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Bears intend to keep tabs on Watt

Posted by Larry Mayer on November 7, 2012 – 4:45 pm

Forget about finding Waldo. The Bears will be playing “where’s J.J. Watt” Sunday night when they host the Houston Texans. The second-year defensive end leads the NFL with 10.5 sacks and has broken up 10 passes, three of which have resulted in interceptions by teammates.

Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips likes to move Watt around in the Texans’ 3-4 scheme.

“We have to be aware of where he’s at,” said quarterback Jay Cutler. “He lines up in a lot of different positions. Wade does a great job of moving him around and using his athletic ability to their advantage. We just have to be aware of him up front. We’ve gone against some pass rushers this year and I think we’ve done a better than average job, so hopefully we can continue with it.”

Coach Lovie Smith describes Watt as a very talented player with a non-stop motor.

“He plays hard every down,” Smith said. “It’s one thing to play hard. You don’t have to have a lot of talent to play hard. He plays hard with elite talent. So we’ll have to know where he is at all times, which we will, and it’ll be a big challenge for us.”

Bears right tackle Gabe Carimi practiced against the 6-6, 295-pounder every day at Wisconsin, while Mike Tice is also familiar with Watt because the offensive coordinator’s son, Nate, played with him and Carimi on the Badgers.

“He’s one of the top players if not the top player we’ve played against this year,” Tice said. “He’s very long. He’s very tall. He uses his arms well. He uses his leverage extremely well. He poses a challenge and he lines up in different places. He’s going to take turns going up and down the line trying to make plays on us.

“We have to be up to the challenge and hopefully we put in the right protection schemes that are going to take into account that, but at the same time we don’t always know in base or 34, they are a 34 team, where he will line up all the time.”


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