1985 Bears Coverage: Marino called `unsackable’

SHARE 1985 Bears Coverage: Marino called `unsackable’
SHARE 1985 Bears Coverage: Marino called `unsackable’

Every day of the 2015 Chicago Bears season, Chicago Sun-Times Sports will revisit its coverage 30 years ago during the 1985 Bears’ run to a Super Bowl title.

Marino called `unsackable’

Brian Hewitt

Originally published Dec. 1, 1985

Buffalo personnel savant Bill Polian is the latest in a long line of NFL talent appraisers who have decided the unbeaten Bears are for real. But Polian can’t wait to see how the Dolphins attack the Bears’ league-leading defense tomorrow night in the Orange Bowl.

He’s also anxious to see how the Bears approach Miami quarterback Dan Marino.

“Marino is almost impossible to sack,” says Polian, whose Bills lost to Miami 23-14 last week.

“Our game plan was to contain him and make sure that when we flushed him out of the pocket, we flushed him to his left. He doesn’t like to throw running to his left.

“But if you try to rush him from the outside, he’ll stand in there all day. He doesn’t even see the upfield outside rush. The way to bother him is with a pass rush up the middle. You have to get in his face.”

The Dolphins have allowed just 13 quarterback sacks all year. The Bears have sacked opposing quarterbacks 50 times, second in the league to the Giants’ 55.

Polian says the extra day of practice time the Dolphins get because of the Monday Night scheduling is critical. “You need that extra day because of the complex nature of the Bear defense.”

HELPFUL CHANGE: It’s no accident the Bears, a team that thrives on defensive intimidation, are unbeaten in a year when the rules pendulum has swung to the defense’s favor.

“It’s the new pass interference rule,” says Seattle general manager Mike McCormack.

“With more contact being allowed by defensive backs, it’s harder for the quarterbacks to time up with the receivers, because the receivers are getting bumped more. And the passes must be thrown almost perfectly. It’s just harder all around, for everybody.”

San Francisco coach Bill Walsh agrees. Walsh took full advantage of the rules when it favored the offenses. Now he’s struggling with changes. “I can’t understand why they have to operate at both

extremes,” he says. “This pell-mell contact that’s being allowed. . .every team is suffering within the current interpretation of the rules. Right now, they’re not calling it close enough at all. I’m sure that next year we’ll have yet another interpretation.”

You can count on that – especially if the Bears don’t lose a game.

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