Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune highlights another interesting point. He quotes Bears running back Michael Bush on why he wasn’t used in short yardage situations on Sunday:
“’I don’t know,’ Bush said. ‘I guess it wasn’t the personnel for me. They were holding 75 (Kyle Long) so that is why he couldn’t get off. That is what it looked like. They just made a good play, the Vikings. They haven’t switched anything up here, not to my knowledge.’”
The Bears offensive scheme seems to rely a great deal on pulling offensive linemen and trap plays. I’ve noticed situations, particularly short yardage situations, in a number of games where an offensive linemen is actually held by the defensive lineman opposite him to prevent him from getting to the play. Kyle Long seems to be particularly susceptible to it.
It will be interesting to see what, if anything, the Bears do about this in future contests. It may be a defensive strategy that you just have to live with but there may be techniques to prevent it from happening, particularly if the offensive linemen are made particularly aware of the problem in certain situations. Again, I’d say Long is the man to keep an eye on.