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.


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One Response to Ultimately It’s About the Players

  1. I disagree with Brad on a couple of points here. It is dangerous to make a blanked statement that it is all about the players, and not really about the scheme. Players have strengths/weaknesses and those players need to be put in the best possible position to be successful..which means a scheme tailored to them. The comment about being a dominant defense in cover 2…I honestly believe those days are over. The cover 2 is designed around taking away the run game, pressuring the QB and forcing the QB to make mistakes in the pass game. There are too many QBs in this league that are pass first and can exploit that weak zone defense, moving the ball effortlessly down the field. This is why, despite GB struggling on defense the past few years, they always still managed to beat Lovie’s Bears, Rodgers can shred that defense. It is fairly obvious the Cover 2 will no longer be “what we do” here in Chicago. That as their base defense will be gone. I also don’t think we will see a “base 4-3 or a base 3-4 defense”.. I expect it to be a true “hybrid” system where the Bears will let their opponent dictate the defense ran on Sunday. I think they are going to draft and rebuild the D for versatility and not scheme. I think we will see a modern day big boy defense to compliment the modern day big boy offense that was just built.

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