Built for Success

Defensive coordinator and former Bears linebacker Ron Rivera believes he has the type of linebackers to excel in his scheme.

Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs and Joe Odom all can run, along with Bryan Knight, who is playing behind Odom as the top backup.

"With Lance, because of his quickness and ability to burst on the ball, we're going to try to put him in a position where he can get an opportunity to make plays and make turnovers in our base cover-two package," Rivera said. Briggs tied for fourth on the team with 81 tackles last season, even though he didn't start the first three games. He also had five pass break-ups and five tackles for loss.

"With Brian Urlacher's ability to run and get depth in the middle," Rivera said, "he'll fit perfectly into this base-two package that asks for the 'Mike' linebacker to have the ability to run the middle and help plug the deep middle post, like a lot of the teams that use the cover-two do, like Tampa, Indianapolis and St. Louis."

Urlacher is looking to rebound from a season in which he failed to be involved in a single turnover, even though he played in his fourth straight Pro Bowl.

"With the 'Sam' linebacker, whether it's going to be Joe Odom, Bryan Knight or whoever, these guys will have the ability to basically do the same thing as our 'Will' linebacker, and that is to drop into the short curl area, play with vision, break on the ball and make big plays."


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