During the 2007 regular season I'd throw some questions back and forth with the opposing team's SB Nation blogger. I thought we'd get back into that for this Thursday's 49ers-Bears exhibition. The Bears are represented by Windy City Gridiron. If you get a chance, check them out this week to see what the Bears are up to.
On the meat behind the Bears offense
Everybody knows the names Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton. Close behind them you know Matt Forte and Kevin Jones. If you are a big time NFL fan you may be aware of the battles between Devin Hester, Rashied Davis, Marty Booker and Brandon Lloyd.
But if you want to know about the Bears you need to know about the names John St. Clair, Josh Beekman, Roberto Garza and John Tait. They along with Olin Kruetz, who I give a pass since he is still working his way back from injury, are what we Bears fans call Chicago Swiss Cheese. When you cannot find a guy to beat out Terrance Newman and then he goes down, it speaks volumes for your team. Against the Seahawks, Rex Grossman never had more than a two step drop before he was seeing blue jerseys. You cannot step up in the pocket or have pocket presence if your line never establishes a pocket.
On the QB situation
If the 49ers can bring pressure, then you can break down the running game and force whatever QB we decide to through out there into dropping the ball off for short gains. The odds are that Kyle Orton will get the nod and start this Thursday, which gives the Bears a little better chance of making teams drop off the pressure. Orton is much better at the short game and can find his reads faster.
On the defense and special teams
The Bears have the NFL's best combo of defense and special teams. Both squads are extremely opportunistic, so don't fall asleep on them. They will take it to the house on you. To me the Bears defense has a very calm before the storm feel to them. They still have a few spots they need to shore up, but there is just kind of a buzz around them right now. I think they can be amazing this year.
The Bears can shut down Frank Gore and company, so if the Niners passing game can't open it up he may have some problems. The Bears front 4, even when not fully healthy, are more than capable of creating enough pressure to shake up a QB. The Bears still will not come at the 49ers 100% heatlhy, they may even shut a couple of guys (Mike Brown) down early to make sure they are available for the regular season.
Thanks again to Windy City Gridiron for giving us a dose of insight into the Bears. While I might not agree with some of his thoughts, I appreciate the thought. This will be a big test for the 49ers offense, even if some of the Bears starters get an early rest. I'd imagine Frank Gore will not see a ton of carries but I don't think the offense will be shutdown quite like the Bears fans think.
At the same time, this will be an equally big test of the 49ers special teams coverage. The Bears are home run hitters when it comes to special teams and the 49ers have been serving up gopher balls the last two weeks. The 49ers have some very solid special teams players but clearly something is not right so far. Think the Michael Robinson injury has factored into it?