By Evan Moore
The Chicago Bears open the 2013 season against the Cincinnati Bengals, which will be the NFL head coaching debut of Marc Trestman. The Bengals have aspirations of making the playoffs for the third year in a row, as profiled on HBO's "Hard Knocks."
Bengals wide receiver Andrew Hawkins is quite familiar with Trestman. He spent two seasons with the Montreal Alouettes under Trestman, where he picked up the offensive philosophy of the Bears' head coach.
“If the checkdown is there, take it. A four-yard pass is as good as a five-yard run," Hawkins said. "That's his philosophy. The running back will be very involved. They'll pass a lot. It will be a lot of short passes and hopefully turn into bigger ones."
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis says even though the Bears have a new defensive coordinator in Mel Tucker, the defense will basically be the same as Lovie Smith's scheme in 2012 and earlier.
“Very similar. Mel has done a great job, and I don’t think he’s having to go in and overhaul the whole thing," Lewis said. "They’re going to stay in a lot of the same principles with a new person calling the defense and somewhat the design of it overall, but Mel wasn’t much different with that in Jacksonville, and it’s kind of a blend of things that we know very well.”
Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green is well aware of the Bears' knack for forcing turnovers. He says the Bengals can counter the Bears' aggressive defensive style by setting the tone on offense.
“From the past, the Bears have a great defense. They’ve always have. They’re physical," Green said. "They play sound so it’s going to be tough. It’s going to be tough. We have to play great offense and limit turnovers. They force a lot of turnovers, that’s one thing we have to worry about.”
Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton told Bengals.com that says he respects the Bears' Pro Bowl cornerbacks, Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings, especially the way the tandem approaches the game.
“They're really instinctive players. Reading drops, reading routes. They're really good players," Dalton said. "They do a lot of really good things.”
The Bears open the 2013 season against the Bengals this Sunday at noon.