2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Bears defense starts post-Urlacher era

    2013-04-17 17:17

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) - Chicago Bears players and their new coaches are promising not to tamper with what worked in the past on defense.

So while conducting their first minicamp practices this week under coach Marc Trestman and defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, only the faces have changed. The defensive scheme looks identical to the same 4-3, cover-2 zone approach they used under Lovie Smith to lead the league in forcing turnovers the past nine years.

``I think that's been the way and the style of defense that we're going to play and have played here,'' Trestman said Wednesday. ``Obviously Mel being here and being a new guy from a defensive standpoint he's going to put his spin on things and his take. He's going to try to use all the positive elements that we have and have a system that's flexible to use this speed, to use the type of players that we've got on the field here.''

Tucker sounded an awful lot like Smith did when asked about the chief aim of his scheme.

``It's all about taking the ball away and getting to the quarterback,'' he said.

Even the way Bears defenders practice looks the same.

Under Smith, defenders started a tradition of scooping up incomplete passes off the ground and returning them to repeatedly simulate returns after turnovers. They're still doing it.

``It made us a successful defense, so why change it?'' free safety Chris Conte said. ``We're going to keep that stuff going. We have mostly the same players. The same mentality is still there. And these coaches are preaching the same thing now that our coaches were before.''

Conte said even the terminology used by players in the defense is staying the same.

``We want them to hit the ground running, and I've been in a lot of different schemes,'' said Tucker, who served as defensive coordinator for Cleveland and Jacksonville. ``A lot of (the challenge) was just terminology, so we're going to take it and try to move it forward down the road.''

What doesn't look the same is the lineup. The face of the franchise since 2000, Brian Urlacher, is gone and former Bronco D.J. Williams is manning his middle linebacker spot while former Carolina linebacker James Anderson is playing the strong side linebacker spot formerly held down by Nick Roach.

Williams had only one start and played in seven games last year due to a violation of the banned substance policy and a DUI conviction.

``He's a guy who has come here to reinvent himself, so to speak,'' Trestman said. ``Maybe that's the wrong term, but you know he's in a new place in a new time and a new start. There's guys on this team that know him and think very highly of him, guys in the locker room that think very highly of him.''

Still, Urlacher had been a leader and the face of the Bears for 13 years.

``It's different,'' defensive end Julius Peppers said. ``But we have got to keep moving forward with the guys that are here. We definitely miss him, but we've got to adjust to it.''

Urlacher's leadership has to be replaced on a defense that has veteran Pro Bowl players like Peppers, cornerback Charles Tillman, linebacker Lance Briggs and cornerback Tim Jennings.

``We have a lot of leaders on the team and we have a lot of guys that are ready and willing to step up and take that role,'' Peppers said.

Urlacher remains unsigned by any team. Bears general manager Phil Emery on Tuesday said he could ``never say never'' regarding anything but he has moved on without Urlacher.

Notes: Return star Devin Hester, who will not be used in the team's offense, is getting more special teams roles. He lined up with coverage teams in addition to performing as a returner, and was taking part in the special team's tackling drills with tackling dummies. ... A day after Trestman said third-year player Gabe Carimi would only be at guard, the backup offensive line used Carimi at right tackle, left guard and right guard.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Knowshon MorenoSep 2 09:33a

Miami Dolphins RB Lamar Miller totaled nearly 20 percent (140 yards) of his season yardage total (709 yards) on his longest four carries of the 2013 season. He had [ More ]

J.J. WattSep 2 04:23a

The Houston Texans signed DL J.J. Watt to a new long-term contract on Monday, Sept. 1. Watt's extension is a six-year deal worth $100 million, of which $51.876 million is guaranteed money.

Kyle Van NoySep 2 04:23a

Detroit Lions LB Kyle Van Noy (core muscle) could miss as many as eight games as he recovers from core muscle surgery. He could be placed on short-term IR as a result.

Josh BoyceSep 2 03:12a

The New England Patriots signed LB Jake Bequette, DL Deontae Skinner, OL Chris Martin, S Kanorris Davis, LS Charley Hughlett, CB Daxton Swanson and WR Josh Boyce to the [ More ]

Sammy WatkinsSep 2 01:02a

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins (ribs) said he felt fine after practice Monday, Sept. 1, and hopes to be on the field in Week 1.

A.J. EddsSep 2 12:43a

The New York Jets re-signed LB A.J. Edds Monday, Sept. 1.

Kevin DorseySep 2 12:03a

The Green Bay Packers signed WR Kevin Dorsey, C Garth Gerhart, WR Alex Gillett, RB Michael Hill, LB Adrian Hubbard and DE Luther Robinson to the practice squad Monday, Sept. 1.

Tim BenfordSep 1 11:52p

The Dallas Cowboys signed WR Tim Benford, DE Kenneth Boatright, C Ronald Patrick, CB Micah Pellerin, LB Keith Smith, LB William Smith and FB Nikita Whitlock to the practice squad Monday, Sept. 1.

