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Bears ready if Seahawks blitz Cutler

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By Vaughn McClure
Chicago Tribune
Published:
CHICAGO — Chicago Bears offensive line coach Mike Tice started to use the Week 6 game film as a refresher of what to expect from the Seattle Seahawks’ defense in Sunday’s divisional playoff game.
Then Tice changed his mind.
“I kind of moved on, the game was so bad,” Tice said of the regular-season meeting between the teams. “I looked at 19 plays with the line the other day and decided I couldn’t do that to them. It was that bad.”
For those unfamiliar with the gory details, Jay Cutler was sacked six times as the Bears were 0-for-12 on third downs in the Seahawks’ 23-20 victory at Soldier Field, including blitzing defensive back Jordan Babineaux’s sack that resulted in a safety.
Lawyer Milloy had two sacks from his safety spot, Babineaux was credited with 11/2 while cornerback Roy Lewis brought down Cutler once.
The Bears’ blitz radar certainly malfunctioned that afternoon.
“Every blitz is on the offense,” center Olin Kreutz said. “I’ll talk about my responsibility. But who’s it on? Who gives a (crap)? We got sacked. And we’ll just try to get that fixed.
“Any identification starts with me. If somebody doesn’t understand who they have, I take that personally because that’s my job.”
The Bears should comprehend fully what to expect if the Seahawks hit them with the same flurry Sunday. This is far from the tentative offense that took the field three months ago.
Cutler has become more adept at getting the ball out quicker, and the line finally has found continuity with Kreutz, Frank Omiyale, Chris Williams, Roberto Garza, and J’Marcus Webb together for the last nine games. Not to mention players such as receiver Johnny Knox understand their roles better in terms of Cutler’s hot reads.
“The weak side, that’s usually where they blitz from,” Knox said. “I see an awful lot of those hots.”
But how many blitzes will the Bears see this time? According to ESPN stats, the Seahawks sent at least one defensive back on the blitz a season-high 44.7 percent of the time against the Bears as compared to 20.3 percent throughout the entire regular season. In their last two games against the Rams and Saints, the Seahawks blitzed less than 11 percent.
“We have to get a good feel for what they’re going to do and (they have) calmed down a little bit since we played them,” Cutler said, “But we have to prepare for anything because they have nothing to lose. Everyone, you’re one and done. They could show us anything.”
Tice fully expects the Seahawks to blitz, and blitz some more.
“They’re going to have to find a way to get to the NFC championship game,” Tice said. “If you’re playing the Bears, then you have to test them and see how much better they’ve gotten.”
Story tags » Seahawks

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