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

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

  1. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

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    I agree with you, Ric, and yeah the team is trying to muddle through at MLB until a more permanent solution can be found. Very preliminary guess here but it seems that MLB will be priority #1 for next offseason. Very likely Briggs will be gone and Bostic will take over WLB where he should be.

    Mike is the most important position for us to get younger and better at going forward.
  2. DavidL

    DavidL Pro-Bowler

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    I agree, but that's not my point. If Young can play DE nearly as well as Houston, which I think is true based on past performance, then replacing inept Conte with Pro-Bowler Bethea makes the Bears a better defense overall. Last season Houston had 6 sacks and Young had 3. I'd give up the 3 extra sacks by the DE in order to have Bethea at safety rather than Conte. That's what we should be talking about. Houston has 5 years in the NFL and 16 career sacks. So how much are we really getting for the $35 million compared to the alternative of using the money to fix our safety problems? I hope I am wrong, but I doubt it.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2014
  3. Warlock

    Warlock Rookie

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    You cannot make valuable observations, because you have insignificant information to base that observation off of. Without knowing the intricates of the scheme, you cannot tell whether players are executing or not. You don't know the scheme, you don't know the playcall, you don't know the alignments, you don't know the keys, you don't know the responsibilities, you really don't know anything... so how can you observe what is happening and make any kind of rational assessment about where fault lies?

    It's akin to watching a player make a TFL and stating that he did a good job... maybe the offense failed to execute (i.e. missed a blocking assignment), maybe the defender did the complete opposite of what he was tasked to do on that play and just got lucky that it worked out in his favor... For example, my first year playing football and I got stonewalled trying to get after the QB as a DE. It was only because I got stonewalled that I was able to read a screen pass to my side, I disengaged from the block and intercepted the pass , taking it for six the other way. Schematically, I completely failed at my responsibility, yet I ended up turning a negative into a positive due to dumb luck (i.e. my responsibility, on said play, was to rush the passer when I read pass). If you didn't know my responsibility on the play, you would have thought I made a great play, even though I did the exact opposite of what I was tasked to do.
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  4. butkus3595

    butkus3595 Pro-Bowler

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    +500 MILLION!!!!!!!

    I've been trying to say this in one way or another, but you said it perfectly! All we can do when we watch the game on TV is guess as to who is supposed to do what!
  5. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    OK JJ but how many more years do you want to give the guy to get his ship in order and his guys playing good fundamental defense? It's those lack of fundamentals and the repeated mistakes and penalties that are one of the reasons I see no progress.

    Trestman told the media today that he has no "trepidation" about the defense once the season starts. I think he's in denial as far as how big of a problem he has there but maybe I'm wrong. Then again maybe I'm not wrong.

    I'll be honest with you all. Until Mel Tucker proves himself as a DC and a guy who can restore that defense back to it's top ratings I'll will be in doubt of him. I always believed he was given waaaaayyy to much leeway for failure based on injuries and lack of depth last year. Even less talented players should not have been that pathetic.

    So there it is. I've had my say about it and the only guy whose gonna be able to change my mind about him as a DC is Mel Tucker himself. I would be overjoyed if he proved me wrong and we went from the 2nd worst defense and "the worst" in pass rush to one of the best. Unfortunately there's nothing in his past history that tells me such a revival is likely and imminent.

    He'll have four great opportunities to prove me wrong during the month of September and by that time I think we'll all know whether there's a reason to continue being concerned or not. All of the personnel issues from last year have been dealt with and at least to open the season the defense is 100% healthy as far as I can see. I just don't want to hear anymore excuses for why the job isn't getting done. That boat has sailed.
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  6. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    If the players are playing his schemes the way they've been coached to do then there is no way to overcome the incompetence of either the scheme or the coaching. That's pretty simple to determine. Players can't just freelance if they don't agree with the play call. If they do they'll find themselves on the bench or cut.

