In order to get an idea of what the Chicago bears will look like this year under first-year head coach Marc Trestman, we brought in Michael Praser of Bear Goggles On, and he gave us some great insight on the team from the Windy City.
1. Talk about Julius Peppers. Where does he rank in NFL in terms of defensive ends, and how much of an impact do you think he’ll have Sunday?
Julius Peppers is the heart and soul of the Chicago Bears defense. I may be biased but I rank Julius Peppers in the top 5 of defensive ends in the NFL. He is just a pure athlete, able to rush the passer, stuff the run, cover tight ends, he just does it all. He can move all over the defensive line and be a disruptive force over guards and he can run by tackles with ease. He has an impact in every game drawing double coverage and chip blocks from running backs. If he can’t get to the quarterback, he opens up opportunities to the rest of the defensive line.
This Sunday, especially with left tackle Andrew Whitworth probably sitting on the sideline, I see Julius Peppers wrecking havoc on the Bangles offensive line. Andy Dalton is going to have to get rid of the ball quickly and hope that they can establish the run early because if they become one dimensional, the Bears defense is going to take the ball away.
2. Same with defensive tackle Henry Melton.
I like Henry Melton a lot. He has size and speed and has a knack for getting to the quarterback. I personally think he is getting to the quarterback more due to all the attention that Julius Peppers gets, but regardless he plays the run well and has an endless pursuit.
Melton did miss most of the preseason with a concussion so the question of conditioning does come up. If he can stay on the field with Peppers, the Bengals o-line is going to have their hands full on Sunday.