Audibles From the Long Snapper

| January 11th, 2011

Hasselbeck Says Briggs Takes Game to “Another Level”

Matt Hasselbeck wants to carry over the confidence from their early-season victory at Soldier Field but believes Lance Briggs being on the field squelches that a bit:
“He’s huge,” Hasselbeck said. “I think he’s arguably one of the best defensive players in the game. I think he’s a great player. Going into the game we fully expected him to play. He didn’t play, and that was a big deal…so for us to sit back and say, ‘Hey, we beat them at their place, we can do it again.’ That would be a dangerous way to feel because Lance Briggs did not play in that game. He is big, big-time difference maker and a great football player. So as hard as this game is going to be, the fact that he’s back up takes it to another level.”

Hasselbeck is right.  Lance Briggs is one of the best defensive players in the sport.  But the Saeahawks did not beat the Bears on the ground or by exploiting the middle of the field.  They beat the Bears by going after LoveRod’s soft corner coverage and finding Mike Williams in space on pivotal third downs.  I’m not sure Lance Briggs would have been a distinguishing factor in that area.

Hot Peppers?
Steve Rosenbloom, in his now boringly negative style that seems Mariotti-esque, makes a whole lot points on his Trib blog that worth ignoring but does end with this:
Julius Peppers. Oh, I know, the Bears paid his too much money to cut him, and he has had a wonderful season — All-Pro when you consider what he has done with Harris starting — but I mention his name here for game-specific reasons: He isn’t going to get owned by a rookie tackle again, right? This is the game — the start of a month of games — that the Bears really paid all that money for.

I think Julius Peppers’ performance against the Seahawks and rookie Russell Okung was perhaps his worst (and only truly bad one) of the 2010 season.  I don’t think that performance has sat well with him all season and I expect an inspired effort on Sunday.

Lovie Smith was asked about how they’ll alter their approach to Mike Williams and gave little in response.  (I can’t believe I just wrote that sentence.)

Pete Carroll believes Tatupu and Obomanu will play this week.  Obomanu dislocated his shoulder Saturday and still came back to the field and made plays.  Tatupu suffered a concussion so he is at the will of whoever it is that decides players are over concussions.  (For the record, I would love for someone to send me these concussion tests.  I’m betting 50% of the American public can not pass these things even when they haven’t been slammed to turf by a 250+ pound man in pads.)

Devin Hester says he won’t put extra pressure on himself Sunday and he shouldn’t.  But I expect Pete Carroll to trust Olindo Mare’s ability to kick the ball into the end zone for touchbacks.  If he does, Hester will have this chances to change the game.