Bears notebook: Julius Peppers making Chicago's offensive line better
Offensive tackles Chris Williams and Frank Omiyale get no help blocking All-Pro defensive end Julius Peppers in Bears practice.
"We could help and chip Julius, but that would be the wrong thing to do," offensive coordinator Mike Martz said. "We’ve tried to leave those tackles alone on Peppers as much as possible, and they’ve embraced that. It’s going to make them better."
Peppers praised Williams and said Chicago’s 2008 first-round pick is also helping him improve. He said Williams is bigger and stronger than the tackle he practiced against in Carolina.
"He can avoid that bull rush a little better," Peppers said. "It makes you do different things and work on different moves with him.
"He’s staying within himself more. At first, he was kind of all over the place, getting out of his game and trying to adjust his game to what I was doing. Now he’s doing what he does good. That’s the key. Don’t try to adjust to anybody else. Play your game and make the other person adjust to you."
New guards not an experiment
Chicago switched Roberto Garza from right guard to left late last week and slid Lance Louis, a seventh-round pick last year, in on the right side. It should stay that way.
"We’ve got Garza in there and Lance, and we feel like that’s probably where it’s going to go," Martz said.
"That is a physical group," he said of the offensive line. "It’s fun to watch them."
Changing the Cover-2
The Bears’ Cover-2 defense has taken a lot of heat the last few years, but the Bears play their trademark base defense less than one-third of the time. Martz said the Cover-2 needs to keep changing to still work.
"You sit in a defense long enough, guys are pretty good in this league on both sides of the ball; they will figure out a way to get at you and find the Achilles Heel to it," Martz said. "You have to have some multiplicity and changeups.
"I think it’s a really good defense. When they first came out and did it, it was so unique, it was difficult to contend with. And then the more you dealt with it, the less intimidating it was to an offense. They started figuring out different things to beat it.
"That’s where everybody is right now, but it can be outstanding as part of your package on defense. As far as just being the Cover-2, it’s pretty hard to stay in it any more. Guys just know too much about dealing with it. But if you just show it and move into different coverages and have multiplicity, it’s pretty good. That’s what we do. I really like what our guys do on defense."
On the wildest play of training camp, WR Freddie Barnes slipped making a cut, QB Dan LeFevour had his pass tipped by CB Corey Graham and bounce to Barnes, who tipped it to S Josh Bullocks for an interception. ... S Al Afalava intercepted QB Caleb Hanie on a pass that slipped through TE Richard Angulo’s hands. Afalava had another possible interception bounce off his helmet after Angulo barely tipped LeFevour’s pass. ... S Chris Harris jumped a short route by TE Greg Olsen to intercept QB Jay Cutler but also dropped a would-be interception from LeFevour.
Matt Trowbridge can be reached at: 815-987-1383 or email@example.com.