Bears understand threat of Cowboys linebackers DeMarcus Ware, Anthony Spencer
BY JOE COWLEY firstname.lastname@example.org September 26, 2012 10:04PM
Updated: October 29, 2012 6:43AM
The game film of the Dallas Cowboys’ defense might as well be a horror movie the coaches are forcing the Bears to watch.
‘‘For us, matchup-wise, it’s the two outside linebackers,’’ tight end Kellen Davis admitted.
He was referring to DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer, who have a combined six sacks this season and will be looking to haunt quarterback Jay Cutler on Monday night.
‘‘They’re good players, and pretty much for me, that’s my concentration: making sure we can neutralize those guys the best we can,’’ Davis said. ‘‘Their defense is playing just as good as I’ve ever seen them play, and it’s going to be a challenge for us offensively, but definitely something we’ve got to get ready for.’’
The Bears fared well when they played the Cowboys in 2010, with Cutler sacked just once, by Spencer, in a 27-20 victory.
But that was two seasons ago. This season, 3-4 defenses like the Cowboys’ have had their way with the Bears’ offensive line. Indianapolis Colts outside linebackers Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis were menacing the Bears’ line before Freeney had to leave the game with an ankle injury. Mathis still finished with two sacks. In Week 2, the Green Bay Packers’ 3-4 got to Cutler seven times, with outside linebacker Clay Matthews leading the way with 3½ sacks.
Ware has caused more destruction than any outside linebacker in the game since 2005, with a league-leading 103½ sacks in that time.
‘‘Starting off with his unbelievable God-given talent, and he plays hard,’’ coach Lovie Smith said. ‘‘Skill-wise, that’s what you’re looking for on the outside. Our guys get a chance to go against special guys each day, too, to get them ready, but it will be a challenge for our offensive line.’’
Middle linebacker Brian Urlacher had a full practice Wednesday but likely will take Thursday or Friday as a ‘‘rest day’’ if Smith continues the trend since Urlacher returned from knee surgery during training camp.
Defensive end Julius Peppers was on the practice field, but only as a spectator.
Lovie on Packers’ pain
So how much sympathy did Smith have for the NFC North-rival Packers losing the way they did Monday night in Seattle?
‘‘I watched bits and pieces,’’ Smith said. ‘‘I know it’s been on the news quite a bit, but I haven’t spent a whole lot of time with it, no.’’