106 Comments

“Things Must Change”

| August 18th, 2015

John Fox has assumed command of the 2015 Chicago Bears without running away from the defensive disasters of the previous two campaigns. He is not taking a “those weren’t my teams, I don’t worry about them” approach. He is now the head coach of this proud franchise and seems to have accepted with that role all of the organization’s history as his own. From Adam Jahns’ piece in the Sun-Times:

The strongest message is on the binders of the defensive players: ‘‘Things must change. Be part of the solution, not the problem.’’

What must change is the passivity that has defined Bears defense for longer than a decade. Lovie Smith, while certainly an able-minded defensive coach, frustrated fans with his soft, Tampa-2 approach. During his tenure the Bears defense always seemed willing to allow the opposing offense to dictate the terms of play, waiting for mistakes instead of creating mayhem. Mel Tucker attempted to execute the same concepts, only with older and oft-injured versions of once great players.

51-23.

55-14.

On two nights in front of the nation, this decade of passivity reached its version of rock bottom. It is from those depths from which Fox must operate. And his acknowledging the existence of those depths is the first step in what will surely be a lengthy recovery.

Tagged: , , ,

  • The GP

    Vic us baby!

  • NewBearInTown

    I get the Mel Tucker hate for obvious reasons. I will never get the hate for Lovie’s defense. We were a top 10 defense for basically a decade playing the cover-2. Yes, the cover-2 is less exciting than what San Fran did under Fangio. But it worked and it worked well.

    If John Fox was a cover-2 guru, I wouldn’t lose any sleep. If Mel Tucker stayed and tried to install a blitz heavy 3-4, I would be very afraid.

    Its not about scheme. Its about execution.

    • Scharfinator

      I agree. Lovie had some good defensive players that he did really well with. We led in takeaways for an absurd % of his tenure.

    • Trac

      But they never stood up to prolific offenses NB. Never!

      • NewBearInTown

        You sound like the Peyton Manning haters. “Sure he set all kinds of records and led the league in scoring and blah blah blah, but he LOST sometimes!”

        • BerwynBomber

          Rodgers will get the same treatment if he doesn’t win another SB. Though in fairness to Rodgers, he has not had NEAR the number of opportunities that Peyton has.

      • BerwynBomber

        Lovie’s? Please. D was RARELY the problem with the Lovie teams.

      • Bear Down in Tampa

        They held their own against the Colts in XLI, they couldn’t overcome 5TO’s by the offense including a pick 6 by Gross Man (terrible superhero BTW). That same year they went toe to toe with the Pats at Foxboro, but once again, it’s a turd, it’s a lame, no, it’s GROSS MAN, he can throw 5 picks in a single heave and he can fumble faster than a speeding bullet thanks to his incredibly small hands!

        Here’s an artist rendering of Gross Man’s hands:

        http://i.ytimg.com/vi/C89uOeDL9Gw/hqdefault.jpg

      • Go look at GB’s offense the last 6 games (when Rodgers returned from injury) the year they won the SB (last 2 of regular season and all 4 playoff games).

        Win 45-17
        Win 10-3
        Win 21-16
        Win 48-21 (7 points on defensive TD)
        Win 21-14 (7 points on defensive TD)
        win 31-25 (7 points on defensive TD)

        In 2 games against the Bears, they totaled 24 offensive points. In their other 4 games, they averaged 33 offensive points per game. And in those 2 games against the Bears, Rodgers had 1 TD, 3 INT, and a 72 passer rating. In the other 4 games, he had 13 TD, 0 INT, and a 129.6 passer rating (3+ TD and at least a 111.5 passer rating in each game).

        Chicago’s D was nasty that year, and definitely held up against a really good offense. Also held up in 2012 against Green Bay (21 and 16 offensive points from an offense that averaged 27.1 ppg that year).

        Basically, when Chicago’s D was truly good under Lovie, they were good against pretty much anybody. But when they were only ok, they were good against bad teams and bad against good ones.

        • Big Mike

          It’s funny how perception clouds reality.

