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Key for Bears Fans When it Comes to 2015 Defense: Managed Expectations

| August 5th, 2015

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The Bears have one of the best defensive coordinators in the league, but he alone won’t make the defense respectable.

No team upgraded any position more than the Bears did by replacing Mel Tucker with Vic Fangio. Tucker is one of the worst defensive coordinators in the history of the league and Fangio is pretty good. That’s a huge jump, but it might be the only jump they made. You could argue that the team’s talent level is about the same as it was the last two years.

Yes, they added Pernell McPhee to pressure the quarterback, but they also lost Stephen Paea (six sacks) and it would be a surprise if Willie Young had anywhere near the same impact he had a year ago, registering ten sacks. Is that a net positive for the Bears?

 

The secondary is still a disaster.

Antrel Rolle, the other big free agent addition, couldn’t cover last year and that isn’t likely to change. Brock Vereen was completely lost and it’s hard for me to believe that he will actually play over Ryan Mundy, arguably the team’s best defensive back a year ago. Tim Jennings didn’t produce the turnovers that got him a big payday after 2013 and Kyle Fuller was more bad than he was good – expected from a rookie campaign. Free agent Alan Ball is solid but has shown an inability to stay on the field.

It’s entirely possible, maybe even likely, that the Bears will start this season with the same two off-the-ball linebackers they ended last year with in Christian Jones and Jon Bostic. The success of their defensive line is based almost entirely on Jay Ratliff being great for 16 games, something he hasn’t achieved in half a decade. If he goes down, the Bears are going to be in big trouble up front. Naturally some players are expected to improve, especially Fuller and Jones, but neither are sure bets.

All that said, having Fangio instead of Tucker is going to make a lot of the players look better. Everything Tucker did was vanilla, Fangio is the complete opposite.

But Fangio isn’t perfect.

Prior to coming to San Francisco, where they already had a solid defense, his teams finished 15th or worst in scoring defense eight straight years. He’s a better coach now than he was then. Last year was proof of that because the 49ers defense had no business being as good as they were with the players they had on the field.

 

Adding Fangio does guarantee improvement but it’s tough to say how much. Expect the Bears to be better. Expect them to be professional. Expect them to show signs that they’re working toward something great. Fangio brings that to the table. But don’t expect them to be great right away. That is going to take more time and more talent. With Fangio on board, however, they have someone capable of getting them there.

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  • The GP

    Konkhe has the court shove a boot up his ass

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-saints-fan-guilty-shoving-bears-owner-20150804-story.html

    I’m sure he’s used to it.

    • BearDown100393

      His defense statement was absurd. And the court didn’t buy it.

    • TheBigCheesy

    • Yes, but it might have been that incident which made the light bulb flicker on, or perhaps it was a random bears fan getting his back, and he thought, ” these peasants deserve better”

  • Irish Sweetness

    Apparently Ego Ferguson is nailing down a challenge on a defensive end spot. If Goldmember or 8-Ball Williams takes off in the center then we could look halfway decent everywhere else. I’m pulling for Terry Williams and Amos on defense, Grass and Tayo on O. Everyone else too obviously, but I’d love to see those guys impress. Cutty may be the surprise of camp thus far.

    • BearDown100393

      I have not read a critical word of Cutler from this camp. And this is probably the first camp were everything was not egocentric upon #6. Perhaps the dimming of the limelight is best for him to perform. Fox has not given the press anything in terms of assessing the QB situation. And that has tempered expectations either positive or negative. Perhaps that comes from being a veteran head coach who has been around the block more than once. Kudos.

      • BerwynBomber

        Agreed. But could also be that Cutty came face2face with his “mortality” as the Bears starter over the off-season.

        His “whatever” ‘tude is, at times, regrettable but can’t define (in total) his dedication. One assumes he is a hard working, competitive guy.

        Then again: wait and see in terms of this good, training camp Cutty translating to season-long success. Last summer he was poised to be the league’s MVP. And already Waffle has him down for a 36/8 TD/INT ratio this year.

        • Sactowns#1

          Well I don’t think he got to the NFL by being ho-hum about football. Even if he did he wouldn’t last long ala Jamarcus Russell.

          • Trac

            Look at the receivers he had in Denver and the last 2 or 3 years in Chicago. They helped him big time.

        • Waffle

          don’t forget the reduced fumble numbers!!
          #Season of Destiny….uh…er…atleastbetterthanlastyear

          • Trac

            My biggest issue with Cutler was with his cool aid drinking supporters. His overblown billing drove me crazy because it was obvious to me he wasn’t a top ten qb from the get go. To me he was always middle of the road.

      • Trac

        I would love for Cutty to have a marvelous season for strictly selfish reasons. I don’t think there’s a Bears fan alive that doesn’t want the same as well. The million dollar question is, “will he?” If he goes south on the team this year then as Mr. T used to say, “I pity the fool!”

      • Johnnywad

        I agree. I think the spotlight magnifies the part of him that people dislike. Fox assuredly knows how to mitigate this.

