Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011
By John Mullin
So the Soldier Field turf is a problem? Not if you know your way around on it.
Opposing NBA players at one time thought that a true advantage for the great Boston Celtics teams were the dead spots in the parquet floor of Boston Gardens. An innocently dribbled basketball might go down but if it hit one of those dead spots, it wasnt coming back up. The Celtics knew how to pick their spots, literally.
And not all spots in Soldier Field are slip-inducing. You just have to know where the different spots are.
Some Bears know where to step and where not to.
Kind of, Devin Hester said, with a sly smile and a laugh. Yeah, kind of.
Would he mind sharing those now?
Uh, not sharing those, he said.
Green Bay sacked Jay Cutler six times in the second game between the teams this season. The Packers sacked him three times in the first.
You have to understand that with some of the guys they have, depending on what you do, theyre going to go all out, and with hot protections there are going to be some sacks involved occasionally, said coordinator Mike Martz. You just have to limit those sacks and not get too concerned about it.
But at the time of the year when quarterbacks are all, sacks are a concern, more with Martz than many in his job. Running the offense of Ron Turner last season, Cutler went down five times in the two games last year.
Sacks definitely should be expected in a Martz offense. Veteran Jon Kitna was never sacked more than 37 times in a season prior to Martz taking over as the Detroit offensive coordinator. Kitna then was sacked 63 and 51 times in his two seasons with Martz, more than in any three combined seasons in his NFL career.
The problem is not necessarily poor blocking but rather in the variety of pass plays Martz uses and the accompanying myriad adjustments those require from the offense, particularly the line.
We throw a lot of hots reads a lot of sights adjustments, said offensive line coach Mike Tice, not necessarily pleased with all that comes with the scheme. We still have some deep routes. We throw some empties where its our five blockers against the world.
Sometimes were all on the same page where that stuff is coming from and sometimes were not. So theres going to be some sacks but as you get better, you expect those numbers to go down. And theyd better.
Criticizing the critics
His defenses have been among the NFLs best and at other times among the not-so-best but through it all and in the face of sometimes-shrill criticism, Lovie Smith has not wavered in his belief in his Cover-2 defensive scheme.
One reason not to care about critics attacks is the conclusion that they dont know what theyre talking about. That is especially the case when the attacks were based on the opinion the game had passed Smiths schemes by.
Well I look at criticism a little bit by who is giving it, Smith said. For people to criticize Cover 2, which has been around since George Halas and Vince Lombardi, and long before that. Cover 2 is a defense everyone uses. It will be around long after were gone.
Interestingly perhaps, no one seems to make those kinds of assaults on the West Coast offense or even the Mike Martz offense when it has not succeeded. We believe in what we do defensively, Smith declared.
Safety Chris Harris, who suffered a hip pointer in the Seattle game, was held out of practice Wednesday. Receiver Earl Bennett and cornerback Zackary Bowman did not practice for reasons not related to injuries.
Multiple Packers were limited in work Wednesday: offensive linemen Chad Clifton (knees) and Jason Spitz (, defensive ends Cullen Jenkins (calf) and Ryan Pickett (ankle), linebacker Clay Matthews (shin), cornerback Pat Lee (hip), running back John Kuhn (shoulder). Linebacker Frank Zombo (knee) did not practice.
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