Bears

Mully: Strong Running Game And Takeaway Defense Key

Coach Lovie Smith

Lovie Smith. (Credit: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

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By Mike Mulligan-

Bears coach Lovie Smithwas talking about defensive linemen Tuesday when he said something offensive coordinator Mike Martz ought to write down 50 times on a chalkboard, or better yet, cast in stone.

Smith was debunking the idea that a defensive end is more important than a three-technique tackle in any football system, including the Bears scheme where the inside guy always has been the signature position. The premise Smith frowned upon was the idea you would rather have a Julius Peppers than a Warren Sapp ecause when you double-team the outside guy it takes a route-runner out of the offense.

“I don’t agree with that,” Smith said. “I don’t think that necessarily stops you from getting a guy into a route. When we use it, we are still getting a guy out, he’s just getting out late. Most of the time when you chip a guy you use him as a checkdown so he is still a pass receiver. When are you ever going to the fifth receiver, the fourth receiver? How often do you get to the third receiver? So sending that many guys out is kind of over-rated a lot of the time.”

Read the rest of Mully’s column from the Chicago Tribune.