Chicago Bears: Too Soon to Judge the Defense Aug 19, 2014 128 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.