          • BerwynBomber

            Well, in regard to Rodgers and GB a 10-1 record will do that. And JW is only accounting for two years. But I agree with his overall point.

            Our Lovie D’s were often bad ass, and along with STs, carried the team.

          • 2010 and 2012 were the 2 top years for Chicago’s D when Rodgers was in town. 2009 was mediocre, 2011 good but not great.

          • SC Dave

            Rodgers’ Packers have totally dominated Cutlers’ Bears. End of story.

          • Yes, but for some of that time it was GB’s defense dominating Chicago’s offense, while Chicago’s defense actually did quite well against GB’s offense. So you can’t just say “Rodgers owns the Bears,” because Rodgers actually had worse stats against Chicago than in his career as a whole (though last year may have changed that).
            GB has owned the Bears during Rodgers’ time as a starter, but for much of that time it had more to do with their defense than Rodgers himself.

    • AlbertInTucson

      “It’s about execution”.

      John McKay, then-Coach of the then-expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

      Reporter: “What do think of your team’s execution?”

      McKay: “I think it’s a good idea.”

    • Big Mike

      Amen. Lovie was a good coach. Tampa will get better.

      • I don’t know about that. Sometimes, the league passes coaches by. Happened to Martz, Gibbs, Shottenheimer, etc…

        Lovie also has more personnel control at TB. That is a very risky proposition.

        • Big Mike

          Not predicting Super Bowls. But from the hot mess they were when he got there He takes them to respectability. Not sure what happened there last year, but I think it was a house cleaning basically.

    • Johnnywad

      My biggest criticism against Lovie’s D at its peak, is that it was reliant upon spectacular play from Harris, Urlacher, and Brown. It never felt the same once those guys accumulated their injuries. Hardly reason to fault the scheme in general. But those guys had to be perfect or the whole thing fell apart.

      • But every D has its weaknesses. That’s why the NFL keeps going back and fourth.

        The Steeler’s 3-4 is almost polar opposite, and I don’t think at their peak they were as dominant as the Bears 4-3.

        One of the drawbacks of the Lebau 3-4 was that it was so complex, it was difficult to get FAs and draftees to contribute right away, and it relied on a dynamic S. When Polamula got hurt, it wasn’t the same.

        Like they say in Star Trek…every species has its weakness.

  • Trac

    Ain’t no sense in lookin back,
    Fangio ‘ s D will produce many a sack.

    Left right….your lefty right left…

    • beninnorcal

      You mean in another year or two when we get more talent, right?

      • Trac

        Sack attack baby! Gimme some! Oohrah!

        • beninnorcal

          Hey, I’m with you Trac, get ’em!

  • beninnorcal

    I think I am the king of making the last comment as a new thread goes up, essentially making me mute. What are ya gonna do though?

    • Huge Bear’s Penis

      no big deal, we don’t read your posts anyway. LOL JK

      • Trac

        Hahahaha. Quick being sue a huge penis. Hahaha

      • beninnorcal

        That’s more what I was thinking, all good though sir

  • beninnorcal

    Have to agree with Jeff here. Lovie’s D was pretty good most of the time, especially against average or below average offenses. Teams with good QB’s always carved us up though.
    I will say, though, that when Lovie’s D peaked, probably ’05 ala Mike Brown/Lach in his prime/Tommie Harris healthy/and the rest, we were a legit and nasty D. ’05 and part of ’06 Bears D’s don’t fit into this argument as much, they were pretty good.

    • Bear Down in Tampa

      I hate what if’s for the most part, but what if Harris and Brown don’t get hurt in 2006-07? You think Reggie Wayne is left completely uncovered for a 53 yd. TD? You think Rhodes and Addai carve us up on the ground? BTW, my tone is hypothetical not antagonistic.

      • beninnorcal

        I’ve always said the same thing, BDinT. If a healthy Harris/Brown are playing in Miami, Peyton doesn’t have a ring. Totally agree. But what if I have Tits and a Beav? Then I’d be a chick, or Bruce Jenner in reverse at least.

        • Bear Down in Tampa

          What size tits?

