8:33 AM CST, November 27, 2013
Julius Peppers talked about making a simple Bears defense simpler.
OK. Fine. But what’s simpler than assigning one player one gap?
I’ll hang up and listen for another explosive play.
It only takes one player failing to do his job to allow an explosive play, Peppers said. Someone on the Bears defense is always failing to do his job. A lot of someones.
Peppers was looking for some kind of answer after the Bears gave up 258 rushing yards in a loss in St. Louis on Sunday, after allowing the Rams’ second running back to run for more than 100 yards, after getting stung for nearly 10 yards a carry.
Not counting three kneeldowns at the end, the Rams ran the ball 26 times and gashed the Bears for at least 10 yards on nine of them.
Bears coach Marc Trestman blamed the awful run defense on bad fits, not personnel getting blocked. OK. Fine. But the same personnel continues to make the wrong fits.
How many times can Shea McClellin fail to set the edge and lose outside contain?
How many times can the defensive tackles lose their point?
How many times can the linebackers get so lost that running backs get to the third level of the defense right after the snap?
How many times can the safeties take the wrong angle?
I’ll hang up and listen for Adrian Peterson’s 200 yards.
Trestman continues to defend defensive coordinator Mel Tucker’s coaching. In fact, Trestman said recently Tucker has done -- are you sitting down? -- an “amazing’’ job.
The bar for “amazing’’ apparently embraces historically bad defense.
Listen, you can’t have the same miserable run defense and not believe that inadequate coaching isn’t part of the problem.
Wise up, the run fits can’t always be good in practice and then horrible in a game, the way Trestman said Monday, without coaching being a factor.
Something is getting lost in translation. How can the teaching part of the equation not come into question when the same issue remains unresolved?
When he was hired for the job, Tucker said he was keeping the same scheme and language that Lovie Smith used because Bears players executed that defense well.
But the Bears aren’t executing that defense. Aren’t even close. An opposing back has run over and past the Bears for at least 100 yards in the last four games and seven of the last nine. Amazing, indeed.
The Bears were bad before injuries to players who had run the system successfully before. They have been bad after injuries with players who had no familiarity previously. What Tucker apparently has is failure to communicate. Or maybe that’s his “amazing’’ consistency.
In addition to the disastrous run defense, the Bears aren’t getting the takeaways that were their lifeblood.
Interestingly, an insistent Trestman told WBBM radio while walking off the field at halftime Sunday that the Rams would turn over the ball. “It’s just a matter of time,’’ he said.
Never happened. The Bears couldn’t force a fumble. That happens when you can’t catch a running back.
Trestman continues to defend the job Tucker has done with a defense that is threatening to become historically bad, which means he’s blaming the players for stinking it up.
But he’s not changing the players.
Trestman said Monday he plans no defensive lineup changes “at this time.’’ Good news is, there’s still time.
There’s also still time to change the manner in which the scheme is being taught, and time to change the looks the Bears give an opposing offense.
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