2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Chicago defense showing some wear, tear

    2012-12-07 03:54

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) - The Chicago Bears' defense is finding it difficult to close out games and showing signs of some real wear and tear.

Playing without injured linebacker Brian Urlacher and with several other lineup changes, the Bears will have to find a way to turn it around Sunday against a Minnesota Vikings offense that can run opponents into the ground behind Adrian Peterson. A win would also help erase the sting of the 23-17 overtime loss to Seattle at Soldier Field last weekend.

``That locker room, I know a lot of guys left that field pretty (ticked) off and you want another opportunity like that because games like that you shouldn't allow to slip away,'' linebacker Lance Briggs said. ``And we've done that more than once this year. We need to show up in the critical situations.''

The Bears defense has failed on three of the last four attempts when handed an opportunity to close out a game. Tim Tebow also beat them last year in overtime after rallying the Broncos on their final drive of regulation.

With five 30-something players, the conditioning and stamina of the defense has been closely watched. They allowed Seattle to convert eight of 15 third downs, a season's worst 53 percent.

``Third downs are critical in this league, critical,'' Bears defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said. ``You've got to get off the field, because our offense does a nice job of controlling the clock. That's something we've been pretty good at through most of the year but that's something we have got to be on top of.''

The Bears have also allowed seven scores in the closing 3 1/2 minutes of the first half.

Staying fresh against Peterson, the NFL's rushing leader, and a Vikings offense that is likely to stress ball control with top wide receiver Percy Harvin now on injured reserve (ankle), isn't likely to be easy. Doing it without Urlacher, and with different players manning four positions on defense will be even more difficult.

Without Urlacher for at least three weeks due to a pulled hamstring, the Bears are moving Nick Roach to the middle linebacker and replacing him on the strongside with free agent acquisition Geno Hayes.

The Bears did not consider moving Briggs from his weakside linebacker spot to the middle because they didn't want to weaken his position while also playing with an inexperienced middle linebacker.

``This is my 10th year and I've never played Mike (middle backer) in my 10 years,'' Briggs said. ``It would be easier for me to play Sam (strong), it would be easier for me to play nickel (back) than it would for me to play Mike. I could play it. All of us could play it because the positions are interchangeable. But I don't want to play it.''

Coach Lovie Smith supports Briggs' stance.

``Will we ever do that? No,'' he said. ``Lance won't be playing `Mike' linebacker unless we have everyone else go down and then we would maybe call on him then, but that's not a part of what we're looking at.''

Hayes was a weakside linebacker in Tampa who has been playing strongside in Chicago. The other changes will likely be Kelvin Hayden moving from nickel back to starting left cornerback for injured NFL interception leader Tim Jennings, who missed a second straight practice with a shoulder injury, and D.J. Moore replacing Hayden at nickel back.

The changes could make it tough for a defense that has been struggling against the run. No one rushed for more than 106 yards against the Bears in the first six games. No one has rushed for less than 114 against them in the last six and Peterson is coming off a 210-yard performance against Green Bay, his sixth straight 100-yard game.

``I'm pretty sure that the main thing that makes their offense tick is Adrian Peterson, so our main goal is to stop him and to force them to try to go to their second option,'' Hayden said.

NOTES: Wide receiver Earl Bennett has been ruled out for Sunday's game due to a concussion. ... Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (knee) and wide receiver Devin Hester (concussion) practiced on a limited basis for the second straight day. ... Running back Michael Bush missed a second straight practice due to a rib injury, but Smith said he expects Bush will be ready to play Sunday.

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Johnny ManzielAug 21 08:22a

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel will not have a package of plays created for him to run off the bench, according to head coach Mike Pettine. Manziel has been [ More ]

Geno SmithAug 21 02:23a

New York Jets QB Geno Smith will start Week 1 versus the Oakland Raiders, barring an injury. The coaching staff has yet to officially name Smith the starter.

Geno AtkinsAug 21 12:53a

Cincinnati Bengals DE Geno Atkins (knee) will be ready for the regular season opener against the Baltimore Ravens Sept. 7, head coach Marvin Lewis said Wednesday, Aug. 20. In [ More ]

Walt AikensAug 21 12:53a

Miami Dolphins CB Walt Aikens (hand) is sidelined indefinitely due to a left hand injury suffered a practice earlier this week. No timetable has been established for his return.

Tyler WilsonAug 21 12:53a

Cincinnati Bengals CB Darqueze Dennard (hip), DT David King (undisclosed), CB Lavelle Westbrooks (undisclosed) and QB Tyler Wilson (head) were unable to practice Wednesday, Aug. 20.

