Bears Season Preview Part I: Shea & Corey Keys to Defensive Greatness

Bears Season Preview Part I: Shea & Corey Keys to Defensive Greatness

This is Part I of a three-part series previewing the upcoming Chicago Bears series.

The New York Giants constantly change the way things are done in the NFL. Lawrence Taylor did not only alter the type of athletes general managers sought on the defensive side of the ball but also - as you can read in the book-far-better-than-the-film The Blindside - created the need for opposing offenses to draft and pay athletic, bid bodies to block them.

(Side note: The Blindside movie isn't a bad movie. But it never lives up to it's wonderful opening.)

When Tom Brady and company were winning every game they played in 2007 and scoring a zillion points a week, the world awaited their coronation on Super Bowl Sunday as quite possibly the greatest football team to ever play. (We know around these parts who currently holds that distinction.) Then something unexpected happened. The Giants changed changed the way things are done again by launching an assault from a pass-rushing well that seemed ever-ending. They did the same to Brady in 2011.

Since 2007 pass rushers have become the hottest commodity in American sports and former Bears GM Jerry Angelo embraced this concept by purchasing Julius Peppers for the more than $90 million, $50 million of which Peppers is sure to receive. The approach of Angelo and Lovie was simple: buy an elite edge rusher and develop young talent opposite him.

That young talent is Corey Wootton and Shea McClellin and they - as a duo - are essential to the success of the 2013 Chicago Bears. The Bears have a terrific secondary and the greatest fumble causer in the history of the league in Peanut Tillman but the modern NFL does not allow for secondaries to dominate a football game. Every rule change made in the last decade has been made to benefit the wide receiver. If the Bears showcase an anemic pass rush and give opposing quarterbacks time, receivers WILL get open. Plays WILL be made. Points WILL be scored.

Writers, even myself, are prone to establish quantitative rationale to success at the defensive end position. So and so needs this many sacks to have a successful year. This team needs this many sacks from this guy to blah blah blah. It just isn't the way football works. If Shea McClellin sacks Andy Dalton five times on opening Sunday and finishes the year with 10.5 sacks, was that a successful campaign? (I'll hang up and listen to your answer.)

The Bears need consistent, down-for-down pressure. They need to hurry opposing quarterbacks. They need to hit opposing quarterbacks. If they make life uncomfortable for Dalton, Stafford, Rodgers, Roethlisberger footballs will end up in compromising positions and no defense in the league takes more advantage of compromised footballs than this current crop of Chicago Bears. Peppers will draw enough attention from offensive coordinators to provide McClellin and Wootton with opportunities. If they take advantage the Bears will among the elite defenses in the NFL.


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  • this just in: Geno Atkins scares the shit out of me.

  • In reply to FQD1911:

    The ball will be out of Cutlers hands before Geno can do shit. He will have 0 sacks.

  • In reply to FQD1911:

    Damn you FQ!

    Sneak attack!

  • In reply to FQD1911:

    shh. Garza's got that shit. Just ask Irish.

  • Can't sack Jay when we false start every play - genius!

  • We'll see, boys, we'll see.

  • First things first... it's all about the O

  • Monster Mel called a couple blitzes in PS. Anderson came in, and against the Raidahs, Peanut caught them out and slammed the QB.

    So expect that we will not be playing standard C2 high/low and C3. This group can give options, Dinner can drop out into the flat if Briggs comes and I expect gameday announcers to STOP SAYING the shit that pissed me off last year:

    "The Bears don't trick you, they just line up in base 4-3 and see if you can beat them. That's Lovie's Tampa 2 for you."


    That D could not contain the elite offenses. It was easily schemed for years by the Pack and last year the Niners tore it apart. If you want to win on Sunday, you bring stunts, blitzes, odd packages and scout the other guy's weaknesses. Otherwise you get lit up.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Loved that play.

    I hope Mel keeps it up throughout the reg. season. If we start playing prevent D when up by a FG or some other minor score like we did under Lovie and hot Rod I will not be pleased.


  • happy workers day btw y'alls.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Oh, we're supposed to not be working today?

