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HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks’ provides Bears ‘film’ on Bengals

Updated: October 7, 2013 1:29PM



Coach Marc Trestman smiled, ducking the question, when asked how much NFL foes could learn about the Bears’ new offense from watching film of his old Montreal Alouettes.

‘‘I can’t answer that,’’ he said Thursday, ‘‘and wouldn’t want to, even if I knew the answer.’’

The Bears, meanwhile, don’t have to venture far to get a closer look at the Cincinnati Bengals’ offense. Their Week 1 opponent starred in HBO’s ‘‘Hard Knocks,’’ a documentary series that follows one NFL team through the preseason.

‘‘You get an insight into their daily lives,’’ safety Chris Conte said. ‘‘[But] we’re not game-planning off of HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks.’ ”

Linebacker Lance Briggs called the show ‘‘fun to watch’’ and said there’s some advantage to learning the backgrounds of players.

Still, he said, ‘‘the tape we turn on here’’ is game film, not a TV show.

The Bears don’t need cable to know whom to concern themselves with — two-time Pro Bowl wideout A.J. Green, quarterback Andy Dalton and the Bengals’ platoons of running backs and tight ends.

‘‘When they get the ball into A.J. Green’s hands, they find success,’’ Briggs said of the man who had 97 catches for 1,350 yards last season. ‘‘So that’s something for you to stop.’’

Linebacker James Anderson said the Bears must ‘‘get hats to the ball’’ to slow Green down.

‘‘Make sure we know where he is at all times,’’ defensive coordinator Mel Tucker said. ‘‘We’ve got to do a great job on him. . . . He’s in that category of guys that can wreck a game.’’

He’s not the entire focus, though. Briggs called the Bengals, who averaged 24.4 points last year, 12th-most in the league, ‘‘an old-fashioned type of team’’ that balances the run and pass. Dalton threw for 3,669 yards with 27 touchdowns and 16 interceptions last season.

‘‘We have to be ready for all phases,’’ Trestman said. ‘‘They’ll take shots and look to make plays on the edges. We’re going to be tested, no doubt about it.’’

He called the Bengals similar ‘‘structurally’’ to the Bears on offense.

‘‘They do a lot of play-action, so that it takes some of the pressure off the quarterback,’’ Briggs said. ‘‘Their blocking schemes allow them to get a little more time when you don’t have D-linemen that are up in your face.

‘‘The scheme, it really caters to what they do best.’’



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