Breaking Down the DL: Bears vs Lions

This week I thought I would switch the focus of the breakdown on the DL since they are the group that has not been performing in comparison to the OL.

This is a breakdown of the 2nd quarter leading to the final Bush TD of the half.
Impact Rep: sack, throw affecting rush, tackle for a loss [++].
Solid Rep: pressure, potential pressure or nice pass rush move, solid run play or tackle [+].
Neutral Rep: No impact positive or negative [/]
Poor Rep: No pressure, poor pass rush move, poor recognition, getting blocked out of your gap [-].
Negative Rep: A poor run fit that leads to a big rush, ending up on the ground, dominant rep by the OLmen [–].
Start of the 2nd Quarter
Play 1: Pass to Right Flat [Bush 5 yards]

McClellin [+]: Engages Rieff and uses his hands well to shed, but the run is away and Rieff is just trying to keep him from backside pursuit.

Paea [–]: Is blown off the ball by Warford and moved past Collins who is on the other side of the center. No hand use to gain separation and leverage.

Collins [-]: Takes on the double team in the weak A gap and then allows the OG off clean and the C crosses his face so he ends up in the strong A gap. He needs to hold his weak A gap so the LB get get his run read and fit.

Wootton [-]: Bull rushes the RT, but has no arm separation and is glued to the OT and cannot come off to make a play. What makes the play worse is that he does not seem to have any idea what is going on and he pursues the wrong direction.

Play 2: Incomplete pass to Johnson

Peppers [+]: Excellent burst off the ball and hand use to get to the edge before Rieff and is closing for the sack, but Stafford throws quickly. If Stafford needed to pump fake or go to a 2nd read he is hit.

Paea [/]: Gets a little push on the C and gets his hands up, because of the initial double team by the RG, needs to feel the double and go directly to the bull rush.

Collins [+]: Does a nice job of looping to his contain responsibility, once Wootton drops, and beats Hilliard with a nice hand swat and rip and is closing hard to the QB when the ball is released.

Wootton [+]: Zone drop and takes away Bell out of the backfield.

*Blitzed Briggs and Frey in the A and B gaps and get nothing. Brigs blitz was so bad Warford blocked him while double teaming Paea.

Field Goal

Play 3: Zone run left [Bush 15 yards]

McClellin [-]: Stunts inside, which I am sure is the call, but gets driven down inside to far and opens a huge running lane that Bush goes through outside on the left.

Paea [–]: Gets his face crossed. What this means if he starts in the strong B gap and Hilliard the RT comes down across his face walling Paea out of the b gap and allowing the OG to climb to the LB. The one thing that cannot happen in the run game is to allow an OLmen to cross your face.

Collins [+]: Does a better job against the double team and sheds Riola to the ground, Reggie jumps Riola and makes the yardage, but great hustle to make the play down field.

Wootton [+]: Squeezes the gap and contains QB boot. It does not look like he is doing much, but he is doing his job. Nice job keeping his chest square so he can react to either play.

Play 4: Trap up the middle [Bush 18 yards]

McClellin [/]: Does not press the OT back into the hole, runs, gets engaged, and then flows to the play.

Paea [-]: Gets to far up field and gets trapped by the pulling OG, does a nice job of coming back inside, but too late. Needs to not burst upfield and press the puller back into the hold.

Collins [–]: Gets manhandled off the ball by Riola and is moved off the ball and out of the hole.

Wootton [/]: Presses the OT into the backfield, which is great and it squeezes the hole, but he cannot disengage and get involved in the play.

Play 5: Pass Incomplete

McClellin [/]: Good burst off the ball and a wide rush gets him to the edge, but he is not physical enough and Rieff knocks him by with his hand punch and extension.

Paea [-]: Tries to rip off, but his feet are no balanced and he does not have a base and he is knocked off his feet.

Wootton [+]: Rushes from the 3 technique and while he does not have control or his hands in a good position to disengage he drops his hips and pushes Warford into the pocker.

Peppers [+]: A hard rip move inside gets the OT to drop his post foot and he presses into Stafford’s face with his hand up and affects the throw.

Play 6: Pass to Scheffler [25 Yards]

McClellin [+]: Gets blocked by the TE and comes inside with a nice rip and if the ball was held would have gotten a holding call or a sack.

Paea [+]: Nice push and pull with an inside rip move that sheds the OG and is moving to the QB.

