Bears

Can Bears' success against Brees continue?

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Can Bears' success against Brees continue?

Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011
Posted: 8:41 a.m.

By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com Bears Insider Follow @CSNMoonMullin
Longtime MLB pitcher Jerry Koosman once scoffed, tongue-in-cheek, at the Hall of Fame success enjoyed by former teammate Tom Seaver.

Seaver was just lucky, Koosman deadpanned. He always got to pitch on the day when the other team wasnt hitting.

So too would seem to be the case with the out-of-fashion CoverTampa-2 defense of Lovie Smith and Rod Marinelli.

Its not a very good defense; its just lucky. It always seems to catch quarterbacks when theyre not playing well.

One of the patterns that CSNChicago.com has highlighted as recently as last week with the Bears defense is that opposing QBs consistently play below their standards against the SmithMarinelli scheme. In the Bears 18 games last season, all but Tom Brady, Matt Hasselbeck (twice), Mark Sanchez and Drew Stanton posted passer ratings below, sometimes hugely below, their seasons rating.

Why its worth repeating here is because Drew Brees falls decidedly into that pattern.

Weve faced the Bears three times over the last five years since weve been here, Brees said Wednesday. Obviously that hasnt ended too well for us.

Maybe hes using the collective we and us out of denial. Brees in fact would unquestionably like to forget about all three.

Consider the plight of Brees in games against the Bears, beginning with the NFC Championship game in 06: He is always worse against the Lovie Smith Cover-2 scheme than he is against the rest of the NFL:

YearGame Completion
SeasonRating, game
Rating, season
200655.164.383.296.2200758.367.575.789.4200855.865.067.296.2
(Compiled by CSNChicago.com)

In fairness to Brees, all three were in Soldier Field. This one is in the Superdome.

But Brees unfortunately will be without No. 1 receiver Marques Colston after his broken collarbone suffered in the Green Bay game.

The Bears defense requires patience, and too many quarterbacks dont have it. They want to go down the field against a defense that would like them to try exactly that.

Brees has seen several iterations of the Smith scheme but this one has the potential to bring more pressure to bear on him if he wants to think deep.

Theyve got some of the same personnel but Id say the thing I notice a little bit more are their pressure packages, Brees said. Theyve gotten a little more creative with that and its been to their benefit.

Their bread and butter is still the old Tampa-2 style of defense but they run it so well.

John "Moon" Mullin is CSNChicago.com's Bears Insider and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.

Under Center Podcast: State of the Bears: Defense

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USA TODAY

Under Center Podcast: State of the Bears: Defense

JJ Stankevitz, Cam Ellis and Paul Aspan are back with their training camp preview of the Bears' defense, looking at if it's fair to expect this group to take a step back without Vic Fangio (2:00) or if it's possible to repeat as the league's No. 1 defense (10:00). Plus, the guys look at which players the Bears need to improve to remain one of the NFL's best defenses (15:15), debate if Leonard Floyd can be better (20:00) and look at the future of the defense as a salary cap crunch looms after 2019 (25:00). 

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below: 

NFL.com apparently thinks that Matt Nagy is a very average head coach

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USA Today

NFL.com apparently thinks that Matt Nagy is a very average head coach

NFL.com recently ranked all of the league's head coaches, because the football season may end but creating content never will. 

The top tier consists of all the usual suspects ... except for the guy that literally won the league's award for best coach last season

Matt Nagy came in at 14 on this list, and not even the highest-ranked NFC North coach. The reasoning is a tad suspect; here's what they had to say

Matt Nagy more than delivered in his first year as the Bears' head coach, taking Chicago to the postseason for the first time since the 2010 season. What's interesting about Nagy is that his side of the ball is offense, and prior to getting hired by the Bears, he was known for his work with quarterbacks in Kansas City. Yet, it was Vic Fangio's defense that did most of the heavy lifting to get Chicago to the playoffs. A head coach does much more than run one side of the ball, though. In fact, some of them don't do that at all. They run the office, in some respects. Nagy clearly set a tone in the building, so to speak, which should not be taken lightly. Nor should Nagy's work with Mitch Trubisky, who showed improvement from Year 1 to Year 2. Why is Reich ahead of Rivera but not Nagy? Well, Nagy has yet to achieve postseason success and had stronger personnel than Reich did in 2018.

Is this fair? Probably not! But is this important? Definitely not! Still - give your incumbent COY some more love, NFL. Club Dub! Yelling boom! The visors!