Andre SmithAug 21 12:53a

Cincinnati Bengals OT Andre Smith (concussion) said Wednesday, Aug. 20, that he expects to get cleared to play in the preseason game Sunday, Aug. 24, against the Arizona Cardinals. [ More ]

Jalil BrownAug 21 12:53a

Miami Dolphins CB Jalil Brown, CB Don Jones, FS Jordan Kovacs and FS Michael Thomas appear to be fighting for two roster spots. Thomas has reportedly had a good [ More ]

Knowshon MorenoAug 21 12:53a

Miami Dolphins RB Knowshon Moreno (knee) said Wednesday, Aug. 20, that he feels good. The team wants to see him practice Thursday, Aug. 21, before deciding if he will [ More ]

Andre JohnsonAug 20 10:43p

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson has showed no signs of rust from his time away from the team this offseason. Johnson had an impressive practice during joint workouts with [ More ]

Trent RichardsonAug 20 10:33p

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson is off to a slow start in training camp and the preseason, posting just 34 yards in 14 attempts. At 2.4 yards per carry, [ More ]

Emmanuel SandersAug 20 10:33p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (quadriceps) was involved in practice Wednesday, Aug. 20, but he is not working in 'live' setting yet. Head coach John Fox would not rule [ More ]

Montee BallAug 20 10:33p

Denver Broncos RB Montee Ball (appendix) continues to do more work in practice each day, but most of his work continues to be outside of the team structure. However, [ More ]

LeGarrette BlountAug 20 07:53p

Pittsburgh Steelers RB LeGarrette Blount and RB Le'Veon Bell were charged by Ross Township Police Wednesday, Aug. 20, with marijuana possession.

Le'Veon BellAug 20 07:43p

Pittsburgh Pirates RB Le'Veon Bell and RB LeGarrette Blount were charged by Ross Township Police Wednesday, Aug. 20, with marijuana possession. Bell was also charged with driving under the [ More ]

Ryan McBeanAug 20 05:53p

The Arizona Cardinals signed DT Ryan McBean (Ravens) Wednesday, Aug. 20. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Colt LyerlaAug 20 05:43p

The Green Bay Packers placed TE Colt Lyerla (knee) on the Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, Aug. 20.

Pat DevlinAug 20 05:33p

Free-agent WR Kevin Elliott (Bills), LS Chad Rempel (Bears), QB Pat Devlin (Dolphins) and DT Jibreel Black (Buccaneers) all cleared waivers Wednesday, Aug. 20.

Vontaze BurfictAug 20 05:33p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict agreed to a multi-year contract extension Wednesday, Aug. 20. Terms of the new deal were not disclosed.

Isaac SopoagaAug 20 05:13p

The Arizona Cardinals signed DT Isaac Sopoaga (Patriots) Wednesday, Aug. 20, per a league source. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Jordan NorwoodAug 20 04:53p

Denver Broncos WR Jordan Norwood (knee) suffered a torn acute cruciate ligament in practice Wednesday, Aug. 20.

Isaiah PeadAug 20 04:33p

The St. Louis Rams waived RB Isaiah Pead (knee) with a waived/injured designation Wednesday, Aug. 20. Pead will revert back to the roster if he clears waivers.

Phillip TannerAug 20 03:43p

The Indianapolis Colts waived RB Phillip Tanner Wednesday, Aug. 20.

Dexter McDougleAug 20 03:43p

The New York Jets placed CB Dexter McDougle (knee) on the Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, Aug. 20.

David FluellenAug 20 03:23p

The Indianapolis Colts acquired RB David Fluellen (Eagles) in exchange for PK Cody Parkey Wednesday, Aug. 20.

Desmond BryantAug 20 02:53p

Cleveland Browns DE Desmond Bryant (wrist) recently underwent wrist surgery. Head coach Mike Pettine said he is not sure if Bryant will be available to play Week 1.

S. SylvesterAug 20 02:43p

The Buffalo Bills have placed LB Stevenson Sylvester (undisclosed) on the Reserve/Injured list.

Michael CrabtreeAug 20 02:33p

San Francisco 49ers WR Michael Crabtree said he did not feel like himself when he returned from offseason Achilles' tendon surgery last season. 'I was fast enough to be [ More ]

Fendi OnobunAug 20 02:23p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have waived/injured TE Fendi Onobun (knee).

Eric KettaniAug 20 02:23p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have signed free-agent FB Eric Kettani (Chiefs). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Sebastian VollmerAug 20 01:13p

New England Patriots OT Sebastian Vollmer (undisclosed) was not on the field during practice Wednesday, Aug. 20. Vollmer has missed the last three practices because of an undisclosed reason.

Peyton HillisAug 20 01:03p

New York Giants CB Prince Amukamara (groin), WR Trindon Holliday (hamstring), RB Peyton Hillis (ankle, foot), OT Charles Brown (shoulder) and OT James Brewer (back) are not participating in practice Wednesday, Aug. 20.

Cody WallaceAug 20 12:53p

Pittsburgh Steelers CB Shaquille Richardson (knee), LB Jordan Zumwalt (hamstring), TE Eric Waters (concussion), C Cody Wallace (finger) and LS Greg Warren (knee) will not play in the third preseason game.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group