Adam Hoge’s Bears Blog Another Clue Indicating Bears Will Do Some Two-Gapping On Defense By Adam Hoge- The extent of the Bears’ changes on defense probably won’t be known until the regular season starts, but there continues to be evidence that the defensive line will play some two-gap technique despite remaining a 4-3 base defense. Jared Allen and Lamar Houston are a part of a new-look defensive line. The first clue came back in May when rookie defensive tackle Ego Ferguson said defensive line coach Paul Pasqualoni told him he wanted him to play some two-technique. The two-technique is typically a two-gap technique with the defensive tackle lining head-up over the offensive guard. The tackle is then responsible for filling two gaps — one on each side of the opposing guard. Another clue came in Friday when defensive tackle Stephen Paea was asked about defensive coordinator Mel Tucker’s scheme changes. “It’s more about the linebackers,” Paea said. “It’s just the way we play now is less penetration and more of no (offensive) linemen can touch the linebackers. If all three of the linebackers make the Pro Bowl, that means our D-line is doing great things. That’s our goal. That’s how we’ll get better defensively and that’s how we’ll win a championship.” That sure sounds like two-gapping. In a one-gap front (which the Bears have been using for years), the defensive linemen shoot a gap in between two offensive linemen. That allows them to get into the backfield faster, but it also leaves offensive linemen to block the linebackers, which can result in big running plays. Sound familiar? That was a common problem last year when the Bears allowed a franchise record 2,583 rushing yards. In a two-gap scheme, the defensive linemen are essentially occupying the offensive linemen, which allows the linebackers to come in free and make the tackles. Generally, two-gapping is associated with 3-4 defenses and one-gapping with 4-3 defenses, but that line has blurred more in recent seasons. The New Orleans Saints (3-4 front) and Seattle Seahawks (4-3 front) both used one-gap and two-gap techniques last year despite technically operating out of two different fronts. This “hybrid” style of defense is exactly what was expected from the Bears this year, so it’s not surprising to hear Paea describe the changes the way he did Friday. It will be interesting to see how this impacts the way the Bears rush the quarterback. Two-gapping can be very effective against the run, but it also leads to less penetration from the defensive linemen. That’s why you’ll often see edge rushers coming out of a two-point stance, something that seems likely with linebacker Shea McClellin this year. Given that the Bears will remain in a 4-3 front, you’ll probably see both one-gap and two-gap techniques. How Mel Tucker finds the balance between them will be fun to watch.