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Scouting report: Bears passing defense

Nov. 6, 2013
 
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Here is Press-Gazette reporter Pete Dougherty's scouting report on the Bears' passing defense:† Coordinator Rod Marinelliís defense ranks No. 27 in the NFL in passing yards allowed, and the Bears have shown some vulnerabilities at safety, but overall the secondary has played OK, and the Bears rank No. 8 in the all-important defensive passer rating (78.3 points). Along with Peppers (10 sacks), end Henry Melton (6-3, 260), a third-year pro from Texas, is an outside rusher with quickness and a good motor. Heís second on the team with seven sacks and didnít play last week because of a shin injury, though he could be back today. Cornerback Charles Tillman (6-1, 198) is having one of his best seasons in coverage at age 30, and little Tim Jennings (5-8, 185) was overachieving until a recent rough outing†against Seattle. The Bearsí issues at safety have been exacerbated by injury. They cut former starter Chris Harris early in the season; rookie Chris Conte (third-round draft pick) went on injured reserve; and second-year pro Major Wright has missed the last two games because of a sprained shoulder. Wrightís status this week is uncertain. If he canít play, New England midseason castoff Brandon Meriweather and slow-footed but hard hitting Craig Steltz probably would be the starters.

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