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Black and Blue all over: Smith's sideline speed

Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert

I know it’s been well-discussed already in the Chicago area, but it’s pretty clear the Bears' defense was in a bit of disarray Sunday night in Atlanta when the Falcons went to the no-huddle. With a relatively new playcaller in coach Lovie Smith and already on their third middle linebacker of the season, it didn’t look like the Bears were keeping up with the speed of the Falcons’ offensive organization.

So it was interesting to read linebacker Lance Briggs’ first-person piece here in the Chicago Tribune. Here’s part of what Briggs wrote:

“Once a team starts to go no-huddle, you have a different type of procedure where we have wristbands on and we’re looking to get the calls out much faster. It’s just being more efficient. In order to be more efficient, we might do numbers or have the whole team look to the sideline to get the call instead of having to echo it all around … just a way of combating it. You never know when a team is going to go no-huddle. It’s different for Lovie [Smith] because he’s making the calls. He’s got to get the calls in a lot faster. For us, we just have to wait for the call and play.”

This angle has been pretty minimized, but Smith has plenty on his plate with managing the game while also making the defensive calls. Did it get too full Sunday night? Possibly.

Continuing around the NFC North: