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Friday, October 7, 2011
Bears bracing for 'Megatron'

By Nick Friedell

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Julius Peppers doesn't even hesitate while considering the question he's just been asked.

As a defense, what can you do to slow Calvin Johnson down?

Calvin Johson
Calvin Johnson led the Lions' big comeback against the Cowboys, continuing his impressive start.
"Nothing," Peppers said after Friday's practice.

Well, then.

Out of all the weapons the Chicago Bears will have to account for on Monday night, they know that the biggest one is trying to stop the Detroit Lions wide receiver known as "Megatron."

"When they get down, we know who they're going to go to," Bears linebacker Lance Briggs said. "It's no secret. Eighty-one is a go-to guy. He's a go-to guy on any team. We need just to be consistent and get downhill defensively."

In order to do that, Bears safety Chris Harris knows that he and his teammates must be aggressive against Johnson.

"I think we have to be physical with him," Harris said. "I think that's one thing you got to do is try to be physical with him. He's a big body; you can't allow him just to have free releases. He's got very, very good speed. We want to try to throw off the timing, the timing routes."

Obviously, that's easier said than done and Peppers knows it. After a little prodding from reporters, he admitted that the only way to have a chance to slow down Johnson and Co. is to get to Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford early and often.

"That's it," Peppers said. "That's all you can do. Get the quarterback down."

That would be a welcome relief for a defensive unit that has struggled mightily at times over the past few weeks.

"We just got to execute better and do everything better," Peppers said. "But it will come together soon."