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Dan Durkin

Dan Durkin joined The Score’s columnist community after finishing runner-up in the 2011 Pepsi Max Score Search. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois where he was a member of the men’s football team (despite his best efforts to join the women’s team). Dan is a longtime Scorehead, known as Dan in Wicker Park – even though he no longer resides in Wicker Park – who will be sharing NFL analysis and opinions. You can follow Dan on Twitter @djdurkin.

durkin Dan Durkin

Dan Durkin

Steelers defensive coordinator Dick Lebeau talks with Larry Foote. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

Durkin’s Playbook: Steelers Zone Blitz

Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau won’t take full credit for being the first coach to run the zone blitz scheme, as its roots trace back to Bill Arnsparger’s early 70’s Dolphins. But, undoubtedly, LeBeau was the first to perfect and commit to it as a defensive philosophy.

670 The Score–09/19/2013

Ben Roethlisberger.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Durkin: Know Your Opponent – Pittsburgh Steelers

The 2013 Steelers certainly aren’t your dad’s Pittsburgh Steelers.

670 The Score–09/18/2013

Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears passes against the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field on September 15, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Durkin’s Rapid Reaction: Bears 31, Vikings 30

Just like they planned it, right? It seems fitting that such an odd, back-and-forth, punch-counter punch, roller coaster ride of a game went down to the wire and was decided by one point.

670 The Score–09/15/2013

Russell Wilson. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Durkin: Week 2 NFL Picks

Flying pig skins filled the air in the opening weekend of NFL action. A record-setting 63 touchdown passes were thrown in Week 1. Here’s my take on how Week 2 will play out.

670 The Score–09/13/2013

Brandon Marshall. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Durkin’s Playbook: Cutler To Marshall Game-Winner

Surprisingly enough, the Bengals chose to double team tight end Martellus Bennett.

670 The Score–09/11/2013

Adrian Peterson and Christian Ponder.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Durkin: Know Your Opponent – Minnesota Vikings

Unfortunately for the Vikings, their pedestrian passing attack can’t keep defenses honest.

670 The Score–09/11/2013

Martellus Bennett #83 of the Chicago Bears catches the ball for a touchdown over George Iloka #43 of the Cincinnati Bengals at Soldier Field on September 8, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Bengals 24-21. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Durkin’s Rapid Reaction: Bears 24, Bengals 21

Despite a new regime and refreshed philosophy, the Bears season opener had several elements of years past. Here’s my rapid reaction to a gutsy performance by the Bears to get to 1-0 and win the first game of the Marc Trestman-era.

670 The Score–09/08/2013

Tom Brady and  Bill Belichick. (Credit: Getty Images)

Durkin: Week 1 NFL Picks

It’s here. It’s finally here. The NFL is back!

670 The Score–09/07/2013

Peyton Manning.  (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Durkin: NFL 2013 Predictions

Here’s my preseason prediction of how the 2013 NFL season will shake out.

670 The Score–09/05/2013

Andy Dalton.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Durkin: Know Your Opponent – Cincinnati Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals are the NFL equivalent of a “butterface.”

670 The Score–09/04/2013

Adrian Peterson. (Photo by Andy Clayton King/Getty Images)

Durkin’s Football 101: Zone & Man Blocking Schemes

Today’s playbook topic focuses on zone and man blocking schemes, two different approaches to achieve a common goal of sealing off defenders to create running lanes.

670 The Score–08/29/2013

A view of the Bears offensive line and the Vikings defensive line. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Durkin’s Football 101: Gaps, Techniques & Alignments

During an NFL broadcast you’re assured of hearing commentators reflexively dropping phrases like “gap integrity,” “run fits,” “alignments,” and “fronts,” assuming their audience is following along.

08/26/2013

Chicago Bears fans.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Durkin: Why Do You Love the NFL?

Baseball is considered America’s pastime, but more accurately, it’s America’s past time. From whatever prism you view it through – ratings, revenue, popularity – the NFL undeniably rules the land of American sports.

670 The Score–08/20/2013

Bears offensive line. (Credit: Brian Gertsch, CBS.)

Durkin’s Notes: Focus Remains On The Offensive Line

Here are some of my observations and impressions from the second-to-last practice in Bourbonnais.

670 The Score–08/13/2013

Marc Trestman works with the offense. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images):

Durkin: Bears Don’t Need Trestman To Be A ‘Quarterback Whisperer’

Trestman’s objective is simple: coordinate an offense that puts the talent in position to make plays.

670 The Score–08/08/2013

Marquess Wilson. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Durkin: Rookie Spotlight – Marquess Wilson

After reviewing several of Wilson’s game tapes, here’s my summary of what impressed me, what didn’t impress me, areas for improvement, and what his prospects are for the 2013 season.

670 The Score–08/02/2013

Cornelius Washington. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

Durkin: Rookie Spotlight – Cornelius Washington

In a passing league, a defense can never have too many pass rushers.

670 The Score–07/31/2013

Kyle Long and Jordan Mills. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

Durkin: Rookie Spotlight – Jordan Mills

Mills won’t be a starter in 2013, but he adds quality, young depth to a group that desperately needs it. Looking down the road, Mills projects as a right tackle or guard prospect.

670 The Score–07/26/2013

Khaseem Greene (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Durkin: Rookie Spotlight – Khaseem Greene

After reviewing several of Greene’s game tapes, here’s my summary of what impressed me, what didn’t impress me, areas for improvement, and what his prospects are for the 2013 season.

670 The Score–07/23/2013

Jon Bostic.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Durkin: Rookie Spotlight – Jon Bostic

Replacing a once-in-a-generation talent like Brian Urlacher is virtually impossible.

670 The Score–07/19/2013

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