          • beninnorcal

            Probably like a C cup

      • Big Mike

        Hell no. We would have been SB champs

    • recoil

      Lovie’s D was good, as long as he had SEVERAL top-tier Pro-Bowl players at key positions. While you always want talent on a team, his scheme was very unforgiving if a few key positions had just average talent. That’s a problem. What was also a problem is that the Aaron Rodgers of the world had long since figured out how to pick apart the Tampa-2. It was time to move on.

      • Big Mike

        His top defenses held Favre/Rodgers well below their averages for many, many years. Was it personnel driven, of course it was. Just like any scheme should be.

        • Trac

          I do remember 1 year that the Bears D under Lovie was even compared to the 85 D. They had a ridiculously low points against under Lovie that year.

          Outside of that year, the D was never great again imo.

        • Trac

          Favre gifted us with more than a few wins. You know I’m right.

        • SC Dave

          This. One of the great franchise weaknesses of the Bears in my lifetime has been a general inability to optimize scheme to the talents of the players. Especially on offense.

          • Big Mike

            Martz was closest on offense.

          • SC Dave

            Agreed, although I think he could have considered rolling Cutler out occasionally.

      • Trac

        Unfortunately, we always got rolled by NE and by Teams having great seasons.

        My Lovie formula analysis is simple:

        Win the games your supposed to win.
        Split the games that can go either way.
        Get embarrassed by elite teams.

        Heck, we almost got rolled by Dennis Greens Cards. That game was never supposed to be that close.

  • The GP

    The Doomer spreads Bears doom and gloom like cheap chunky peanut butter on white bread. The kind of shit you buy at the Piggly Wiggly in Tuscaloosa, AL that is void of any moisture and spreads in a dry manner such that you know you will choke on it if you try and eat it.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/rosenblog/ct-bears-cutler-white-rosenbloom-20150818-column.html

    So basically, he’s like Jeff on a bad day.

    • Sactowns#1

      I think you’re talking about the Trader Joes brand organic chunky style peanut butter. I bought that once and the only thing it was good for was patching a hole in the drywall.

    • Trac

      Hahahaha

    • Big Mike

      I don’t read him often. He’s a complete asshole when it comes to the Bears. His columns on the Hawks, are sometimes insightful. He clearly knows much more about Hockey than football.

    • SC Dave

      He’s such a freakin’ yutz.

  • Trac

    It’s a sad day when a QB like Eli Manning can hold a team by the short and curly ‘ s.

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/08/18/eli-manning-reportedly-wants-to-be-highest-paid-player-in-the-game/

  • Sactowns#1

    The more I think about the white injury the more annoyed I am. What’s the one thing nearly all of us wanted out of the draft? Immediate impact. Was white ever going to give us that? Probably not.
    Danny Shelton or Vic Beasley would have been nice and instead we’ve got a guy who will ride the pine for his first season.

    • beninnorcal

      Unfortunately the jury’s still out though. Sure he won’t make an immediate impact but he still could be really good down the road. Also, Shelton or Beasley could go down anytime too. Injuries suck.

      • Sactowns#1

        But even without injury he wouldn’t have started. We drafted another one of those “raw talent” guys in hopes he’ll be good “down the road”. That’s a pretty terrible draft strategy.

        • The GP

          White’s deal was that he was a burner. He was a guy that got behind safeties. Much better speed than Jeffery or Wilson have.

          Now that speed may be shot with a pin in his leg, I don’t know, but there was a plan to get him on the field this year and open the gaps up. Bears still very much need a guy that can run.

          • Exactly. White was billed as fast, quick twitch, explosive. Ran a 4.3. Molded like adonis. Angry chip.

            Ds would have to leave their safeties back, esp considering Cutler’s arm and don’t give a fuck attitude.

            This would help the run game, and everything else underneath (Alhson, Bennett, Royal).

            Now, the safeties aren’t gonna be scared. They’ll move right on up and squeeze that O.

            And I’m no doctor, only play one on tv, but I would assume a rod to stabilize a bone would not benefit a person’s athleticism.

