Scouting the Bears
9:57 PM CDT, October 18, 2012
Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall and the Bears should expect to see some safety pressure from the Lions on Monday night. Using the All-22 coaches tape, here is an example of how Eagles quarterback Michael Vick and receiver DeSean Jackson beat the Lions' blitz Sunday.
The Eagles are running the "levels" concept with their Posse personnel (three receivers, one tight end, one back) in a "doubles" alignment versus the Lions' nickel-sub package (five defensive backs). Strong safety Louis Delmas (red) will rush to the open side "B" gap with mike backer Stephen Tulloch using a "green-dog" technique (rush to coverage). In the secondary, it's Cover-1 coverage with free safety Amari Spievey (orange) playing the deep middle of the field. Vick can work the "levels" read (hi-lo)b to the open side or target Jackson (yellow) on the 9 (fade) route.
Lions cornerback Chris Houston is aligned in a press-look at the line of scrimmage. However, he stops his feet on Jackson's initial route stem, opens his hips and allows the receiver a free release to the outside. That's poor Cover-1 technique and it puts him in a trail position versus the 9 route. With Spievey threatened by tight end Brent Celek on an inside vertical and the open-side "levels" concept, the free safety has to hold the middle of the field and break on the throw.
With Houston beat down the sideline and Spievey's range tested from the middle of the field, this turns into an explosive play for the Eagles. For Cutler, there will be opportunities to test the Lions' man-coverage schemes and take a shot down the field when he reads pressure. Put the ball up and let Marshall go make the play.
Special contributor Matt Bowen, who played at Glenbard West and Iowa, spent seven seasons in the NFL as a strong safety. You also can find his work at nationalfootballpost.com.
Copyright © 2014 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC