Brad Biggs at the Chicago Sun-Times continues his positional analysis with the cornerbacks. He describes the Bears fundamental problem:
“The thing to keep in mind is Cover-2 based defenses don’t put a high premium on the position. That’s not to say cornerbacks are not valued. But it’s a zone-based scheme so the Bears aren’t out looking to invest in shutdown corners like Nnamdi Asomugha, who command huge salaries.”
The Bears find themselves at an important junction at cornerback. Biggs is absolutely right about the cover two and in the past its obvious that general manager Jerry Angelo has followed the philosophy described the article. Concentrate on the pass rush and pick up your zone cornerbacks after that.
But having said that, the Bears probably played more single coverage this year than they ever have before. They had to. Teams are getting too good at setting up mismatches and picking apart zones if you don’t occasionally mix up the defense. The Bears had success doing that this year but they occasionally came up short simply because they couldn’t cover, particularly when it came to keeping up with good slot receivers. Wes Welker in New England makes a living off of mismatches created in this fashion. That’s why the only way to beat them is to do what the Jets do – play ferocious man-t0-man defense and challenge every throw. Green Bay does the same thing with whoever they decide to line up in the slot on a play-by-play basis.
If the Bears are going to continue to play so much man-to-man coverage underneath, they are going to need more and better cover corners. Where they are going to find them while still filling their other holes is a real problem.