No Lovie, Urlacher on 2013 Bears defense

    2013-07-30 02:21

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (AP) - Lance Briggs and Charles Tillman admit change can be difficult, even when it's necessary.

Like all the Bears in coach Marc Trestman's first camp, Briggs and Tillman are finding they have to adapt. The two most senior Bears on defense in terms of time spent in Chicago are trying to help convert the Bears' cover-2 system that served them so well under former coach Lovie Smith into an equally effective and similar scheme under Trestman and defensive coordinator Mel Tucker.

``I am buying in,'' Briggs said. ``We're all buying in. I'm all in, all in to the program.''

If that doesn't happen, there are a handful of players who could be gone next season. The list of those in the final years of their deals include Tillman, cornerback Tim Jennings, defensive tackle Henry Melton, defensive end Corey Wootton and safety Major Wright.

``No one is safe,'' Tillman said. ``I am just here playing football. I've got one year. Do my year and be done. If they want to bring me back, they'll bring me back. If not, go somewhere else. That is kind of the reality of it.''

The scheme can make the difference. Tucker kept all the terminology the same, and the team continues to emphasize turnovers.

``It's the same philosophy,'' Tillman said. ``You just don't want to use last year's success, if that makes any sense.''

Tillman meant the Tucker version of the cover-2 can't simply count on being as productive as when they gave up 277 points, third best in the league last year, or came within one defensive score of tying the NFL single-season record of 10. They'll have to earn it on the field.

``Last year was a hell of a year,'' Tillman said. ``One of the things, we have to create a new identity once again.''

It's an identity without Urlacher, the eight-time Pro Bowl pick who retired after he couldn't reach a deal with the Bears. D.J. Williams is in the middle and James Anderson has replaced Nick Roach on the strong side.

``It's tough,'' Briggs said. ``But we're all grown men. We have to continue to move on.''

It's an even greater burden on Briggs because he has volunteered to take on Urlacher's signal calling duties. It's a critical role in any defense, and one usually reserved for a middle linebacker or free safety and not the weak side linebacker. It's the first time he's done it since college.

``I accept it,'' he said. ``I was real comfortable in my role before. Very comfortable. Now I'm getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.''

Briggs called getting teammates properly aligned the most taxing aspect of the assignment. And then there is Trestman's practice system. Plays come off every 16 or 17 seconds, so the defense feels like it's almost always in a two-minute drill.

``It's different,'' Briggs said. ``You've been in a system for a long time. You're now told to change and do things a different way. It just takes time.''

The defense has more than held its own in early scrimmages against the new-look offense, but was dealt a blow Monday when backup defensive end Turk McBride was ruled out for the season with a torn Achilles tendon.

The Bears are already without defensive end Israel Idonije, who is now with Detroit, and free agent acquisition Sedrick Ellis, who decided to retire at age 28.

Tucker, the former Cleveland and Jacksonville defensive coordinator, expects veterans like Briggs, Tillman and Julius Peppers to lead the way through injuries and whatever other changes are dictated by the new regime

``We want to build on the foundation that's been laid and what's been done,'' he said.

NOTES: Left tackle Jermon Bushrod missed Monday's practice with a right calf strain that occurred in the warm-up period before practice. Trestman said he's day to day. Jonathan Scott replaced Bushrod at left tackle. ... Wide receiver Brandon Marshall was given Monday's practice off and the entire team will be off on Tuesday. The idea is to give Marshall extra rest as he is coming off hip surgery in the offseason. ... Defensive end Cheta Ozougwu sustained a slight hamstring pull and is day to day.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Peyton ManningNov 24 08:53p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (foot, ribs) will miss at least the next two weeks as he continues to recover from a partially torn plantar fascia and a rib [ More ]

Tyrod TaylorNov 24 07:13p

Updating a previous report, Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor (shoulder) is dealing with a shoulder injury, and head coach Rex Ryan expects Taylor to be able to play in [ More ]

Chip KellyNov 24 06:43p

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly may not return as head coach of the Eagles next year, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. Schefter said momentum and signs seem [ More ]

B.J. DanielsNov 24 06:13p

The Seattle Seahawks re-signed WR B.J. Daniels to the active roster Tuesday, Nov. 24.

Matt ForteNov 24 05:33p

Chicago Bears RB Matt Forte (knee) and WR Alshon Jeffery (groin) are both expected to suit up in Week 12 against the Green Bay Packers Thursday, Nov. 26. Both [ More ]

Aaron DobsonNov 24 05:23p

Updating a previous report, New England Patriots WR Aaron Dobson (ankle) is expected to miss at least Week 12 with an ankle injury, and possibly more time. Dobson's X-rays were negative, though.

