2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Bears' defense coming off bad outing, Saints next

    2013-10-02 17:30

(Eds: Updates, stands.)
By GENE CHAMBERLAIN
Associated Press

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) - The Chicago Bears defensive players believe Lions vice chairman Bill Ford Jr. might be off base after he referred to them as ``a bunch of thugs'' this week.

``We're far from it,'' cornerback Tim Jennings said Wednesday. ``I wish we were.''

The Bears defense is actually searching for some toughness after giving up 159 yards rushing in a 40-32 loss to the Lions last week, one week after allowing the Pittsburgh Steelers 379 passing yards in a win. Facing the New Orleans Saints and the league's fourth-ranked offense Sunday at Soldier Field hardly seems the ideal situation for regaining their edge.

It's not quite an identity crisis because the Bears have forced a league-high 14 turnovers, much like it always did under former coach Lovie Smith. However, the big chunks of yardage yielded in different ways has them turning to basic football to combat the problem.

``Last week I didn't feel like we did as good a job of tackling, and it showed,'' defensive end Corey Wootton said. ``The biggest thing we've got to do is rally to the football because in any team people are going to miss tackles. So the biggest thing is getting those population tackles, getting people to the ball because when one guy misses then the next guy will be there.''

Coach Marc Trestman finds the tackling problems nothing unusual at this time of the season.

``It's a (repetition) thing, and we're not the only team going through this,'' Trestman said. ``This is something that is really universal throughout the league early in the season, and teams do get better as we move along. I think we've tackled well, but we still want to get better at it.''

Part of the problem stems from different personnel. With defensive tackle Henry Melton out for the season, the Bears have had to shift the defensive line.

Last week, Wootton moved inside at times to defensive tackle, or nose tackle Stephen Paea played there, in addition to defensive tackle Nate Collins - who also played some nose tackle along with new acquisition Landon Cohen.

``Definitely, I feel like as a unit, especially up front, we haven't gelled and clicked together as much as we'd like to,'' Wootton said. ``The biggest thing we've got to do is just go out there and practice every day and become more comfortable with each other - we've got different guys in there.''

Stopping New Orleans will be almost a 180-degree swing for the Bears defense from the problems they had Sunday. Saints quarterback Drew Brees ranks second in passing yards and fourth in completion percentage. The Saints covert 45.3 percent of their third-down plays, sixth in the league; the Bears defense is tied for 21st stopping third down conversions (39.6 percent).

``First of all we have to find a way to stop the run and eliminate the explosive passes and eliminate the yards after the catch,'' defensive coordinator Mel Tucker said. ``They do a great job with the throw and catch and then the run after the catch. Then we have to do a great job of getting off the field on third down. So that's the key.''

Linebacker Lance Briggs put the Bears' defensive frustration at a high level.

``To me ,it's kind of disgusting to see 40 points up on the scoreboard regardless of what went on and how it went up there,'' he said. ``Defensively, we haven't prevented a team from scoring more than 20 points this year yet. And that's not like us.''

Notes: Six punters auditioned Tuesday after Adam Podlesh struggled against Detroit and dropped to 28th in punting average (43.5 ypp). ``I kind of understood after what I put out there on the field in Detroit that, I basically said to myself, `I wouldn't be surprised if they were going to look at what was out on the market,''' Podlesh said. ... Wide receiver Brandon Marshall (foot), defensive tackle Stephen Paea (toe), cornerback Charles Tillman (groin strain) and safety Anthony Walters (hamstring) missed practice. Defensive end Julius Peppers (chest), tight end Martellus Bennett (shoulder) and defensive back Sherrick McManis (quad) participated on a limited basis.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Julius ThomasNov 27 07:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Anthony DavisNov 27 07:23p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared OT Anthony Davis, WR Bruce Ellington, DL Glenn Dorsey, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Quinton Patton, CB Tramaine Brock, TE Vance McDonald inactive for Week 13.

Arian FosterNov 27 07:12p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 27.

Allen BradfordNov 27 07:12p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared LB Allen Bradford, TE Cooper Helfet, CB Jeremy Lane, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, C Max Unger, TE Rashaun Allen, DL Travian Robertson inactive for Week 13.

Jordan CameronNov 27 06:32p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Latavius MurrayNov 27 04:52p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 27 04:02p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Tony HillsNov 27 03:22p

The Dallas Cowboys have declared LB Dekoda Watson, OG Donald Hawkins, QB Dustin Vaughan, FS Jeff Heath, DL Joshua Brent, OT Tony Hills, CB Tyler Patmon inactive for Week 13.

Taylor HartNov 27 03:12p

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Dennis Kelly, DB Jaylen Watkins, WR Jeff Maehl, OG Julian Vandervelde, QB Nick Foles, CB Rashad Carmichael, DE Taylor Hart inactive for Week 13.

Jordan ReedNov 27 03:02p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Dwayne AllenNov 27 02:32p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Kyle FullerNov 27 11:32a

Chicago Bears CB Kyle Fuller (knee) will play in the team's Week 13 game against the Detroit Lions. Fuller had been questionable during the week.

Lance BriggsNov 27 11:22a

The Chicago Bears have declared WR Chris X. Williams, LB Darryl Sharpton, OT Eben Britton, DL Jeremiah Ratliff, LB Lance Briggs, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott inactive for Week Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

The Detroit Lions have declared QB Kellen Moore, OG Larry Warford, DE Larry Webster, DL Nick Fairley, RB Reggie Bush, OT Riley Reiff, WR Ryan Broyles inactive for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is inactive Thursday, Nov. 27, for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 10:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is out for Week 13 Thursday, Nov. 27. His ankle isn't responding well enough, but the hope is to return for Week 14.

R. Griffin IIINov 27 09:53a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III is highly unlikely to return to the team next season, sources within the organization said. Head coach Jay Gruden convinced owner Daniel Snyder [ More ]

Jimmy StatenNov 26 09:43p

The Seattle Seahawks signed free-agent DT Jimmy Staten (Seahawks) to their practice squad Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also released OT Andrew McDonald from their practice squad.

Marcus ThigpenNov 26 09:03p

The Buffalo Bills claimed WR Marcus Thigpen off waivers from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also waived DE Bryan Johnson.

Richard GordonNov 26 09:03p

The Tennessee Titans waived TE Richard Gordon Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 26 08:33p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Dwayne AllenNov 26 07:33p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

C. PattersonNov 26 06:23p

Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jerick McKinnonNov 26 06:13p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Brandon LaFellNov 26 06:03p

New England Patriots WR Brandon LaFell (shoulder) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jace AmaroNov 26 05:13p

New York Jets TE Jace Amaro (head) is not expected to play in Week 13, because he is going through the concussion protocol.

Reggie BushNov 26 04:53p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle, back) was limited in practice for the third straight day Wednesday, Nov. 26, and is questionable for Week 13 against the Chicago Bears.

Jordan CameronNov 26 04:43p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) remains day-to-day, but the team is looking for him to practice symptom-free this week, according to head coach Mike Pettine.

Jordan ReedNov 26 04:13p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

R. Griffin IIINov 26 02:53p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III needs more seasoning, and he'll likely do it from the bench for the rest of this season, according to head coach Jay Gruden. [ More ]

Arian FosterNov 26 02:33p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) has an excellent chance to return in Week 13 against the Tennessee Titans after missing the last two games.

Mark SanchezNov 26 02:23p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Mark Sanchez has thrown six interceptions this year, but all of them haven't been game-changing turnovers. In Week 12 against the Tennessee Titans, Sanchez thrived on [ More ]

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