Critical lapses crushing Bears defense

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by short faced bear, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. short faced bear

    short faced bear Assistant Head Coach
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    Mistakes key to Lions' clinching TD pass and crucial 39-yard run that ignited scoring drive at start of 2nd half

    By Dan Wiederer, Chicago Tribune reporter

    7:42 p.m. CST, November 13, 2013

    For chunks of Sunday's game at Soldier Field, the Bears' defense seemed as alert and meticulous as a bomb squad, carefully disarming the wiring that makes the Lions' offense so explosive.

    Running back Reggie Bush couldn't quite get started, plodding through a first half in which he managed only 16 yards on five rushes.

    Matthew Stafford's .514 completion percentage for the game was his lowest all season.

    And All-World receiver Calvin Johnson? Well, the Lions have thrown his way 27 times in two games against the Bears but averaged only 4.7 yards on those attempts.

    No wonder coach Marc Trestman left Sunday encouraged with the effort of his patched-together defense.

    The Bears, after all, limited the Lions to 364 total yards and 21 points, significantly below their season averages.

    "Our defense played well enough to win," Trestman said again Wednesday.

    But the Bears didn't win Sunday in part because of critical defensive lapses in key situations. The most costly came with 2 minutes, 28 seconds left and the Lions facing third-and-10 at the Bears 14. If they had settled for a field goal there, the Bears would have gotten the ball back down 17-13.

    Instead, coordinator Mel Tucker deployed man coverage with a single-high safety look, leaving Pro Bowl cornerback Charles Tillman on an island with Johnson. With no help over the top.

    Practically drooling before the snap, Stafford zeroed in on his favorite receiver the whole way, lobbing an easy fade to Johnson for a touchdown.

    Major Wright, the deep safety on the play, had no chance of covering the 26 yards from the middle of the field to the sideline in time to reach Johnson in the back left corner of the end zone.

    Chris Conte, the Bears' other safety, had come up to cover tight end Brandon Pettigrew.

    So Johnson simply froze Tillman with a jab step inside and cruised under Stafford's pass with little obstruction.

    "He just made a good move off the line of scrimmage and they were able to hit him over the top," Tucker said. "That happens. That's pretty much what it was. Just a single-high look from us and they made a good throw and a good catch."

    On an otherwise solid afternoon defensively, Tucker's decision not to pay more attention to Johnson on a pivotal play proved fateful.

    Equally damaging: the 39-yard counter run Bush ripped off on the first series after halftime. It was the Lions' biggest play of the afternoon and sparked a touchdown drive that put them ahead to stay.

    The big blow: Rookie defensive end David Bass was unable to force Bush outside, "spilling the play" as he was ordered, to where middle linebacker Jon Bostic had looped correctly.

    Instead, with pulling left guard Rob Sims holding up Bass and nose tackle Stephen Paea swallowed up inside, Bush found a wide cutback lane and fired through.

    Strong-side linebacker Khaseem Greene couldn't shed his block to help. Conte missed an open field tackle.

    And just like that, Bush's per-carry average for the afternoon spiked from 2.5 yards to 7.7.

    "We did a better job overall (against the run)," defensive lineman Corey Wootton said. "But we definitely have to fit up some things because it's gap-to-gap football that we've been messing up on.

    "Plays that should be maybe a 1-yard gain end up going for 20. We can't keep allowing that."

    Bush finished Sunday with 105 yards on 14 rushes.

    Stafford and Johnson finished with a victory-sealing highlight that seemed to come all too effortlessly.

    "That was tough," Wootton said. "I put that on the rush. We have to do a better job affecting (the quarterback). Especially when you have a guy like Calvin Johnson."

    As well as the Bears defense held up Sunday, the end result still stung.

    "There are no moral victories or anything like that in what we did," Tucker said.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sport...ears-defense-chicago-20131114,0,3654863.story
     
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  2. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Coordinator

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    The D has played better, but the pressure has not been enough to affect the course of the play.

    I guess the new D motto can be "We suck less"
     
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  3. tey216

    tey216 Rookie

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    According to Trestman... Mel Tucker is doing an amazing job...
     
