Throughout most of the season, Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Mel Tucker deserved to get the benefit of doubt.
Granted the Bears defense struggled throughout the entire season but considering fact that the team had a handful of season-ending injuries on the defensive side of the ball, the struggles in 2013 shouldn’t really surprise anyone.
Beyond that, the struggles appeared to be more so on the execution of the plays and players not doing what they were tasked to do. The whole city of Chicago is looking at you, Chris Conte.
But, there is no excuse that Tucker could make for the defensive showing of the Bears in the past two games. The Eagles game was a pure embarrassment for the Bears defense as Chicago defenders were allergic to the Eagles offensive players. The defense followed suit at the end of the game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday when Conte inexplicably came off Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb, leaving Cobb wide open for the game-winning touchdown.
On the touchdown allowed by Conte, there was confusion on the play. After the game, Bears cornerback Tim Jennings said the team was in zone coverage while head coach Marc Trestman said the team was in man coverage.
The mere fact that a defensive player and the coaching staff were not on the same page in terms of what coverage the Bears were playing on that play highlights the need for change on the defensive side of the ball.
A change that should begin with the firing of Tucker. Statistics may not be all that they are cracked up to be but there is no arguing with the fact that Tucker’s defenses throughout his career as a defensive coordinator with the Bears and Jacksonville Jaguars have annually been ranked in the bottom half of the NFL. A trend that shows no sign of ending anytime soon.
Trestman and general manager Phil Emery are scheduled to meet with reporters on Thursday. If the Bears were to fire Tucker, a decision would likely be made before Emery and Trestman address reporters.