Brian Urlacher is not 100-percent and his knee is never going to be the same. Even with Urlacher's knee injury I see no reason for the Bears to change up their game plan on defense against the Colts.
As most Bears fans know by now, what Lovie Smith asks his defense to do is relatively simple and not overly complicated. The Bears run a 4-3 one-gap scheme to stop the run, and play a lot of zone behind a four man rush in passing situations.
The Bears want to generate pressure from a four man front and play seven in coverage keeping everything in front of them while rallying to the football and either make the tackle or strip the ball out.
Against the Indianapolis Colts the Bears game plan on defense is going to be pretty simple in order to win this football game. Stephen Paea is back healthy, and Jeff Saturday has moved on to Green Bay greatly weakening the Colts OL even further. Paea should have a field day in this opener, and be an absolute beast on run defense.
What you'll see the Bears do up front is run a lot of slants and scoops to different gaps to disrupt the zone blocking schemes in the running game. Because of the way the defensive tackles attack the gaps so hard and the linebackers play off of that penetration it allows the Bears to force teams into a lot of third and long situations.
Sunday's game against the Colts should be no different than any other dominant performance by the Bears front four. In fact I fully expect the Colts to struggle to get any running game going, even if Urlacher is not totally healthy.
The disruption will start up front with Paea and Melton, and once the Colts try to run outside of those two studs on the interior they'll run into Peppers and Idonije.
Nick Roach is one of the most underrated players on the Bears, especially in run defense. Roach doesn't rack up a lot of tackles, because it's not his job, his job is to cut everything off and force it back inside. When teams start trying to their outside zones this leaves open gaps for Urlacher and Briggs to attack down hill through gaps.
The Bears have consistently been better than any team in the NFL in their DVOA run defense according to FootballOutsiders and with Paea ready, more of the same will continue.
Just as impressive is the Bears' depth up front with Toeaina and Amobi Okoye who would start for most other teams in the NFL. That type of DT talent is what makes this defense so good.
Corey Wootton is showing that he can hold the point of attack against the run at or near the same level as Peppers and Idonije. What makes these DEs so good is that they are so disciplined and rarely make mistakes by giving up contain. Three solid run defending DEs, again gives the Bears depth and flexibility up front.
With the All-22 coaches tape on Gamerewind this year that includes a behind the LOS angle Bears fans will get an entirely new and different perspective of just how active the Bears are with their front four.
There is no read and react in Chicago, it's get downhill and attack the football with your speed. This is what both Lovie and Rod Marinelli have been preaching in Chicago for a long time and they have the best personnel for their defense to do it.
Getting Andrew Luck into third in long situations is really going to put the rookie QB in a very unenviable situation. The Bears are really trying to add speed to their nickel rush defense and have done so with the return of Okoye plus Melton. Plus Julius Peppers can pick and chose when he wants to line up inside or out and the same goes for Idonije. Add in Shea McClellin's speed off the edge and the Bears won't have to get too fancy in stopping the Colts.
The Bears won't have to blitz much in this game, nor will they have to disguise a lot of coverage because their talent will outmatch the Colts. I expect to see a very simple approach on defense, but the Bears will use a lot of their speed to get that pressure. No longer will the Bears throw Nick Reed and Mario Addison out there to pressure the QB, this year it's a healthy Wootton and Shea McClellin bolstering the talent.
In the secondary the Bears will keep their safeties extremely deep and allow them to play down hill rally to the football. Luck's best chance is to hope one of his rookie TEs can come out and have a big game.
Colby Fleener hasn't looked capable of that type of game yet according to reports from Nate Dunlevy at ColtsAuthority.com.
So in this game for the Bears to win their old defense will be fresh will be playing on fast turf in the home opener. Andrew Luck is the real deal and I fully expect him to develop into a great QB sooner rather than later, but the lack of a supporting cast against a far superior defense is really going to hurt him in his debut.