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What'd They Say: Bears Talk About Vikings

Posted Oct 6, 2017

The Vikings have dealt already with a couple of key injuries offensively, but the Bears aren’t taking the division rival lightly.

Rooking running back Dalvin Cook got off to a hot start in Purple but is out for the season after suffering an ACL injury against the Lions last Sunday. Bears Head Coach John Fox told Twin Cities media members via conference call on Thursday that he’s always had a good impression of Latavius Murray, whom he expects will take the bulk of the workload in Cook’s absence.

“He’s big, physical, always runs with good pad level,” Fox said. “I’ve been impressed with him in the times I’ve seen him.

“I think Murray will get a big dose, and [Jerick] McKinnon, much like they did when Dalvin went out in the Detroit game,” Fox said. “Those are things that are part of coaching that you adjust to. I don’t think they’ll make a lot of changes in what they’re doing offensively. It’s just who they are doing it with.”

Fox said Chicago’s defense will also need to be on its toes for the Vikings quarterback situation. Sam Bradford has missed the past three games with a knee injury after having a career night against the Saints in Week 1.

Bradford returned to the field this week, listed as “limited” in Thursday’s injury report, but Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer did not say whether Bradford or Case Keenum will be the starter on Monday.

Fox said there’s a “little bit of a skill difference” between the two passers.

“Both have shown that they’re very, very capable, and I think we’ll have to adjust once we figure out who it is,” Fox said.

The head coach added that regardless of who’s leading the huddle, Minnesota’s skill players can do damage against a defense.

“They’ve got a good supporting cast when you start looking at the receivers and the tight ends and the explosive plays,” Fox said. “I think there’s been 38 over 15 [yards], regardless of who has been at quarterback; they’re just as much a concern as who is playing quarterback.”

On the other side of the ball, the Bears offense is preparing for a stout Vikings defense.

Fox announced early this week that Mitchell Trubisky will make his first NFL start at quarterback after benching Mike Glennon. Trubisky spoke to the Bears media on Tuesday and spoke about preparing for the tendency of Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer to use Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks in the Double-A gap blitz look.

“We’ll have a certain game plan for that going into the week, and it will be my job to just study it, and then whatever we decide to do as an offense, it will be my job to make sure we’re in the right look, or right protection, or right run call for whatever we got going,” Trubisky said. “They’re kind of known for that look.

“They haven’t shown it as much this season because I think other teams are sort of expecting it from them now, so they’re showing other looks,” Trubisky added. “But when they do show that, we’ll have an answer for it. We just have to be ready for as many things as they can throw at us.”

Here are a few other highlights from what the Bears said about the Vikings this week:

Fox on the Vikings defense:

“It’s a good defense. It’s proven over time and the first four games of this season, they’ve created some takeaways, have been tough to score on, much like they were a year ago. Mitch sees a well-coached, opportunistic style of defense.”

Trubisky on early impressions of Minnesota defense:

“They’re going to bring us a bunch of different looks. Just from what I’ve seen, they’re a very good defense. It seems they’re solid in just about every position – you don’t see a lot of weaknesses, and you don’t see a lot of busted coverages or missed assignments. So they’re very disciplined in that; they’re very well coached.

“They have a lot of great players, so we just need to come in, do what we do well and stay within ourselves and within the offense, and take care of the football. So if we do that, I think we’ll have a chance. But they’re very good on that side of the ball.”

RB Tarik Cohen on Vikings defense:

“They’re very athletic. They’re deep. They have a good front seven. They have tremendous safeties that like to come down and make plays on the ball.

“They’re very aggressive. Great tacklers. Harrison Smith, he likes coming down and making good tackles, and they have Xavier Rhodes, who’s a great cover corner.”