Bears offense gearing up for noise, blitzes at Superdome
BY SEAN JENSEN email@example.com September 14, 2011 10:04PM
Quarterback Jay Cutler expects calling plays to be a challenge with the noise level at the Louisiana Superdome on Sunday. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times
Updated: November 10, 2011 10:29AM
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, who starred at Vanderbilt, knows all about loud stadiums because he played in the SEC.
But Cutler’s not sure what to expect Sunday at the Louisiana Superdome.
“Never been, so I don’t know,” he said. “I’m sure it’s going to be interesting. It’s extremely loud, and they really get into it, so it’s going to be a challenge for us to just get the play called and break the huddle and get the snap count and get everyone rolling.”
The Saints get a distinct home-dome advantage, and the Bears will try to adjust by simulating crowd noise during practice at Halas Hall this week.
“Obviously, it’s a big challenge,” center Roberto Garza said. “They’re a good defense on a number of fronts, so we have to be ready for the noise and some adversity.”
Garza said the offense will work on different counts. But visiting teams often have had to rely on the silent count because of the intense noise.
“We’re going to have to communicate and make up some calls or go by hand signals or whatever we have to do to get the job done,” Garza said.
But noise isn’t the only challenge when facing the Saints.
They also boast a blitz-happy defense.
“Their defense is unorthodox, to say the least,” Cutler said. “They do a lot of stuff, and they’re going to send some crazy blitzes at you and some things you’ve never seen.
“And they’ve had a couple of extra days to prepare for us, so I’m sure they’re going to have some things dialed in for us.”
The Saints lost 42-34 last Thursday to the Green Bay Packers in the opening game of the 2011 season.
Offensive coordinator Mike Martz added that his offensive players can’t afford the slightest error.
“We got to make sure we know who to get and how to get them and execute,” Martz said.
One thing the Bears did establish in the game against the Falcons is that they will spread the ball out. Cutler attempted passes to nine teammates and completed a pass to eight of them.
“We talked about it during training camp, about not really having a No. 1 guy, and in this offense, you don’t really need one,” he said. “It’s going to be by committee, and everybody’s going to get to touch the ball.
“I don’t know where it’s going to go until I’m three, four or five steps into the drop and the coverage really dictates itself. Those guys are ready, and they know their number could be called at any time.”
Coach Lovie Smith said his team is now gearing up for its first road test, a difficult one against a 2010 playoff team.
“In order for us to achieve our goals, we need to be able to win on the road,” Smith said, “so we’re excited about that [opportunity].”