News From Terre Haute, Indiana

CNHI News Service Originals

February 2, 2007

Bears Notebook

Miami, Fla. — Jones, Benson respect Indy’s run defense

The last time the Indianapolis Colts faced a running back tandem as prolific as Chicago Bears runners Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson, Jacksonville rushers Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor scampered for nearly four football fields worth of yardage on the Colts.

The Jaguars amassed 375 rushing yards in a 44-17 victory at Alltel Stadium, but that was on Dec. 10. The Colts’ run defense was shaky the remainder of the regular season, but Jones and Benson aren’t going to be lulled into a false sense of security since the Colts have improved their run defense in the playoffs.

“When you watch film against any team and you see running backs getting holes, you lick your chops, just in general,” said Benson, who rushed for 647 yards during the season and 105 in the playoffs. “But they have stepped it up in the playoffs. We don’t doubt it will be stepped up even greater on Sunday.”

The Bears have been effective running the ball in the postseason, rushing for 120 yards at 3.5 yards per carry against the Seahawks in the NFC Divisional round, but improving in the NFC Championship Game, helping to keep the Saints offense off the field with 196 yards at 4.5 yards per carry in the victory, with Jones rushing for 123 yards.

Jones noted that the Colts’ run defense changed dramatically when Colts safety Bob Sanders returned from injury.

“He makes a big difference in their defense,” said Jones, who had 1,210 rushing yards during the regular season and 189 in the playoffs. “They do a really good job of doing their stunts and blitzes. They’re making plays, they have great players on defense.”



Urlacher says football is ‘ultimate challenge’

For most of the season, there’s a checklist outside the Bears practice facility at Halas Hall that implores the Bears to “play angry.”

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