Another Clue Indicating Bears Will Do Some Two-Gapping On Defense

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by BSBEARS, Jul 27, 2014.

  1. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Jackie liked the idea and while it always makes some sense it also never works as intended. We both know that, LOL. Nonetheless we'll put them up and posters can do as they please.

    This place is a lot like Outback when it comes to that. "No rules, just right".
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  2. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    And again it comes down to knowing the terminology. They aren't playing any 3-4 looks from what Emery, Tucker and Trestman have all said. The basic scheme is still a 4-3. But what they have said is that they will play the NT at a 2 tech position which is over the weak side OG and in that alignment he will play a two gap assignment. That's the only real change I've heard of.

    There's a whole lot more being made of this than needs to be. When you refer to those tutorials Matt Bowen produced what you see if the NT shifting slightly from just off the shoulder of the OC, the Shade NT alignment, to directly over the weak side OG. From there he covers both his former A gap and the B gap next to it. It should provide more protection for the LBs behind him.
  3. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    That is all I was saying bro. Same thing as Peae basically said. No play with semantics. As you say often, I was just going with what Peae said.
  4. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    Here we go again. How do you go from basic scheme 43 to not playing any 34.

    I know there basic scheme, same as Seattle. But they also threw in an occassional 34 look, which is what I said.


    I am just trying to have some vision and change. I mean Houston is stated to be a DE, he is listed on the Roster and Depth chart as a DE, yet we all expect him to move inside on obvious passing downs and play DT. I know you expect it as well, but the way you interpret things one would argue that since he is a DE he will never line up as DT. That to me equates to your not playing any 3-4 statement. You give lots of good insight but sometimes you just seem to much by the book, bring in some vision. Do you see any Hybrid going on and How.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014
  5. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I'd never say never, and there may be some 3-4 "looks", but I believe that if they do those will come on passing downs to disguise where a blitz is coming from, not as a measure for stopping the run which was the main topic of how the NT works differently in a one gap vs a two gap alignment.

    The main reason is say that I doubt we'll show a 3-4 on running downs is that we don't have a true experienced Zero Tech NT unless they decided to use Ratliff that way. He's still a little light in the booty for that assignment but he can still play it occasionally if the need arose. The day I'll start to envision it is the day after they spend some FA money or a draft pick on a true Zero Tech NT and so far we haven't done that.

    The key to that would be whether or not they're doing any of that in camp so we'll see what comes of the it as we get the dailies on camp activities. It's a major change so if they start doing it we'll hear about is soon after trust me. There'll be a headline that says something like "Bear going to 3-4" or "Bears try 3-4 with Ratliff at NT". Something like that because it'll be a newsworthy change.

    Maybe we're just talking apples to oranges here and it is a little about semantics or interpretation of terms. To me a "scheme" is how you play in your base defense or in other words are you a base 4-3 team or a base 3-4 team. Within the "scheme" itself the DL will shift from one "look" to another eg; a one gap NT vs a two gap NT or a wide nine alignment of a DE. The assignments change along with those shifts in alignment but the basic scheme remains the same.

    Yeah, I do see some "hybrid" type alignments but more on pass defense than run defense. IMHO a good running team can bust up a 3-4 defense pretty badly running straight at it. It's strong on the edges but weaker in the middle unless to have one very good NT and one very good 5 tech DE playing the strong side DE spot. We were weak up the middle against the run so going to a 3-4 without either one of those types of players makes no sense right now but in pass rush situation to accomplish a little of what the Packers do using Matthews, so yeah I can easily see that with McClellin and/or Young playing that role.

    They may toy around with some 3-4 looks but as far as a change in the basic scheme this year no, I'm not seeing that happening in 2104.
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  6. Henry Burris

    Henry Burris Head Coach

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  7. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Good post Henry. Adam Jahns is a good beat writer. He does good research and he doesn't "reach" just to get an angle so I'll but what he's reporting here. It sounds to me like they'll use the NT and DT lined up over an OG more often this year as opposed to "shading" the OC and OG. Ratliff can play that way and so can Paea and I think Collins can handle that as well. For his size he's a pretty tough guy to move off the ball.

    It's still a 4-3 but at the very least some of the interior alignments may change and we may see more pre-snap shifts than before where they're trying to confuse or disrupt the blocking scheme. I'm all for being less predictable in anyway we can because if there was a weakness in Lovie's scheme it's that it became somewhat stale and maybe too dependent on some exceptional play by certain players to make it work. Then you lose those guys either through injury or retirement and their replacements simply can't do it as well.

    What I hear is more flexibility with the fronts and more protection for the LBs which is a bit of a return to what we were doing before Lovie arrived only with much bigger guys inside. Washington and Traylor were both 350lb NT type guys who clogged the middle and protected Urlacher. The current guys aren't as big but they're much quicker and far more built to play both ways which makes it easier to disguise the fronts before the snap.

    I still hear penetration but not only penetration.