    If you recall that was an issue when Brandon Meriweather was here. He liked to free lance and make big hits and not stay in his position. Any good defense is based on a disciplined approach and players have to play within the scheme. Based on that concept there really isn't anyway to overcome a bad scheme or incompetent coaching with superior play. It's a team sport so it's pretty tough to win based on the herculean efforts of one or two guys.
  7. Warlock

    Warlock Rookie

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    These are short-sighted expectations. A coach can only do so much, better coaches do more with less, but even then coaches have limitations. You can't give a chef hamburger meat and say "you're a terrible chef, unless you give me filet mignon back". The current defense doesn't have the same relative talent as the 2005/2006 team, asking for a "top defense" without having top talent, is ignorant to how the real world works. Getting players to over-achieve is the sign of a good coach, but there's a limit to how much players can over-achieve and it's not nearly as significant as some people believe it to be.

    The Bears have improved the talent of their defensive roster a significant amount, so as long as the unit improves a significant amount, then Tucker is doing his job IMHO. By significant, I'm talking about worst to maybe middle of the pack (if they over-achieve)... going from worst to first is wholely unrealistic when looking at the situation rationally.
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  8. Warlock

    Warlock Rookie

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    This is not necessarily true. I see players at the HS level win games on raw ability alone, even when the coaching is incompetent or the scheme puts them in a more difficult position. Granted, at the NFL level where there's a lot more parity in player talent, this is a lot more uncommon... it does happen from time to time though (i.e. Urlacher in the 06 Az game). Sometimes guys put on dominating performances, doing things that schemes aren't designed to deal with.

    To illustrate my point, no realistic scheme is going to stop a Calvin Johnson type from catching jump balls over a much smaller and mediocre corner. If the QB and CJ execute, good luck stopping them from dominating lesser talented opposing DBs. This is why creating and taking advantage of mismatches is so important in the NFL... if I can somehow scheme to get CJ lined up on Tim Jennings or Chris Conte (via formation or motion), you better believe that's exactly what I'm going to do.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2014
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  9. butkus3595

    butkus3595 Pro-Bowler

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    Warlock is on fire in this thread!!! Unfortunately my friend your reason and logic are lost here...especially with a Soul.
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  10. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    Well I cannot, and will not hold the DC accountable for the players picked/brought in by, the GM. He's going to have next to no say on what the GM decides to do.

    I think Williams was expected to be the starting MLB last year, and Bostic this year imo that was Emery's idea. I think ideally Greene/Bostic were Emery's idea of starting Will/MLB. I have no idea what he was planning for SAM I hope it wasn't Shea.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2014
  11. The Benjamin

    The Benjamin George Halas Staff Member

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    What you are missing, is that Cotne is currently the best safety on this team. So if your golden boy Behea was signed, it would not be replacing Conte.

    You never skimp on the lines. The better the line, the better the rest of the defense will play. So again, Houston vs Bethea, I will take Houston.
  12. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    True but only to an extent. For instance kick coverage isn't a very fancy defensive concept. Team can't form four man wedges any longer so there are no wedge busters giving up the bodies and brains by smashing into those guys at full speed. It's all about knowing how to stay in your lane and let the other guys take care of theirs. It's about avoiding blocks and creating a net without a hole the returner can get through. Then you surround him and the net closes or at least that's the way to visualize it conceptually.

    If there is one play where free lancing won't work it's this one and that may have been part of the problem this preseason. I saw some pretty lousy lane coverage on most kickoffs. It's only a guess on my part but an educated one. With so many guys competing for a roster spot based on their ability to play STeams effectively I think there was a tendency to look for ways to make an impact play. Shoot through and nail the returner inside the 20. You look really good when you get him but when you don't or even slow him up some and the rest don't cover your lane you just left a huge hole in that net for the returner to run through and it's bye bye time with only the kicker back to stop him.

