Bears Defense; Lack of Talent or Poor Coaching?..............

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by soulman, Aug 31, 2014.

  1. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I probably should do this as a poll but I haven't set one up so let's just do this as an open forum debate instead.


    Here's my $.02. This isn't quantum physics guys. I think the easiest way to approach answering the question asked is by watching games, listening to comments of players and coaches and then by applying some logic and deductive reasoning. Often what isn't said is more more important than what is so don't overlook that in coming to a conclusion. Before we get into what other have said let's get into what hasn't been said by those closest to the situation.

    Last fall when the Bears were struggling so badly on defense Trestman gave Mel Tucker a vote of confidence. Then he and Phil Emery gave him another when they didn't fire him but instead went out an bought him a new DL and spent our first three draft picks on defense as well. Mel Tucker has an almost entirely new DL with 3 top 20 NFL 4-3 DEs, new Safeties, a new SLB whose a former 1st round pick and a nickel LB whose a second round pick. That's as major one year overhaul of a team as I've ever seen happen around here.

    So in the face of all this change plus to new positions coaches to help teach the defense better to the DL and LBs for some reason the defense is still struggling with many of the same issues they did last year. (eg: giving up too much yardage on the ground, allowing big plays, not getting 3rd down stops). We can all agree on that right?

    So this weekend both Marc Trestman and Phil Emery came out in the media and gave Mel Tucker another big vote of confidence and said it must be the lack of talent that causing problems................What? :4 13 4[1]:

    Oh they DIDN'T say that. They haven't said anything at all have they? No vote of confidence this time. :10 2 12[1]: Somebody get Mel a towel here OK?

    Here's a simple real world example. If you hire a guy to do a job who says he has the skills to do it and then you provide him with all of the basic tools he needs to be successful and yet he's failing at the job how much longer are you gonna blame it on the tools?

    I'm not alone. What do others have to say? Mike Ditka can be a little crazy at times but when it comes to NFL football he's not an idiot. He's a HOF player and coach and the ONLY Bears coach to have won a SB and he didn't even run that defense but he did know it got him a ring. What's Mike got to say?


    Do they have enough talent?
    Talent is one thing. But coordination of the talent and how you play as a team is another thing. I’m not saying the players aren’t there. They’re just not coordinated, and they’re not playing well together.

    (Talk about throwing Mel Tucker under a bus. He's not pulling any punches is he?)


    Do you believe that the defense will look vastly improved over last season in Week 1?
    Look, you can’t turn it on and off. And you can’t rely on your offense to carry you. It puts too much pressure on them, and then they try to do things they shouldn’t do. Idealistically, you would like to say, ‘‘Hey, they’re going to be better. It’s going to be great! Everything will be fine!’’ Well, it doesn’t work that way. As much as I want it to be that way, as much as Marc wants it to be that way, it doesn’t work that way.

    (He doesn't exactly throw Trestman under there with him but he clearly puts him in the drivers seat of the bus and invites him to run it over Tucker a couple of times)

    What did David Haugh have to say in the column of his I posted today? He says it's not Marc Trestman's vaunted offense we should be concerned with (boy that's a switch) it's Mel Tuckers still unassembled defense where the problems lie with Joe D's STeams issues as the frosting on this yet unbaked cake.

    David Haugh
    After a preseason that did little to answer most pressing questions, Bears start preparation for Bills


    Offense promises to be special but chronic problems on defense and special teams point to up-and-down season.


    Game week in Chicago begins much the same way training camp opened in Bourbonnais, with the Bears facing uncertainty at safety, linebacker and on special teams.


    That's not the kind of continuity any NFL team seeks from one season to the next. That's running in place for a month.



    So it's not just me and if I spent the rest of the afternoon doing it I'm sure I could dig up at least a half dozen more articles that would express sentiments and concerns. Basically if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, has webbed feet and likes to swim in ponds then it's probably a duck and we seemed to have a matched pair named Mel and Joe.
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  2. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    how about potentially yes or no to both, and everything inbetween?
  3. JoeBear

    JoeBear Rookie

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    I can agree with Iron Mike on some issues. The Bear defense is not playing well together right now. There are a lot of new players that need to come together and get on the same page, hopefully they will gel as a unit as the season progresses.