        • They should just give Jay a Rorschach mask. That way, we won’t be able to see constipated Jay face. Only what we project will reflect back. Win/win.

    • Sactowns#1

      Perhaps the absence of BMarsh has helped Jay capture the mantle of “leader”.

      • willbest

        If Jay’s preferred method of leadership is to just grind hard, do the work, be looking at the tape, and having everybody see how hard he is working and think “wow, he is doing it for us/team/to succeed” than having somebody like Marshall shooting his mouth off would certainly interfere with that approach.

      • We Heard that record before when Kruetz left.

  • BearDown100393

    Has there ever been a worst coaching staff than last year’s Bears? Bad preparation. Bad strategy. Bad management skills. No loyalty. No trust. It can only get better.

    • The GP

      Nessman was like making the toilet lawyer from Jurassic Park the CEO.

    • DaBearsBlog

      I can’t think of one

      • AlbertInTucson

        I pondered the Gibron regime but even Abe’s team’s were more competitive than last year’s dumpster fire.

        • Joecashflow

          Gibron would start a game with a squib kick. But they were no dumpster fire.

    • Sactowns#1

      The Raiders have had some doozies. 2003 Oakland Raiders were dumpster fire just a year after going to the SB. Or the 95 Raiders who lost their way right out of the playoffs at the end of the season. Those coaching staffs were garbage.

      • BearDown100393

        Understood but did any of those staffs throw the starting QB under the bus while playing Deep Throat with the local media?

    • Trac

      Jack Pardee was one of my least liked coaches old my lifetime.

      • Joecashflow

        Wanny for me. But there have been so many.

  • Big Mike

    Dannehy misses the point entirely. The Bears could be in the bottom third of the league and that would be a nearly a 20% reduction in points allowed (4.3PPG)

    • I think that’s exactly what he’s saying… there will be improvement, but there’s a LONG ways to go, and it’s not all going to happen overnight. That’s pretty much what I got out of his last paragraph.

      • Joecashflow

        We have no idea. Everything is new on D. If we never get blown out, I will be happy. If our D talent turns out sub par, could be another long season, playing catchup every game. Cutler’s worst nightmare and adios amigo. Anyway, I need football! Pre season or whatever. Let’s get this ball rolling in some direction.

  • I have a sneaking suspicion we’re going to experience a love/hate relationship with Rolle.

    On the one hand, by all accounts, he’s mediocre to below avg on the field.
    On the other hand, he’s not Conte.

    I don’t really expect Rat to play great for 16 games. I expect him to be professional and apply some pressure while holding the point when he’s in (and I fully anticipate a Dline by committee approach).

    In all likelihood, this will be Rat’s last yr as a Bear, so his biggest impact might be mentoring the youngins.

    For me, I’m more concerned with DEs (now that McDonald is gone and Houston’s an “OLB”).

    Who will hold the edges?

    • Bender McLugh

      Chicken Dinner baby

    • Irish Sweetness

      Ferguson and Sutton?

  • So White has shin splints.

    two questions: what’s the remedy for that, and is that a recurring inj?

    • Trac

      http://www.coreperformance.com/knowledge/injury-pain/shin-splints.html

      It’s painful but supposedly no big deal to treat. Rest is key.

      • Great.

        – Previous history of shin splints – Athletes who have had shin splints are more likely to have a recurring problem with them.

        – Failure to rehab a previous bout of shin splints – Returning to normal training too soon is a common problem among all athletes and can easily cause a setback.

        It may not sound like much, but Prime time got taken down cuz of Turf Toe, and Patrick Willis cuz of bad feet.

        • Scharfinator

          Shin splints are also a fairly threatening condition if you continue strenuous activity once you get them. It will get worse and worse until it is debilitating.

          If White rests, ices, and does whatever else the trainers say, he will be fine. He just has to be honest with himself and not try to rush in.

          • at this point, I have no expectations for him as a rookie, and neither should the Bears. Goal should be to rest him as long as it takes so this does not become a lingering problem and let him mentally grow in the game. Redshirt him as a rookie if you have to, that’s fine.

    • The GP

      You train with Apollo Creed…. at….. the Burger King

    • BearDown100393

      Rest.

    • Doc Hamstring

      Wow, I seem to recall someone making a “diagnosis” of shin splints based on the info coming out of camp. I wonder who that was?

      As a guy who treats people with shin splints all the time, here’s what you worry about with a pro football player with shin splints:

      Nothing.

      There might be a conditioning issue, if he wasn’t a professional athlete with plenty of non-running options to stay in cardio-vascular shape. His anaerobic conditioning would take a hit, except he’s an elite athlete who can do anaerobic conditioning on a rowing machine, via crossfit, or even swimming.

      You rest, stretch, ice, and do PT. Sprinting can aggravate shin splints, but they typically only hurt AFTER you run (when you’re running short distances). If you don’t treat them, they’ll get worse and you can develop stress fractures. I wouldn’t anticipate that happening.