    The problem comes from when you have too many guys trying that, one or two get taken out, and there's a hole five to ten yards wide where those guys should have been. You can only have so many "gunners" looking to make that play. The rest need to seal their lanes and that of the "gunner". We weren't doing that very well and lost quite a few gambles on that big tackle. Maybe things will settle down now that the competitions are over but I'm not exactly counting on it. Joe D's STeams have shown some of that same lack of fundamentals and discipline as Tucker's defense has. I guess that's no surprise since many of them are defensive player.

    I'll just keep calling 'em as I see 'em. The biggest problem with this team is not a lack of talent. It's sloppy play, misexecution, and dumb penalties that either stop our drives or extend the other guys drives. It's either a lack of an understanding of the scheme or misexecution it that leads to big plays. All of this comes down to coaching. If you expect precision and you aren't getting it then you keep practicing it until you are.

    Despite the fact that it's a different era the fundamental concepts Vince Lombardi used haven't changed. The Packer only ran about 15 offensive plays and teams pretty much knew what they'd run and when but Lombardi just went ahead and did it anyway daring teams to stop it. They won by simply playing better football then the other guy. That also pretty much the way Ditka ran things and GSH aside he's the winningest Bears coach in history. Trestman seem to be getting that out of his offense but we aren't getting it anywhere else.

    Tucker and DeCamillis should know by now that there jobs depend on their units doing far better this year than last so we'll see what happens. I hope they succeed and we end up playing in the NFC Championship Game but we sure looks like a long way from here to there right now.
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  13. shark86x

    shark86x Pro-Bowler SuperFan

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    I can and will hold the dc responsible for the performance of the players brought in by the gm. The gm is not trying to undermine the team. He is trying to get in the best players he can with the resources available.

    This will be my last comment on this topic for 4 games. can we all wait and see what happens?
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  14. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Short sighted or not Warlock they're mine and you're entitled to yours. I've explained my thinking often enough that it doesn't bear repeating here one more time. So nuff said.

    PS: I think I've watched enough football over four plus decades to know whether a team is poorly schemed and coached or whether it's on the players for not doing there jobs well enough.
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  15. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    This seems reasonable to me. There has been a significant upgrade in defensive talent, but most of us would probably agree that Emery needs to continue this next year (continue to upgrade talent on D). In the meantime though, we should see a significantly better defensive performance this season, especially if the unit is a bit healthier than last year. That is a reasonable expectation.

    Even the best coaches need decent talent to work with. We all understand that. Not all coaches can get good results with good talent though. Coaching still matters. If you look back over the past decades there have been some great defensive coaches who fairly consistently put solid teams on the field when given solid talent. Tucker deserves this year to show if he can do better with the better talent. That seems reasonable to me.
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  16. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Yep, I'm just gonna sit back and hope Tucker and DeCamillis prove me wrong. I'd be thrilled to eat that crow sandwich.
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  17. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I've been eating a lot of crow in recent years myself. It's a good thing I'm not the coach or GM :-)
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  18. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    Who said he was trying to undermine the team? But just b/c he brings in other players doesn't mean that they were the correct moves. The GM is going to make mistakes, and those mistakes are going to efffect the ability of the coaches and the team to perform.
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  19. DavidL

    DavidL Pro-Bowler

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    We'll see who is right as this plays out. Houston and Conte will both have to play better than I'm expecting before I would buy this argument. And I don't disagree that defense always begins with your front-4, but we have a major problem at safety with Conte. I would not call having Allen, Young, Scott, CornWash, and Bass at the DE position and spending two of your top draft picks on defensive tackles to backup Ratliff and Paea as skimping on the DL.
  20. The Benjamin

    The Benjamin George Halas Staff Member

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    Conte is a good safety. Not a great one, but far from a liability and he is not a major problem.

    Again, Conte is the best safety on the roster. So there would have had to of been four new safeties added to the roster to get him off.

    I trust the coaching staff and their professional assessment of Conte over your amateur opinion. If they felt he was that bad (as you do) they would have done more to replace him. They did not, which shows me that they have a lot of trust in him. They obviously see him as a good asset. So unless your talent evaluation is superior to theirs..... I think he is a good fit to the roster as well.
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