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  4. jackiejokeman

    jackiejokeman Pro-Bowler

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    Its all new... Cherry coaching ...Cherry players ...injured players.

    Its a perfect storm ... hopefully it should gel.

    Remember that some predictions were as low as 2-14.
     
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  5. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Coordinator

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    oh, yeah... I'm amazed by it almost every week....
     
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  6. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka
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    I'd love to hear what people think Tucker should be doing/running differently. both DT's inj'd, he has 1 actual threat at DE, and he's WAY to old to do it himself, missing his best overall player in Briggs, as well as his best MLB in WIlliams, and now he's missing his best CB.

    I'd love to see what Lovie would do w/this mess.....oh wait I've seen it w/far less inj's and it's not pretty either.
     
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  7. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Assistant Head Coach
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    I was thinking the same thing. It would be like losing our key guys on offense, like losing 3 or 4 starters on the offensive line, and then Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Forte and our lone receiving TE. And maybe a few key backup players too - In addition to losing Cutler for the entire season on IR. Then have the fans want to crucify Kromer and Trestman for the offense playing bad.

    Fans - you gotta love 'em.
     
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  8. Henry Burris

    Henry Burris Head Coach

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    Of course you blame the defense for this loss.
     
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  9. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

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    All true (the severe personnel losses). Tucker hasn't had much to work with. But.....on the other hand.....to be fair and balanced....the defense was BAD BAD BAD early in the year before the injury parade reached critical mass. Lets be honest here. I'm not looking to scapegoat Tucker for the frustrating free fall of the Bears defense or certainly not for the offensive inconsistency that also has cost us winnable games. But (small sample size to judge from admittedly) he didn't impress anyone even when he had full or near-full strength on the D roster.

    I'll ignore getting torched by AJ Green and Jimmy Graham because those dudes will hurt a lot of teams but the defensive performances against Minnesota, Pittsburgh, the Giants, and (later) Washington were pretty pathetic.
     
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  10. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Coordinator

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    Shoot JABF. We lost the most importand guy on the O, our QB. So did GB. Our team was able to keep performing because our coaches on O were smarter than the fans (including me) and knew that had a capable backup in McCown. the GB coaches did not and their play tanked.

    Trestman made sure that the O was something that McCown could run and succeed with. I think saying Tucker is not the primary cause because the injuries are more to blame is not right. I think too, saying that the injuries are the cause, that Tucker is not to blame is not right either.

    Here is a good article on Tucker. I think pretty well balanced.

    http://www.suntimes.com/sports/foot...-revamped-practices-game-plans-for-bears.html

    I actually think Tucker is finally doing some really basic coaching and it is paying off. More time with position coaches, etc... Things that will bring up a poorly performing unit.

    So that is the good stuff, and I think it is showing up on the field. Why it has taken so long, I don't know? I think whatever direction is taken is by Tuckers decision, so only he knows.

    Here is one part of the article that says:

    Tucker knows his defense has deficiencies. Their pass rush lacks consistency, they continuously have problems reading opponents’ run games and their poor tackling has been unforgivable.

    All of those things have been noticed and I don't know who to blame other than Tucker. You can say that he is playing backups. Well, Trestman seemed to find good backups. Other top coaches seem to be able to go plug and play. These guys are having to go back and make sure that they are reading opponents properly (Urlacher could do it, why can't a DC?). Teams don't practice tackling, but most teams do ok by mid season. We are still having to coach them up on this. IDK, this is not a one dimensional problem, and the solution will not be one dimensional.

    From my perspective, I am not happy with Tucker. That may change as time goes on, but I can not be happy with him while acknowledging that he has had a raw deal when it comes to injuries. The season sis not start with injuries and we have had no pass rush since the beginning. I have seen no real game time adjustments to getting slashed in the run game. Only now do I see him focusing on fundamentals to bring the D capabilities up, and that does seem to be working.

    So far, I think he is middle of the road, and that is being generous. He started with a top 5 defense and now it is down to the bottom 5. Injuries do not tell the whole story here, IMO.
     
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