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Position-by-Position at the Bye: D-Line

| October 30th, 2014

dline

The following is part of a series of position-by-position breakdowns at the halftime point of the 2014 season.

This is a tale of two units.

At defensive tackle the Bears have a pair of excellent starters. If Jay Ratliff did not miss time with a concussion who knows how productive a campaign he could be enjoying. But his performance in the first half against the Miami Dolphins was one of the most dominant I’ve seen by a defensive tackle in years. Stephen Paea has endured (and I’m sure it’s pained him) endless criticism on this page alone over the duration of his career but this year he’s been week-in and week-out the Bears most reliable and impacting defensive lineman.

It also seems Phil Emery found two solid tackles in the draft. Both Ego Ferguson and Will Sutton, when they’ve gotten on the field, have jumped off the screen and made plays. Are they going to be every down starters in the years to come? I wouldn’t bet against it.

Evidence the defensive tackles have been the Bears most improved unit? A year ago the Bears ranked 32nd in the league against the run allowing 161.4 yards per game. This year they are ranked 13th, allowing only 110.1 per. That is a massive turnaround and it sure can’t be credited to what’s happening behind them.

What do you do with the Bears defensive ends through eight games?

Jared Allen has yet to do, well, anything and now is pursuing a half-step in the bye week. (He also said he’ll be pursuing a Blu-ray of Cop and a Half starring Burt Reynolds.) Lamarr Houston led the team in pass disruptions but disrupting a pass is not the same as stopping a pass from taking place and Houston’s bust of a first eight games was punctuated by his irritating, injury-inducing sack celebration in a massive blowout at Foxboro.

Willie Young has been excellent, the best defensive bargain in the NFL through the season’s first half. His seven sacks (out of the Bears total) have given the group an air of respectability and helped keep the Bears mid-NFL in sack totals. Would the Bears like to see more pressure? Of course, but the entire league is looking to create more pressure as sack totals have plummeted from a year ago. To my estimation this defensive line has been good enough to win games through the first half.

Grade: B

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  • Shady

    When a pint-sized 8-year-old kid witnesses a murder he offers to help the police, if they make him a cop, too. Saddled with this streetwise sidekick, a hardboiled cop is forced to take his new partner seriously as they race the clock to bring the bad guys to justice.

    3.7/10 stars

    Yup, sounds about right.

    • Donnnnn’t Caaaaarrrrrre!

      Just think Shady, someone wrote that pigshit screenplay and then some guy fucking greenlit it.

  • IBNO

    I think a B is generous for the whole unit. B for the DTs, sure. And Young gets a solid A by himself. But Houston (before injury) gets a D- and Allen an F. Average for the DEs, then is a C-/D+. Average the DTs and DEs together and you get a C. Adequate, but not good.

    • you are vastly underestimating the impact Houston had against the run. And he was actually pretty solid as a pass rusher, even though he didn’t bring the QB down.

      • CanadaBear

        Gotta agree. Houston hasn’t played bad. He’s just over paid.

        • Huge Bear’s Penis

          I have heard this from several of the posters. What do you guys think he should be paid?

          • CanadaBear

            Considering he’s a run stuffing DE with almost no sacks, I’d say about half of his current salary of $7 mil/yr.

          • Houston? I’d say probably about $5M/year.

        • Houston, Jennings, Allen, Briggs. A lot of veterans who aren’t bad but aren’t living up to their big paychecks.

          • CanadaBear

            I agree but Briggs is on the last year of his deal. That’s not uncommon. Jennings needs a few picks to justify his deal. Houston needed a few sacks to justify his. Allen needs to play about 10X better to justify his.

  • wreckinball

    I agree with the B especially the play of the rooks

    With our LBs being awful it is somewhat hard to judge.

  • Shady

    I will be continuing my Halloween tradition of giving extra candy to the kids dressed up in a Chicago Bears uniform.

  • Bears-4-Ever

    C+ Overall D-Line. Our DEs stink to a point where they drag the unit into mediocre levels. A 4 man rush is not enough vs. a good O-line and a Quick QB. You gotta blitz once in a blue moon…but that’s on Tucker.

  • Trac

    Finally!!!! A correct grade.

  • Sactowns#1

    This year I am finally upping my candy game to full size bars. I only get about 20-30 kids most halloweens so it’s not too bad a proposition.

    • AlbertInTucson

      We got 225+ trick or treaters last year. Thanks about average.
      We expect more tomorrow thanks to it being a Friday night and weather is going to be warm so they’ll get minis and like it.