  • In reply to MikeBrownhadaPosse:

    oh, ok... tough guy

  • Last call for Pick 'Em!

    So far there's only 7 of us. Cmon folks it only takes 5mins of your week to fill in your choices!

    For all the newcomers, you simply pick against the spread each week and rate each game with confidence points. E.g. If you pick the Bears -4 against the Bengals week 1 with 16 confidence and the Bears win (naturally), you get a nice cool 16 points.

    Not so much bragging rights from this as from FF (curse you Butch!), but it's interesting to see how much money you would lose if you were silly enough to follow your terrible picks.

    link to site:

    click on join a group. It's on Yahoo but you can sign in with google or facebook if you are 12.

    Group ID = 38240
    password = number6

    Those who have signed up, make sure you don't forget about the thursday night game!

  • Alright y'all. I've got five teams in my fantasy league once the two recents join (that means you Irish). It was originally set to 12, but I shrunk it 8. The draft will be tomorrow night.

    If I can't get three more teams, the league folds quicker than the UFL. Takers?

  • In reply to NewBearInTown:

    If you want in, email me at and I'll send you an invite.

  • In reply to NewBearInTown:

    I may have to pull out my man, I never considered draft time before, but 10pm ET is 3am over here and I'm up for work at around 6am.

  • In reply to DYLbear23:

    That's not a big deal, we can always move the draft. But if I don't get three more players, the league will not happen and I will take a year off from fantasy I'm afraid.

  • In reply to NewBearInTown:

    I don't see any invite in my inbox, mang.

  • Why is Shady's league drafting as the broncos/ravens play?

  • In reply to DYLbear23:

    I think Shady wanted the draft on kickoff so no one would miss it and fill teams with auto-picks.

    unfortunately, auction drafts take longer, and I think if it's held at the same time as the game, Both Raven and Broncos players get locked.

    That might mean no Peyton Manning, Ray Rice, Demaryius Thomas, Welker, the Ds etc for the first week.

    Not sure though.

    Or, Shady be cray-cray.

  • That's exactly what I'm thinking.

    It could essentially be forcing someone to take defeat in their week 1 matchup.

    A different day would be better I think. Then NBIT can play as well.

  • In reply to DYLbear23:

    I set up my draft as an alternative to Shady's. But I've only got six invites out with 2 days to go. We'll see if it happens.


  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Kyle is going kick his ass.

  • bang bang

  • fb_avatar

    This team does not look like an above 500 team. I am an old fart, I saw the 63 team play live. I love the whole bears style of play, I am a fan to the core, but, there are too many new and rookie players for the Bears to be consistent. I hope coach Trestman is successful, I do believe you have to have a defense and offense to win in this league. When i look at the Bears line-up, if just a few of the older players get hurt, we are paper thin to back them up. If our starters played every down, and never got hurt, I believe we would be competitive with the best. The offesive line scares me at this point, the defensive is weak after Peppers and Melton, If Peanut or Jennings go down our second string is average at best, our linebackers are new or young and old #55 can't do it all by himself. I see the bears as a mediocre team, somehow it will all be blamed on Cutler and he will be gone. I hope I'm wrong.

  • In reply to George Hotchkiss:

    Lighten up George. You sound like Peter King.

  • In reply to George Hotchkiss:

    George, the best part about other teams is that they have to play their backups as well if their starters get hurt and I'm willing to bet that on our offense that if we're playing teams that are at less than full strength that those other teams are in some serious trouble.

    Our guys are young but there is a high level of talent at alot of positions. Just smile and watch this train start rolling.

  • In reply to George Hotchkiss:

    Jeff writes this a lot and its very true:

    There is no such thing in the modern NFL as a team with quality at every backup position.

    You've got 53 guys... subtract 3 specialists (four in our case) and you're down to basically 50. People say there are 22 starters, but that's not really true anymore. We run a 3 man rotation at DE and DT. We need extra receivers for the 3 and 4 wide sets. We need extra TEs for the two tight end sets. We need a nickel corner (who plays just as often as the Sam these days).

