Bears Must Address Defensive Backfield in the Offseason

For all those Bears fans who are cover-2 haters, Andrew Furman at the comments on the Giants use of it in their disastrous loss to Green Bay:

    “You get success vs weaker teams with these schemes, but when you play against the GOOD QBs, it does not work. Aaron Rodgers picked on the off coverage so often (slants, etc..) that he racked up 225 yds in one half.  (Terrell) Thomas and (Corey) Webster were playing on Pluto while (Greg) Jennings, (James) Jones and Rodgers were playing pitch and catch.  By the time the second half came and we began to see a little more press coverage, it was too little too late.”

    “To the untrained observer, the press coverage was equally unsuccessful.  That is a completely faulty conclusion.  Rodgers and his WRs were forced to make some terrific throws and catches.  They did, but at least they earned it.”

    Contempt for the cover-2 amongst offensive players weeks to be very common.  LaDainian Tomlinson‘s comment after the Jets game was typical (via Vaughn McClure at the Chicago Tribune):

    “‘I knew they were a tough defense,’ Tomlinson said, ‘but they’re predictable. We know the things that you can get against Cover-2 defenses no matter who’s out there. They’re a great defense, but we had a great game plan against this scheme.”’

    We hear this over and over again from opponents.  The cover two is fine.  It really is.  But it needs to be properly mixed with other defensive schemes to make it work.

    In particular the New England game and, to a lesser extent, the Jets game taught us that this is the case and, to their credit, though they still play too much of the zone, the Bears have tried to do mix it up.  But the problem is that they aren’t built for anything but the cover two and they don’t execute other schemes very well.  For instance, most of the time when the Bears play man-to-man the opposition’s worst wide receiver is better than the Bears worst defensive back.  That’s the simplest form of a mismatch.

    The comments above are yet another indication that the Bears are going to have to look toward improving their defensive backfield in the draft.  They are beyond the point where they can just attempt to load up on defensive linemen while ignoring everything else.

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