Bears defense has to play physical vs. Minnesota

The Bears cornerbacks did not play particularly well against Baltimore in the season opener allowing Elvis Grbac to go 24-30 for 260 yards. However, the task of stopping Grbac and company fails in comparison to the challenge Minnesota presents.

From Randy Moss, who has career highs in receptions (12) and yards (204) against the Bears, to the ageless Cris Carter the Vikings receiver core is deep and has big play capability on every play.

"He (Randy Moss) goes deep more often than any other receiver," said R.W. McQuarters. "When the quarterback starts to scramble around he takes off he's going to the end zone. If you look around the league that's when a lot of big plays happen, is when the quarterback starts to scramble, um, you know a guy loses sight of the coverage and let receivers get behind them. In Randy Moss case you know he takes that ball to the end zone."

The man getting receivers the ball, Daunte Culpepper, is a versatile QB, who can beat a team by throwing or running.

McQuarters and Walt Harris will share the duty of covering Moss and company. Putting pressure on Culpepper will be crucial to keeping Minnesota's offensive production to a minimum.

"Everybody knows how important the pass rush is. Is complimented by good coverage in the secondary and vise versa," McQuarters said. "All around the league you see guys get coverage sacks. The guys in the secondary do a great job of covering, which gives the d-line a little bit more time to get to the quarterback. That's what we have to do as a secondary is give those guys time to get up there and make things happen and give those guys time to make plays."

There is no way to consistently stop Moss, who had only one catch for 29-yards against Carolina in the season opener. However, McQuarters said the best way to defend moss is the same is any other receiver.

"Definitely be physical with him I think as any receiver," he said. "I think the offense, the coordination between the quarterback and receiver is all timing. If you can disrupt the timing or the route, disrupt the timing of the throw it will mess up the whole offense."

McQuarters knows Minnesota has more weapons than Moss. "Randy Moss is not the only receiver that they have. We've got to be in tune with everybody. You know Jake Reed is still has a little bit, you know everybody knows Cris Carter still has a little bit."

The Panthers had success against the Vikings when the defense played aggressive and went for the ball. Walt Harris knows the Bears will have to play with a similar attitude on Sunday.

"In this game you can't be conservative," Harris said. "If you're conservative 99% of the time you're going to lose. I mean you get the opportunities to make the plays when they come to you and touch your hand you got to just make them and that's what Carolina did. When they got the opportunities they made a couple of interceptions that changed the game around for them, so we have to do the same."

Harris gave up a critical first down against the Ravens in the fourth quarter, which set up Baltimore final touchdown. Dick Jauron knows Harris needs to play strong against Minnesota's physical receivers.

"In our division there are big receivers; we have good-sized receivers and you need to match up against them. I would say that that still holds true. Walt is a big, strong corner and we're going to go against some big strong receivers this week, so we need to count on Walt to hold up and make some plays for us."

The Bears ball control offense could play an important role slowing Minnesota's offensive production.

"You hate to say it's more important because every week you'd like to do it," said Dick Jauron. "But I understand what you're talking about with those big names, Randy Moss and Cris Carter, Daunte Culpepper, and they do have speed in the backfield still, although it's not Smith anymore. They've added more speed at tight end and they're capable in the offensive line. So you don't want them with the football."

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