      • AlbertInTucson

        We have a neighbor hood with sidewalks, homes right next to each other and a park so we get van loads of kids being dropo off to loot the area.
        We don’t mind the kids but by the time you get to Jr.High or beyond you should be above trick of treating. That’s for Kids. Worse.
        The go over the the park, eat the candu and then cant walk 10 feet to put the wrappers in a trash barrel so the next day the park is just full of candy litter.
        I also detest the teens who just show up with a pillow case and no costume. Get lost, you losers.

        • CanadaBear

          My favorite story about this. I’m over at a friend’s house on Halloween. His dad was hysterically funny. Super dry sense of humor. While I’m there 2 guys about 15-16 show up. Like you said, no costume just a pillow case for candy. My friend’s dad looks at the 2 guys puts candy in their pillow cases and says, “So tell me fellas, who ya voting for next week?” The look on their faces was priceless.

      • Sactowns#1

        Well I live in Midtown which means it’s mostly young singles, older folks who have been here since the 70’s and gay couples. So not a whole lot of trick or treat aged children coming through.

        • Donnnnn’t Caaaaarrrrrre!

          A gay Halloween has to be outlandish!

    • CanadaBear

      I used on the main drag of an upscale (for a backwards Iowa town) addition. It was close to the mall. Families would take their kids to the mall and then bring them over to our addition. There would literally be traffic jams in front of our house. I’d buy all my candy at Sam’s. Always bought suckers, gum, hard candies, etc. Anything young kids like that I wouldn’t eat (i.e. chocolate). Every year I would run out. By the last year I bought over $100 worth of that crap at Sam’s and still ran out. I’d go to the door and there would 2 or 3 groups of kids. It was nuts. Love Halloween and seeing the kids.

      • Donnnnn’t Caaaaarrrrrre!

        Halloween in my neighborhood is a little depressing and uplifting at the same time. It’s all the neighborhood kids running around having a ball and then around 645pm all of the single black moms and their kids come from the really bad areas to our neighborhood so they don’t get shot or robbed as they trick or treat. It feels good to see kids smile that can’t even run around in their own neighborhood without being at risk. You rarely see older uncle or father aged men with these groups though which is disheartening.

        • CanadaBear

          We’d get the same thing except they were Natives and Hispanic. Some of the neighbors would be pissed about it and I would make a mental note they were either prejudiced, cheap or both. If you can’t enjoy seeing kids genuinely excited and happy, you’re really a miserable excuse for a human being.

          • Donnnnn’t Caaaaarrrrrre!

            kids being able to be kids is the best thing in the world.

          • Trac

            Maybe the don’t agree with the pagan Holliday and their peace and quiet being disturbed even after leaving the porch lights off. I personally don’t agree with the practice of hitting neighborhoods for candy. It’s just not my thing but to each their own.

          • Donnnnn’t Caaaaarrrrrre!

            C’mon Trac, a kid dressing up as Iron Man is a far cry from the roots of this harmless holiday. There are people in my neighborhood that piss and moan about kids coming from Roseland, Englewood and West Pullman to trick or treat but when it comes down to it they all put on a smile and dish out the candy to the smiling face. 80% of these kids are on cloud 9 for at least that night.

          • Donnnnn’t Caaaaarrrrrre!

            oh and trick or treating ends at 7pm and we post signs so everyone knows why the lights are off and no one is coming to the door.

          • Trac

            Halloween is a big deal with satanic cults. I don’t partake and it has nothing to do with not wanting kids to have fun. Kinda like new bear. I doubt very seriously he’d not drive on the sabbath but then let his kids go trick or treating.

          • Donnnnn’t Caaaaarrrrrre!

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween
            actually a pretty decent breakdown of what it is and isn’t. This will be my last post about a holiday that is now completely about kids getting super sugar high on candy and highschool and college chicks dressing up like slutty cats and naughty nurses.

          • Trac

            All due respect Yonny but nowhere in the bible is anything remotely similar to Halloween condoned. It’s a pagan festival that the Catholic Church has done some things with. I don’t agree with the Catholic Church as a whole. They have a history of incorporating mythology into their doctrine. I just disagree with your reference to it as a Christian practice using wiki as a source. Do a web search asking why Halloween conflicts with Christianity.

