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Durkin’s Playbook

Reggie Bush scores a 77-yard touchdown against the Vikings on a screen up the middle. (Credit: Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Durkin’s Playbook: Defending Reggie Bush On The Screen

Reggie Bush is healthy and will be a key weapon the Bears have to stop.

CBS Chicago–09/26/2013

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

Brandon Marshall. (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. (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.


Shea McClellin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Durkin: Player Spotlight – Shea McClellin

There was a collective groan among Bears fans when Roger Goodell announced the selection of Shea McClellin with the 19th pick in the 2012 draft. The position wasn’t being scrutinized, the player was.

CBS Chicago–07/01/2013

Martellus Bennett pulls in a pass for a touchdown. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Durkin’s Playbook: Bennett Gives Bears Multi-Threat Tight End

Mere minutes into the 2013 league year, Phil Emery wasted no time addressing a profound need on the Bears roster, signing tight end Martellus Bennett to a four-year deal worth a reported $20 million.

CBS Chicago–03/13/2013

Darrell Bevell in 2009 when he was the offensive coordinator in Minnesota. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Durkin’s Coaching Breakdown: Darrell Bevell

Here’s a look at Bevell’s strengths, scheme and what type of skill position players the Bears would need to add to properly execute his system.

CBS Chicago–01/15/2013

Russell Wilson beat the Patriots with a perfect deep ball off play-action. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

Durkin’s Playbook: Defending Russell Wilson On Play-Action

Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell’s passing scheme is predicated on play action off of inside-zone run looks.

CBS Chicago–11/29/2012

Frank Gore. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Durkin’s Playbook: Dissecting The 49ers’ Running Game

The 49ers don’t lead the league in rushing by accident, it’s by design. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman has devised the most diverse running scheme in the NFL, dusting off old running concepts and putting a modern spin on them.

CBS Chicago–11/15/2012

Texans tight end Owen Daniels. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)

Durkin’s Playbook: Defending Texans’ Bootleg Play-Action

A closer look at Owen Daniels and the Texans’ play-action naked bootleg packages in this week’s playbook.

CBS Chicago–11/08/2012

Chris Johnson. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Durkin’s Playbook: Titans Running Game Taking Shape

Using NFL GameRewind’s All-22 Coaches Film footage, I break down the Titans inside-zone running scheme.

CBS Chicago–11/01/2012

Nate Collins. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Durkin’s Playbook: Defending Newton’s Zone-Read Option

Nonetheless, the Bears must be prepared for the Panthers zone-read option attack this weekend, which I break down in this week’s playbook.

CBS Chicago–10/25/2012

Brandon Marshall celebrates a touchdown catch. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Durkin’s Playbook: Offensive Adjustments Pay Off

An explosive offense to match a dominant defense? This team could be scary if the offense continues to progress.

CBS Chicago–10/11/2012

Major Wright. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Durkin’s Playbook: Wright’s Improved Technique Paying Dividends

Using NFL GameRewind, let’s take a look at a few plays involving Major Wright to compare and contrast his technique and discipline week to week.

CBS Chicago–10/04/2012

Stephen Paea tries to make a tackle against Cedric Benson. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Durkin’s Playbook: Paea Impacting More Than What Stat Sheet Shows

The stat line Bears second-year defensive tackle Stephen Paea put up against the Rams – 1 solo, .5 sacks, 1 tackle for loss, 1 quarterback hit – doesn’t accurately convey just how dominant he was. Paea was powerful, tenacious, relentless, showed tremendous hustle, and owned his gap all game.

CBS Chicago–09/27/2012

Jay Cutler is pressured by Packers' safety Morgan Burnett. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Durkin’s Playbook: Did Cutler Give Packers’ ‘Two-Man’ Too Much Credit?

Let’s take a closer look at Jay Cutler’s four interceptions to determine if the Packers were even in Cover-2 Man, but more importantly, to get to the bottom of where the finger(s) should be pointed.

CBS Chicago–09/20/2012

Bears rookies Evan Rodriguez and Alshon Jeffery. (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)

Durkin’s Playbook: Rookie TE Rodriguez Fueling Bears Offense With Blocks

While Rodriguez didn’t show up on the stat sheet this past Sunday – the one screen pass attempt to him fell incomplete – he made several key blocks that resulted in first downs and points for the Bears on Sunday. Using NFL Game Rewind, I break down a few of these key plays in my playbook.

CBS Chicago–09/13/2012

Tim Jennings got beat by Louis Murphy after a gamble in Oakland last season. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Durkin’s Playbook: Jennings’ Gambles Often Cost Bears

In this week’s playbook series, Dan Durkin breaks down Tim Jennings tendency to take chances, which sometimes leads to big plays for the opposing offense.

CBS Chicago–08/28/2012

Chris Conte (Getty Images)

Durkin’s Playbook: Conte Needs To Improve Pursuit Angles

In 2012, Chris Conte needs to show improvement in run support, specifically with his pursuit angles.

CBS Chicago–08/22/2012