Danny AmendolaNov 24 05:13p

New England Patriots WR Danny Amendola (knee) suffered a knee sprain in a Week 11 win over the Buffalo Bills. He is not expected to miss extended time, though. [ More ]

Jimmy ClausenNov 24 04:33p

Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco (knee) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Nov. 24, with a torn anterior cruciate ligament and a torn medial collateral ligament. Free-agent QB [ More ]

Joe FlaccoNov 24 04:33p

Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco (knee) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Nov. 24, with a torn anterior cruciate ligament and a torn medial collateral ligament. Free-agent QB [ More ]

Sam BradfordNov 24 04:23p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Sam Bradford (shoulder, concussion) had 'some memory loss' after sustaining a concussion in Week 10, and he also said his separated left shoulder could keep him [ More ]

Josh McCownNov 24 04:03p

Cleveland Browns QB Josh McCown will start in Week 12. QB Austin Davis will serve as backup, while QB Johnny Manziel will be Cleveland's No. 3 quarterback.

Johnny ManzielNov 24 04:03p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel will serve as the Browns' No. 3 quarterback in Week 12. QB Josh McCown will start.

Zach ErtzNov 24 03:03p

Philadelphia Eagles TE Zach Ertz (concussion) will not play Thursday, Nov. 26, against the Detroit Lions as he will still be in the concussion protocol.

Bryce BrownNov 24 02:13p

Free-agent RB Bryce Brown (Seahawks) is re-signing with the Seattle Seahawks Tuesday, Nov. 24.

Colin KaepernickNov 24 01:13p

San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick (shoulder) had surgery to fix a torn labrum in his left shoulder Tuesday, Nov. 24, and he is expected to need a recovery [ More ]

Devin FunchessNov 24 12:23p

Carolina Panthers WR Devin Funchess is showing signs of becoming a similar receiver to teammate WR Kelvin Benjamin, who caught 73 passes for 1,008 yards and nine touchdowns in [ More ]

Tyrod TaylorNov 24 12:03p

Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor's (chest) availability for Week 12 against the Kansas City Chiefs is unknown, but head coach Rex Ryan hopes his quarterback will be available. Ryan [ More ]

Sam BradfordNov 24 11:03a

Philadelphia Eagles QB Sam Bradford (concussion, shoulder) cleared the concussion protocol Tuesday, Nov. 24, but it's unknown if he'll start Thursday, Nov. 26.

Ryan MathewsNov 24 10:53a

Philadelphia Eagles RB Ryan Mathews (concussion) is still in the concussion protocol Tuesday, Nov. 24, and remains out of practice.

Danny AmendolaNov 23 11:13p

New England Patriots WR Danny Amendola (knee) suffered a right knee injury on a non-contact play on a punt return in the third quarter of the Week 11 game [ More ]

Aaron DobsonNov 23 07:23p

New England Patriots WR Aaron Dobson (back) is officially active for the Week 11 game against the Buffalo Bills.

Marshawn LynchNov 23 07:13p

Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch (abdomen) is not expected to play in the Week 12 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The team is expected to find out Tuesday, Nov. [ More ]

Jamie CollinsNov 23 07:13p

The New England Patriots have declared LB Jamie Collins, WR Julian Edelman, CB Justin Coleman, WR Keshawn Martin, DL Sealver Siliga, OG Tre Jackson, DL Trey Flowers inactive for Week 11.

Anthony McCoyNov 23 05:33p

Washington Redskins TE Anthony McCoy was waived Monday, Nov. 23. Free-agent TE Je'Ron Hamm (Redskins) was re-signed to the Redskins' practice squad.

Emmanuel SandersNov 23 04:53p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (ankle) is dealing with a high-ankle sprain. Sanders hopes to play in Week 12, and added that Monday, Nov. 23, was the first day [ More ]

Marshawn LynchNov 23 04:33p

Updating a previous report, Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch (abdomen) is traveling to meet with a specialist Monday, Nov. 23, after sitting out with an abdominal injury in Week [ More ]

Ryan FitzpatrickNov 23 03:53p

New York Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick will remain the starter in Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins, according to head coach Todd Bowles.

Brian HoyerNov 23 03:43p

Houston Texans QB Brian Hoyer (concussion) will start in Week 12 after passing his final concussion test, according to head coach Bill O'Brien.

Joseph MorganNov 23 03:13p

Baltimore Ravens WR Joe Morgan was waived Monday, Nov. 23.

Devonta FreemanNov 23 03:03p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman (concussion) is off to a good start in the NFL-mandated concussion protocol, according to head coach Dan Quinn.

Peyton ManningNov 23 02:33p

Denver Broncos QB Brock Osweiler is not Denver's permanent starting quarterback for the rest of the season, according to sources. QB Peyton Manning (foot) is expected to start again once he is healthy.

Mark SanchezNov 23 02:03p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Mark Sanchez appears to be the leading candidate to start in the Week 12 game against the Detroit Lions Thursday, Nov. 26, according to OT Lane Johnson.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
Player Notes:
Forum Posts:

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group