Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.
With plenty of youth and speed on defense, why haven't the Bears blitzed more to start the season?
Philosophically speaking, Bears coach Matt Eberflus has always believed more in generating a pass rush from the front four and dropping seven defenders into coverage than blitzing. That was certainly the case the past four seasons when he was defensive coordinator with the Indianapolis Colts. Here's what Eberflus said this week about blitzing: "If you look back at the history, I've never been a big pressure guy. Sometimes it's been high in certain games, but overall it's only been around 25 percent, right in there I want to say. We believe in the four-man rush. We believe in dropping seven, having seven guys in coverage and having our four-man rush get pressure. We will pressure at times, certainly situationally and on first and second down, but that's been our philosophy."
I assume you are referring to last Sunday night's game in Green Bay, and if that's the case, I don't think it would have mattered. It was very clear that Aaron Rodgers was targeting rookie Kyler Gordon and to a lesser extent Kindle Vildor, and I don't believe that would have changed if either one of them would have switched spots on the field with Jaylon Johnson. Rodgers would have still thrown to the receivers who were being covered by Gordon and Vildor. One thing that could happen in future weeks is that Johnson could shadow the opponent's top receiver rather than just lining up on the same side of the field all the time. Defensive coordinator Alan Williams discussed that possibility Thursday, saying: "Usually we like to play right and left, [but] down the line we may do that. Those things are all things we look at week-to-week, and that's always a possibility. We just haven't."
Why are the Bears not playing Dominique Robinson a lot?
The Bears like to rotate their defensive linemen so they can keep sending fresh players into the game, and rookie fifth-round pick Dominique Robinson has been a key part of that rotation early in the season. His playing time has been on par with fellow defensive end Trevis Gipson. In fact, both have been on the field for 49 snaps in the first two games, which equates to 37 percent of the defensive snaps. Robinson didn't switch to defensive end until relatively late in his college career at Miami (Ohio), so he's not a polished player. As he gains more experience, I expect his playing time to increase. I know the Bears love his traits and pass-rush potential.