Ultimately It’s About the Players

Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune answers your questions:

“I read that defensive coaches Reggie Herring and Paul Pasqualoni have backgrounds as coaches on teams that play 3-4 defensive fronts. It's a known fact that the defensive coordinator Mel Tucker is also versed in the 3-4. My question is with the present defense being a 4-3 and dismissing a major change do you see the Bears playing a hybrid 4-3 in the upcoming season? – Chuck D., Guilin, China”Tucker has worked in a 3-4 scheme but the majority of his background is in a 4-3. The Bears are going to remain 4-3 based and I believe they will be more versatile with wrinkles this season. For all the emphasis there has been on scheme, though, I think we have gotten away from the fact that this is a players’ league and players win on Sundays, not schemes. The Bears didn’t have the personnel to win last season and they certainly didn’t have it after injuries piled up. They need playmakers on defense. If you have a defense loaded with playmakers, you can be dominant on defense with a Cover-2 scheme.”

I think going to a hybrid scheme is a good idea. Anything that confuses the offense even a little can creat as much as a half second hesitation and that can be a significant advantage. As long as your own players are well coached and know what they are doing, of course. If getting fancy with a hybrid scheme causes more mistakes it will be disastrous.

Having said that, Biggs is ultimately correct. It's about the players, especially the players up front. I think the Bears know that and I expect effective moves in that area.