    At the same time I also think the game has changed, a lot, from Ditka's days. Defenses are no longer able to be as aggressive as they have been in the past and this puts a lot more pressure on the offense to "out score the other guy". I think this is what Trestman is trying to do. The current Bear defense is playing much more like a Safety Net than a Blitzkreig. It is too bad because I have always liked an aggressive defense. Why some teams like Seattle and San Fran seem to get away with being aggressive and other teams like the Bears and Lions seem to get punished for it (don't get me started on the inequality of the officiating).

    I think as a Bear fan you might as well get used to the new look. The Tucker designed defense's job is to slow them down enough to let the offense outscore the opponent.

    Hopefully we have the ball last.
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  4. B-ell-y-iot

    B-ell-y-iot Veteran SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I don't disagree with the idea that there may be a problem with Mel Tucker and Joe DeCamillis; however,

    I think the timing of this debate is poor.
    I think the creation of a dichotomy (player talent or defensive coordinator) is silly.
    I think we're all bored waiting for the Bills to come to town.

    My biggest issue with this entire discussion point is the timing. Mel Tucker is our DC and Joe DeCamillis is our Steams coach at least for the beginning of the season. As fans, we are limited in our ability to evaluate a team in the preseason. We don't see the practices. We don't sit in meetings. We aren't in the film room. All we see is the pre-season games which are largely about making roster decisions. Since the primary purpose of preseason games is roster related, coaches aren't scheming the way they will in the regular season. Instead, they are scheming to get looks at players in different situations. That is their purpose. If their purpose were to win the preseason games, I'd be a lot more willing to hop on your bummer bus. With that said, this doesn't mean the DC or STC regular season scheming will be great, it just means they don't have a strong relationship. I think this argument (whether it's the talent or the coach) is a good discussion to have, but now is not the time for it. It had its time at the end of last season and it will have its time during the regular season in the event that the team plays poorly in any phase of the game (offense, defense, or special teams). It's just a poor discussion to have right now, a poor discussion to rehash over and over again, because we all understand (even if we don't agree with) the points being made at this stage and nothing (or at least very little) can be added to this until we have a look at the regular season.

    The second issue I have with this is that it assigns blame to one individual and no one individual bears sole responsibility for the production of a team or even a unit. This isn't a dichotomy. The talent can be poor, the positional coaching can be great, and the coordination of the unit can be poor just as easily as the talent can be great the positional coaching can be poor and the coordination can be average or any other iteration of those elements. I happen to believe that the talent pool on the defensive side of the ball is below average, the coaching is average, and the coordination is average. Others can disagree, that's fine. See point #1.

    The other element of this assignment of blame is the responsibility of the head coach, the GM, and the ownership. These players aren't devoid of responsibility and they need to be figured into this calculus as well. Ultimately, if the defense, special teams, or offense performs poorly, I'm more willing to blame Phil Emery than any other element in the equation. He has ultimate say in personnel decisions (and if he doesn't than the owner does and the owner deserves the brunt of the blame). If any unit fails, I think it's Emery's responsibility to fix it through personnel decisions at the head coach level, the coordinator level, the assistant coach level, and the talent level. Personnel decisions, however, aren't necessarily best handled through firing coaches, they are best handled by identifying the root problems and addressing them correctly. Fans like to see the heads roll (CUT THE FUCKER) but the best franchises are typically those that have some level of continuity and that only occurs if the GM has the balls to stand up to the red faced fan base and say - no fuck you. If a GM is always beholden to the fan bases whims, you end up with flashy coaches and dream boy players who sell jersey's but don't win games.

    I think everyone on this board (with the exception of those fucking Bill spies) wants the Bears to succeed. We also want to stake our claim on the right side of the debate should things turn south. Most importantly, everyone on this board just wants the Bills to arrive at Soldier Field. Everyone wants to see the Monsters of the Midway stream out of the Bear's maw in an orgy of smoke, noise, and excitement, and everyone wants that foot propelled ball to sail through the Chicago sky on its way to an end zone where the kick off returner will make the opening move to the 2014 football season.
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  5. The Benjamin

    The Benjamin George Halas Staff Member

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    Both, maybe leaning a little more towards the talent on field who whiff on tackles, let people run right by them, cannot wrap up a tackle...
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  6. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I haven't made my mind up either way about the coaching. I'm giving it this season before I come down one way or the other. The talent though is obviously needing some help on D, but I want to see some regular season games before making up my mind as to how bad the talent is. I keep hoping that (as some posters have said) that Briggs and Williams have just been loafing in the preseason games and they can turn it on in the regular season. This could be the case......maybe we still have "Camp Lovie" after all, but just for our ageing vets. We'll know pretty soon if it's just loafing or if they just are not good players anymore.
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  7. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    We probably are but we are also on opposing sides of this "it's only preseason" thing.

