In preparation for the Saints game against Chicago this Sunday, I had a little chat with SB Nation Bears blogger, Dane Noble, from Windy City Gridiron. Read on to get a Chicago Bears fans perspective on the game this Sunday that's sure to be both educational and entertaining.
Dave: Do you think Brian Urlacher will be playing this weekend? If not, how do the Bears adjust for his absence?
Dane Noble: Jay Cutler said it best when asked about Urlacher: "He's the heart and soul of this organization." Urlacher will be given as much time away from the team as needed in the wake of his mother's unexpected death... The veteran players and coaches have more than just business relationships; they are close personally as well. If Urlacher chooses to sit Sunday out, Nick Roach will slide into the middle from the strong side, and Special Teams standout Brian Iwuh will slide into the SLB spot. Roach is very athletic, possibly just as athletic as Urlacher. What he doesn't have is Urlacher's intelligence, so we'll see how that will play out.
Dave: Where do the majority of Bears fans stand regarding Olin Kreutz?
Dane Noble: When it was first announced that the team wasn't going to re-sign Kreutz, there was a lot of discontent. While Kreutz's performance had diminished significantly in the last two or three seasons, his leadership was considered by many to be irreplaceable. That Chicago Bears locker room belonged to Olin Kreutz. But in the weeks that Kreutz has been gone, the focus has turned to the field, and so far Bears fans are happy with what they've seen from the offensive line. Kreutz was like a family member, but at the end of the day, it's all about performance, and he just wasn't cutting it anymore.
Dave: What new rookie or up-and-comer do Saints fans need to keep their eye on?
Dane Noble: RT Gabe Carimi. The big offensive lineman was considered one of the most talented in the 2011 NFL Draft, and nobody could have predicted him falling into the Bears lap at pick #28. He's a rookie, and has made a few rookie mistakes, but he's one that we should see improvement from literally every single week as he gets more reps.
Dave: What will Saints fans NOT have to worry about when it comes to the Bears?
Dane Noble: They won't have to worry about being distracted by the Bears cheerleaders, because we haven't had any since 1986.
Dave: What will be the most important matchup of this game?
Dane Noble: The Bears defensive front versus the Saints pass protection. Most of the time, that will be reversed, and the key will be to protect our own QB Jay Cutler. But facing a dynamic passing attack like Brees and Co. scares the bejeesus out of me. We've been talking about it for years, and it still rings true to this day: the Bears defense has to generate a pass rush and force the QB into making throws that he doesn't want to make, or it will be a long day on the field. If Brees has time to throw, he will pick our secondary apart, without a doubt. Our defensive backs are great at stripping the ball, hitting hard, and causing turnovers, but they don't have the talent to sustain pass coverage once rotes start developing.
Dave: Bonus: Care to make a prediction?
Dane Noble: For this, I will have to defer to Da Superfans:
Bill - Moving right along to the 2nd week, our Beloved travel to the sight of what many believe to be the site of the coronation, or should I say culmination, no, I like coronation, of the greatest team to ever play the great sport of football. The Louisiana Superdome. Site of the Super-asswhipping that the glorious 1985 Chicago Bears
All - Daaaaa Bears!
Bill - put upon those New England Patriots.
Carl - The only thing that would make this week 2 tilt more enjoyable, is if the Patriots would be the team the Bears were to play.
Pat - Irregardless, I think we all know what the score in New Orleans will be this week, 46 to 10 Da Bears...
All - Da Bears!