D-line Gets its Fair Share of Sacks

CHICAGO _ The Bears' defensive scheme is based on a four-man pass rush, but it was starting to look on the stat sheet like linebacker Brian Urlacher was doing all the pass rushing.

Then on Sunday at Soldier Field, the Bears' defensive line produced all four of the team's sacks as they hounded Baltimore Ravens quarterback Anthony Wright into an 18-of-32 passing effort for 164 yards. The line finished off the 10-6 win over the Ravens with three fourth-quarter sacks.

"I think it was the challenge," Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera said. "I do know that (defensive line) coach (Don) Johnson put the challenge to those guys this week.

"We really emphasized the need to get pressure on this quarterback because of his athletic ability. We felt that if we could get some pressure on him early we wouldn't have to blitz as much."

The Bears started off blitzing in the first half and short passes started turning into something worse.

"We did blitz a couple times," Rivera said. "They picked it up and they were able to make big plays.

"I think it was really important that when we went to the four-man rush, that when we went to the four-man rush and stayed with it we were able to get the pressure."

Reserve defensive tackle Tank Johnson made two sacks and reserve defensive end Michael Haynes and reserve defensive tackle Alfonso Boone shared a sack in the fourth quarter. Earlier in the game, defensive end Adewale Ogunleye sacked Wright for his third sack of the year.

Johnson's first sack for a 10-yard loss left the Ravens facing fourth-and-25 at their own 33 with 6:02 left in the game. His next sack killed their last chance. It went for 9 yards and left the Ravens in fourth-and-24 at their own 31.

"A lot of those pressures we got were because he couldn't throw the ball and so we kept grabbing him," Johnson said. "So credit our secondary because they were stopping them all day."

It went beyond the secondary -- like up to the coaching box.

"They (coaches) did a great job of running stunts (with defensive linemen) during games to get someone free," Johnson said. "We've been working hard just to get someone to the quarterback."

"You hold the ball for that long and somebody's going to get there and he (Johnson) got there," Urlacher said. "He had two big plays there at the end of the game for us."

The sack Boone and Haynes shared wouldn't have been possible last week because Haynes wasn't active. But on Sunday he was active while wide receiver Justin Gage was the veteran player who was inactive.

"To be honest, we realized it was going to be a really big defensive game so we needed all of our horses (on the defensive line) so to speak," Haynes said. "So the coaches made sure we had all of our guys available."

Bears defensive players said the ability to rush the passer only occurred because they held Baltimore running back Jamal Lewis to 34 yards on 15 carries.

"We just knew that coming in here we hadn't given up a rushing TD all year," defensive tackle Tommie Harris said. "We knew that Jamal Lewis is a great running back and we just came and everybody played their gap on defense and the outcome went well for us."

Urlacher wouldn't mind it one bit if he doesn't have to blitz much the rest of this year.

"It was just a four-man rush," he said. "But if we can get pressure with a four-man rush we're going to be good all year long."

Bear Report Top Stories