    I really do hope I'm wrong but I don't like what I see at all and apparently I'm not alone.

    Great coaches have a way of motivating players to play above their talent level so why does the Bears defensive unit seem to be playing below theirs. I've hear the DL praise "Coach P" and the LBs praise Reggie Herring for his no nonsense old school ways. Even Briggsy who I've never heard do that before not even for Lovie. But I have not heard one defensive player come out in praise of Mel Tucker. Not even once.

    I'll tell you what I believe. I believe Pete Carroll could come to Chicago and win a SB with our offense and our defense and if Mel Tucker coaches Seattle's defense they would struggle to make the playoffs which is what I expect to happen here. I don't see Tucker's guys laying it on the line for him like Seattle did when we played them. It was preseason for them too.

    No other team save the Broncos did more to upgrade their defense and I can promise you the Broncos defense is getting ready to kick ass and take names. That team wants another shot at Seattle after that embarrassing ass kicking in February and they're playing like it. I realize Mel Tucker isn't John Fox either but then that's part of the problem isn't it?

    I hope I'm wrong and that you are all pointing at me saying I told you so a month from now and were 4-0 or at least 3-1 and our defense is playing like the ones of old because if they can do that, with the offense we have this team would be tough to beat but without a defense that much better or just as bad as last years we're going nowhere fast.

    That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2014
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  8. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    What is this, some kind of Tucker excuse thread? This was created to berate and bash unapologetically the hiring of the DC and ST coaches, any kind of excuse will not be tolerated!!!

    btw you're 100% correct.
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  9. Carthage34

    Carthage34 Rookie

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    Interesting thread, I think that we have to be a bit patient here. I am not a Tucker fan at all and I am still scratching my head as to why he was hired, considering his less than stellar resume (Same with DeCamillis). I suspect serious dollar savings here pushed by the Front-Office/Phillips.

    The organization has totally under-performed in the drafting and evaluation/development of talent. I think we are dealing with a 3 or 4 headed monster here. Talent/players,Coaching,Scouting, and Front-Office(GM-Sweaty Teddy-McCaskey). Getting to the playoffs takes all areas committed to putting a competitive team on the field every year(I don't mean 8-8 either that's mediocre).

    Still Tucker deserves a chance to prove that he can coach and make this defense respectable(better than average). If he can't put it together he should be jettisoned IMO, same with DeCamillis.

    The decision to keep these guys was made by Emery and Trestman and if another season goes by and if the Bears don't make the playoffs, the organization needs to find and hire the best DC and ST Coaches available(not coaches that come cheap with sub par resumes). Really we could just be seeing the reverse of Lovie here(great O lousy D)... bad coaches who come cheaply and year after year of frustrating football.

    Ultimately Emery and Trestman are responsible for the talent and the coaches on the team, they need to be held responsible if this while thing implodes. I would also get rid of the team President because he hired the GM(I think he is terrible anyway) I pray we don't have another decade of bad...sorry for the rant :)
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2014
  10. jbunch14

    jbunch14 Veteran

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    The Bills can't get to Chicago soon enough.
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  11. GermansbombedPH

    GermansbombedPH Pro-Bowler

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    Tucker is our biggest Problem so far...

    Our LBs and Safteys lack some Talent when you look across the league. DL seems good enough to win games with as do the Corners.
  12. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

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    Tucker is starting this season with very little overall confidence from the fan base. And not exactly a ringing endorsement from the front office either with the delay in deciding to keep him last January. My gut feeling is that he totally sucks balls and should have been shitcanned immediately after last year ended but that's water under the bridge now. I can say this with a high degree of predictability: he will not nor should he be afforded any more excuses. He has been provided with respectable talent and he needs to put out a respectable product. The pitchforks will come out quickly and justifiably if he doesn't.

    DeCam is not far behind on the hot seat parade in the exact same calculus.

    Yeah we are sick of excuses. If you're not at least a "B" coach then eff you and be gone. We aren't gonna settle for C- or worse nor should we. If you're happy to accept mediocrity and underperformance, then go to Detroit or Cleveland or Buffalo or Oakland. A 15th ranked D is not too much to ask with the level of talent available here.

