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Jay Cutler must not force things against two-man coverage

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Updated: October 24, 2012 6:43AM



Jay Cutler will acknowledge its existence. He has little choice.

‘‘Two-man is different . . . that’s a different coverage,’’ Cutler said in his weekly tooth-pulling with the media.

But ask him to offer up any details about the two-man defensive coverage the Green Bay Packers used to ground the Bears’ high-powered offense Sept. 13, and . . . good luck.

‘‘You can Google that and figure out what two-man is,’’ Cutler snapped.

No need, Jay. The game film doesn’t lie.

Since being drubbed 23-10 at Lambeau Field, the Bears have spent the last 10 days bringing up the two-man coverage that gave them so many problems.

And they haven’t always been happy to discuss it, either.

‘‘No, I don’t think so,’’ offensive coordinator Mike Tice said when asked whether Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers came up with the blueprint on how to stop the Bears. ‘‘I think this is a copycat league. I think that he didn’t invent anything. He’s a good coach and I respect him, but he certainly didn’t invent a new defense.’’

No, but Capers sure gave the Bears a headache.

The good news is that the St. Louis Rams haven’t shown a lot of two-man coverage on film. The bad news is that Rams coach Jeff Fisher is a master with game preparation and saw the film from the loss to the Packers like everyone else.

Here are the basics of how the two-man coverage works — and how the Rams might use it:

The two corners and nickel back (N) play tight trail-man technique, which means inside coverage and an aggressiveness in jumping any route short because of the help over the top. Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan is perfect for that.

Before the snap, the strong safety shows middle coverage and the free safety shows single-high help. On the snap, though, the strong safety takes the deep half to his left and the free safety takes the deep half behind him.

The two linebackers mirror the halfback (H) and the tight end (Y), which means the linebackers blitz if they stay in to block and it’s tight inside coverage if they go out for a pass. Good luck getting deep on the outsides.

Cutler has to attack the middle of the field, like he did with Matt Forte at times against the Packers. First and foremost, though, he has to be patient.



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