West Coast vs. Cover-2; Classics work fine

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West Coast vs. Cover-2; Classics work fine

Friday, Nov. 26, 2010
11:40 a.m.
By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com

There is something quietly classic about the drama-within-a-drama that will play out Sunday afternoon. And somehow Andy Reid and Lovie Smith have to be chuckling at the irony.

Both are old news, NFL style. The game has passed them by. Think of Bears-Eagles as an Old-Timers Game, coaching-wise.

Or maybe not so old.

The No. 2 scoring offense of Reids Philadelphia Eagles, at 28.4 points per game, will be matched against Smiths defensive unit that currently is tied for allowing the fewest points per game (14.6). The Reid Eagles are No. 2 in offensive yardage per game. The Smith Bears are third-stingiest, giving up 290.4 yards per game.

Yep, both of the respective schemes are pass. Out-moded. Passed over by the march of NFL time.

Oops.

Remember the West Coast offense?

The Cover-2?

Well, theyre both still here. And theyre apparently not bad, either.
Covering the 2

Smith allows himself a slight smile at the idea here that this game is a fun matchup of yesterdays schemes. Hes more than entitled to that. Any number of local commentators ripped him and his scheme as being no longer workable for any number of reasons.

But a lot of those people were uninformed about what was really going on, Smith said. It ultimately is all about execution. The Eagles run a system that they believe in wholeheartedly, with good reason. And we have a defensive system that we believe in.

What is and was not always grasped was that the Bears run their Cover-2 with its deep-safety look maybe one-third of the time. But thats not even the real point of why outdated schemes like this or the West Coast offense work.

For one thing, if there is consistent, heavy pressure from the line, pretty much any defensive scheme will work to some degree. Anybody really think that the 46 was the only defensive scheme that wouldve worked with Richard Dent, Dan Hampton and William PerrySteve McMichael?

A prime directive of any scheme is to force the opponent first to even recognize what the exact look is, then to react to it. And very, very quickly, as well as without making physical or mental errors in those split seconds. You can disguise what youre doing and the offense has to react to what youre actually in after the snap, Smith says.

The Cover-2 has been around and stood the test of time, just like the West Coast, Smith says with a clear degree of comfort. Its not going anywhere.
West Coast-ing

Reid has been running his offense in Philadelphia since becoming a first-time head coach there in 1999. Before Philadelphia, he was around Brett Favre, Mike Holmgren and the Green Bay Packers as they ran that scheme in trashing the Bears defenses of Dave Wannstedt and Dick Jauron.

Reid worked under Holmgren and coordinator Sherman Lewis during time there and they both allowed me to more than they probably should but I mustve done ok at it and I learned, Reid said. I had two great teachers who had trust in me.

So here is this old West Coast thing, which is really a Lavell EdwardsBrigham Young (the school, not the Mormon) thing, which is where Reids roots trace to.

I went to BYU and Ive been blessed with great players around me, in particular Donovan McNabb, Reid acknowledges. As to whether its a case of philosophy or scheme, Its probably a little bit of both.

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.

Bears fans will be profiled on new ESPN series

Bears fans will be profiled on new ESPN series

Bears superfans are getting some more national attention.

Decades after Bill Swerski's Super Fans entertained the nation on Saturday Night Live, ESPN is running an eight-part docu-series called "We The Fans" chroniciling the lives of Bears fans.

The series premieres Tuesday, April 11 at 9 p.m. CT on ESPN and captures the reactions and emotions of season ticket holders sitting in Section 250 as the Bears went 3-13 in 2016.

Mike Ditka and Steve McMichael will make cameos in the first episode.

Of course, when ESPN started chronicling the series, they didn't know the Bears would wind up 3-13, the third-worst record in the NFL. It was the team's third straight losing season and arguably one of the most difficult seasons in franchise history.

You'd have to go back to 1969 - when the Bears went 1-13 - to find a season with a worse losing percentage.

So there should be plenty of raw emotion and frustration from the fans in Section 208.

The series will air with back-to-back episodes each Tuesday night running from April 11 through May 2. The episodes and content will be available on the Watch ESPN app, ESPN.com and ESPN Radio.

2017 NFL Draft Profile: Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer

2017 NFL Draft Profile: Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer

As part of our coverage leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft we will provide profiles of more than 100 prospects, including a scouting report and video interviews with each player.

DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame

6'4" | 233 lbs.

2016 stats:

2,925 YDS, 58.7 CMP%, 26 TD, 9 INT, 145.6 QBR | 129 CAR, 472 YDS, 4 TD

Projection:

First round

Scouting Report:

"The comparison to Steve McNair could raise eyebrows, but that is based primarily on size, mobility and arm strength. The aforementioned traits often land a quarterback in the first round, but Kizer's second-half drop in production combined with inconsistent decision-making and accuracy should be a speed bump for teams ready to jump in head-first on the traits. Kizer has the ability to become a quality starter, but has to improve his ball placement and field vision first." — Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

Video analysis provided by Rotoworld and NBC Sports NFL Draft expert Josh Norris.

Click here for more NFL Draft Profiles