How to fix the Bears' defense

Full story: Chicago Tribune

If probing into the problems of the Bears' defense is getting redundant, imagine how players and coaches feel watching videotape every Monday after another disappointing defensive effort.

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Steve

Fountain Valley, CA

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#1
Nov 10, 2008
 
David, I rarely agree with what you have to say and often find it off the mark. This is your best analysis of the year. This is an excellent article and this plan would work but our coaching staff does not make adjustments, haven't you been watching the games? Well said noetheless.
Now Wait a Minute

Whiting, IN

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#2
Nov 10, 2008
 
Hey, what happened? you actually told the truth.
But Lovey Dovey is too stubborn to listen to reality.
HLz

United States

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#3
Nov 10, 2008
 
That's a well-reasoned article. I'm not sure I buy all of the suggestions, but clearly we need to make some adjustments. If the Bears could just stop giving away the quick slant, and daring teams to beat their safeties rather than covering all the deep routes and leaving the 7-yard-in wide open, it would be a big start. There's a big gaping hole in the middle of the field, and even Brad Johnson with his dead arm can hit that route! Take that away, and see if a guy like Frerotte or Garrard can thread the needle on the sidelines or between the safeties. My guess is that they can't.

Of all the QBs the Bears have left on the schedule, only Rodgers and Brees are dangerous; force the QB to make big plays to beat you, instead of giving them the easy completions. Odds are good that they won't hit a lot of deep throws, and instead of prolonged drives that wear the defense out, you'll give up 1-2 long passes per game, but the defense will be lights-out the rest of the game (and be well rested). That probably also results in 2-3 more offensive possessions per game - 2 more possessions would have won yesterdays game, even if Collins hit 2 deep balls instead of his nickel-dime passing drives that chewed up clock.

In the NFL, no defense is foolproof, and the only thing close to a silver bullet is having a front four that get consistent pressure on the QB without a blitz. We don't have that, so we have to choose our poison. I say make the QB thread the needle and try to hit long balls with precision. More often than not, the QB overthrows, or puts too much air underneath and the safety catches up and knocks it away. Sometimes a weaker QB gives up an INT or 2. But the 1-2 scores you give up playing aggressively are far outweighed by the fact that you don't give up so many extended drives (2-3 of which usually result in TDs anyways).

What I see now on the field looks like Babich and Lovie are running a prevent defense for 60 minutes. It rarely works in the 2 minute drill - why multiply it's ineffectiveness by playing it the entire game??? Have these guys ever watched an NFL game before they became coaches/coordinators?
Chuck Healy

Alamo, CA

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#4
Nov 10, 2008
 
Any defense would be better than the "watch them catch the ball" non-defense the Bears Have now. Whoever is the architect of this disaster doesn't seem to understand the objective is to keep the other guys from catching the ball not see if you can catch them after they have the ball. We need a new architect!!
ty welke

Poway, CA

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#5
Nov 10, 2008
 
Truth be told, the Bears historically have always been able to stuff the run but are very vulnerable to an air attack. Even in their glory years under B. Ryan's blitzkreig, they could not cover recievers all that well and relied on pressuring the QB. That seems to be a thing of the past under the current scheme/regime.

Their pass rush is woefully weak and one on one defenders get schooled regularly by opposing receivers.

Strangely enough, this team seems to be able to win by outscoring the opposition, and that is primarily why they are 5-4 at present....too little defense and not quite enough offensive production.

Come to think of it, THE DEFENSE HAS BECOME VERY OFFENSIVE....but they sure can HIT people !! Too bad the GOAL is to actually WIN the game.
Citizen

Pomona, CA

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#6
Nov 11, 2008
 
FINALLY!!!!!!! Hopefully the coaching staff reads this. I wouldn't lose any sleep if they fired the entire coaching staff, with the exception of Toub. The Bears owe me a new door, for the hole I punched in it, because of this pass defense.
Mike

Milwaukee, WI

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#7
Nov 11, 2008
 
Wow

I am impressed David Haugh. Finally some writer on this website actually stepped up and wrote an article about constructive criticism. Much better than some of your past articles and immensely better than that loser rosenbloom. This was a legitimate interesting article that I enjoyed reading because it was not badmouthing the Bears.

Sure, the Bears have a bunch of problems, but remember noone even gave us a chance, and look was we have done so far. Obviously the coaching staff has done something with what most people thought was ''nothing''.

On the other hand, it is apparent that we do have a decent team and people are now screaming for better coaching and better performance by our defense.

Thank you david for an interesting article that actually does not make fun of the Bears (Lovie Kotite..shutup rosenbloom) and actually has some thoughtful thinking.
floridabearzfan

Naples, FL

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#8
Nov 11, 2008
 
I agree... with everyone!
Shields Up Captain

Streamwood, IL

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#9
Nov 11, 2008
 
This article was outstanding. I have a simpler proposal.

Get a pass rush somehow anyhow. It makes everything better.

I also agree that the Cover-2 has outlived it's usefulness. I really liked Haugh's idea about lining Briggs or Urlacher up on the outside.

