The more I watched the Seahawks defense in the Super Bowl, the more embarrassed I was for the Bears defense.
The less hope I hold for the Bears defense next season, as well. And maybe the season after that.
Sorry, but nobody in Chicago could watch the Seahawks on Sunday night and not wonder how close the Bears were to championship caliber -- or how far away the defense is from just being cruddy.
How soon the Bears could grow up to be like that?
Can you say “light years,’’ boys and girls?
The Bears defense did nothing to even the weakest offenses it faced last season, and there were the Seahawks killing the best in the NFL.
If you’d seen the Seahawks throughout the season or postseason, you knew they were good. But if you were a Bears fans who hadn’t cared until Sunday, you probably thought you were watching CGI.
You had no idea that perfect, fierce tackling was legal in the NFL. Geez, you had no idea that even being in the TV shot to attempt a tackle was legal.
The Seahawks seemed to have five players around the ball every time. That’s scheme, technique and athleticism. That’s also a three-and-out for the Bears defense.
The Seahwks didn’t try to game the Broncos. The Seahawks just lined up and played their scheme and destroyed the best offense in the NFL.
Sure, the Broncos helped by starting the game with a safety. But the Seahawks ruined a quarterback who ruined the rest of the NFL.
The Seahawks got Peyton Manning off his spot. The Seahawks hit Manning. The Seahawks hurried Manning. The Seahawks had -- read my lips, Mel Tucker -- a pass rush and it created a 69-yard interception return that signalled a rout.
When the Broncos completed passes, they were short and painful. Sometimes they were picked off. Sometimes they were punched loose. The Super Bowl MVP was a linebacker who had a pick-6 and a fumble recovery.
Remember when the Bears linebackers used to do that?
Remember when the Bears used to have linebackers?
Remember when the Bears didn’t stand around and watch fumbles?
The Seahawks defense obliterated the Broncos' skill players. Wideouts, running backs, tight ends -- didn’t matter. Manning couldn’t hit anything deep, and when he threw short, the Seahawks left corpses.
The Seahawks delivered pain. They tackled, and when the Seahawks hit, the Broncos stayed hit. The Seahawks made the Broncos scream for mommy to make it stop.
This, Bears fans, is what a defense looks like.
This, Mel Tucker, is what a defense does.
You couldn’t help but notice the Seahawks safeties, if only because the Bears forfeited that position as much as it did a pass rush this season, all part of Tucker’s amazing season, y’know.
Seattle safeties napalmed the Broncos. On one play, Kam Chancellor read the route, left his man, and ruined the play. Chancellor saw Demaryius Thomas catch a pass underneath and then hammered the big receiver. Read, attack, execute. Change the game.
Chancellor has the size of a linebacker and the agility and smarts of a safety. The Bears would kill for one safety with just one of those.
After watching Chancellor and Earl Thomas own a Hall of Fame quarterback and his offense in the Super Bowl, a Bears fan had to be suicidal after a season of watching Chris Conte and Major Wright.
Look, if the Bears bring back Conte or Wright, then Phil Emery and Marc Trestman should be fired.
Conte and Wright will never be Super Bowl safeties. Don’t even waste your time trying to make then NFC North safeties. Pay the Packers to take them.
If you were a Bears fan, then the Super Bowl was just sad, and you’ll feel worse when you consider the Bears need two safeties, two linebackers and four defensive linemen. I’m not sure what Shea McClellin is, so he counts for nothing until I can get an answer.
Oh, and unless the Bears re-sign Charles Tillman, they’ll need another corner, meaning they’ll need nine new starters on a historically bad defense that ranked last against the run and looked every bit of pathetic most of the season.
Nine starters, do you hear me? Think that gets done in one offseason? Think again.
I don't know how long it'll take, but the real work has only just begun, and that real work is to make sure Emery’s defensive choices and Tucker’s game plans are covered under Illinois’ medical marijuana provisions.