Bears Believe Former Teammate Gave Lions Their Defensive Calls

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Reggie Bush was preternatural, racking up 173 all-purpose yards. Maybe it's a case of a team finally figuring out how to use him. But Chicago's belief that former Bear and current Lion Israel Idonije was feeding Detroit their defensive schemes would certainly explain some of it.

Idonije, who's recorded only three tackles this year and didn't appear in yesterday's box score, had said the game against the team with which he'd spent his entire career would be "like going against anybody else." About that...


According to ESPN Chicago's Michael C. Wright, the Bears defense was convinced that Idonije, who signed with Detroit after nine years as a Chicago DE, tipped off the Lions' offense to some calls at the line. They noted that nearly every time they called a "power" stunt, Bush burned them for big yards. "[Idonije] totally knows our defense," one Bear said.

Plausible? Going just from the results, absolutely. A stunt, where two or more defenders coordinate to attack blockers other than the ones they're lined up against, is primarily a pass rush tactic. It's mean to confuse blockers and either create a gap or overload one side, and it leaves defenses vulnerable to a run. If the Lions knew it was coming, they could audible to handoffs or send Bush toward the holes. Bush had an eye-popping 7.7 yards per carry. And on the other side, the Bears only got to Matt Stafford once on 35 drop-backs.


In the argument against Idonije tipping off the Lions, the Bears simply couldn't tackle Bush, even when they had an arm on him. The pass rush has been nonexistent through the first four games. Maybe it doesn't take chicanery to gash this defense.

But it's just as stunning if the Bears only believed Idonije had their number, because that indicates they haven't changed their calls since last year, even with a new head coach and defensive coordinator on board. It's even S.O.P. to mix things up just for games against an old teammate, and for Chicago to ignore Idonije is a baffling failure on the part of the coaching staff and on Lance Briggs, now calling the defense's plays with Brian Urlacher retired.