In Support of Mel Tucker

Another answer that I agree with as Brad Biggs responds to a fan question for the Chicago Tribune:

“Is there any chance we could see Rex Ryan as defensive coordinator next year if the Jets let him go? Mel Tucker doesn’t seem to be able to adjust his scheme to what he has to work with. And we can see what change a coordinator can make by just looking at the Saints with Rob Ryan and Cowboys. – Sid, Sebastian, Fla.

“I wrote in last week’s mailbag that I believe Tucker will return to the Bears in 2014. Tucker has tried a variety of wrinkles within the defense this season, some more successful than others. What he has to work with right now is a defense that has been diminished by injuries to all three levels. Your flip side of your Saints/Cowboys analogy hasn’t worked so well. Dallas has been horrendous on defense this season with Monte Kiffin replacing Rob Ryan in Dallas.”

As fascinating as a Rex Ryan hire would be, I whole heartedly agree with Biggs that Mel Tucker has done a nice job as defensive coordinator.  For one thing, he’s (apparently) a stable personality where as Ryan, as entertaining as he is, would rarely be characterized that way.  Yes, Ryan is brilliant but the Bears are probably about to get a lot younger on defense and I’m not so sure he’s the right fit for such a situation.

Tucker’s defenses have not always fixed apparent problems as quickly as I’d like.  But that’s because I’m a critic and things are always a lot easier when you don’t have to actually do anything to solve the problems.

The Bears have for the most part fixed many of the problems that they’ve had with gap integrity.  Its pretty easy to be blocked out of a play when you are running laterally and many problems shedding blocks result.  The rookie linebackers both are very slowly showing the ability to better diagnose game situations resulting in better, downhill play.  These things don’t happen over night.  But they are happening and an under rated Tucker and his staff deserve credit for much of the improvement.


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