On Losing Collins and Looking Ahead to Bears Week

Well, at least we got through one game unscathed this year. The season-ending injury to Nick Collins is a big blow to the defense. It won’t cause Dom Capers to change his scheme, but it will force him to do things a bit differently.

In steps Charlie Peprah, who did a fine job filling in for Morgan Burnett last season. But Peprah will not make us forget about Collins. He’s not as instinctive, can’t cover as much ground and doesn’t have Collins’ speed. Expect Burnett to be asked to do more–my gut tells me he is up to the challenge. I love how physically he plays–I think he has star potential. There’s also the chance Charles Woodson could play some safety down the road, if things aren’t looking good.

The Packers face the potential of taking on the Bears minus three defensive starters (four, if you count Frank Zombo). Collins and Neal are out and Tramon Williams’ status remains up in the air. Not the ideal situation heading into a key divisional game and rematch of the NFC title game a year ago. The Bears have injuries of their own: rookie right tackly Gabe Carimi dislocated his knee and will miss a month. Safeties Major Wright (head) and Chris Harris (hamstring) are nursing injuries and their status is unclear.

After a rousing and eye-opening win over Atlanta in Week 1, the Bears melted down in New Orleans. They fell behind in the second half, Mike Martz abandoned the run and almost got his QB killed. Jay Cutler was hit 16 times, knocked down 12 and was sacked six times, five in the fourth quarter after Carimi went down. Martz is getting torched in the media for only running the ball 12 times so he will over-compensate this week. Good lucj against the Pack’s stingy run defense. The Bears’ tight ends didn’t catch a ball last week. With Greg Olsen gone, they’re going with blocking tight ends, which their shaky offensive line needs. But it eliminates a weapon on a team very short of receiving weapons. Right now, to game plan against the Bears you concentrate on taking Matt Forte out of the equation and let someone else beat you.

Cutler was blitzed on 34 of 51 plays and he can expect to see more of the same this week against the Packers. Line coach Mike Tice is doing more shifting. He’ll move guard Frank Omiyale to right tackle and center Chris Spencer to right guard. Roberto Garza is the new center. You can but Cutler will not get a lot of sleep this week.

I’ll have much more on this big game later in the week.

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13 Responses to On Losing Collins and Looking Ahead to Bears Week

  1. lynndickeyfan says:

    So the expectation here is that Knox and someone else will get a 30 plus yard catch and
    the Bears will have 3 or four explosive plays that we’ll all look at criticize.
    That has happened just about every time we have played Lovie’s Bears. The hope
    is that Peprah like Collins keeps these from being touchdowns. If you wanted
    a good test to see exactly where this defense is at, this is it. If Matthews and the
    gang let Cutler throw even 300 up on them, then you can have serious doubts about how
    deep the playoff run is going to be. The new mantra might be Defense wins championships,
    but offense gets you there.

    We’re going to here a lot about the bend but don’t break defense of the Packers the way
    things are going, but that’s no excuse this week. If Cutler puts up numbers any where close
    to what happened weeks one or two then the brain trust are really going to have to come up
    with something.

    My expectation here is a 7 point win. This game is away and it’s the Bears. On the plus
    side the field should still be in decent shape and the Bear O line is a mess. If you’re
    guessing who is going to hit home this week, I’m going with Raji. I’m thinking 2.5 sacks.

    Dave, I think the first take is the best. Stop Forte, and let Cutler throw you the ball.

  2. larry says:

    i still can’t believe that collins is done. i saw the hit 10 times, he barely hit him, with his thigh,what next? could be sterling sharpe all over again. if i were dom, leave peprah where he is comfortable and was most of all last year and is a great tackler and move burnett to free saftey where he can run and make plays. that makes a lot more sense to me. the thing is lynn dicky fan, they will throw to forte more then they run him anyway, that is where he is dangerous. by the way, many many years ago, i was at a perkins and 2 different people came up to me and thought i was lynn dickey. i had the same hair. that was neat. i’m thinking the score is going to be 3 points either way i’ll let u know friday. go world champs

  3. Al says:

    Athletically speaking, Burnett can play well. Not so sure he can replace Collins’ mental acuity, experience and savvy. Burnett is just a second year player, who missed most of his rookie season. He also can’t always be expected to make the correct coverage calls/audibles on the field. My guess is Peprah will be in charge of that. This will be a big test for both he and Peprah. We’ll see what happens.

