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:
(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.