Forte: It takes a half to figure out the Packers defense

Bears running back Matt Forte was just about the only Bears offensive player to enjoy success against the Packers in their two meetings in 2011.

He gained 311 yards from scrimmage in those two games, an incredible figure for a running back on a team that scored 17 combined points in two losses.  After we talked to Forte about his contract, PFT asked him about the challenges of facing the Packers.

“The Packers are tough to figure out,” Forte said.   “They do so many different things and really it takes a half to figure out what we can do against them.”

Forte said the Bears were able to “settle down” against the Packers in the NFC Championship after halftime.   Staying patient is easier said than done.

“The tough thing is they have a good offense,” Forte said.  “If you are trying to figure out what to do against them while they are scoring points, you get behind easily.”

So what makes them so tough to figure out?

“They do a lot of different blitzes.    They put a lot of pressure on your protection.  You look at film and they blitz safeties, nickel guys, linebackers; they do cross-blitzes; they line up linebackers at defensive end and defensive ends at linebackers.   It’s a lot to prepare for,” Forte said.

Pittsburgh’s shaky pass protection has surely learned this fact in film study last week.  And the Steelers don’t want to wait until halftime to start figuring the Packers defense out.

29 responses to “Forte: It takes a half to figure out the Packers defense

  1. Didn’t they have 4 halves this year to figure them out prior to the championship game?

  2. I guess the Jets will tell you the same about the Steelers. I think teams change their game plan when they have what they think is a commanding lead.

  3. One half?

    Ask Chris Johnson, Michael Turner, Ray Rice (twice), Cedric Benson (twice), Peyton Hillis (twice), Pierre Thomas, Ricky Williams, Shonn Green and Ladanian Tomlinson how long it takes to figure out the Steelers defense.

    They still haven’t figured it out.

  4. Yeah, Martz should have stopped the jedi mind tricks and just pounded the rock against the cheese heads.

  5. laxer37 says: Jan 31, 2011 7:05 PM

    One half?

    Ask Chris Johnson, Michael Turner, Ray Rice (twice), Cedric Benson (twice), Peyton Hillis (twice), Pierre Thomas, Ricky Williams, Shonn Green and Ladanian Tomlinson how long it takes to figure out the Steelers defense.

    They still haven’t figured it out.
    *******************************************************
    I don’t know what game you were watching, but the one I watched showed the Steelers hanging on and the Jets coming on stronger as the game went on.

    I’m not hatin, I’m just sayin.

  6. packattack1967 says:
    Jan 31, 2011 6:46 PM
    This shall be fun. (you guys do know we have 12 starters on IR coming back next year?)
    ________________________________

    You really think those 12 on IR will come back and earn their starting job back? You’re a moron.

  7. Great, here come all the little packrats to feed on this carcass of a story. Must be yet another slow news day. Oh, well. At least it’s not another “We’ve been meeting all week. But as with every other time we’ve made zero progress” CBA report.

  8. Didn ’t they have 4 halves this year to figure them
    out prior to the championship game?

    ######

    you do realize teams change up their gameplans, especially for division foes, right?

  9. Do you Packer fans really think you can beat the Steelers? Might be 75 and sunny in MN tomorrow too I guess…

  10. Why didn’t anyone ever realize that you CAN run against this team? Why did they Bears give up on the running game if he was having success?

    They allowed 4.7 yards/rush which was 30th in the league! 18th overall in rushing D and the only reason they were that high was because nobody tried to run on them (6th fewest attempts against)

    Usually a Defense in this scheme should be a lot better in stopping the run. I’ve seen teams try to run the ball on the Steelers by spreading them out and it is still very hard. I wonder what it would be like to spread the Packers out, Get Raji off the field and run it on their already soft Run D?

    Control the ball and keep Rogers off the field. The Steelers coaches are way better than Lovie and the boys.

  11. da bearsssss scored 3 points the last game!! guess they really figured that one out!! especially if your trying to knock someone out of the playoffs!!

  12. Since Dom Capers stole the defensive concept from Dick LeBeau, shouldn’t it be easy for Ben and company to figure it out since the origin is in house?