    I don't know about the "joker" deal although we did use McClellin like that a few times last year but with little success. Maybe Houston can handle that role better if and when they decide to use it. I have no problems at all with some changes. It's obvious Tucker couldn't make Lovie's old ways work so we move on. Just not to a 3-4 scheme. That we really don't have the players for except for some alignments where we can get some good matchups for a pass rush.

    I don't know how much of this they'll even show in preseason but I doubt it will be much. It's usually pretty plain vanilla stuff run off their base defense but we may be able to catch some of hose alignment shifts like Paea and Ferguson playing a 2 Tech NT alignment or running Allen out in a wide 9 spot at DE. Young could play that as well because they used it a lot in Detroit.

    Variations on a theme. I think Tucker intends to be more varied and more aggressive than he was last year with more blitzing and more press coverage but by in large it's still the front four who have to create the pass rush.


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    Updated: July 28, 2014 6:01PM


    BOURBONNAIS — Getting any information about the details of defensive coordinator Mel Tucker’s scheme changes is like pulling teeth strapped with braces. Tucker’s playbook seemingly has ‘‘Top Secret’’ stamped on it.
    There are polite refusals.
    ‘‘I don’t want to get into any scheme things,’’ defensive backs coach Jon Hoke said. ‘‘There are a few subtle things, but nothing elaborate.’’
    And there are jokes.
    ‘‘What have we changed?’’ linebackers coach Reggie Herring said. ‘‘Somebody gave you some bad info. A little wacky weed involved?’’
    Still, everyone knows the changes are real, although not everyone can see them. Only so much can be gleaned during open practices and as we get deeper into the preseason, things will be adjusted in the secrecy of Halas Hall.
    Last year, the Bears toyed with what they called a Joker position (an upright interior lineman) during organized team activities and camp, but rarely featured it during the season.
    “We’ve dedicated quite a bit of time to some of the new things, but it’s been in really good proportion,” Tucker said Sunday at Olivet Nazarene University. “The installs have gone smoothly, where we’re getting enough reps at the things we’re putting in.”
    One basic premise has emerged: the linebackers will have the freedom to play instinctively. To do that, different techniques up front will be used more often.
    In the simplest terms, defensive tackles will be required to control blockers instead of always maintaining assigned single gaps.
    Recall that defensive tackle Ego Ferguson was drafted with idea of being a two-technique tackle, which plays over and controls a guard. General manager Phil Emery said the massive Ferguson “controlled the front” at LSU.
    “Just the way we play now is less penetration and more of no linemen can touch the linebackers,” said defensive tackle Stephen Paea, who remains ahead of Ferguson on the depth chart.
    “If all three of the linebackers make the Pro Bowl, that means our 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.”
    Because of his changes, Tucker said handwork is “a big point of emphasis” and that he’s pleased with the first three practices.
    “There will be penetration, but it will also press blocks with our ‘D’ line when necessary,” Tucker said. “But there is still get off in the front and there’s still penetration. They’re still playing fast.
    “We want those guys to be instinctive linebackers. Up front is going to allow those guys to do that and they’re going to work together.”
    Second-year linebacker Jon Bostic has likened the changes to the hybrid defense he starred in at Florida, saying he’s “a lot more comfortable” this season.
    “I’m back to playing football the way I’ve always been taught to play,” he said. “So I’ll be able to play a lot faster than I did in the past.”
    Of course, Bostic, Lance Briggs, D.J. Williams and Shea McClellin only will succeed if those in front of them do. A certain type of personnel is required and the Bears believe they have it with Jared Allen, Lamarr Houston, Willie Young, Jeremiah Ratliff, Nate Collins, Paea, Will Sutton and Ferguson.
    “It’s a good mix,” Tucker said.
    Defensive line coach Paul Pasqualoni said Ratliff and Allen are on track for “really good chemistry” and that Paea is “a solid guy” who is “doing a great job.”
    Houston, meanwhile, has emerged as a headliner early in camp, frequently roughing up offensive tackles and guards.
    “We can play Lamarr both inside and outside,” Pasqualoni said. “That’s the flexibility. He’s very versatile. That’s the beauty.”
    A line featuring Houston at tackle with Ratliff and Young at end opposite Allen has given the offense fits.
    “We’re basically in the 4-3,” Pasqualoni said. “They’ve been in the 4-3 here. The Monsters of the Midway made the thing famous. That’s who we are.”
    Tucker said there’s “some new language, some new calls” with his defense, but that the integration of it, especially with Briggs, has been better than smooth.
    “We’ve been at this since April 15 or whatever,” Tucker said. “So at this point, they know what it is. [Training camp] is actually review for us in a lot of ways in terms of what we’ve installed.”
    Considering the personnel upgrades, it seems unlikely that the defense is in store for a repeat of their disastrous 2013 season, especially if the injuries don’t mount.
    But Tucker will be judged by how well his changes work.
    “The things that we’re doing and the changes we’ve made are for a reason,” Tucker said.
    Contributing: Patrick Finley, Mark Potash
    Email: ajahns@suntimes.com
    Twitter: @adamjahns

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