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.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Is Teddy Bridgewater too expensive for the Bears?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Is Teddy Bridgewater too expensive for the Bears?

Laurence Holmes, JJ Stankevitz and Mark Grote join Kap on the panel.

0:00 - The pressure continues to mount on Rob Manfred as the Astros scandal lingers. He apologized on Tuesday but should that be enough for him to keep his job?

17:00 - Drew Brees is heading back to New Orleans, so Teddy Bridgewater will be looking for a new home. The guys discuss if he'll be too expensive for the Bears. if he is, who could come to Chicago to join Mitch in the QB room at Halas Hall?

Listen here or in the embedded player below.

Sports Talk Live Podcast

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TE Greg Olsen signed with Seattle Seahawks, previously hoped Bears would contact him

TE Greg Olsen signed with Seattle Seahawks, previously hoped Bears would contact him

Former Bears first-round pick TE Greg Olsen officially signed a one-year, $7 million contract with the Seattle Seahawks. Olsen previously played with the Bears and Panthers over a 13-year NFL career.

After mutually parting ways with the Panthers, the 34-year-old hoped the Bears, the team that drafted him in 2007, would reach out about signing him once he hit free agency. He told ESPN’s Waddle and Silvy that he wanted to come home to Chicago but wasn't contacated by Bears' management.

RELATED: Now that he's retired, what's next for Kyle Long?

One of the Bears biggest needs this offseason is an upgrade at TE and Olsen’s pass-catching experience along with his working knowledge of the Bears' organization makes him a seemingly ideal fit for the team. Ryan Pace disagreed and the chance for a reunion is gone for good. While his age is showing (he appeared in only 16 games in 2017 and 2018 combined), Olsen is still a stronger receiver than anyone currently on the Bears depth chart.

Interestingly enough, one of Olsen's best moments as a Bear came during Chicago's playoff win against the Seahawks in January 2011 when he scored a touchdown after catching a 58-yard pass from Jay Cutler in the first quarter.  

We will see if Pace regrets not giving Olsen a call. It would be the breakup movie of the season. Too bad the Bears would be playing the part of the groveling ex-boyfriend. Until then, Bears’ fans can imagine a scenario where Pace or head coach Matt Nagy chases after Olsen in the rain (which makes perfect sense, seeing as he’ll be in Seattle), holding a boom box over his head, begging him to return to Soldier Field. That’s the sports rom-com we all deserve in 2020. 

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