  4. Paul from Eagan says:

    Folks, let’s not forget this is only the 3rd game of the season, and that we lost extremely valuable players last year, and that we won the superbowl with a ton of replacement players. Will this be a test, sure, all games are but after hearing “In TT we trust,” I hear fans backpedaling. Our season came together last year because the coaching staff has a system where players are plugged in and if they follow their assignments it works, usually. Plus TT finds talent like no other GM. This is a system that works and even though we’ve again lost in some areas we’ve gained in others like the running game that we now which we didn’t have last year. Just like last year this is an EVOLVING team.

  5. SchenySchen says:

    This will be a tough game, as Bear games usually are. With regard to our defense and our pass defense in particular, the jury will really be out until Mike Neal comes back. The productivity of someone other than CMIII to provide pass rush is what will make our secondary and thus our pass defense better. Getting Tramon back, will allow Dom to use #21 to harrass and confuse the line of scrimmage. — On offense, we need to mix run and pass better to keep Bears D off balance. Take the swing passes like the Saints did. Take the shallow crossing routes and sit down routes to exploit the weak underneath coverage. Would love to see Alex Green this week. Grant has come up with some big games against the Bears but clearly Starks should see more playing time as he is a better receiver and harder runner. 27-20 Packers. GoPack!

  6. SchenySchen says:

    ps. anyone that thinks we should bring back Sharper is delusional…..you will be mocked and ridiculed if you bring that “Take” to the HeadCheese comment board. GoPack!

  7. OLD South Side GUY says:

    We have to be concerned about losing Nick Collins for the season. At 28….he was in his prime…3 straight Pro Bowls…17 picks in the last 3 years. He played as a great last line of defense supporting our front seven’s pass rushing. Dom Capers has said you need to build your defense around 3 key playmakers and our top three are probably…1- Clay Mathews…2- Charles Woodson…3- BJ Rajhi with Tramon Williams and Nick Collins probably 4 and 5. Capers bases his defenses for teams around these 5 guys. Quoting Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette:
    ” Peprah lacks Collins’ abilities to run and play the ball, and he’ll be alongside Burnett, a second-year pro who has played in only six NFL games, instead of Collins, who could change games with interceptions (17 in the previous three seasons combined) and provide a blitz security blanket for Capers as the last line of defense.” If we can pressure Cutler into sacks and mistakes we will be fine. The offensive Bears that usually hurt us the most are Forte, using their tight end even though Olsen is gone, and Hester in big kick returns. If our defensive scheme stops this trifecta we should prevail. GO PACK GO !!

  8. Dennis Cockadix says:

    I heard a report that Darren Sharper would be a great fit in Green Bay. Think about it, he played his first 15 seasons in a Greenby Uniform, he played Safety in high school, AND he is dating McCarthy’s daughter if I’m not mistaking. Sign him!

  9. larry says:

    nice try p.a. i know your cockadix, just worry about the 0-2 vikings. we will worry about the world champs no one could talk so unintelligent about the packers. it has to be a viking fan and rube. I still say burnett will [play free safety and peprah strong. he can still call all the plays. he is a smart football mind. burnett has great ball skills and speed that is why they drafted him, just watch fellas. go pack

  10. OLD South Side Guy says:

    If Dennis Cockadix is really P. A. that is really bush ! Can anyone verify ???

  11. SchenySchen says:

    Dennis can’t be “PA”. Besides, PA loves the Packers, as is evidenced by his mancrush on Wayne Larravie. I love that about PA. GoPack!

  12. Noopers says:

    Explain to me how the Packer punter could punt to the sidelines without telling his teammates.
    And how Chicago knew enough to have Hester make the fake fair catch signal. And even IF the
    punt was shanked they’re always supposed to be prepared for possible reverse or lateral, so
    some Packers SHOULD have been on that side of the field ?

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