Bears vs. Steelers: Four-safety look will likely be utilized

Andy Lyons

In an effort to create confusion as well as counter the size of Chicago's seam and vertical passing threats, the Steelers will use more of the four-safety look they employed against Cincinnati. Not all four of them will be playing in the secondary, though.

Continuity is important to Steelers safety Ryan Clark.

In a piece by Steel City Insider publisher Jim Wexell, the four-safety package the Steelers ran in a 20-10 loss to CIncinnati is broken down and highlighted. Clark, one of the four, along with Troy Polamalu, Shamarko Thomas and Robert Golden, mentioned the value of having all four players in the scheme in the same meeting room.

While the Steelers used this package partially due to the injury of cornerback Cortez Allen, and partially due to Cincinnati's size and strength at their tight end position as well as in wide receiver A.J. Green, it's not just an injury-based option. It allows the Steelers to present match-up confusion.

And it's something the Steelers will incorporate in their Week 3 game against Chicago.

The Bears have similar strengths as the Bengals. WR Brandon Marshall is a big-bodied target who's adept at running down the seam as well as outside the numbers. TE Martellus Bennett is probably a bigger threat in the run and pass game than Jermaine Gresham or Tyler Eifert.

More than anything, the Steelers' lack of depth at inside linebacker will be something Chicago will look to exploit. Kion Wilson started for the Steelers, and he was no more impressive (read: not impressive) than rookie Vince Williams.

In passing downs, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Steelers drop Polamalu into what would basically be the inside linebacker's spot on passing downs, while keeping five other defensive backs on the field. It will appear as dime coverage, but with Polamalu in close to the line, the Steelers can still keep their standard 4-2-5 nickel look on the field. They'll just use three other players who are thought to be safeties.

This could confuse quarterback Jay Cutler - who's off to one of the best starts of his career.

Listen to "The Standard is The Standard," BTSC's weekly radio show hosted by Neal Coolong and Lance Williams:

The Standard is the Standard - Episode 3

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