suntimes
PICTURESQUE 
Weather Updates

Bears have nothing special planned for Tim Tebow

Tim Tebow is guiding Broncos offense thhas averaged 205 yards rushing en route winning five games row. | AP

Tim Tebow is guiding a Broncos offense that has averaged 205 yards rushing en route to winning five games in a row. | AP

storyidforme: 22494984
tmspicid: 8381446
fileheaderid: 3788525

Updated: January 10, 2012 8:26AM



Finally breaking down during a relentless interrogation Thursday, linebacker Brian Urlacher revealed the Bears’ secret plan to thwart Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos’ option attack: They’re going to play football.

‘‘We just have to be gap-sound and run to the football, and we should be OK,’’ Urlacher told reporters at Halas Hall. ‘‘We have rules for every offense we play that stay true all season. Carolina ran a similar offense. Every once in a while, they’d run some option, so it’s not a whole lot of adjusting for us.’’

‘‘It’s not rocket science,’’ linebacker Lance Briggs said. ‘‘You have to be disciplined, but we have the guys who can do it.’’

In five consecutive victories with Tebow running an option-oriented attack, the Broncos are averaging 205 yards rushing and 4.9 yards per rush. They also lead the NFL in rushing overall (159 yards per game).

But with Urlacher in the middle, more speed than most teams Tebow has faced and solid tacklers at all positions, the Bears think they match up well, no matter how unorthodox an offense it might be for a team to defend.

‘‘We feel like we’re prepared for it,’’ coach Lovie Smith said. ‘‘It’s not like we’re putting in new defenses. If you have a defense you’re comfortable with, it should be sound versus anything you see — and we feel that way about it.’’

The Bears have defended mobile quarterbacks better than most, particularly the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Josh Freeman (50.5 passer rating, no rushing yards) and the Philadelphia Eagles’
Michael Vick (60.5 passer rating, 34 rushing yards).

‘‘Yeah, but he’s not
Michael Vick,’’ Urlacher said. ‘‘Plus, that’s when Jay [Cutler] was playing. We weren’t quite on the field that much because our offense was
doing really well.

‘‘But we’re an athletic defense. We’ve got a pretty good front seven [or] eight. So we run to the football and hopefully get takeaways, like we haven’t done the last couple of weeks. Just run to the football and do what we do.’’

Still, Tebow has been uncanny in finding ways to make a difference. He has won with 18, 17, 17 and 16 points. But when the Broncos allowed 24 points against the Oakland Raiders, they scored 31 with Tebow at quarterback. When the Minne-
sota Vikings scored 32 on Sunday, Tebow led four
second-half touchdown drives to win 35-32.

‘‘It sucks to lose to a guy who’s not a throwing quarterback,’’ Vikings defensive end Jared Allen said on NFL Network’s ‘‘Total Access.’’

Asked if he would be
embarrassed to lose to Tebow, Briggs said: ‘‘No, I will be freaking pissed. But he’s a competitor. Of course, you don’t want to lose, and we’re in a position where we can’t lose. Every game is a must. So I guess we look at it that way.’’

But players such as Briggs find it hard to believe a guy like Tebow can beat them.

‘‘He’s a scrambler; they run a lot,’’ Briggs said. ‘‘And we’re going to stop that crap.’’



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.