Bears Expect Allen to Help Houston Increase Sack Total..........

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by soulman, Jun 9, 2014.

  1. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Jared Allen should help Lamarr Houston rack up sacks this year
    62 BY ADAM L. JAHNS Staff Reporter June 8, 2014 8:21PM
    Updated: June 8, 2014 9:29PM

    Defensive end Lamarr Houston was the Bears’ big free-agent signing until he wasn’t. The arrival of charismatic Jared Allen — a four-time All-Pro end and the 2011 NFC defensive player of the year — tends to overshadow others. But Houston doesn’t mind the Robin role to Allen’s Batman. They can still be a dynamic duo.

    “It’s amazing, just amazing,” Houston said of playing with Allen after organized team activities last week. “It’s a good move by [general manager Phil Emery], coach [Marc Trestman] and an organization that wants to win. “They went out and grabbed everybody they needed. It’s a good thing. It’s even better for me to get to learn from somebody like that.” Allen’s track record says that Houston could be looking at his best season yet when it comes to sacks.

    The evidence: the success of Brian Robison and Ray Edwards. Robison had nine sacks in 2013, 81/2 in 2012 and eight in 2011 as the starter opposite Allen. Before Robison, Edwards, a fourth-round pick in 2006 who is out of the league, had the best seasons of his career: eight sacks in 2010, 81/2 in 2009 and five in 2008. The basis for some of their success is simple. Allen receives more attention from opposing offenses, leaving the opposite end with more one-on-one opportunities.

    “When you play against Jared, you have to make sure you have the proper protection plan,” Trestman said earlier this offseason. “You’re focused during the week on making sure that you’re doing the best you can in preventing him from getting to the passer. That’s what difference-makers do.” Julius Peppers made a similar impact for Israel Idonije (career-best eight sacks in 2010).

    But Allen also had 56½ sacks to Peppers’ 37½ over the last four seasons, while the Vikings totaled 166 sacks to the Bears’ 139. Idonije and Corey Wootton combined for 14½ sacks in 2012, but in the same season, Robison and backup Everson Griffen totaled 16½. Last year, Wootton and Shea McClellin combined for seven sacks as the primary ends opposite Peppers.

    Signed two weeks before Allen, Houston is known for his run-stopping prowess, but he led the Raiders the last two seasons with four and six sacks. Houston, who also will play tackle, believes he’ll get more sacks thanks to Allen. The Bears are hoping so, too, after finishing last in sacks in 2013. “He’s Jared Allen,’’ Houston said. ‘‘I suspect that everybody is going to be ready to key [on] him.”

    Allen has stressed the importance of learning how to play with Houston and other linemen. If last week’s dust-up against the first-team offense is any indication, Houston and Allen already know how to rattle opponents together. “We’ll develop a great chemistry,” Houston said. “He has the most knowledge of football right now. The guy has had 45 sacks in three years. You can’t ask for more than that. ‘‘Just to be able to sit with him every day, talk about football and understand different things about the game, it’s a blessing.”

    Email: ajahns@suntimes.com Twitter: @adamjahns
  2. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Take those two and add Willie Young and whoever takes the #4 and possibly #5 DE spots and then we have Ratliff, Collins, Paea, and Sutton to throw at people from DT and NT and I don't think we'll trail the league in sacks this year. Those are some pretty heavy horses we have now.
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  3. butkus3595

    butkus3595 Veteran

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    I'm really liking what Emery did to this d-line this off season. If we stay healthy, we've got great depth and should be light years better than last years crew. Just have to stay healthy.
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  4. jbunch14

    jbunch14 Veteran

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    Phil Emery had me at hello. He is building the team from the lines out, not to mention securing the best offensive players we have had here in the last 20 years. The infusion of proven vets who aren't 0ver the hill and high-potential youth this offseason has be very excited.
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  5. Chicago_66

    Chicago_66 Veteran

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    I think Allen is the best running mate Houston has ever had and the same goes for Houston being Allen's, I think they'll both be better because of this combination.
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  6. dachuckster

    dachuckster Veteran SuperFan

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    I'm waiting to see Allen and Young as DEs with Ratliff and Houston as DTs. I think that lineup could stop runs and crush passers.
  7. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    I am excited on the whole D-Line. I really believe the Tackles will collapse the pocket and the ends will be coming from the sides to clean up. Should be fun to watch.
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  8. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    A side benefit to having this solid DL is that it's going to be great for our OL to have to practice against better talent this summer at camp.
  9. Chicago_66

    Chicago_66 Veteran

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    Definitely, both benefit from going against each other. With a DL like this who, on paper, should be great against the run perhaps our run blocking will start to show some more promise. I know I loved knowing Tillman and Marshall were going at it, both benefited from playing each other and I think Fuller will benefit from having to defend these talented behemoths we boast as receivers.
  10. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I don't think they'll play Houston at DT unless it's part of a pass rush package. Not unless all the DT spots are devastated by injuries again. Allen and Houston start at DE with Young as the swing man filling in for both is pretty much how they've planned it. If Houston is down to playing at around 275-280lbs like he said he would, and looking at him compared to Ratliff that seems about right, he won't play inside every down.

