Louis, Bears not fazed by Lions' D-line
October, 18, 2012
By Michael C. Wright | ESPNChicago.com
Eric Hartline/US PresswireNdamukong Suh leads a fierce and deep Lions defensive line into Soldier Field on Monday night.LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears interior offensive linemen Lance Louis and Chilo Rachal shrugged off the suggestion the team could be under increased pressure Monday night when it faces a Detroit Lions defensive line that might be one of the league's best.
"They're very good, real good," Rachal said. "(Ndamukong) Suh, (Nick) Fairley, they're tough, they play to the whistle. (Kyle) Vanden Bosch outside, (Cliff) Avril outside, they're good. I wouldn't necessarily call it pressure. We have two really good coaches that prepare us really well. We know we have to execute."
In two games against the Lions in 2011, quarterback Jay Cutler suffered five sacks while throwing for only one touchdown. Detroit's defensive line has also proven adept at stuffing the run, considering that in three of the team's five games, the defense has given up fewer than 80 yards rushing.
During a win over the Philadelphia Eagles last week, the Lions finished with three sacks and 10 tackles for lost yardage led by Avril (2 sacks), Fairley (1/2 sack) and Vanden Bosch (1/2 sack). Suh, meanwhile, is tied for the most sacks by a defensive tackle over the past three years (16 1/2) in addition to 10 1/2 tackles for lost yardage.
That doesn't concern Louis, who says he'll treat the Lions' front four just like any other the Bears have faced.
"They're a real good defensive line. We face good fronts every week. This is going to be no different, how we approach the game," Louis said. "We're just going to come out and focus and play our game. Fairley's gotten better. He's moving around better than last year and playing more physical. Suh's just a strong guy, (good) quickness. He's got a couple of moves he likes to go to."
Louis stressed that it's not important to match Detroit's reputed nastiness up front. In fact, Louis said he's not any more motivated to play against players with such a reputation.
"They're not the only guys that can get down and really get after it," Louis said. "We're just looking forward to the challenge. I just like to play football. I don't care who they line up in front of me. I just want to go out and help my team as best as possible and just have a good outcome at the end."
Rachal, meanwhile, prepares to make his fourth consecutive start at left guard since taking over on Sept. 23 at the position for Chris Spencer. Rachal said the entire unit has improved at communication, adding that "we're coming together as a group, playing physical and can only continue to get better."
Rachal considers the offensive line to be "underrated" and understands the scrutiny his group faces every week after developing a reputation in past years for providing inconsistent protection for Cutler.
"That's because it all starts up front," Rachal said. "If we have a bad game, then the offense has a bad game."