          • Donnnnn’t Caaaaarrrrrre!

            yeah, no, this has been around way earlier than what you think you know of what the roman catholic church is in it’s most recent forms.
            Like all religion Tracster, most customs evolve and are borrowed from other belief systems.
            I am being serious and am not looking down or being condescending but what kind of Christian are you? Are you a hardcore Baptist that doesn’t drink or dance? A born again? I have to assume that you are protestant. If you are protestant there are a whole shit ton of aspects we can discuss that were borrowed and that “flavored” the soup if you will over the years.

          • Sactowns#1

            OMG… dude did you really bring up satanic cults? Who the hell is scared of a bunch of lonely teens tryng to drink bats blood?

          • Trac

            It’s the day of the year satanic cults sacrifice a newborn that a breeder gave birth too for this very purpose. That’s the worst of it. In between its a pagan holiday that I don’t participate in. Totally don’t expect you to get it but now you can chalk my posts on the matter up to another interesting day on the blog. I don’t care if others participate, I was just telling Canada why I don’t and it has nothing to do with racism or not wanting kids to have fun. I would never tell someone else it’s wrong but for me it is.

          • Sactowns#1

            Wait a minute. Irish disappeared when Trac came back. Irsh and Trac are the same person!!!

          • Trac

            Hahaha. No, Irish isn’t my alter ego. Lol.

          • Donnnnn’t Caaaaarrrrrre!

            no is the only word that comes to mind when I read this.

          • DocNitty(BallsStillOrnamental)

            Sex is a big deal with satanic cults too. I also enjoy that a great deal.

          • Trac

            Sex is a wonderful experience.

          • Donnnnn’t Caaaaarrrrrre!

            you should try it wearing a clown mask. It’s crazy.

          • CanadaBear

            Halloween was my favorite day of the year growing up. Loved the costume part of it but mostly loved the candy. We didn’t have a lot growing up so X-mas was mostly about family (as it should be). We usually got clothes for X-mas so needless to say that wasn’t too exciting. Going out and pounding the pavement to get a grocery bag full of candy was as good as it gets. Unfortunately my older brother would take all the candy bars and leave me with the rest. It was still awesome.

          • Trac

            I totally understand Canada. To each his own, no worries my friend.

          • DocNitty(BallsStillOrnamental)

            Halloween has about as much to do with the devil as Christmas has to do with Jesus. Nada.

          • Trac

            You don’t believe in the devil do you?

          • DocNitty(BallsStillOrnamental)

            Uh… NO. Don’t believe in any of that superstitious nonsense. I’m supposed to believe that some merciful righteous god is going to make me spend my eternity in hell because I don’t profess to love him? Please. No way I’d worship that god. I get the punishment angle, but if he’s so merciful and loving how could he force his children to be punished FOREVER? Ridiculous. It was the very notion of hell and the devil that made me walk away from Christianity to begin with.

          • Trac

            Jesus offers forgiveness of sins. If you dont believe you need forgiveness then you will die in your sin.

          • DocNitty(BallsStillOrnamental)

            Jesus offers forgiveness of sins. And Barbara BaDunkin offers a career in emery water boarding. Neither can deliver.

            If you don’t believe you need forgiveness then you will die in your sin. If you do believe in forgiveness, you will also die in your sin. You’ll just die a bit more self righteous.

            Oh and I’d like to change an earlier comment I made. I actually do believe in the devil. Devil = Religion. The only way to avoid him is to not participate in such pre-historic superstitious nonsense.

            Now please. Let’s not partake in this further. We both know we will disagree on this topic until long after we’re both dead in the ground, with no angels to sing to us.

          • Trac

            Yes. The difference is I can discuss without getting upset. I have no quarrel with you. By the way, what about life before birth(ABORTION )? I know, this is where I get labeled a hater. If you don’t like the subject Doc then don’t respond with asinine statements and then tell me to stop. I try not to get personal when I talk about this subject but sometimes it’s impossible to state a difference of opinion without people jumping in and getting offended. You don’t believe, I do, so my suggestion is that you refrain from commenting to my post when this subject comes up unless I specifically address you.

          • DocNitty(BallsStillOrnamental)

            Actually, you did address me and I am not upset.

            As for abortion, I don’t need a religion to tell me that is wrong. I don’t believe in abortion personally. The idea that I need God or religion to guide my moral compass is ludicrous.

            We’re all good Trac.

          • Trac

            No you didn’t offend me. Technically you jumped in and I replied back to you. I referenced abortion because I could not envision you being as forceful with your opinions should you overhear a women talking about the right to choose.