          • The GP

            Don’t sell yourself short Butch. You’re a love doctor….

          • Tis true. MB goes for those classy OC girls. I, on the other, go for girls who text me this (true story)

            http://www.quickmeme.com/img/0f/0f475a8d7a1c575c7eac3066f32f99464f1924a8e4974e0101c2a62d845bc767.jpg

          • John Doe

            Bottomline – Ryan Pace and Bears got fooled by Kevin White.

            White had just 1 year of production in college. That would not have netted him a high draft pick in Round 1. So his only shot was the combine.

            Kevin White busted his ass to put up strong numbers in the combine to make up for his lack of track record in college production. And he hurt his body in the process.

            Bears got fooled by his combine numbers and made their decision based heavily on his fast 40 time.

            White was so brittle after working out for the combine that it took him only few OTA practices in shorts to develop a serious injury.

            When will GMs ever learn? Don’t get fooled by combine numbers. It never turns out good.

          • Who would you have drafted over White?

          • Sactowns#1

            I think just about everyone was screaming for a defensive player in the 1st round.

          • yes, but once Leonard Williams went, there was no true “blue-chip” defensive prospect (while most considered White a “blue-chip” offensive weapon).

            Beasley is in the argument, but who else? Waynes who went #11, or Shelton who went #12.

            there was a steep perceived fall off after White (unless we were going HB Gurley, and even he’s recovering from INJ).

            It’s a tough spot to be in.

            Once again, we’re a day late, and a dollar short.

          • John Doe

            Go for college production over the combine.

            I can bet that had Kevin White ran 4.45 in the combine, Pace would not have picked him at #7. So ironic that White’s combine performance is what got him selected by Bears and set the stage for him missing his year 1.

            I would have tried like mad to trade back and taken even a so-so deal to move back. Failing that, I would have taken Ereck Flowers to play RT this year and eventually take over LT after Bushrod.

          • Personally? Vic Beasley, in a heartbeat.

            I can see why they didn’t, since they already have a glut of capable OLBs, but to me a top 10 pick is about taking the best player and fitting other pieces in around him, and to me Beasley was easily the best player on the board.

          • Trac

            I wanted Ereck Flowers in a bad way.

          • I didn’t really like Flowers. I’m all about building from the trenches, but IMO there weren’t any OL guys available there who were worth it, and there have actually been a number of highly drafted OT busts in recent years after they got the reputation as “safe” picks.

            To me, Flowers is a solid but not great RT. He can run block well but is going to really struggle in pass protection against quality edge rushers. His move-in-space ability left something to be desired.

          • Trac

            I felt he would have given us the best of Needs and BPA based on who we could have drafted at 7.

          • Big Mike

            All speculation on your part. Should probably consider career at Sports Mockery. Putting too much weight on combine is an accurate statement. Don’t want to do that. White was a consensus top 10 pick. The whole league along with every analyst was also fooled. It’s just bad luck that he got injured.

          • only 1 year of production in college means very little. You know who else only had one year of production in college?

            Kelvin Benjamin, Demaryius Thomas, Dez Bryant, and Odell Beckham. Seriously.

            Of course, there are plenty of busts on that list too (guys who were 1st round picks on 1 monster year): AJ Jenkins and Robert Meachem come to mind.

            Multiple years of college production mean nothing, just ask guys like Tavon Austin and Kenny Britt, plus mediocre WRs like Michael Crabtree and Michael Floyd (though that list also includes guys like Julio Jones, Sammy Watkins, and Jeremy Maclin).

            Guys who can’t even hit 900 yards in a season in college tend to be busts (Cordarrelle Patterson, DHB, Anthony Gonzalez, Buster Davis, Ted Ginn), but that list does include Percy Harvin.

            The bottom line is that there are no guarantees when it comes to the draft. You can look for certain variables as indicators of success or failure, but shit happens.

            Full list of WRs from last 10 years here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1btxTIGYihYG5zwFB8HKGM42UrrpKWsEuCwpRXytLVOA/edit#gid=0

          • Johnnywad

            Holy shit!!! A 22 year old, world class athlete made his body brittle (whatever that means) by working out and getting faster in an effort to improve his 40 time for the combine? Thankfully, none of the other prospects did that.

