The word of the week is discipline. From Lovie Smith to Rod Marinelli and Mike Tice to Mike Martz and Dave Toub, those words need to be seared into the players’ brains this week. If the Bears are disciplined this week, they will beat the Denver Broncos; t’s as simple as that.
Discipline on Defense
For Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs and the rest of the defenders, this game poses a unique challenge. Most of them haven’t faced an option offense like the one Tim Tebow and the Broncos run since college. Lovie Smith’s defense is a gap control defense that requires DISCIPLINE. When they allow big plays, you’ll hear players talk about how they didn’t stay in their gaps. That will be critical on Sunday.
It looks like Major Wright may miss the game, and that’s not the worst news in the world. Do you remember some of the bad angles he took in the red zone earlier this season on running plays, allowing touchdown runs. It will be a big game for the linebackers. Look for Urlacher and Briggs to register double digit tackles each. They don’t like losing and I get the sense that neither of them is a big Tim Tebow fan.
Nothing against [Tim] Tebow, but Cam Newton is a better athlete, he’s faster,” Bears perennial Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs said on Thursday.
“Carolina, they do some of the same things, but Cam Newton is a little faster. Teams do it [a spread offense], they just don’t live and die by it like Denver.”
“He’s not Michael Vick,” Urlacher explained. “We’re an athletic defense, we got a pretty good front seven or eight and we run to the football. Hopefully we get some takeaways, which we haven’t done the past couple of weeks. Just run to the football and do what we do.
“We have rules for every offense we play that stay true for all season long. Carolina ran a similar offense, every once and awhile they run some option so it’s not a [big] adjustment for us.”
Discipline on Offense
On the other side of the ball, the offense needs to be disciplined in every facet of the game. For as much hype as Tim Tebow gets, the real reason for the Broncos resurgence is their defense.
Caleb Hanie needs to be more disciplined, more cautious with the football. 6 interceptions in 2 games will not win in this league.
The offensive line needs to be more disciplined in their protections and techniques. There’s far less room for error, especially against Von Miller, Elvis Dumervil and a solid Broncos defense.
The wide receivers need to run disciplined routes and catch the damn ball. (Yes, I’m talking to you Roy Williams!)
Running backs Marion Barber and Kahlil Bell need to be disciplined, especially in their pass protection. Bell is especially questionable in pass protection; he needs to be better as the change of pace back and help keep Hanie off his back.
Discipline on Special Teams
Special Teams hasn’t been their usual outstanding selves either. Coverage teams have been solid, but the return teams have left a lot to be desired. Too many penalties, too many bad decisions by Hester, too many missed opportunities. Even the always reliable Robbie Gould has missed a couple of kicks.
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