Lance Briggs, who did not speak with members of the media after the Bears 33-28 season-ending loss to the Green Bay Packers, joined Sports Talk Live on Tuesday to discuss the game and the upcoming off season. Briggs, who was sidelined for several weeks with a shoulder injury was on the field for the Packers game winning touchdown and confirmed that the team was in a zone-blitz scheme called a "Fire-Zone Blitz" that is designed to put maximum pressure on the opposing quarterback.
"We were in a fire zone type of blitz, and the way the blitz works you either have to sack the QB or the ball has to come out fast. If the QB buys more time or gets outside the pocket we are in trouble, and that’s the way it works, that’s the way that defense works," Briggs said.
When pressed about the defensive call and the subsequent breakdown that led to the game winning TD Briggs added this: "Like I said, in order for that specific type of defense to be effective, we have one more rusher than they can block, so we out number them, and in order for it to work the ball has to come out immediately or it has to be a sack."
On the game changing touchdown after an Aaron Rodgers fumble in the second quarter, Briggs confirmed that the Bears do indeed practice picking up loose footballs no matter the situation throughout each and every practice.
"The play where the ball came out of Rodgers and Green Bay picked it up and ran it in, I saw Hunter Hillenmeyer tweet, ‘that would have never happen with Lovie Smith,’” Briggs went on to say.
And while Trestman mentioned they practiced the same play, the way the play transpired on the field showed a different story.
“I couldn’t see the motion. I didn’t see the QB, all I saw was the ball in the air, and it hit the ground, so I assumed it was an incomplete pass,” Briggs revealed. “I literally couldn’t see what had gone on with the QB getting hit; I just thought it was a bad pass from my angle. It’s true [in response to Trestman saying they practice the play], it’s our own fault. Play until the whistle is blown."
Looking back at the season, Briggs battled hard to comeback after a tough injury had him sidelined for two months -- two weeks over the anticipated six-week timeline. And even with the vast improvements made on the offensive side of the ball, Briggs made it clear there must be improvement on defense in 2014.
“I mean, the thing about having a big-time offense is that it ain’t gonna matter if you don’t have a defense,” Briggs went on to say. “If someone can’t stop an opponent from getting in the end zone or special teams, we might have a much better offense but we have taken a hit on defense and we’ve taken a hit on special teams.”
While there may be many ideas on how the Bears front office can improve the defensive unit this offseason, Briggs believes there is a simple solution going forward no matter the personnel.
“We got to find who we are,” Briggs said. “We have to recreate our identity, that’s what it is. It’s an attitude, it’s the character of our defense.”