            C’mon John. Not everything is a freakin conspiracy contrived to fool the poor, ignorant Bears GM.

            The kid plays football and has an injury. Shit happens. Look around the league.

          • Huge Bear’s Penis

            Thank you Johnnywad, i have been trying all day not to respond to his idiotic comment.

          • Johnnywad

            Welcome.

    • Immediate impact is overrated. Get the best player for the next 10 years, not this year.
      Of course, I’m not convinced White is that guy either.

      • My biggest concern with drafting white is IDENTITY.
        So, we’re gonna be a two WR team? Being a two WR team is fine, if you got Kurt Warner/Peyton/Luck, heck, maybe even Matty Ice.

        We DO NOT have that at QB.

        One of the reasons I thought we could trade Alshon (and use that pick to help us get a franchise QB).

        But POX went by the board. I also wonder if they were targeting White all along.

        They traded Bmarsh to the Jets. Sure, that’s nice for Bmarsh, but it must’ve been in the Bears best interest. They knew the Jets were picking right before them, and if they had Bmarsh plus Decker, that might make them skip White (as they did).

        If the Jets didn’t have Bmarsh, I really wonder if they draft Leonard Williams (given their Dline depth at the time) over White.

        oh well…

  • Big Mike

    I wanted to throw up when I read this story. No it’s not Jeff’s writing. Its the reminder of hitting the bottom on defense. 2 nights, National Audiences, we were bent over and.. given the “Deliverance” treatment. Those of you in Chicago, could take solace in your shame among other Bears fans, For those of us in hostile territory it led to being “in the barrel” for our choice of loyalty, week in and week out.

    ‘Things must change. Be part of the solution, not the problem.’’

    • Luckily, in L.A., I didn’t get too much shit (although my 9er/raiders friends sent me some memes, naturally).

      I still wore my bears gear when I went hiking or on my walks, but kept my eyes down, avoiding eye contact.

    • to be fair, it was only one national audience. The NE game was at noon. Which made it ever so slightly less embarrassing. Silver lining.

      • BerwynBomber

        Though we also got embarrassed by NO and DAL, and those were both night games.

  • Throwback Tuesday? I thought this was a Thursday fad.

    Lovie’s scheme is almost entirely dependant on a dominant 3tech.

    When Harris was healthy, he indeed caused havoc.

    Pressure up the gut disrupt offenses more than anything else. He knifed up, two guys tried to stop him, allowing Lach to roam the field like a mongolian marauder while MB cleaned-up whatever got passed.

    It was beautiful.

    Add in some Peanut, Izzy, Alex Brown, and two rooks Mark Anderson and Hester…we’re lucky to have witnessed such a D/specials.

    Once Harris got inj, that was the beginning of the end. Then MB went down.

    We tried to make-up for Harris by purchasing Peppers, and guess what, it worked, but Lach/Peanut and the rest were a bit older, and MB was gone.

    It’s pretty simple really. If the Cover-2 has a dominant 3-tech with opportunistic DEs – it works.

    If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.

    Once the Bears had to rely on Lach/Briggs pretending to blitz the A-gaps, it was over. The Cover-2 dies when it begins blitzing, or pretending to blitz.

    SEA has the same philo.

    It doesn’t rely on blitzing and confusion. It basically only rushes 4 (like the cover 2) but relies on the cover-3 as its base D.

    They’re talented (like the Bears once were), so it doesn’t have to be exotic.

    Usually only teams that lack talent rely on exotic attacks.

    It’s like having a small wang. Gotta try to make up for it.
    Dude with a big wang can go ho-hum and get the job done.

    • The GP

      (taking notes here….)

      ‘Seahawks have large penises. This makes them strong bangers…’

    • BerwynBomber

      As well as MB played for us I never thought his loss killed us. It was more about Lach, Peanut, and Briggs aging, as well as missing the dominant 3tech as you said.