    Ratliff and Paea have the starting spots right now but who knows what may happen once they get the pads on. I really expected Ratliff to be playing NT but as it stands he and Paea are the two most experienced inside guys so it stands to reason they'd get the first shot at the starting spots and in reality they could flip flop them if they wanted to. That was an issue Emery was talking about when they drafted Sutton and Ferguson. They want the inside guys to have experience at both spot.

    This is a kick ass bunch we'll have lining up this year and they're gonna be playing hard and with a bit of a chip on their shoulder. Even though most of them weren't part of that disaster last year they all know they were brought in or drafted to restore the dominance of that line so that's what I expect to see.
  11. dachuckster

    dachuckster Veteran SuperFan

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    I was primarily thinking of it as a pass rush package but with Ratliff and Houston in the middle, it would be hard to run an as well.

    It should be fun to watch them play this year as we will have enough talent to rotate guys in and out and keep everybody rested. I hope to see the new line play in the 4th quarter with a 10 - 14 pt lead.
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  12. 4dabers

    4dabers Veteran DBS Writer

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    OOOOhhhhhhhh Yeaaaaa! Pin the ears bag baby! Here we go!!!! Let's rolllll!

    Yea I'm kinda excited too. :)
  13. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    Allen will have an easier time also b/c of having a guy like Ratliff and Houston around him also, not to mention Briggs and DJ behind him. This might be the most talented D Allen has played and it's going to be hard to just key on him to shut the D down.
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  14. dachuckster

    dachuckster Veteran SuperFan

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    That is exactly what I was thinking! I want to see the look of fear in opposing QB's eyes when they come up to the line.
  15. 4dabers

    4dabers Veteran DBS Writer

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    I hope so. With all the excitement about this team, I do have to confess my concern for my boy Lance. That shoulder injury (and the word that he will be wearing a harness all year) is a bit troublesome. I have a sinking feeling we may be seeing (or have already seen) the end of the Lance Briggs era.
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  16. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    Tillman stated he and Briggs wanted to retire together, I think after this might be the year that happens.
  17. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Oh yeah, they'll use Houston at DT in some of the rush packages for sure. Another one I want to see happen is subbing Sutton for Paea and sliding Ratliff over to NT on 3rd down pass plays. I want to see the left side of an OLine deal with Allen and Ratliff playing next to one another and still have to the guys on the right side have to stop Sutton and Houston. Of course for that to happen Sutton needs to be every bit as good at penetrating and splitting a gap as he was in college but those four could become a handful to block on 3rd and long. Or even with Houston moving inside and Young coming from LDE.

    We have some guys who can rush but they've never played together and maybe never played before in a line where all four linemen can bring steady pressure. I want to see Pasqualoni put those packages together along with some blitzing that will bring back memories of the '85 Bears. I want to see a pass rush that can strangle guys like Rodgers and Stafford with pressure and with pursuit coming from LBs and DEs who can chase the more mobile QBs down when they do escape the pocket. We have guys like Young, Bostic and McClellin who can run down QBs and that's an area that needs work. We've burned a lot by that type of passer.

    I'm a lot less concerned about them stopping the run this year because we won't be playing with street FAs who probably wouldn't even have made a decent PS player. In fact they weren't or they would have been on the street to begin with. There was just too little talent and to much inexperience left over last year after all of those injuries. That problem has been resolved as well because even the guys competing for the last spots in the DLine have plenty of NFL game experience and we now have a LB coach with significant NFL experience which we didn't have last year.

    Despite my criticisms of certain things Phil Emery has done I do give credit where credit is due. When he sets out to fix a problem he goes all in. Including Ratliff he's signed 7 vet DLinemen he didn't have at the beginning of the 2013 season, brought back Collins and added two more high draft picks. Then to top that off he's hired two old school defensive coaches to handle the line and the linebackers. Watching Uncle Phil work is like watching an episode of House MD. When you don't know exactly what's wrong treat the patient for everything until you find what it is that cures the illness. That's pretty much what Emery did.

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