    Get it done, 4 games, Mel, get it done.
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  13. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Like I said to begin with. This isn't all that hard to figure out unless someone wants to deny what they see. On a macro basis we aren't stopping drives, we're still giving up big plays even on the ground, and we're giving up too many points. So why is that happening?

    Once you focus as far in as you can get which to me is what's happening if the last few seconds before that ball is snapped you see the root of the problem. Guys are unsure of how to line up. No one is spotting the Safeties and moving them around into better positions. The LBs aren't sure what gaps they've got. Basically it's barely controlled chaos in the back end centered around the LB and Safeties.

    This bunch is playing on their heels and are slow to react to plays or they read wrong, over pursue and lose contain. The sheer number of mistakes being made is incredible. You can spot them on nearly every play and I could never do that before with a Bears defense. Pre-snap positioning is vital. A few yards here or there means the difference between a catch and breaking up the pass. Getting positioned over your gap and closing it before you can get taken out with a block is a key to great LB play. These are all things that aren't getting done.

    I keep hearing Trestman say it's "fixable" but that's just whistling in the dark. If it was that easy it would have been fixed by now. To keep accepting that excuse is just being in denial and once you're there isn't not gonna get fixed. Like I've said accountability runs all the way to the top and Phil Emery held himself accountable for not having enough talent and depth last year so he did fix that problem. Trestman made Kromer the full time OC so he'd have more time to help Tucker with the D but nothing has changed. They still making the same mistakes this year as they were last year.

    You can't blame all 22 defensive starters and backups without blaming the DC. He got the best 22 players available to him. He got to pick and choose his starters. There are no insurmountable injuries right now. So what's the problem? At a certain point in time I think you just have to give in to that fact that the guy you hired can't get it done and you move on. I've been hoping all along that it wasn't a mistake to keep Tucker but now I'm about 90% certain that it was and all I'm wondering is how much longer it's gonna take for Trestman and Emery to come to that same conclusion and act on it.
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  14. shark86x

    shark86x Pro-Bowler SuperFan

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    Everybody knows where i stand on this issue. My decision was made 3/4 way thru last season but those of us on the fire tucker bandwagon were beaten down by those on the excuses wagon - injuries, lack of depth, no talent etc. I understand those issues, but also understand that other teams deal with those same issues and still perform better than we did.

    I see no real changes in tucker's results yet this year, players are still hesitant in reading plays/ decision making, out of place, slow to react. Yes, it was pre-season, but none of the teams we played looked so disorganized, and it was preseason for them as well.

    Players do seem to be taking better angles and tackling better, but that is likely due to the new position coaches.

    We have 26 or so new guys, so they do need to 'gel' (or is this just another excuse?), but I am giving mel 4 games before going ballistic on him. Unfortunately, 3 of these games are against strong offenses, which is just another excuse in my mind.
  15. JJ-30

    JJ-30 Veteran

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    I've said it before and I'll say it again, it takes time when a team makes this many big changes on either side of the ball.
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  16. butkus3595

    butkus3595 Pro-Bowler

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    How many of the same freakin threads are we going to have to read from you soul?! For the love of god. We get it....you don't think Tucker is a good coach. You think we had adequate talent last year on defense to win(a joke and a half...but I digress). You think some new coach is going to come in mid year and do a better job...

    Have I summed up all of your future threads?
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  17. butkus3595

    butkus3595 Pro-Bowler

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    That would be the REASON bus, and no...no team dealt with the amount of injuries we did to key players. This has been covered...over and over again....
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  18. butkus3595

    butkus3595 Pro-Bowler

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    Here's the deal...if players aren't put in spots to make plays that's on coaches....if players are put in the spot to make plays but dont(ex..miss tackles or don't execute the play correctly) that's on them. It's not hard.
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  19. The Benjamin

    The Benjamin George Halas Staff Member

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    Just curious...

    If the defense was looking great, would it be because of the DC scheming great, or the players saving his ass by overcoming Tuckers incompetence?

    Not making excuses, but I have always felt that coordinators always get too much blame when things do not work. Tucker (from what I hear from ZZ) had to run a defense he was not too familiar with last year, and this year is implementing a brand new defense with all new players. That will take time to work in and get looking smooth.

    Not making excuses, just passing along what ZZ, Bears sideline reporter has said on the Score.
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  20. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Position Coach

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    IMO, it would be by having the players coached up... understanding their assignments, having chosen the players with the abilities (both Emery and coach here) to perform and coached in technique to do it, and then scheming to put their players in the best position to win matchups even if they our outmatched physically (scheming can only do so much there)
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