      • SC Dave

        Urlacher was the real key imo. Just freakish in covering space.

        • I respectifully disagree.
          He was great, but he was best when he was allowed to roam free.
          When he had Ted Washington gobbling up the oline, or Harris commanding double teams.

          One of the weaknesses to Lach was when a blocker engaged him. He always had trouble shedding blocks (understandable given his S background)

          • SC Dave

            That’s what I meant. He was great when he was allowed to “roam free” precisely because he could get where he needed to be so damn fast; i.e. cover a large amount of space.

            I realize now what I wrote did not convey that well. So I think we’re agreeing?

          • AlbertInTucson

            Keith “Tractor’ Trailor was eating up blocker next to Washington back then,too.

  • Trac
    • Man, did Mundy slap Fox?

      I don’t think Mundy was that horrible given how shitty the rest of the D was last year.

      But I’m glad Foxy corrected the Vereen error.

      Fox is old school, so he won’t usu “start” rooks, but this is nice. It sends a message.

      You suck, you sit. A rook can take your spot.

      Should send a message to vets who think they’re safe.

      • I think it’s more that they have to start Rolle for leadership/intangibles, and so they know they can’t play another coverage liability next to him.

        • So essentially Rolle is the defensive version of Garza.

          • Waffle

            with cartilage

          • SC Dave

            At least for now

        • SC Dave

          Probably also some measure of experience/veteran wisdom to advise Shea on calling the defenses.

        • Trac

          It’s really just because he sucks so bad.

  • The GP

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/19/sports/football/nfl-dispute-with-tom-brady-heading-back-toward-court.html?_r=0

    So when does Roger go get the ball boys and have them testify that Tom explicitly told them how to deflate and that they must deflate.

    • First question if I were the judge,

      “Was your nickname ‘the Deflator’, and if so, was it because you were on a diet?”

      That should end this charade in 5 mins flat.

    • Trac

      Lawyers, guns and money. Where is Warren Zevon when we need him?

      What a soap opera already.

  • AlbertInTucson

    Breaking News: “Rosie O’Donnell: Comedian Says 17-Year-Old Daughter Chelsea Is Missing”.

    BEGS the Question: If YOUR mother was Rosie O’Donnell wouldn’t YOU run away, too?

    • Waffle

      That family won’t end well.

      • AlbertInTucson

        That, too, would be “Yes”.

    • Trac

      Is she adopted? Just curious because I thought Rosie was a Lesbian.

      • AlbertInTucson

        Yes and yes.

    • Trac

      The daughter has been found safe and was taken into police custody along with her 6 month old therapy dog. Hmm…

      • Waffle

        Glad she’s safe/wish mom could disappear

  • Waffle

    haha, you can’t make this stuff up:
    Jared Fogle of Subway fame to plead guilty to kiddie smut. Jesus effing Christ. If we can’t put our faith in a weird fat kid that got skinny eating fake meat on shitty bread served by weedblasted teens then who the hell can we?

    • The GP

      I have a vision of the two old fuck actors that played Bartles and James and the senior citizen that played Orville Redenbacher looking at Jared and saying

      “that boy just ain’t right”

  • BearDown100393

    Jared is one weird sick f*ck.
    Give Rosie back her daughter.

  • Trac

    At least we didn’t draft Gilbert as well. Browns fans calling him hot garbage. Hahaha

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/08/18/bears-bump-rookie-adrian-amos-to-first-team-safety/

  • AlbertInTucson

    “Jerome Simpson Suspend For 6 Games”.

    Because the 49ers haven’t lost ENOUGH personnel from last season.

    Do I feel BAD for the 49ers?

    Yeah, about as bad as I felt when I heard Bin Laden took one between the horns.

  • AlbertInTucson

    Carmen Policy heads the Carson Stadium group?

    Piss. On. That.

    ust what we need.

    More hypocrisy.

    This is the SAME Carmen policy widely recognized as a salary cap cheat during his tenure as 49ers president.

    The NFL should tell Carson, “Find somebody else or NO team for you!”

    But, of course, they won’t.

© Da' Bears Blog