interfere with your vision. It's kool-aid drinkers that should not post here, they can do that with Mayer at chicagobears.com

Chuck so I don't sound like a Lovie hater(which I am), can you investigate and find out who is calling the Defensive plays. I heard the Rod M was calling the plays this year. Yes I do say fire Lovie, because Martz is going to leave after this year and we will be right back where we were before. I would rather have Martz and Rod M stay.

The Pack will have their back-up helping their back-up LT all day so don't expect any running from the Pack. The Bears need to hit the receivers hard when they go up after Rodger's air balls (way up high) as he always throws deep. B-Fan in WI and have seen alot of Rodgers (Bears on Radio) throw his hail mary's all day long.

Larry Mayer is the smartst and most honest reporter on the bears to ever live. When I grow up Iwant to be just like him.

The 4 leading rushers from last year where on teams that went 25 and 29. The teams with the 4 highest rated passers went 40 and 15.

Not say that being great at stopping the run is bad, but if teams are not running much at least this time of the year, how important is it to the team. We all know the run game has been dying in the nfl, while the league makes rules to benfit the passing game. Not to mention all these spread style offenses and good QB play.

While it is great to make an offense one dimensional, how much effect does it have on teams like the Packers and Saints that don't run much. The Saints and Packers do some running but usually after their passing games have spread out a defense.

I think it is actually important to stop both rather than picking focusing one half of the defense. That's not say the Bears passing defense has been bad. Yards and Passing are bloated stats. Yards per pass and passing TD's are not. Fixing third down would go a long way in solving this teams problems on defense.

As for this defense being as good as the 2005 team. The 2005 team gave up 15 points in their first 2 games, and gave up less than 10 point a game 8 times that year. The run defense has been better but total yards, and points are not even close. Giving up 19 ,ore points in 2 games and more than a 100 yards.

The other thing to consider, is have the Bears faced a power running football team yet. Running to the outside plays into the Bears defense, power running up the middle is a different matter and has been the teams weak point for years. Teams that may cause the run defense problems are the Vikings, Phins, Jets, Eagles and maybe the Giants although I have not seen much of them.

Another thing to consider is pass attempts vs. run attempts. Passing yards may be up but how many times have teams thrown on you?

That's all well and good, but they have rarely pressured opposing QBs, which is why their pass defense sucks. Third down conversions and red zone defense are more important and telling than total yardage, I'd like to see what those stats show. More importantly, watching tells me that they have a good run defense but a lousy pass defense. That might have worked 40 years ago before they changed the rules, but it won't work in today's game where you can't breathe on a receiver or QB without getting a penalty (just to mention two of those rule changes).

Lets look at another stat. The bears, after two games have 139 yard rushing. Only 3 teams are worse than the bears on that stat.
If you don't think that level of play won't affect them, you are out of you mind.

You are right uprooted, but I do not think Rod M, who is a very skilled defensive mind himself, has ever called plays before? As Kevin A said, a healthy front 7, with an actual pro bowl defensive end Peppers, and not someone who rode Jason Taylor's coattails to a big paycheck in chicago, and a undersized Florida Gator are the key ingredients.

I know most of you think I am new, but I have been here for years, and a Bears fan since 6, a football fan my whole life.

Let's get it out now, Lovie Smith did not hire this defense, he coaches it. The judgment part is not his fault, he is being blamed for being stoic, which does not sit well with the fans(majority). So be it.

Fans of football, who do not put their bodies where their mouths are should not talk about fire and desire when it deals with the sport. I still play an occasional game at 39, and trust me, tackling someone is not easy.

Creighton, I think one rule in particular helped offenses, albeit it came with little fanfare. If you watch games in the 70s and early 80s(as I know you have), you will notice all the o-linemen lined up near parallel to the line. Once they started letting linemen line up 1,2,3 feet behind the line, offenses got a huge advantage...I mean huge. Quick first step meant little, it was all about technique and leverage after that point. Average linemen became good, good ones became great, great ones became all-timers.

On the flip side, defensive linemen could not just rush the gap and quick hit the QB, the had to control the gap after that. Great linemen became good, good linemen became average, and average linemen....

That is why stopping the run is so important, at least you want to make the other team 1 dimensional, and put your exotic scheme against the QBs mind.

Martz will sooner or later go no matter what, he deserves it for this offense, and his playcalling which is an extension of his mental capacity to break a field down and attack a section or more. The thing is, just like Shanahan and other coordinators are out there, you have to find someone who is skilled at attacking defenses, and not one who solely believes in pounding the ball to get the other team to submission.

I myself had to change my philosophy on this, I loved running compared to passing, but this is a new day. People must change with the day.

Lovie wanted Martz in 2003, settled for Terry Shea, guess that's his vault, too.

Have to agree with Wrigley about the pass rush, it has to get better for the Bears to have a significantly better pass defense. The Packer game will be a good indicator how good this defense will be this year.

They get to some sacks and pressures the defense will be able to be a top 5 defense if not they will be middle of the pack which will not bode well for the playoffs.

Lovie, still needs to be sacked but he has slightly improved this year with his choice of the coaches he has brought in, he does not seem to be meddling and moving players in and out of different positions as much. Necessity is the mother of invtenion.

up rooted,
At ease soldier. My post wasn't directed at guys like you. Judging from what you wrote, you're alright in my book. There are however some people that ALL they do is focus on the negative aspects of the team, even when the Bears like win and stuff. Take this clown for example:

By val's a gal on September 25, 2010 8:10 AM
"Lets look at another stat. The bears, after two games have 139 yard rushing. Only 3 teams are worse than the bears on that stat.
If you don't think that level of play won't affect them, you are out of you mind."

And while that may be true and all val is ignoring this team's remarkable passing game, its niche for turnovers, it's ability to score points, the fact that we're 2-0...All he did was look at one stat and say, "There! You see! I told you this was a bad team and my one stat PROOOOVES it!"

By the way Val, where have you been? The Bears have been winning and looking decent, sure it's only two games, but you've nonetheless been M.I.A. in that time span. Just an observation.

I'm a lot more afraid of Rodger's arm than of any of their running backs.If the run works for the packers, then he can kill you with play-action passes. That problem is resolved if the Bear defense stops the run cold or for losses. Maybe it's not fail-safe to make the Packers one-dimensional, but if they get that way, maybe the pass rush can tee off and make Rodgers wish he had a running game.I'm dead certain Favre is glad the Vikings have one.

Stats...stats.....stats.

The most important stat is the Bears are 2-0. Period.

Get over it. They just might be a good team this year. Face it. They do look good.

Forcing a team to not run, and pass 50+ times is good. Eventually, there will be turnovers.

Ryan 2-0 against 2 not so good teams does not mean anything yet. Lets see how they look after 3-4 more games. Yes stats speak volumes as long as you look at the right ones.

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on September 24, 2010 3:14 PM.

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