          • DocNitty(BallsStillOrnamental)

            Fair. I jumped into your comment about equating a completely harmless and joyful holiday with Beelzebub. I figured that was allowed. You share your beliefs, I share mine. But then you asked me about my belief in the devil, to which I responded honestly. . And on and on it goes.

            As for abortion, I said I didn’t believe in it, but what I refuse to do is force others who believe differently to live their life according to my belief.

            I’m glad I haven’t offended you. So were good, then?

          • Trac

            Yeah doc, we’re good. I was attempting to explain the gambit of what halloween is. Nowhere did I ever say that if you send your kids out to trick or treat that a person is a card carrying member of a satanic cult.lol. I only stated that I disagree with it personally and gave some reasons why I do. That is a far stretch from blasting anyone that does. There are historical implications to almost everything. To me abortion is a third rail that people are afraid to state their views on but it’s an atrocious act. I do think it’s sad that people hide behind the choice thing. And yes I too refuse to allow abortionists to force their beliefs on me but the truth is, society doesn’t have the courage to confront the horror of it head on.

        • Trac

          In America, happiness sometimes seems to be dependent on money. The poorest of the poor Americans are richer than a majority of people in other countries. The American Dream is still alive my friend. I’ll taking a loving family with a mommy and daddy any day. That’s the sadest part of your post Johnny.

          • DocNitty(BallsStillOrnamental)

            Seriously? Damn. Why I get surprised at the things you post is beyond me.

          • Trac

            What that it’s better to have a loving family than money? It’s how I feel.

          • DocNitty(BallsStillOrnamental)

            I agree. I thought you were saying that Johnn’t statement was sad, not the situation he describes. Maybe I’m misreading you. I retract.

  • Scott W.

    Allen was a mistake from day 1. I can’t find (and I have scoured the net) a single writer that can change my mind.
    I admired and liked him when he had his half step, his speed matched his desire, his physicality matched his skill and football IQ. So I’m not just a random hater, per se.
    Allen just does not have it anymore. I have no idea why he is a starting DE for the Chicago Bears, other than that maybe PE just threw the dice and hoped.

    • wreckinball

      Seemingly lost it overnight. Don’t watch the Vikes unless against the Bears. He was such a pain in the ass against us.

      Now dud

    • he’s not what he was, but it’s no coincidence that the DL’s worst performance of the year came in the one game Allen wasn’t there.

      I do like they’ve been resting him more lately though. Should ideally play about 2/3 of snaps, maybe 3/4 tops. Played like 90-95% of them first few weeks.

      • Scott W.

        Hear that. I just think he was a full-out bad signing. He just is not a viable threat or difference maker anymore.

        • definitely overpaid. But not a terrible player. Still an average to above average DE, IMO.

  • GPLDAN

    So I’m bored, and swing by to read the blog posts only to read that johnnywad said the Bears don’t underperform and really aren’t that bad.

    Data doesn’t step in to rebut with stats, so it’s left to me to remind people of reality:

    http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2010/0913/nfl-values-10-bears-chicago-football-money-midgets-midway.html

    Now look at this graph:

    http://images.forbes.com/media/lists/30/2011/trps301335.gif

    The only year they make the Super Bowl is when they busted the cap.

    Now, look here:

    http://www.forbes.com/lists/2011/30/nfl-valuations-11_Chicago-Bears_301335.html

    Cycle up through 1-7 and look at cost per win.

    Tell me again why this isn’t a HORRIBLY mismanaged franchise???

    • CanadaBear

      The only thing I really learned in the article was the 20% ownership by the guy that founded AON. Hopefully he buys the team when Virginia passes. I don’t blame the McCaskey’s for not selling the naming rights to the stadium. It’s the correct thing to do and they would get killed in the media.

    • Trac

      I’ll say this: Emery hasn’t earned the right to Ginny’s lockbox yet.

    • the Bears’ defense mostly performed as expected through the first 6 games. They were bad the last 2 (and against GB).
      The offense has underperformed all season long.

    • TheBigCheesy

      HE’S BACK!

    • Bears-4-Ever

      Absolutely spot on! Great reads, thank you.

    • Scott W.

      Well, your flyby while bored to carpet bomb (there’s a pun in this – get out your GP S) Virginia certainly hit the mark.
      A great though sad read.
      Kinda redefines tradition and antiquity…
      Yo howdy GP.

  • Barb UMihai Mar

    Houston hasn’t been a disaster with his play. They did use him in the wrong way. He is multi dimensional, but they’ve used him on only 2 spots, making him do the same thing over and over again. He’s a weapon you should use to surprise people with. Non Tucker, mind you.

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