How Bears plan to tweak defense against Aaron Rodgers


Don’t believe the hype that the Packers are on the downswing. The Bears certainly aren’t.

With Allen Lazard, David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins out in Week 1 the Packers only managed to put up seven points against the Vikings. Aaron Rodgers struggled with pressure in his face, and no reliable playmakers to help him out in the passing game. All three of those key offensive players are questionable again for Sunday Night Football, so fans around the world are confident that the Bears can pull off a second-straight upset. The Bears, however, are expecting to get the best from the Packers when they travel to Lambeau. That’s wise, considering Green Bay is 9-0 in the regular season when coming off a loss in the Matt LaFleur era.

Of course, Rodgers is still Rogers, even without guys like Davante Adams.

“You’re facing one of the best in history,” said Alan Williams. “So when you’re facing a guy like that, that’s a guy that has a ton of experience, you’re not going to trick him, you’re not going to fool him.”

That’s one of the ways the Bears beat Trey Lance in Week 1. They had a good idea of what he wanted to do in situations, and baited him into making mistakes by disguising coverages. The Bears know Rodgers isn’t going to make similar mistakes. They also know they may have to change some of the things they like to do, because Rodgers is such a game changer. That could include bringing extra defenders on the pass rush after not blitzing at all against the 49ers.

“It’s tough to get to him with four guys,” said Williams. “So you have to, you bring pressure and you fill up the holes so that he can’t escape.”

Rodgers isn’t known for his rushing prowess, but he’s one of the best at evading the pass rush and gaining yards with his legs when he needs to.

“I just think that he’s got great pocket presence,” said Matt Eberflus. “I think he escapes where he needs to.”

Even though the Bears may add a few blitzes to their repertoire on Sunday, they don’t want to stray too far away from their pillars.

“There’s a delicate balance there with trying to do too much,” said Eberflus. “We’re not a team that does too much. We want to be able to execute the fundamentals and play fast, but you certainly have to sprinkle things in there.”

The Bears also don’t want to focus too heavily on Rodgers. He certainly demands serious attention, but the Packers also feature two talented running backs in Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon, who averaged 9.5 yards per touch and 6.1 yards per touch, respectively. If the Bears focus on Rodgers too much, they make themselves susceptible to being gashed on the ground.

“You've got to pick your poison,” said Williams. “With their group I'd like to play with 12 but they won't let us. So yeah, we'll have to figure it out.”

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