5 “What-the-Heck” Lineup Changes I’d Make if I Were Bears Coach Lovie Smith

Let’s face it fellow Bears fans – there will be no coaching changes, firings or trades between now and the end of the season. But that doesn’t mean the team that’s (a) struggled to run the ball against the league’s worst run defense (Cleveland) and (b) been run over by the team with the worst run offense (Cardinals) the last two weeks can’t do some mid-season line-up tinkering.

If I were Lovie, here are 5 lineup changes I’d make just for the hell of it…

1. Insert Jarron Gilbert as a DT/DE. The Bears only managed one measly sack against the less-than-fleet-footed Kurt Warner. And if that doesn’t scare you, remember the Falcons starting left tackle was Bear cast-off Wayne Gandy. Put Gilbert in with Brown, Ogunleye and Harris (assuming he stops pouting and punching guys with helmets on) in long-yard situations and see what happens. On a related note: Man, I can’t wait till Gaines Adams joins the squad…

2. Give Adrian Peterson more opportunities at RB. In only 7 touches this year, he’s averaged over 5 yards per carry. For his career, he’s over 4 ypc. I’m not saying he needs to get 20 carries a game, but he’ll get the job done…and isn’t afraid to blow up a blitzing LB.

3. Get Vasher & Graham more playing time at corner. Not sure this would make any significant impact unless Lovie stops giving opposing WRs 10-yard cushions. But it gives the defensive backfield some playmakers, especially if Tillman’s shoulder keeps him out for a while.

4. Totally revamp the O-line. Insert Schaeffer at LT. Leave Williams at RT (only because he needs some seasoning). Move Beekman to center and Omiyale back at guard and hope he responds well to his benching. I know, this is a pipe-dream because Lovie will never bench the future HOFer Pace. Nor will he sit Kruetz because he’s been hiking a ball between his legs for 12 years. And coaches love his tenacity — remember, he once punched a fellow lineman in the face at a shooting range on an off-day.

5. Incorporate some 3-4 schemes within the defense.
Hell, if the front 4 can’t generate a pass rush or get off blocks in the run game, just go with 3 down linemen. Then leave Hillenmeyer in the middle and let Briggs/Roach/Jamar Williams freelance on the outside. No one seems to be controlling their assigned gaps anyway.

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