    Do you see where I'm going with this? There are more than 25 "starters" on the team already. That means if enough injuries happen, you either have to cut somebody or else play somebody out of position. And then you factor in need to develop players while maintaining veteran backups, and you're really in a pinch. That's why every year you see teams with WRs playing corner, DEs playing end, OTs playing guard, good players getting cut to find a third or fourth quarterback off the street.

    Then there's the salary cap. Look at what Green Bay is dealing with at the backup QB position. Its brutal. Last year we paid 3 million for a backup QB and it squeezed the salary cap for us. Aaron Rodgers' cap number is almost double Jay Cutler's. Teams like the Raiders are $50 million in the hole on players not even on the roster anymore.

    There is no team in the NFL that can win a superbowl on the strength of its backups. The year the Packers won, they crept in a six seed thanks to some solid backup play, but then they won because they had all their starters back for the playoffs.

    You can't do it any other way. No team can. If your biggest concern is injuries, that means Emery is doing a good job.

  • In reply to NewBearInTown:

    wicked smahht.

  • In reply to NewBearInTown:

    Nice reply. And a team can only dress 46 on game day.

  • In reply to Cormonster:

    Cor, what's your Gravatar? Is that you holding a big ass fish on a dock. I can't see shit on this phone.

  • In reply to Johnnywad:

    Funny you ask. It's a musky I caught 14 years, 355 days ago. Caught it bass fishing. Lucky I had a leader on, just in case.

    The musky conveniently measured exactly 48 inches and 30 pounds. Got it measured at a Musky tournament site.

    Caught it on 10 lb. test with an 1/8 ounce rooster tail and a flimsy pole with a net that was 1/2 the length of the fish.

    If you like to fish, you couldn't ask for a better experience. The other 3 on the boat would attest.

  • In reply to Cormonster:

    Damn man that's awesome. I caught my first 5lb.+ small mouth bass this summer. I'm really just kind of getting into it the last few years. Can't imagine a fish that big. You must have shit your pants.

  • In reply to Cormonster:

    They've got those and walleyes in Lake Geneva but the biggest thing I ever pulled out of there was a twelve inch perch. However,. it dwarfed all the Blue Gills I was used to catching there...

  • In reply to George Hotchkiss:

    Thanks for posting, George, and welcome to the blog. If you've been lurking for awhile you know some of the personalities out here. Hope springs eternal here, but you much understand that being a Bears fan for all these years.

    I'm actually kind of excited; my earliest recollections of the Bears are when they got these crazy two rookies and there was a lot of excitement. 1965. And for closing on 50 (yikes, I'm a old bitch now!) years, there has never, NOT ONCE, been a head coach for Chicago that has any kind of real pedigree on the offensive side. In the modern NFL, there really is no choice, and Da franchise has been behind the times for 30 years - or more.

    So drink some of the Kool-aid, my man. While there is still time :-)

  • In reply to SC Dave:

    much understand = *must* understand

  • In reply to George Hotchkiss:

    Almost forgot... welcome aboard :)

  • Machine Marshall, oiled up and ready to roll.

  • Mwahahahahaha!!!!!,0,7813760.story

    DJ is coming back. Hide your cat pee and lock up your daughters and quarterbacks.

  • Interesting

  • In reply to Johnnywad:

    Great read. Adam Hoge writes some good pieces.

  • In reply to Johnnywad:

    I've posted earlier here about the main thrust of that article - that Emery has a *plan* and he intends to execute it. It's so different than the Angelo regime - night and day.

    Perhaps I'm fully imbibed on the Kool-Aid, but I've not seen anything comparable since Jim Finks.

  • In reply to Johnnywad:

    Dante Rosario is a Bear? When the fuck did we get ice cream?

  • Does alex smith look like a very slightly retarded aaron rodgers... oooor is it the other way around?

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Twins who spent an extra month in the womb?

  • fb_avatar

    Bears must pressure Dalton, protect Cutler our new rookie might have a hard time covering middle; But on offense we are no longer predictable like Romo I will be watching our running game Bostic and Long! these days are torture only 5 more, best game of the week Bears vs Bengals why because it's the Bears.

