Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Chicago Bears [Print without images]

Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Bears WRs need to get physical

By Jeff Dickerson

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- If a receiver is timid, he'll be useless to Mike Martz on Sunday. One key for the Bears' offense heading into the NFC Championship Game will be for the wideouts to get open against a physical Green Bay secondary, which completely shut down Johnny Knox (zero catches) and Devin Hester (one catch) in the regular-season finale.

Earl Bennett
Earl Bennett missed the Bears' most recent loss to the Packers. He'll play this coming Sunday.
"There are a lot of ways of dealing with it [the Packers physical style]," Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz said. "They obviously are the best in the league at bump and run and pressing and getting a hold of that receiver. They do a great job of it. They are well-schooled in all the details of doing that. You have to have a plan. As a wide receiver, you’ve got to go into that game with a plan for how you’re going to deal with that. Some of it we can use formations and help but by and large it’s a technique issue you have to resolve."

Adding Earl Bennett back into the equation should help the Bears in the passing game. Bennett, inactive Week 17 because of an ankle injury, is the most physical Bears wideout, and the best at creating separation. The next strongest receiver might be Rashied Davis, who filled in for Bennett at Lambeau Field, and turned in his best game of the year - seven catches.

"Rashied all along has been one of our top notch special teams players but his toughness and get after people in the running game has been impressive," Martz said. "He’s very quick, he’s obviously got the speed that we like. It was a great opportunity for him to go into that third receiver role and show us what he could do. We were pleased with him."

Martz's reviews on Devin Aromashodu, however, were not as glowing. While Aromashoud is the tallest receiver on the Bears roster, his toughness was questioned by the coaching staff following the Bears 19-14 win over Detroit in Week 1. In a game where toughness will be at a premium, the odds are slim Aromashodu will be called upon to make a contribution.

"Really, it’s a competitive thing with the other receivers," Martz explained. "If he’s [Aromashodu] not playing that means somebody is probably doing a better job, and is probably a little more consitent at that position. That’s usually what it comes down to, aside from the special teams aspect. He has not been involved in special teams a great deal. When you get down to that part between the three, four and five receivers, all those guys have to be significant on special teams and from that standpoint thats hurt him."