Wootton [+]: Again does not disengage from the OG or get separation with his hands, which would be ideal, but he presses Warford back into the QB. Not dominant, but disruptive.

Peppers [+]: Gets caught in the run fake, but comes inside late and would have been a factor if Stafford did not throw it after 2 seconds.

*Horrendous coverage by Briggs who bites on the fake despite a decent rush.

Play 7: Toss Right [0 yards to Bush]

McClellin [+]: Nice pursuit down the line and would have made the tackle if he has not gone out of bounds.

Paea [/]: Gets pinned inside by Warford, but throws the big arm over and gets back into the play.

Wootton [-]: Gets cut to the ground by the backside OT and has not impact on the play, but it was going the other direction.

Peppers [–]: Gets sealed inside by Pettigrew, allowing the pullers to get outside and then is driven to the ground.

Play 8: Throw to Pettigrew [9 yards]

McClellin [-]: Doesn’t threaten the OT up field and then comes with the weak bull rush and if Stafford had not thrown it quickly it would have not been an effective rush.

Collins [+]: Great jab step, inside move with a swim move to beat Warford cleanly.

Wootton [+]: Nice inside rush and rip, gets a step on the OG and gets held. Needs to work to get the hand off his chest.

Peppers [+]: Very physical bull rush knocks the OT onto skates and hits Stafford with the OT. Good depth and hand placement.

*Briggs again with terrible coverage allows 9 yards on a 3 step drop.

Play 9: Throw Right [Incomplete]

McClellin [-]: Needs to get his hands up on the 3 step drop and not continue to rush outside as it opens up the inside throw.

Paea [/]: Gets pinned inside by Warford, but throws the big arm over and gets back into the play.

Cohen [+]: Blows up the DT on the play action fake and does a nice job of not giving ground. Needs to work to keep his chest square and make it difficult for the OG to climb to the 2nd level.

Peppers [+]: Clubs Pettigrew to the ground.

Field Goal

Punt Return to the 12 Yard Line

Play 10: WR Screen to Johnson [9 Yards]

McClellin [+]: Unblocked, but nice recognition and gets his hands up.

Paea [+]: Nice bull rush gets low with his hands inside and knocks Sims back and up out of his stance.

Collins [/]: Comes free from the blitz but is not in time for a hit.

Peppers [+]: Good burst and hand use puts the OT in a bad spot, but it is a grab and throw play to the other side.

*The Bears blitz everyone and no one gets home because the Lions go to the perfect play, nice open field tackle by Wright or he scores.

Play 11: Draw to Bush [0 Yard]

McClellin [/]: Comes into the OT, but does not rush or come inside to the run till much later. He does not look physical and just glues himself to the OT.

Paea [-]: Gets double teamed back and is moved off the line before he dumps the OG onto the ground.

Collins [++]: Drives Riola back with a great burst and shed with his hands to get involved in the OT, one of his best run plays of the day.

Peppers [++]: Comes unblocked, but makes an exceptional play to come back inside and get Bush for almost no gain.

Play 12: Pass to Durham on the slant [12 Yards]

McClellin [-]: Glues himself to the OT and neither runs or plays the run. There is a run look, but he needs to recognize and have an impact on the play. The OT is trying to just hold him and he accomplishes it.

Paea [++]: Great pop and Reggie White hump move to lift Warford off his feet and throw him down, would have sacked the QB on a longer passing play or if Stafford could not throw it after 1 step out of the gun.

Wootton [/]: Good burst off the ball, but his hands are down so he can not bench the OG off of him or get his hands up in the passing lane.

Peppers [-]: Unblocked, but gets confused by the run action and does not deliver a hit on Stafford. Golden opportunity to lay a hit on the QB.

Play 13: QB Dive Fumble [TD]

Wootton [–]: The ball is fumbled into his lap and he cannot grab it or knock it away.

Paea [++]: Great push and penetration forces Stafford to jump.

Collins [-++]: Nice low penetration gets into the run lanes in the backfield.

Peppers [+]: Solid arm uses holds off the TE.

Interception Return to the 2

Play 14: Fade To Johnson [TD]

McClellin [–]: Gets blown out of the hole and would have been a non factor in a run and was a non factor in the pass.

Collins [-]: Comes off the ball too low and in his sprinter’s stance and he is knocked to the ground.