  • In reply to Dabeast54:

    Damn right. Only game that matters.

    So what *will* those pundits say when Long beats Atkins like a drum all day?

  • Hey Jeff, is NY hiring?

  • fb_avatar

    Thanks for the welcome. I hate predicting, I don't try to predict, I just share my feelings. I am a defensive guy by nature, but I know the rules of the game handcuff the defense, so I believe to be a successful team you must have a dangerous offense. Our offense hasn't scared anyone, the reason is a lack of an O line, I am glad we are finally paying attention to the O line, I just see us being a year or two away. I like the competitiveness of our rookies, but for every good play our rookies make, they are making, they are making at least that many bad plays. That is the nature of rookies. I think Emery screwed the pooch last year by not aggressively addressing the O line, that cost us a shot at the playoffs. I like some of this years crop, it's early, we really need to give them time, but it may cost us a year or two.

  • In reply to George Hotchkiss:

    Wilkommen, bienvenue, Cead mile failte, welcome.

  • I just watched a superbowl recap of the Ravens/49ers and was amazed at something I knew to be the case but didn't really focus on it at the time.

    Jim Harbaugh just may be the biggest whiny pussy bitch in the NFL today. Holy shit does anyone complain like a tool more than this guy?

    I'm embarassed that he was a Bear.

  • It's amusing to hear Bengals fans acting like this is going to be some ass kicking and that Geno Atkins and their DE's are going to run roughshot over the Bears.

    I think alot of people in Cincy are going to be holding palm to forehead because there just won't be enough time to get to Jay. Trestman and Kromer are not Tice and Martz.

    No respect for the Bears offense is exactly what we should be hoping for. Unfortunately its only going to last 1 fucking game when Forte/Marshall/Jeffrey/M.Bennett go off with Cutler leading the way.

    Do you really think the Bengal's slow ass slightly above average LB's can handle Bennett and Forte? You're fucking kidding me. You think those shitty DB's can handle Marshall and Jeffrey? Fuck off.

    Limit the big play to Green and make them earn every first down, punish their TE's and it will be a great first game.

  • In reply to Waffle:

    I hope your right, Waffle. But damn if I can't to find out. I am going to miss seeing old number 54 run around out there though. Weird.

    Tick tock

  • In reply to Waffle:

    Our offensive line will be tested. I don't know if they will succeed as much as you think they will.

    Long and Mills are rookies. Slauson and Garza are mediocre at best. But hey, the Bears have a left tackle now.

    Just be realistic. They looked good in a few preseason games. Now comes the real test.

  • We'll either have problems with Atkins and those three LBs ... or we'll be introducing the NFL's latest greatest new offense.

  • teams just can't cheat on D anymore against us. A team has to be honest now and that means one of our gargantuan dudes will be open. Atkins is Melton. I respect his talent but he by no means is going to be allowed to dictate the game. Trestman and Kromer will not let it happen.

  • In reply to Waffle:

    Atkins is way better than Melton.

    The Bears will be smart to avoid him. He doesn't make plays (not many defensive tackles do) but he does his job extremely well.

  • When people talk about "injuries" and whatnot, I remember a damned team that won a Super Bowl with 12 starting players on IR.

    It's all about timing. Mixed with a little luck and good coaching.

  • More like a fucking team, Erik.


  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Wow, another year Emery goes into the draft short on picks.

    He's doing well with what he's got, but when are we going to start stockpiling draft picks like the Pats and Niners do?

    Guess we need to build more depth first so we have trade bait. Looks that won't happen next year either though... most of our vets are on expiring contracts.

  • In reply to NewBearInTown:

    It's a 7th rounder. And if the Bears finish the season with a deep run into the playoffs, their 7th-round draft pick will be 1-5 slots better than a UFA.

  • Bears preview week 1.

    Bears win! You know it my brothers. Come Sunday, its gonna be a sunshiney day.

    Bring it on boys!

  • NBIT - sent you a mail brah, I'm maxed out on ESPN with ten teams already - it wouldn't let me join the league. I don't want another account because I'll have to sign in and out all the time. Couldn't have made the draft anyway, sorry.

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