Devon StillSep 1 10:42p

The Cincinnati Bengals signed OT Dan France, TE Kevin Greene, WR Cobi Hamilton, DT David King, WR Colin Lockett, CB Onterio McCalebb, DE Sam Montgomery, C Trevor Robinson, DT [ More ]

Isaiah FreySep 1 10:33p

The Chicago Bears signed WR Josh Bellamy, C Taylor Boggs, DT Brandon Dunn, DB Isaiah Frey, OG Ryan Groy, LB DeDe Lattimore, DB Albert Louis-Jean, DB Terrance Mitchell, DE [ More ]

Bryan WaltersSep 1 09:33p

The Seattle Seahawks re-signed free-agent WR Bryan Walters (Seahawks) to a contract Monday, Sept. 1. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

J. CunninghamSep 1 09:33p

The St. Louis Rams re-signed TE Justice Cunningham (ankle) and placed him on the season-ending reserve/injured list Monday, Sept. 1.

Quentin GrovesSep 1 09:33p

The Tennessee Titans signed free-agent LB Quentin Groves (Texans) to an undisclosed contract Monday, Sept. 1.

Charles JohnsonSep 1 09:23p

Free-agent C Josh Allen (Buccaneers), C Thomas Austin (Colts), OG Karim Barton (Browns), CB Akeem Davis (Redskins), LB Larry Dean (Vikings), TE Richard Gordon (Dolphins), TE Marcel Jensen (Vikings), [ More ]

Michael SamSep 1 08:02p

The Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League owns the rights to free-agent DE Michael Sam (Rams). The team has reached out to him, but there is no word [ More ]

Jeremiah GeorgeSep 1 08:02p

The New York Jets placed LB Jeremiah George on no-recall waivers Monday, Sept. 1.

Tim FuggerSep 1 08:02p

The New York Jets placed DE Tim Fugger (ankle) on no-recall waivers from the reserve/injured list Monday, Sept. 1, and he received an injury settlement.

Phil BatesSep 1 08:02p

The Seattle Seahawks placed WR Phil Bates on no-recall waivers Monday, Sept. 1.

Don JonesSep 1 08:02p

The New England Patriots claimed CB Don Jones (Dolphins) off waivers Monday, Sept. 1.

Derek CarrSep 1 06:42p

Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr will be the starting quarterback Week 1.

Charles JohnsonSep 1 05:42p

The Cleveland Browns signed free-agents WR Charles X. Johnson (Browns) and OG Karim Barton (Browns) to their practice squad Monday, Sept. 1.

Khalid WootenSep 1 05:32p

The Tennessee Titans signed free-agent CB Khalid Wooten (Titans) to their practice squad Monday, Sept. 1.

Phillip AdamsSep 1 04:52p

The New York Jets signed free-agents CB Phillip Adams (Seahawks) and released WR Quincy Enunwa Monday, Sept. 1.

Korey ToomerSep 1 04:22p

The Dallas Cowboys signed free-agent LB Korey Toomer (Seahawks) and released CB Jemea Thomas Monday, Sept. 1.

Case KeenumSep 1 04:22p

The St. Louis Rams claimed QB Case Keenum off waivers from the Houston Texans Monday, Sept. 1.

Ryan SuccopSep 1 04:22p

The Tennessee Titans signed free-agent PK Ryan Succop (Chiefs) to an undisclosed deal and released PK Travis Coons Monday, Sept. 1.

James IhedigboSep 1 04:22p

Detroit Lions SS James Ihedigbo (leg), FS Don Carey (undisclosed) and LB Kyle Van Noy (abdomen) did not practice Monday, Sept. 1.

Garrett GilbertSep 1 04:03p

The St. Louis Rams signed free-agents QB Garrett Gilbert (Rams), LB Kevin Reddick (Saints), SS Matt Daniels (Rams), LB Denicos Allen (Panthers) and OT Sean Hooey (Rams) to their practice squad Monday, Sept. 1.

Bruce IrvinSep 1 03:52p

Seattle Seahawks WR Kevin Norwood (foot) and LB Bruce Irvin (hip) may play Week 1 against the Green Bay Packers, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Corey PetersSep 1 03:32p

Atlanta Falcons DT Corey Peters (Achilles') is still iffy for the regular season opener. Head coach Mike Smith said he wants Peters to practice in pads Wednesday, Sept. 3, before making a decision.

Trai TurnerSep 1 03:12p

Carolina Panthers OG Trai Turner (groin) will start at right guard Sunday, Sept. 7 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to head coach Ron Rivera, though C Fernando Velasco may spot him at times.

Kyle WilliamsSep 1 03:02p

The Kansas City Chiefs released WR Kyle Williams Monday, Sept. 1.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group