Chicago Bears’ defensive strategy will be very unique versus 49ersRyan Heckmanon September 10, 2022 at 2:55 pm

Sunday afternoon, the Chicago Bears get their first test as a newly-formed roster and coaching staff under Matt Eberflus.

Chicago’s forecast expects to include rain throughout the game, making things a little more interesting for two second-year quarterbacks, Justin Fields and Trey Lance.

While the Bears are obvious underdogs at home, the weather could make things difficult on both sides, offering a more unpredictable type of afternoon. Defensively, the Bears look to be very healthy for this one, thankfully.

The only player on the injury report, defensively, is rookie pass rusher Dominique Robinson — and he was a full-go on Friday. Speaking of that defensive line, the group figures to see a much different strategy than fans are used to seeing in Chicago.

Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Alan Williams will deploy his defensive line in a more unorthodox style against the 49ers.

Williams told Bears senior writer Larry Mayer that he plans to use his defensive line in more of a hockey-centric way this season.

“We told guys this is going to be the hardest thing you’re ever going to do from a sports standpoint, so we’ve been preparing for this since Day 1,” Williams said. “What we do is we run all day long, and so our guys are prepared to get out there and go, to exhaust everything they have, to put it out there on the field and then they’ll get a blow and the next group will come in. And then they’ll do the same thing and the next group will come in after that.”

From the sound of it, the Bears have been practicing this way all throughout camp. Williams will have a couple of different line groupings that he’ll send in every couple of plays or so, in order to keep his linemen fresh, warm and constantly moving.

Starting will be Robert Quinn, Angelo Blackson, Justin Jones and Al-Quadin Muhammad. But, mixed in will also be Trevis Gipson, the rookie Robinson and Armon Watts.

Last season, the Bears finished fifth in the NFL in sacks and that was also with Khalil Mack who didn’t play an entire season, finishing with just six sacks on the season.

This year, their revamped line includes guys who are better suited to rush the passer, both inside and outside. Guys like Jones, Blackson and Watts are much more experienced pass rushers than the likes of Khyiris Tonga and Eddie Goldman, who are no longer with the team.

If the Bears are to have a shot against the 49ers, in a rainy game, this line is going to need to get through to Lance and make him uncomfortable, forcing some errant throws and taking the football away a couple of times. Fortunately, that’s exactly where the Bears have an advantage.

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