Wootton [+]: He is beating Sims off the ball and knocking him back. Better hand use could allow him to shed him once he has knocked him off balance and threaten the QB.

Peppers [+]: Holds the OT off and benches him off with nice hand use.

Play 15: Toss Right [0 yards to Bush]

 Washington [+]: Comes hard off the ball and extends his inside hand, keeping his outside hand free and pushing the OT back onto the ground.

Collins [–]: Allows Riola up to the 2nd level without causing him any problems and gets blown out of the hole by Sims coming down. If you are not going to absorb the double team at least win against the OG 1 on 1.

Wootton [–]: Burst off the ball and gets up field, but again no and use and separation and Warford absorbs the power rush and knocks Wootton off his feet with a good hand punch.

Peppers [–]: Pettigrew pulls across to block Peppers and he jumps outside to avoid contact. He should wrong arm and attack Pettigrew’s inside arm and press down into the hole. He makes the hole gigantic by allowing Pettirgrew to push him outside.

*3 DLmen with horrendous reps and technique. No one recovers the fumble and it kills the Bears.

Play 16: Run Left [37 Yard TD.]

Washington [+]: Stays outside and tries to get involved in the play once it busts up the middle.

Collins [—]: Power stunts from strong A to weak B, which means he is crossing over 2 gaps. This means that Riola gets up clean and Collins gets wheeled on by Warford and both A gaps are wide open. This is just terrible run defense and puts the LB in a terrible spot.

Wootton [-]: The OT comes down and instead of staying gap disciplined he allows the OT to cross his face and he ends up outside the OT. With Collins stunting this means that there is a 5 yard gap inside for the run.

Peppers [/]: Gets double teamed and does not allow the OG off, but not very physical.

*Wootton and Collins both get tossed out of the middle and Riola dominates Briggs leaving no one to make the play. James Anderson blitzs into the Peppers double team and he looks beyond lost as he blocks himself. This play was embarrassing by everyone on defense.

-Whoever switched Paea to 3 Technique and Collins to NT deserves to be hit in the face. Collins was routinely knocked off the ball and did little to slow down the double team and Paea looked lost in space at 3 technique and had his faced crossed or was washed out of the B gap on a number of occassions. Paea was playing well at the NT so he should be left there and Collins, who has way less power should be at the 3 technique.
-We suck at blitzing. Rarely did I see design getting a guy free and unblocked nor did I see any of our LBs or DBs beating 1 on 1 blocks. I know we need pressure, but throwing players at the line of scrimmage that will not get home is a waste. We might as well clog the throwing lanes.
-The pass rush problems are not entirely on the DL. We are not doling up in coverage long enough for the rush to get home. Stafford made a ton of throws as soon as he hit his back foot. He rarely was forced off of his 1st read or to pump fake the ball. If you coverage cannot force a little indecision and buy an extra second the rush has  little chance of getting going. 
-Larry Warford is really good and we could not have gone wrong drafting him either.
-The tackling was down right atrocious at times and I could not see a LB anywhere on the screen to force a cut back or at least slow down Reggie Bush. Bush was routinely to the safeties and he made both Conte and Wright look stupid. I want to yell at Conte and Wright, but tackling Bush in a 10 yard wide hole is way to difficult to ask of them. There needs to be more congestion at the line and within 5 yards to not allow Bush to build speed.
-Lance Briggs struggled in coverage and was unable to cover either Pettirgew, Scheffler or Bush and the fact that we could not take away the 1st read allowed Stafford to throw the ball quickly.
-I think the best starting DL for the game against the Saints is DE: Peppers, DT: Wootton, NT: Paea, DE: McClellin. The Saints cannot, and do not want to, run the ball and Wootton is able to bull rush and if we can get him getting his hands up in the air he could disrupt the throw and would give us 6’6″ and 6’7″ in the throwing lanes. We can all sit and hope that McClellin can beat Charles Brown or Zach Strief.
-I would like to see Cornelius Washington to get some rushes in obvious passing downs and just ask him to be an athlete and power rush the OT. He had some moments in the game were you saw that he was an NFL athlete.
-I have never been the biggest Henry Melton fan, but we miss Henry Melton. Collins struggles to play the run and Paea does not offer a ton as a pass rusher and we need someone to raise their level of play.

One thought on “Breaking Down the DL: Bears vs Lions

  • October 4, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    Great read as always. Thanks!

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