clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Former Assistants Speak Out

A few former assistants with the Bears organization have a bit more experience with facing Peyton Manning and his potent offense.  The key is simple, change.  The more you change your look the less likely they get on a roll.

"I don't think you're going to show Peyton anything he hasn't seen, but the chess match begins when you have Brian Urlacher showing him something like a blitz and then maybe getting into it late," Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said.

Fewell, the Bears' defensive backs coach in 2005 whose game plan for the Bills limited the Colts to 17 points in a 17-16 loss Nov. 12, thinks the Bears have the personnel to confuse the Colts--if not always Manning.

A disciple of Smith's Cover-2, Fewell's Bills used many of the same looks and disguises the Bears likely will use to hold Manning to 236 yards passing. He estimated they employed the nickel defense 65 percent of the time and blitzed no more than 10 out of 68 snaps.

That is easier said then done as not too many prepare to the level Manning does, but  Manning shouldn't be your target.

"Peyton has seen it all, but if the other guys on the line or in the backfield don't recognize it as well as Peyton has, you're in business," Fewell said. "The Bears can get pressure without having to blitz much, and their DBs match up pretty well against the Colts' receivers because of how physical they are. At some point, they will have to test the Colts' patience and see if you can force them to run the football."

Former Bears assistant Dave McGinnis echoes the call for change in looks.

Titans linebackers coach Dave McGinnis, a Bears assistant from 1986-95, agrees that varying the defensive looks in the Cover-2 will prevent the Colts from developing a rhythm. McGinnis pointed out that the Titans, because they face the Colts twice a season in the AFC South, have learned "you can't be static against Manning," because his familiarity will breed contempt for the opposing defense.

Obviously, the easiest way to slow down the Colts offense is to keep them off the field.  If the Bears can establish the run game early, it would go a huge way into winning this game.