Scouting the Bears: Packers' Perspectives

What does Aaron Rodgers have to say about Brian Urlacher? Joe Philbin on Julius Peppers? T.J. Lang on one of the Bears' young standouts, Henry Melton? We have those scouting reports and more, straight from the Packers' locker room.

Aaron Rodgers on MLB Brian Urlacher (via WAUK radio in Milwaukee): He's my favorite player to play against, and a guy I really respect. I respect the way he plays. He plays a clean game. Not a dirty player. Not a reckless out-of-control player. I think he really appreciates the game and respects the game and has played it well for a long time. ... My heart goes out to him, losing his mom. Can't imagine what that would be like. So, I look forward to giving him my best when I see him on Sunday and then trying to beat him. There are a lot of dummy calls that go on. There is such a familiarity with the individual calls that we both use a number of dummy words out there, mixed in with some words that actually mean something. It's a chess match. But it's exciting to play against Brian to try to beat him at the mental game.

Offensive coordinator Joe Philbin on DE Julius Peppers: A very good football player. He's got a lot of excellent physical attributes — got excellent length, good initial speed and get-off, and he's had a history of pressuring the quarterback. He's a very good football player. Plays the run well, too. Sometimes in this league, you get big status for being a pass rusher and maybe the run game is the secondary thing, but I think he's a complete defensive end. He plays the run well, he can hold his gap well in the run game and he obviously can generate pass rush and get after the quarterback.

RT Bryan Bulaga on Bears DEs Peppers and Israel Idonije: You know Peppers. Peppers is Peppers — one of the best in the league. He does everything well. Idonije is a high-effort player. Good strength, good length, good quickness off the ball. Strong guy. Plays smart. Nick Reed's more of a speed guy. He's got good quickness, gets off the ball well, can spin well. They all play the run well.

Offensive line coach James Campen on the Bears' defensive tackles minus Tommie Harris: Henry Melton is doing a fine job. He's really done an excellent job. The kid they got from Houston (Amobi Okoye), the first-round pick, he's a very explosive kid. Then they'll move (Matt Toeaina). (Anthony Adams) is working his way back in after being injured in the preseason. He played a little bit in Atlanta and played more last week. They have a nice four-man rotation there.

LG T.J. Lang on Melton, who has two sacks: He plays the three-technique so he'll travel to the strong side of the formation, and Anthony Adams and Matt Toeaina are the guys who play nose guard. You watch the Atlanta game, Henry was all over the place. He was hitting the quarterback, he was making tackles for loss, getting sacks. I thought he was a pretty good player last year but he's really stepped up this year. He's an explosive guy and very active. He's probably going to be one of the toughest opponents I've faced. With him, it's a matter of being fundamentally sound and not lunging at guys. Just staying true to my technique and take things from there.

LB Desmond Bishop on RB Matt Forte: We were having a good discussion about him earlier. I think he's good. He can run with power, he's got a little bit of finesse and can make you miss, he's got good vision, and he also can be a receiver. I think he's all-around pretty good. In my opinion, I think he's underrated.

S Charlie Peprah on Forte: Just get him the ball in space and let him run. He's a great athlete, he's quick, he can make you miss and he's powerful. Why not get him the ball any way you can?

Cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt on the Bears' receivers: You have real speed guys with (Devin) Hester and (Johnny) Knox that can really stretch the field. You have to make sure you're aware of that. They're going to use Hester and try to get him in the screen game and let him run the ball. He's a weapon. You've got a talented guy like Roy Williams. We have a history with him and we understand how to play him. You've got to play him at a high level because he can make plays and has a lot of talent. The true receivers are (Earl Bennett) and (Dane Sanzenbacher). Those guys can really run routes and can catch the ball. They understand how to run routes and can get in and out of breaks. I think they're really good players. (Sanzenbacher) will be a decent player in this league one day.

Defensive coordinator Dom Capers on the Bears' skill players: "Hester, because of his return skills, he's very good with the ball in his hands. They want to get him the ball right now on screens, or up the field because of his speed. Knox is another guy that can go up the field and attack you with speed. Really the guy that's made the offense go has been Forte. All you have to do is look at the stats. Here's a guy, he's got 15 receptions and the next guy's got five. He's a good runner — he's physical, has good quickness and burst to cut the ball back. They'd like to get him as involved as they can. (Jay) Cutler, when he gets in a groove, he can make all the throws. Maybe the perception of them offensively got influenced heavily because they played the whole fourth quarter of the New Orleans game in a two-minute drill with four wide receivers on the field. They don't use a lot of four wide receivers until they get into two minute, so their protection broke down and the game kind of got away from them. They had only given up one sack in the first three quarters but gave up five in the fourth quarter."

Capers on TEs Kellen Davis and Matt Spaeth, who have replaced Greg Olsen: Mike (Martz), I think he's always liked to have tight ends that can block. I think it's helped their run game. I think they've upgraded in terms of the blocking ability. The tight ends are two big tight ends. They've got a fullback (Tyler Clutts) this year, which they didn't have a fullback last year – they would put a tight end back there – but now they're using a fullback at times. They'll put a fullback in there and go two backs and two tight ends and one wide receiver, and they'll still put three tight ends on the field.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.


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