How Kreutz, Brown think Bears can shore up run defense originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Bears felt Eddie Goldman’s absence on Sunday, as the defense struggled to stop the Lions rushing attack. Sure, trying to rein in Adrian Peterson is not an easy task, but stuffing the run had been the Bears’ bread and butter for the past two seasons.
In 2018, the Bears topped the NFL by only allowing 1280 rushing yards. One year later, they dropped off a little, allowing 1632 yards, but they still came in ninth in the league. On Sunday, the Bears gave up 138 rushing yards, the most they’ve surrendered to Detroit since 2015.
But the Football Aftershow crew thinks a former Lion could help shore things up for the Bears’ defensive line: Damon “Snacks” Harrison.
“Ryan Pace knows that Snacks Harrison is out there,” Olin Kreutz said on Football Aftershow. “They know he’s a handful, and they’ve got their eye on him if they struggle with the run.
“I think he’s the obvious choice in a 3-4 defense.”
“How did you not bring a guy like him in here, when you know you can just fit him in to just take up those double teams,” said Alex Brown. “Bilal Nichols is not going to be the guy in there, he’s too small in my opinion to take up a double team.”
In seven seasons, Harrison has notched 485 tackles to go with 11 sacks and four fumble recoveries while primarily playing nose tackle. He was also named a first-team All-Pro in 2016.
The Football Aftershow crew also explained why stuffing the run from the nose tackle position will help the Bears playmakers on the edge.
“You have to earn the right to rush the quarterback,” said Brown. “You’ve got to earn that right on first and second down by stopping the run. You give up 150 rushing yards next week, we’re not going to get a chance to rush the quarterback anyway, because play action is going to be there. Max protection, that’s going to kill us.
“So we’ve got to be able to stop the run first. That’s going to start in the middle.”