What about Jamar Williams? He's on special teams and he has speed. Put him on the outside.
Rocket Man

Liverpool, NY

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#10
Nov 11, 2008
 
David, I agree with you on all of these points but Lovie Smith is too stubborn to fire or demote his "friend". I would use Lance Briggs as the "speed rushher" since Ogunleye and Anderson are not getting the job done. Lance is not very good at pass defending and I would put Hillenmeyer in his position in the nickle package. I would also move Idonije back to DE occasionally. I disagree with you that Hillenmeyer wouldn't be a good special teams player. He his fast enough and smart enough to do it. I personally would take Garrett Wolfe out of the wedge on kickoffs since he is too small and is not making the blocks in that position that Hester needs. I know they have him in there in case of squib kicks but... I still do not see why the Bears offense doesn't try and use him in the backfield once in a while. Possibly a two-back set with he and Forte in it? How would the defense cover both of them on swing passes? Either give the guy a chance or keep in inactive.
Da Bearss

United States

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#11
Nov 11, 2008
 
Can't Urlacher (the Quarterback of the D) call a defensive audible when Babbich sends in his usual bonehead play?
val

Aurora, IL

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#12
Nov 11, 2008
 
Dave,

You're hired.
Too bad that Lovie and Babich wouldn't know where to start to develop strategy. If you can see the problem and solutions and most of the fans can see the same thing....then you can bet that opposing teams see it just as well.
Lovie and Babich aren't going to change. Its time to fire both of them. Would you entertain the idea of coaching? Obviously, Lovie and Babich have overstayed their welcome.
val

Aurora, IL

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#13
Nov 11, 2008
 
ty welke of San Diego...

you said...
"Truth be told, the Bears historically have always been able to stuff the run but are very vulnerable to an air attack. "

Obviously, you have forgotten the 85 season when the 46 just killed other teams from even moving.
Mgray

United States

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#14
Nov 11, 2008
 
Lovie's act has played out.
Mr Wonderful

AOL

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#15
Nov 11, 2008
 
David,
A good article, but you left out a couple of things.
1. You have to EXECUTE. The Bears, on defense and offense do this infrequently.
2. The pass defense is so soft, with cornerbacks and safeties arriving late. Did you see Vasher staring at that touchdown ball, as it sailed over his head, in the Detroit game?
3. You have to BE HUNGRY. Nobody on this team, save for Kyle Orton, seems to have the fire to win the game. The Bears look more like 'Sleepwalkers Annonymous'.
Maybe they should rest all the starters for a couple of weeks until they're ready to play. Make them show up at the games wearing street clothes. Hopefully a few of them will get with it.
Maybe you can give the coaching staff a couple of weeks off and see if Mike Hohensee (Chicago Rush) could fill in. Perhaps a few of his players could be hired for those weeks.
And give Rex Grossman and his wounded duck passes a rest.
Rich W

Sun Prairie, WI

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#16
Nov 11, 2008
 
I agree with HLz good post and fully agree with the comment of the prevent defense for 60 minutes. It seems that it is a choice, we might get stabbed in the heart so we will instead let them use little cuts to kill us instead.

They say a team takes on the personality of its coach well check out the sleep walker on the sidelines.

The defense seems to be passive, playing safe and not aggresive, playing defensive defense not offensive defense.

Lets look to Sunday. The Packers passing game is based on short passes and run after the catch, the Bear defense is based on let them have the short pass but stop the long pass. I wonder how that will work out?

Lets hope somebody gives Lovie a strong cup of coffee and he wakes up.

The BEARS can beat the packers but they need some help from Lovie.

Go BEARS!!! Beat the packers!!! Win the North!!!
TruthBeTold
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#17
Nov 11, 2008
 
Just fire the damn coaches! and Hire Greg Blanche! He can fire up this team and challenge the defense as he did when he was our defensive coordinator!

As for the offense, Find Gary Crowton!
JMM

Madrid, Spain

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#18
Nov 11, 2008
 
Very nice article man, hope that somebody at the bears management read it so they can fired the coaches!.

Since: Oct 07

Blue Island, IL

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#19
Nov 11, 2008
 
ty welke wrote:
Truth be told, the Bears historically have always been able to stuff the run but are very vulnerable to an air attack. Even in their glory years under B. Ryan's blitzkreig, they could not cover recievers all that well and relied on pressuring the QB. That seems to be a thing of the past under the current scheme/regime.
Their pass rush is woefully weak and one on one defenders get schooled regularly by opposing receivers.
Strangely enough, this team seems to be able to win by outscoring the opposition, and that is primarily why they are 5-4 at present....too little defense and not quite enough offensive production.
Come to think of it, THE DEFENSE HAS BECOME VERY OFFENSIVE....but they sure can HIT people !! Too bad the GOAL is to actually WIN the game.
i agree with you that the Bears have always been weak against the pass. the difference in the mid-80s with the 46 was that the Bears would get to the QB before he could throw it. if they didn't get the sack, it was likely they would force a turnover. what's happening now is that they never get to the QB and they are hoping that the secondary makes plays ... it isn't.

i agree with David in mixing it up a little bit. the Bears are too predictable and it's easy to see why guys like Griese and Collins have ripped them apart. they give up the 5 to 10 yard slants, everything is pretty open over the middle if you run complimentary out routes and slugo routes. offenses are taking Brown and Payne out of plays by running mid-to-deep routes that require safety help and hitting receivers underneath for moderate gains. without jamming or a solid pass rush, the Bears got nothing.

this blitzing up the middle isn't working. Urlacher is too small to get a bull rush on a tackle or guard and so is Hillenmeyer. Blitz Briggs off the edge, or better yet, like David suggested, bring a corner. bring a safety - bring somebody! they need pressure period.
CITT

Sarasota, FL

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#20
Nov 11, 2008
 
I enjoyed this article, I guess I was not crazy when I mentioned thefact in the past when we scored so many points it would be a sure win. This season we give up more then we get. Someone on the Bears should see what the fans are looking at.

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