There are times when it feels like Bears fans can’t agree on anything.
But one thing I think we all can get behind is how much we loved watching the Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs defenses from back in the day.
You know the vibes when your favorite throwback song comes on the radio or shuffles into your ears while streaming. Or that feeling you get when you’re flipping channels to see your favorite movie on TV. Those are the same feels that crash upon us when we come across highlights of the old Bears defense putting in work.
So, no wonder first-year Bears Linebackers Coach Dave Borgonzi is showing his guys throwback footage:
And if it’s good enough for the Bears, it’s good enough for the rest of us … right?
What’s most interesting to me is not that Borgonzi has brought in film of two Bears legends to fire up the troops. But instead, what has my attention is that this defense figures to look a bit different than what Lovie Smith was deploying during the Briggs and Urlacher heydays. Don’t get it twisted. There will be similarities. And they’ll be unavoidable, I’m sure. But it sure seems like we’ll be getting the early stages of what has evolved from that defense.
For instance, Defensive Coordinator Alan Williams hinted at the Bears doing more blitzing with him calling the shots.
“I do think there needs to be, from time to time, something to throw the offense off schedule, things they may not have seen on tape,” Williams said, via the Bears’ website. “I think the coaches in this league do such a great job of scouting you, preparing for you and when you make them play left-handed that is always a good thing, something they haven’t seen.”
Nothing says left-handed football like unexpected blitzes coming from a defense not known for bringing the heat.
The Lovie era defense wasn’t keen on blitzing. Instead, it was a scheme that was about coaxing quarterbacks into mistakes rather than forcing the issue. Call it patient or passive. That defense was predicated on the guys up front generating pressure and seven defenders with eyes on the ball. There is an expectation that this defense will follow in those footsteps, but it won’t be a carbon copy. It can’t be. Especially not with how offenses have evolved to combat that type of defensive style. So while there isn’t a set number of blitzes Williams has in mind, it will likely be more than what we were used to during the Urlacher-Briggs days.