Scott More than a Dependable Performer

Lake Forest - Nose tackle Ian Scott made almost as many plays in the Bears' pass defense Sunday as cornerback Nathan Vasher, who made two interceptions.

"Ian Scott played as well as anyone on our defense," said head coach Lovie Smith.

Despite playing over the center much of the time, Scott got credited for three passes defended, including a couple of passes swatted down and another one that he intercepted in the first quarter.

The interception was the first he made since high school and led to the Bears' first TD.

"I got an interception in high school that the other defensive tackle tipped before it hit the ground, so I never had one clean before," he said. "I don't ever get to be away from the line (of scrimmage) so that's (tipped) usually how it comes for a noseguard."

But Scott did get this one off a deflection -- his own. He knocked Joey Harrington's pass up into the air, and grabbed it off the body of Lions center Dominic Raiola.

Linemen came into the game knowing they'd have to knock down passes because the Lions' passing game uses short drops by the quarterback and throws are made in rhythm.

It also worked against Harrington in a way because it tipped off where he was throwing.

"So we just wanted to cause as much discomfort for their offense as possible," Scott said. "They were throwing a lot of three-step drops quick. Any time you throw a three-step drop it's kind of hard for the quarterback to look off (to another receiver) because you don't have as much time to look at a bunch of different receivers since you've got to get rid of the ball right now."

There was no chance for Scott to make a big return. He ran 3 yards.

"I had a bunch of guys trying to push me and pull me along," he said. "Some of them had me by my ankles and I was going to pitch the ball, but I didn't want to fumble the ball so I just went down with it to try to be safe."

After being inactive for the first two games of 2004, Scott worked his way to the top of the depth chart by Week 4 and never looked back, starting the last 13 games of the season.

Scott led the defensive line with 77 tackles to go with two sacks. While the six-foot-3, 302-pounder is a dependable performer, he's developing into an interior lineman that can also come up with the big play.

"Well as a nose guard a lot of times you don't get a lot of publicity," Smith said. "You've got a job to do, you get double teamed most of the time and you just blend in.

"He's a guy that's starting to make bigger plays. But he's a guy that we can count on. He'll be in his gap always. He plays hard and good things happen to people who run to the football and play hard every down and that's what he is. That's what we are as a defense. We expect players to play hard each play and he does it."


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