Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune urges Bear fans to give defensive coordinator Mel Tucker a chance to see what he can do with the defense:
“The Jaguars ranked sixth in the NFL on defense under Tucker in 2011 after the abbreviated offseason. Jacksonville was fifth in Football Outsiders’ ranking system and one of only two units in the top five against both the pass and the run. That was without a single Pro Bowl player.”
Much has been made of Tucker’s lack of qualifications and the miserable performance of the 2012 Jaguars, a team that had even less talent than the 2011 version. But Tucker is respected throughout the league and there’s good reason for that.
In any case, as Biggs points out, former head coach Lovie Smith‘s first reaction when the offense wasn’t performing was to change coordinators. Most Bears fans understand how well that worked. The current regime seems to be taking a different tack:
“As an organization it appears there is more ownership of problems than there was in the past, and that could be a step in the right direction. Coach Marc Trestman said “it starts with me” and general manager Phil Emery held himself responsible, citing, among other things, a lack of depth at tackle and safety.”
I don’t think firing a coordinator who wasn’t even running his own system after only one year is a good solution to the Bears problems. If nothing else, it makes potential candidates for the job wary about the situation that they might be getting themselves into. Emphasizing patience and resisting a knee jerk reaction to dump a respected coach with a history of making lemonade from lemons seems like a good move. Its time to stop using the coordinators as fall guys who take the blame for organizational failure on multiple levels.
The Bears have instead decided to make fixing the defense a community-driven, team-oriented issue where everyone takes responsibility for the problem. Everyone, Emery, Trestman and Tucker, is now pulling in the same direction and doing their part to fix the problem. If that continues, better days may be ahead.