Too Soon To Judge Bears Defense?.......................

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by soulman, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. soulman

    soulman Coordinator
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    Chicago Bears: Too Soon to Judge the Defense

    Aug 19, 2014
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    The defense is already hearing it about their supposed lack of progress for the Chicago Bears. Here are some reasons why the judgment is far too early.

    Mel Tucker has four starting spots that need filling

    Hearing estimates that the Bears defenses ranks 30th thus far in the preseason has to sound depressing to fans, but the reality is this defense is still processing itself. Coordinator Mel Tucker doesn’t even have a complete roster in place yet. Four of the eleven starting positions remain unfilled as battles continue to wage. D.J. Williams and Jon Bostic fight for middle linebacker, Shea McClellin tries to keep the strong side job while both the free and strong safety slots have yet to see a pairing that seems to work. Until every position is set in stone and the unit can actually start working together, expecting instant success is not the best policy.

    Tim Jennings and Willie Young injuries show lack of continuity

    Part of the problem with that continuity angle is simple camp and preseason injuries. Several key players haven’t been on the field consistently and it has created a lacking identity. Tim Jennings didn’t play in the preseason opener against Philadelphia while Willie Young replaced Jared Allen at defensive end. Then in week two Allen returned but Young was out while Jennings came back, only to replace a hobbled Kyle Fuller. Chicago can’t be expected to know what they have until the games get serious and everybody is back healthy.

    New playbook still not being utilized

    The most important thing to remember is it’s preseason. Tucker and his coaches are not going to handcuff themselves during the real games by using the entire playbook. Most of what the Bears have been running during the preseason is the basics, seeing which players fit where and how they execute in those packages. Such alignments are much easier for offenses to exploit, especially when there is a large roster turnover and many positions are unsettled as they are for Chicago. Tucker came into 2014 with a scheme and a plan of his own. People won’t know what that is for sure until Buffalo arrives at Soldier Field in September.

    Until these factors are corrected, it isn’t fair or possible to truly define was the Chicago Bears defense will be this season.
     
  2. butkus3595

    butkus3595 Pro-Bowler

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    Seems reasonable to me.
     
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  3. soulman

    soulman Coordinator
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    OK, I'll buy into that last one about not scheming the defense in the preseason. Teams don't normally do that anyway so Tucker and his guys get a pass for that but....... There are 32 other teams doing the same and we still rank #30. So what's the excuse now?

    Injuries? Hell that was his problem last year and I'm not about to accept that same excuse this year. This defense should have more than enough depth in the DLine and at CB to withstand some injuries and if they ever get the starters settled at LB and Safety there should be reasonably good depth there as well.

    Four positions are still unsettled? That means the competition is fierce correct? Or.....does it mean that none of these guys has put his mark on a starters spot yet? I'm hoping it's the first and that all this is doing is pushing these guys performance even higher but being the #30 defense doesn't exactly confirm that. Looks more like the second one to me.

    I'm sorry but I'm not anywhere near as patient about that defense as the author is. They've looked OK at times and at other times very mediocre and at others bad. If this defense even comes close to stinking up the place as badly as they did last year there isn't anyone left to blame BUT Mel Tucker. We're watching you Mel and we're waiting to see you make something out of all this new talent you've gotten over the past two years. There are gonna be some very unhappy Bears fans if this defense doesn't get a whole lot better soon.
     
  4. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka
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    seems like a lot of what was said last week in the Tucker rant threads to try and get people back off the ledge.
     
  5. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Assistant Head Coach
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    I know the defense is still "gelling" now. Hopefully we see the unit take a step forward on Friday when the starters play most of the game. I don't expect perfection or even a win. But it would be great to see the defense take another step improving a bit.

    It may be the 3rd or 4th regular season game before we see the defense at its ceiling for 2014. Or even later than that considering all of the changes on defense this year. I remind myself that injuries are not just a preaseason thing. We'll deal with them all season long like the rest of the league. Hopefully it won't be as bad as last year though.
     
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  6. soulman

    soulman Coordinator
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    They actually need to step it up on Friday. That's really the last game the starters will see much action is and it's time to settle those unsettled starting slots or at least a couple of them.

    We should be at least be able to get the LB situation settled. It sure seems to me like Briggs, DWill and McClellin will be the starters with Bostic playing backup at all three spots and playing some nickel LB. He's the one most qualified to be the "swing guy" for now until he absolutely wins a starting spot outright.

    Conte should be playing this week so they should have a pretty good idea of whether he ready to play or not. I don't think McCray is the guy to be playing FS and Vereen is still pretty green so unless Conte just absolutely sets the world on fire back there I'd probably use Mundy and Wilson as the starters for now until someone can take a spot away from one or both.

    The unsettled needs to be settled and these guys need to start playing like a unit and not eleven individuals.
     
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  7. Ski-Whiz

    Ski-Whiz George Halas
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    Doesn't anyone think that having four open spots is a problem? Either we have shitty players and they can't pick the better ones, or we have ProBowlers that are so closely talented that Tucker can't pick.

    Seriously, isn't it hurting the team by not dedicating one player as the starter so they can get the reps and play?

    Are two preseason games going to determine the starters?

    Is the rest of the league drooling to find out what vicious plan/scheme the Bears are going to run, that Tucker doesn't want to show it off too soon?

    A good coach knows talent when he sees it. <-- That's why Tucker hasn't decided who's starting.
     
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  8. shark86x

    shark86x Pro-Bowler
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    Excuses excuses excuses. That's all I ever hear about this guy. So we're still getting last years excuses in preparation for using them again this year, with some new ones added in for variety? When do we see results? I'm "this close" to bringing out the Fire Mel Tucker banner, but he has this year to show me he can be an NFL DC. I hope he can, because I'd hate to waste another year.
     
  9. soulman

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    Yep, I agree with every word. Of the two possibilities I presented above I chose the latter too. When this game is over they should know who their starters are gonna be, name them, and then start working on getting that defense coordinated. That's what a DC does right?

    Where the starting talent exists the starters are set. It's the LB and Safety spots that are still up for grabs and it's time to settle it. Provided he's 100% I feel they should either start Conte because he has the experience and if not then go with Mundy and Wilson. Those two come nxst as far as starting skills and experience go.

    The same at LB. Start Briggs and DWill along with McClellin and let Bostic play in the nickel and as a first off the bench backup. He needs to win a spot with some consistency and so far he hasn't shown that. I can't see starting the season with two inexperienced LBs. McClellin needs all the help from the other two he can get.
     
  10. Ski-Whiz

    Ski-Whiz George Halas
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    Bottom line, Tucker has bad plenty of time to find his starters. These last two games should show him what needs to be tweaked (as a defensive unit).

    With our defensive as bad as it is, naming starters should have been 95% complete last week.

    Now you should just teach coverage/schemes etc.

    I just feel lost with our defense. I'm just as lost now on how we look, as I was last year.

    I'm hopefully he (Tucker) can pull this off, but Vegas is betting against it.
     
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