Manning, Colts present complete challenge

Lake Forest - Coach Lovie Smith thinks the defense might be better off ignoring the frequent gestures, signals and audibling of Colts quarterback Peyton Manning.

Peyton Manning seems to change more plays at the line of scrimmage than any quarterback in the NFL, but sometimes it's all a show, according to Smith.

"I think a lot of what Peyton does is just for that," Lovie Smith said, "to get people to think about it, to get the defense to think about it. We're going to go when the ball is snapped. We're more worried about that than anything else. Sometimes he is actually audibling and checking off, but a lot of times it's just really dummy calls. We're a basic team. We read our keys. When the ball is snapped, they'll tell us then exactly what they're going to do. That's all we really need to know is that."

The defense will play its own games, of course, and try to disguise what it plans to do until the last moment. It's difficult, however, to fool Manning, who does extensive film study and is practically a coach on the field.

"We disguise always," Smith said. "That's a basic part of what we do. It doesn't matter, really, who we play. We're going to do the same thing week in and week out. We're going to do what we do best, and that normally is good enough."

Smith said he's not worried about the psychological effect on his team of missing Brian Urlacher on Sunday, when the Bears face the NFL's No. 1 offense.

"We've won three games without Rex Grossman, Mike Brown -- good players," Smith said. "We've missed big players throughout. In the National Football League, you look around the league, there are a lot of good players injured right now, but you have to play the next week. So that's what we have to do. We're going to show up with the guys that we have. We have good enough players to beat anybody we play; that's how we feel. We're concentrating more on the guys that we have instead of the ones that aren't here."

The injury to Urlacher leaves the Bears a little thin at linebacker.

Corey Jenkins is the top backup, and he's played in only three games, strictly on special teams. Jenkins was a sixth-round pick of the Miami Dolphins last season, and he played in 16 games, almost exclusively on special teams. Before that, he spent four years playing professional baseball after being drafted in the first round by the Boston Red Sox in 1995. He also spent time in the White Sox organization.

Jenkins, a quarterback at South Carolina, was waived by the Dolphins on Sept. 14 and picked up the next day by the Bears. That's enough time in the organization to be ready to contribute, according to coach Lovie Smith.

"He's the next linebacker up, and he has been around here long enough," Smith said. "He's done a lot of good things in practice, and now we're calling on him. It's his time. We need for him to step up, and hopefully he will."

Because Marcus Reese is still sidelined with a fractured foot, the only other linebacker on the roster is Jeremy Cain, who was promoted from the practice squad on Monday.

BY THE NUMBERS
Colts QB Peyton Manning has thrown 5 TD passes in a game three times this season. Bears quarterbacks Rex Grossman, Jonathan Quinn and Craig Krenzel have combined to throw 4 TD passes all season.

QUOTE TO NOTE
"Our defense is not based around one person." -- Injured Bears CB Charles Tillman on the loss of MLB Brian Urlacher for 4-6 weeks.


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