Last year, the Chicago Bears had a bipolar season. The offense had an incredible year, breaking franchise records. The defense, however, was setting marks for futility. After a heart-breaking loss to the Green Bay Packers that cost them the NFC North championship, fans were calling for defensive coordinator Mel Tucker’s head… loudly.
General manager Phil Emery decided that last season’s debacle was not enough to discard Tucker. Besides, Tucker was using former coach Lovie Smith’s Cover-2 defense, the one that was successful and that the players wanted to continue using.
They found out that the defense was too old to continue using, and the depth problem came to light when the old players started to get injured. The defense had more holes in it than swiss cheese.
The Bears revamped the defense, drafting cornerback Kyle Fuller, defensive tackles Ego Ferguson and Will Sutton and safety Brock Vereen. They also picked up free agent defensive ends Jared Allen and LaMarr
Tucker has also made changes. Out with Smith’s defense, in with Tucker’s. He will be sticking primarily to a 4-3 defense, but it will be a hybrid. The players on defense are able to play multiple positions, so depth is better.
Tucker will have to show the same creativity on defense that head coach Marc Trestman shows on offense. He cannot have some old vanilla defense. He has to make the proper adjustments and make sure that all players are on the same page, something many felt he didn’t do last season.
With all these changes, the time has come for Tucker to show why the Bears have the confidence they have in him. If they have just a decent defense, they will be playing past Week 17.
If the defense cannot show improvement, it will be another frustrating season at Soldier Field, and the end of Mel Tucker’s time in Chicago.