Paul Pasqualoni; Bears DL Whisperer?..................

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by soulman, Jun 29, 2014.

  1. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Bears' Paul Pasqualoni: The 'defensive line whisperer'
    June 29, 2014, 1:00 pm

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    Before Phil Emery got to work gutting the Bears' defensive line in free agency, he and Mel Tucker brought in some experienced coaching specialists.

    Clint Hurtt brought 13 years of collegiate success, mostly at Miami (FL) and Louisville, while Joe Kim has been a pass-rush specialist with seven teams in between earning and coaching Black Belts in Taekwondo. But first in the line of hires for that defensive line is Paul Pasqualoni, whose coaching career began 42 years ago.

    One of the decisions the Bears had to make at one position was whether to re-sign Jeremiah Ratliff or Henry Melton. Once pros and cons were weighed, it was the older Ratliff - who'd returned the final month of last season from a year-long injury, who signed a salary cap-friendly deal (two years, $3.5 million) before reaching free agency. Melton still hadn't gotten back on the field during Dallas' recent OTA's and minicamp after his torn ACL in Week 3.

    While Melton is reunited with Rod Marinelli and hopes to fatten up his contract after this season depending on his game day availability, Pasqualoni reunites with Ratliff. They were together during a portion of Ratliff's stretch of four straight Pro Bowls with the Cowboys, and has been seeing a similar player following that long layoff.

    "I think he's very close," Pasqualoni said of Ratliff. "He's in very good physical condition, and his weight's about where he wants it to be when he comes back for preseason camp."

    And Ratliff can be another "coach" for the interior linemen who were drafted in the second and third rounds. Ego Ferguson and Will Sutton are being looked at as long-term answers, while Ratliff seeks a return to form and Stephen Paea enters a contract year. Pasqualoni, along with Hurtt and Kim, aim to get the kids growing quickly enough to contribute something this fall.

    "I'm really looking forward to them getting their pads on and seeing exactly what they have when the (offensive) line gets their pads on, going up against a real good offensive line," Pasqualoni said. "Early in preseason camp will give us a good indication of how far they've come and how much more they've got to do to go in and help us."

    The first strike when free agency opened was signing the versatile LaMarr Houston, who's least experienced rushing from left end. So, Pasqualoni and his staff spent the past month getting him used to the switch.

    "You can see the quickness, speed, and explosiveness he's capable of playing with," he said. "He's going to give us a pretty stout guy on first and second downs, and a guy who's capable on third down of either rushing inside or outside. He's going to give us flexibility with what he can do."

    And while the offseason saw Melton, Julius Peppers, and Corey Wootton (plus Shea McClellin's move to linebacker) move out, the biggest splash came with the reason Houston's moving to left end: Jared Allen. Pasqualoni says he's discovered the former Viking's intangibles are as big a reason as his physical gifts that place him second in sacks (128.5) among the NFL's active players, trailing only Arizona's John Abraham.

    "Jared has brought a lot of energy and experience to the program, to our meeting room: a guy who's just flat-out smart and a very knowledgeable football player," Pasqualoni said. "He has great vision, can see what's going on and tells you what's happening in the game, and there's no substitute for that."

    The Bears hope to substitute last season's defensive performance with one the franchise and its fans have come to expect, and it all starts with a well-seasoned coach and his reconstructed line.
  2. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    The proof is gonna be in their performance but during the few sound bites The Bears Network has shown of Pasqualoni at work I have to say the guy is an impressive communicator and with his lean frame and grey hair he looks every bit the part of a teacher and not a football coach only.

    The players apparently have his respect for their attentiveness and willingness to be taught and teach he will. Will Sutton was saying that he comes right at you and tells you there's only one way to do this and it's the right way. No more guess work involved. You need to know your assignment on every play and carry it out.

    I like the guy as well as I like Reggie Herring although they seem to have two very different personalities. It doesn't hurt to have hired Clint Hurtt either. There's a pun in there somewhere I think. He's turned out some very good DL at Miami and Louisville. There was just some good all around thinking going on regarding the revamping of that defense both with new players and with new coaching.

    We needed immediate help in the form of vet players and coaches and we got them. Now that group can help the younger guys assimilate into their roles. It should be a whole different look with a whole different result this year. We've got some big dogs onboard now.
  3. sluggobear

    sluggobear Veteran

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    If the defensive makes great strides like the offense last year, we will enjoy a great Bear season. I believe, we will have a strong chance to knock off the Packers for the division title.
  4. Bearstuff

    Bearstuff Yes, in the woods. Staff Member SuperFan

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    We saw many players say (after the previous coaches were let go) that there was little or no direction from coaches last year on the DL and LB corps. I'm very glad to have Pasqualoni in house to correct that, and think we will see dividends from his coaching alone, much less the new talent brought in by Emery.
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  5. mshu7

    mshu7 Rookie

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    While the talent has greatly increased from last year to this year, particularly along the D-Line, the new coaches could prove to be the MVP if they are successful unit.
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  6. shark86x

    shark86x Pro-Bowler SuperFan

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    I think it's the coaching more than the talent. The guys looked lost last year. And the deeper into the season it got, the more lost they looked. That's not on talent, or even injuries - as bad and as many as we had, that's on coaching, and a big reason why I am anti-Tucker. Now, if Paul P and Clint and Reggie can provide direction and leadership for the D, it may mask Tucker's shortcomings enough that he won't matter. Or maybe prove to me Tucker's not as bad as I think and it was his sub-coaches that screwed the pooch.
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  7. jbunch14

    jbunch14 Veteran

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    Nearly every pro-personnel manager says that it comes more down to talent than anything, and last year after all of the injuries we had a huge talent gap with everyone we played. I'm very happy that the Lovie country club mentality is gone, and they have brought in D coaches with prior success who preach intensity, technique, and accountability. Nice change, and I think our D is going to be much improved because of it. It is very telling some of the things which have been quietly said by the D players this offseason.
  8. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I'm with ya' shark. Tucker as the teacher does not impress me at all. I think he may have the mind for it but maybe not the manner. These new guys all seem like much better communicators. I've never been impressed with Tucker during his interviews as a guy who gets his point across as say Trestman or Emery do.

    Hoke has always been a good DB coach so now maybe that we have guys coaching the DL and LBs we'll get out Dr back in shape. No doubt Marnelli was a good DL coach and although Babich was a lousy DC he was a decent LB coach. When we lost those guys we didn't replace them in kind immediately but now we it seems that we have.

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