Justin Fields should get boost from facing familiar defensive scheme

Quarterback Justin Fields walks to the line of scrimmage Sunday against the Packers.

Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Quarterback Justin Fields will know what he’s looking at Sunday against the Texans.

He’s seen the same thing since the start of the Bears’ offseason program.

“Their defense and our defense kind of come from the same family branch,  he said. “A lot of the same stuff.”

The schemes of Bears head coach Matt Eberflus and Texans head coach Lovie Smith are first cousins by way of former Bears defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli.   Both teams use a Cover 2 base and rely on their four down linemen — and blitzers only rarely — to pressure the quarterback.  

Smith and Marinelli were together as Buccaneers assistants underneath Monte Kiffin, the father of the “Tampa 2” defense, from 1996-2000. After working for Smith his last three years as the Bears’ head coach, Marinelli went to Dallas as a position coach in 2013. He became their coordinator the next year. Eberlus, who considers Marinelli his mentor, was Marinelli’s linebackers coach until leaving for the Colts coordinator job in 2018.

“Lovie’s run this system a long time,” Eberflus said. “He’s mixed in a couple new things that we’ve seen.”

Still, most of it will look familiar to Fields, who could use a boost after the second-year quarterback threw only 11 times and for only 70 yards against the Packers on Sunday. 

“There’s banked reps on certain things,” quarterbacks coach Andrew Janocko said. “You have familiarity. It’s a way to grab experience. It’s definitely something that we’ll try to use to our advantage in different ways.”

Fields need to see the coverage clearly. He …read more

Source:: Chicago Sun Times

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