      Just about the worst effect shin splints will have is because you rest to treat them, White won’t get as many reps in camp.

      But come game day, you have nothing to worry about.

      • Joecashflow

        Just pure guess, but the guy looks like zero % body fat and huge muscles. I’m guessing roids or PEDS which might cause muscle inflamations. I’m not a Doc! But suspicious to me. Like to see some pix of him 3 years ago.

  • Irish Sweetness

    Willie Young is a linebacker now.

    Six practices in and the offense – and your golden boy, JC – has not turned it over once. We’ll see a running game. Yay.

    http://www.chicagobears.com/news/article-1/Cutler-Offense-headed-in-right-direction/7cf1bfce-3d01-48bd-9f45-e7ea9c234a1f

    • Bobby Douglass

      “Gase is the fifth different coordinator Cutler has worked with in seven
      seasons with the Bears, following Ron Turner, Mike Martz, Mike Tice and
      Aaron Kromer.”

      I dunno about you, but I’ll take Gase over any of those losers. Maybe we outscore teams again?

      • Huge Bear’s Penis

        hmmm. really should be the 6th cause Tresticles called the plays his first year here. so a quick rundown of the previous OCs
        1 idiot…
        1 stubborn guy that would not change his system according to team talent
        1 guy running a Canadian League offense that was sort of competent.
        2 glorified O-Line coaches.

      • Trac

        Mike Martz lite? We shall see.

        • Mike Martz in retrospect looks smart. EVERYONE was talking shit about him not giving Cutty audibles. Oops. Sorry Martz!
          Also, did he even choose Tice?
          And the coup du grace, he HATED Hanie when some were clamoring for him.

          Add numb-nuts Angelo drafting and Lovie proclaiming Hester a #1 and game managing…

          • Trac

            I still remember Jaws telling his audience how Martz was gonna ruin Jay Cutler. It kinda did happen.

    • Bender McLugh

      This gives me hope again that Cutty will be at least better than the last couple years…….but he will still be Cutty and we all know that, just how much of the bad Cutty will seep through is the big question.

      “His intelligence. It’s way better than I expected. His ability to
      communicate with his teammates because he’s further ahead than everybody
      else.” – Gase

      • Joecashflow

        Translation: Thought he was a dumb ass. He can actually speak, which is more than most of these rummies have done so far. God help us.

    • Trac

      Kyle Orton would have amassed a negative turn over ratio though. Hee hee Yonny.

  • BearDown100393

    Kaner is in the news this morning. Police probe according to “sources”.

    • Huge Bear’s Penis

      what are they probing? are they using lube?

      • BearDown100393

        Incident allegedly between Kane and a woman in a bar.

        • a reporter said it’s a rape investigation. way too early to start jumping to conclusions in either direction, but yikes.

          • Bender McLugh

            serious yikes.

          • yep, but suuuuuuuper early. gotta wait for facts. Now statutory rape is what’s being said.

          • Waffle

            that would be a double yikes considering consent in NY is 17…..how young was this girl?
            I’m not a perv, I just remember that Sanchez was involved in a situation like that.

          • now I’ve seen a couple Chicago reporters say the “statutory” claim may not be valid, it was just from one news source (who quoted another source that didn’t say statutory) and everybody jumped on it.

            Shows the peril of getting in on this too soon.

          • I always caution jumping the gun. Then again, I said we should wait and see with McDonald…sometimes where there’s smoke there’s fire, but as far as I know, Kane never had any priors. Then again, neither did Rothlisburger or OJ…

          • the McDonald situation was different… those cases had been open for months and more of the facts were known.

          • willbest

            I generally don’t believe rape accusations against famous people unless the alleged victim reported it to the police in a time period which would make a rape kit useful. For every Cosby out there, there are dozens of celeb getting shaken down for hush money

          • Johnnywad

            Vaginas are rather persuasive though

  • Bender McLugh

    so as to not sully this board with NHL…………does anyone have a dabearsblog equiv for Blackhawks?

    EDIT: obviously Da Blog Fadder & Andrew “Brian” Dannehy have no equal

    • http://www.secondcityhockey.com is pretty good IMO. It’s the SB Nation Blackhawks page. You could also try https://www.reddit.com/r/hawks, as the reddit forums for teams are generally decent, but I can’t vouch for the community there, as I’ve never been there.

      I’m not as big in hockey as football, so that’s the only one I know, whereas I have 3-4 Bears sites I frequent.

    • Personally speaking, I don’t mind NHL, MLB or even MMA talk on Da Blog, esp during off-season.

      The other sports…not so much (unless it’s World Cup season, once every 4 years)

  • Trac
  • willbest

    If McClellin/Jeffery, Long/Bostic, and Fuller/Ego are all on the roster 3 years from now, does Emery get elevated from the basement of Bears GM or is the simple hiring of Tresman enough to damn him for all time?

    • Johnnywad

      Trestman is enough. He could have hired Arians. Complete failure.

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