Lions Offensive Line Suspect? Urlacher Thinks So

The struggles of the Lions offensive line have not gone unnoticed around the league. Despite a solid win at home by Detroit against Green Bay, the Chicago Bears are decidedly underwhelmed by what they believe they'll face this Sunday in their home opener against Detroit. Quotes from Bears' linebacker Brian Urlacher, quarterback Joey Harrington and more inside.

ALLEN PARK - The struggles of the Detroit Lions offensive line have not gone unnoticed around the league. Despite a solid win at home by Detroit against Green Bay to open the season, the Chicago Bears are decidedly underwhelmed by what they believe they'll face this Sunday in their home opener against Detroit.

Bears' All Pro linebacker Brian Urlacher was pointed in his remarks and intimated that the Bears will be able to whip the Lions upfront and feels that they can keep the Lions triplets (Roy Williams, Mike Williams and Charles Rogers) off the scoreboard by simply doing one thing well.

"They have Charles Rogers, and (Roy) Williams and the guy out of USC (Mike Williams) and (Marcus) Pollard was one of the best tight ends in the league last year," remarked Urlacher during Wednesday's conference call. "But one of the big things is that you have to protect your quarterback. If (we) put pressure on him, it will stop the run."

When asked if he thought the Lions offensive line was suspect, Urlacher replied, "You said it, not me."

He continued: "We are going to do some things that we feel we can put pressure on the quarterback just like we do every week. We are going to have some schemes where we can get pressure on Joey (Harrington), get some sacks and some takeaways."

Urlacher says the Bears' defense can play better than it did in holding Washington to just three field goals in a 9-7 season opening loss.

"We didn't tackle (against Washington), we didn't get in our gaps and our defense is about getting in their gaps and we didn't do that on Sunday. We missed a bunch of tackles and we just can't do that if we want to give ourselves a chance to win games, we can't do that stuff. Detroit is a totally different offense than Washington is, so we will have a different game plan for them. We just have to tackle and get in our gaps."

When asked how Washington's attack differs from Detroit's, he said, "Washington runs a bunch of zone schemes and they cut our defensive linemen to get them on the ground. I think Detroit is more straight ahead. They run a lot of leads and they will pull a lot of guys."

Lions quarterback Joey Harrington believes the talk about the Lions offensive line being suspect is nonsense.

"I have every bit of confidence in our offensive line. They have done a good job picking up the blitzes so far this year. Very few times have we had any real breakdowns and on the occasions that it does happen we have picked it (the blitz) up well."

Harrington believes Detroit will be able to move the football against Chicago but admitted it would be a different challenge.

"It's nice when you play well against those types of defenses and do the things that you plan on doing, but you also have to know that it is a great defense and it's the type of defense that will hold a team in a game. If things don't go well for us every play of the game we've got to be solid enough in the head to know that we've got to keep pushing and know that we are going to make those plays eventually.

"We are going to make plays; we have too many guys out here for it not to work."

Coach Lovie Smith is counting on his defense to back up its talk.

"That is how we set our team up. We have a good defense. We are in the second year with our defense and this is the first year for our new offensive system. That should be the case with good defense and great play from our special teams as we come along.

Bears' head coach Lovie Smith is getting his defensive unit geared up for Detroit
"We talked earlier, we do have a new quarterback (rookie Kyle Orton) and he is getting used to being in control of the offense but our defense has been together and we expect them to lead us. We played okay last week. We were pleased with the 9 points that we gave up but we can play a lot better than we did this past week."

EXTRA POINTS: Lions corner R.W. McQuarters is returning to his old stomping ground this week in the Windy City. Coach Lovie Smith said he was disappointed things ended the way they did for the veteran standout.

"I am sorry it ended the way it did, because R.W. did an awful lot for us around here, for the Bears organization," said Smith. "That is part of it and players leave and move on and you just want what is best for them as they leave and that is how I feel about R.W. He is a good football player and I know Detroit is very pleased with what he has done for their team."

McQuarters, for his part, is philosophical about his return to Chicago and the reception he'll receive. "Some cheers, but I think mostly boos. I think mostly boos. I think they'll boo me, and they'll boo me, and then they'll boo me some more. That is how it is. I expect it. Obviously if the cheers are there, that is great; but the boos are great (too). Somebody is going to boo me; I understand that."

Detroit worked out two rookie free agent kickers and also had veterans Remy Hamilton and Wade Richey in town but didn't sign anyone. They are hoping that they can get through this weekend's contest against Chicago and use the bye week for kicker Jason Hanson to recover from his pulled hamstring injury.

"It's not resolved yet because we haven't done anything with it yet," Mariucci said. "We're going to have him be a little bit more active tomorrow to see where he is We tried out some kickers this week, Todd France and Tyler Jones today.

"We've looked at four guys to see who's available for a 53-man squad and for the practice squad. No decisions have been made yet. We're still waiting on Jason's (Hanson) availability. You saw Nick (Harris) kick today. Joey (Harrington) held."

Detroit has the option of signing a kicker to the practice squad, having him work right up to game time and then signing him to the active roster. Detroit also had punter Nick Harris workout kicking field goals with Harrington acting as the holder.

Lions' insider Mike Fowler is a familiar face around Allen Park, having covered the Detroit Lions beat for several years. Fowler is a regular voice on many radio programs across the state, and is recognized in the media as one of the more respected and informed NFL analysts.

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