Bears pick their spots to blitz in preseason

August, 19, 2010
8/19/10
4:08
PM ET
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – San Diego Chargers defensive coordinator Ron Rivera's decision to dial up the pressure last weekend against the Chicago Bears caused a minor stir, especially after Mike Martz admitted San Diego's aggressive game plan limited Jay Cutler to only eight snaps.

Meanwhile, the Bears stayed true to their belief of never showing the opponent too much in a preseason contest.

"If you over scheme it, sometimes the offense is not ready for it and you're winning by a scheme right now, in the regular season they [the offense] will be ready," Bears defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said Thursday. "What you want to make sure is that we're ready in our base stuff, so when we do put something in, it adds to what we do. But if you don't have that concrete base on pursuit, tackling, gap control and generating pressure on a four-man front, [you're in trouble].

“I don't mind this time of the year, if when you blitz, you blitz into the side of protection because you want to see who can beat a block. The worst thing right now is you get a blitzer and he's free. In the regular season you like that, but right now, you want to see which blitzers can beat a block."

One player who grabbed Marinelli's attention last weekend was rookie safety Major Wright. Echoing the sentiments of Bears head coach Lovie Smith, Marinelli feels Wright help his caused in the competition at safety, despite the rookie suffering a left index fracture that required surgery.

"There's a lot of other plays in a game we see that you might miss, just little detail things, but that tackle he made in the open field was really an exceptional tackle against a heck of a back," Marinelli said. "You can see some of the stuff he has. Now we just have to keep him going and hopefully the competition level rises."

Danieal Manning is expected to make his preseason debut and start at strong safety Saturday night against Oakland, while Wright and Craig Steltz (high ankle sprain) were already ruled out.

Jeff Dickerson | email

Chicago Bears beat reporter
Dickerson has been the Bears beat reporter for ESPN Chicago since 2004. He also hosts weeknight radio shows on ESPN 1000.

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