  13. Your right the Packers have not played against any good runners this year.
    Adrian Peterson twice
    Mike Vick twice
    Micheal Turner twice
    Matt Forte twice
    Marshawn Lynch
    Ladanian Tomlinson
    and that entire crew of New York Giant running backs.

  14. pervyharvin says: Jan 31, 2011 8:24 PM

    Do you Packer fans really think you can beat the Steelers? Might be 75 and sunny in MN tomorrow too I guess…

    ===============================

    And what would Minnesota do in this situation? No really, tell me. Since I have been alive they were never in the Super Bowl!

  15. dfeltz says: Jan 31, 2011 7:42 PM

    packattack1967 says:
    Jan 31, 2011 6:46 PM
    This shall be fun. (you guys do know we have 12 starters on IR coming back next year?)
    ________________________________

    You really think those 12 on IR will come back and earn their starting job back? You’re a moron.

    __________________________________
    Dfeltz is a complete homer! Sure not all twelve are starters and even SOME of them will not get their starting spots back. Nick Barnett will likely get cut; however Finley, Neal, Burnett, Brad Jones, Grant, and Jolly will all have major impacts. The funny thing is our backups are better than ANY other teams starters and the Packers are about to prove it this Sunday.

  16. zone44blitz says:
    Jan 31, 2011 8:48 PM
    Since Dom Capers stole the defensive concept from Dick LeBeau, shouldn’t it be easy for Ben and company to figure it out since the origin is in house?
    =========================
    Might want to review your history, as it’s the other way around. Capers was in Pittsburgh before LeBeau.

  17. zone44blitz says:
    Jan 31, 2011 8:48 PM
    Since Dom Capers stole the defensive concept from Dick LeBeau, shouldn’t it be easy for Ben and company to figure it out since the origin is in house?

    ___________________________________

    Actually, the first coach to use the zone blitz was John Rosenberg, a coach at Penn State and the Philadelphia Stars of the USFL. Rosenberg first brought it to the pro football with the Stars in 1983, after he used the concept of dropping a lineman into coverage at Penn State. Penn State often used D-lineman Greg Gattuso to drop into coverage in during the 1982 season. Capers replaced Rosenberg as DB coach with the Stars in 1984, but kept the concept of dropping a lineman into coverage to confuse the QB and hide the blitzer. Capers and Lebeau, who also started using a similar concept with the Bengals in 1988, joined forces with the Steelers and perfected the whole zone blitz package together. Capers was the D-Coordinator and LeBeau was the DB coach with the Steelers at the time.

  18. dfeltz says:
    Jan 31, 2011 7:42 PM
    packattack1967 says:
    Jan 31, 2011 6:46 PM
    This shall be fun. (you guys do know we have 12 starters on IR coming back next year?)
    ________________________________

    You really think those 12 on IR will come back and earn their starting job back? You’re a moron.
    ________________________________
    Not a tough concept to consider that having 12 starters (or former starters) from a preseason Super Bowl favorite returning next year immediately makes them favorites next year.

    Whether they return to start is irrelevant, since it enhances their depth whether they start or not. Jermichael Finley & Ryan Grant will certainly start and Johnny Jolly (not on IR, but suspended) Morgan Burnett & Mike Neal will certainly be factors on defense.

    The GB Packers will be a force to reckon with for the next decade. With Aaron Rodgers at QB and the youth and talent they have in place on both sides of the ball…they will make a run at the Steelers mark of most Super Bowl wins ever.

  19. It takes a half to figure out the Packers defense, unless you’re the steelers. Then you see the real version of the 3-4 every day in practice.

  20. @Sparta Chris

    Might want to review your history, as it’s the other way around. Capers was in Pittsburgh before LeBeau.

    ====================================

    Capers may have been in Pittsburgh before Coach LeBeau but Dick did invent the 3-4 Zone Blitz on a napkin on an airplane. Capers worked under Dick on the 1990’s Blitzburgh staff.

  21. The we have a ton of injuries/players on the IR argument holds no water. There’s still only one ball to go around. Did anyone notice Jennings production go through the roof when Finley got hurt? Not a coincidence. If Urlacher is considered overrated, then Barnett is a scrub.

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