Notebook: Orton knows Bears' defense

Having spent his first four years in Chicago, Chiefs QB Kyle Orton has an intimate understanding of Chicago's defensive system, around which Kansas City will likely devise their game plan.

Insider information

The Kansas City Chiefs claimed Kyle Orton off waivers last week. Orton spent the first four years of his career in Chicago and has an intimate knowledge of the team's defense. Yet it's no secret what the Bears do defensively week in and week out.

"Everybody knows what we do," said Brian Urlacher. "It seems like everyone says we're not going to trick anybody, so you should be able to do whatever you want against us. It's not that easy. You can't prepare for how hard we play and how athletic we are on defense. Knowing what we're doing is one thing but being able to do what you want to do is another thing."

He said the simplicity of the system allows the players to go full speed without having to think too much.

"We try to make it simple so we can play fast. If you play fast it will erase a lot of mistakes."

Tillman the blitzer

CB Charles Tillman
Jason O. Watson/US Presswire

Bears cornerback Charles Tilllman got his first quarterback pressure of the season against the Raiders this past Sunday. He came on a blitz off the edge, a rare occurrence at this point in his career, and forced Palko to step up into the waiting arms of Julius Peppers.

When asked if he would like to blitz more often, Tillman turned to the TV cameras and said:

"I do ... coach Smith."

"I do," he continued, "but I know my role on this team is not blitzing. But if they do send me, it would be nice. It'd be nice."

Urlacher said Tillman talks a lot in practice about his desire to blitz.

"‘Let him blitz,' yeah I heard that all week," said Urlacher. "He did put a nice move on the running back. They obviously weren't expecting him to blitz. Caught them off guard. Let him blitz."

Replacing Iwuh

The Bears placed linebacker Brian Iwuh on injured reserve this week with a hurt hamstring, ending his season. Iwuh was the team's fourth linebacker and a core special teams player. He leads the team in special teams tackles (14).

"It sucks because he's a good teammate, a really good special teams player and he's a good linebacker," Urlacher said. "He was our fourth guy. If something were to happen, he'd have been in there. It's tough losing a guy like that."

The team called up LB Patrick Trahan to take Iwuh's roster spot.

"How it'll affect our special teams? It's time for others to move up," said Lovie Smith. "Guys like Patrick Trahan and guys like that have to step up. Jabara Williams. Kahlil Bell. Our special teams won't drop off. It's the same mentality we use with everything else. Next guy up."

Falling odds

The oddsmakers in Las Vegas have spoken. Last week, Chicago was given 25/1 odds to win the Super Bowl. Caleb Hanie's performance against the Oakland Raiders failed to impress and the Bears are now 40/1 to win the whole thing. The club started the season 30/1.

The Bears now sit at 22/1 to win the NFC.

The favorites to win the Super Bowl through 12 weeks: Green Bay Packers 9/5; New England Patriots 9/5; New Orleans Saints 9/1; Baltimore Ravens 9/1; Pittsburgh Steelers 12/1; Dallas Cowboys, 14/1; Houston Texans 18/1.

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Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit and become a Chicago Bears insider.

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