2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Bears' defense leaky vs run game so far

    2013-11-14 02:32

(Eds: With AP Photos.)
By GENE CHAMBERLAIN
Associated Press

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) - Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Mel Tucker calls it more a lack of trust than physical ability.

Traditionally strong against the run, the Chicago Bears' defense has leaked of late and players are trying to avoid blaming it on numerous injuries.

''It's honestly not like we're getting driven off the ball,'' Bears defensive tackle Corey Wootton said. ''It's just that we're not fitting in our gaps. When you're not disciplined, the thing that should be a 1-yard gain or possibly a tackle for loss turns into a 20-yard gain. That's where we need to clean that up because it's starting to become a problem.''

The Bears rank 31 out of 32 teams, giving up 129.4 yards rushing per game. If that holds till season's end, it will be the worst mark since linebacker Dick Butkus was limping around trying to play on a bad knee. The Bears were 25th out of 26 teams in 1973.

The Detroit Lions ran for 145 yards last week against the Bears, who allowed 123, 209 and 199 yards rushing the three previous games.

Tucker said players have to trust each other and stay in their gaps in the run defense.

''Typically, if you are in position where you are supposed to be, the plays will come to you,'' Tucker said. ''And so we ask guys not to try to do too much, just do what we're asking you to do, and be where you're supposed to be and then when you have an opportunity to make a play, make it.''

It's not easy for players to establish trust when they're unfamiliar with each other or the defensive scheme. With linebacker Lance Briggs ruled out already for Sunday's game due to a broken shoulder, cornerback Charles Tillman done for the rest of the regular season (torn chest muscle), defensive tackle Henry Melton out with a torn anterior cruciate ligament and middle linebacker D.J. Williams done with a torn pectoral muscle, the Bears keep lining up new players.

Coach Marc Trestman doubts the problem is as severe as numbers indicate, and believes it can be solved by taking care of details more than being physical.

''This happens week to week in the National Football League,'' he said. ''When you lose a game, it's just a little bit more magnified that there's a lot of ifs involved, if we would have run inside instead of outside, if we would have been a little bit tighter - the little details that go with any aspect of the game, and the running game is inclusive of that. If you're not detailed and one guy is doing it just a little bit differently and we're not in coordination with the other guys, that's what happens. I really can't be any more specific than that.''

Trestman gave Tucker a vote of confidence Wednesday.

''As I talked to the team on Monday, I thought our defense played well enough for us to win under unusual circumstances because of the situation of having so many players out that gave our team a chance to win,'' Tucker said. ''I think that starts with Mel, and our staff getting the guys ready, continuing to work with them to try and improve.

''Are we where we want to be? No. We're always trying to get better. But I think he's done an outstanding job in the classroom. On the field he's excellent, and I think he's done a great job of being on the field and managing the team for the last couple of games on the field. It's very impressive to watch.''

It's possible the Bears could get some relief this week against the run when they face the Baltimore Ravens. Even with Ray Rice in the backfield the Ravens rank 30th running the ball at 73.1 yards a game.

''This is a zone blocking team that wants to run the ball,'' Wootton said. ''They've got a great running back in Rice. Their line is big and physical. They do a good job of mixing it up.''

NOTES: Defensive end Shea McClellin, who missed last week's game with a hamstring injury, missed practice Wednesday but was able to work on the side with trainers. Long snapper Patrick Mannelly also missed practice due to a calf injury. ... Wide receiver Brandon Marshall decided to end his verbal sparring with members of the Detroit Lions. He had been involved in a spat with a couple players. ''As far as my comments, it is what it is. I love the rivalry. It reminds me of . I won't go there ... but it's a cool game, and I look forward to seeing them in the playoffs,'' Marshall said. ... The Bears signed seven-year veteran S Derrick Martin to a one-year contract. He last played for New England in 2012, but was with the Bears for two preseason games this season.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Matt JonesMay 20 02:15p

Washington Redskins RB Matt Jones said that he loves the offense and has a chip on his shoulder after not being used properly while in college. 'My college career [ More ]

Derek CarrMay 20 08:53a

Updating a previous report, Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr (finger) is experiencing numbness in his right ring finger. He hopes to avoid surgery through rest and rehab, and no [ More ]

Derek CarrMay 19 06:13p

Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr (finger) has a right ring finger injury that could be surgically repaired. A return for training camp is still achievable, however, according to a source.

L. WashingtonMay 19 05:23p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR L'Damian Washington (undisclosed) was waived/injured Tuesday, May 19.

Shayne GrahamMay 19 03:03p

New Orleans Saints PK Shayne Graham was released Tuesday, May 19. Subsequently, free-agent WR Lance Lewis (49ers) was signed.

Joseph BarksdaleMay 19 02:23p

Free-agent OT Joseph Barksdale (Rams) will sign a one-year deal worth $350,000 with the San Diego Chargers, according to a source. The deal also comes with more than $1 million in incentives available.

Tom BradyMay 19 01:43p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady will continue to appeal his four-game suspension, despite owner Robert Kraft saying the team will not appeal the discipline levied against them.

Jed CollinsMay 18 03:32p

Dallas Cowboys FB Jed Collins was released Monday, May 18, and FB Tyler Clutts was re-signed to an undisclosed contract.

Tyler CluttsMay 18 03:32p

Dallas Cowboys FB Jed Collins was released Monday, May 18, and FB Tyler Clutts was re-signed to an undisclosed contract.

Lache SeastrunkMay 18 02:42p

Tennessee Titans RB Lache Seastrunk was released Monday, May 18.

Jimmy GaroppoloMay 17 08:42p

New England Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo's quick decision making and accuracy fit well with New England's playbook that includes quick-rhythm passes as part of the foundation, and Bucky Brooks [ More ]

Zach HockerMay 17 04:42p

The New Orleans Saints have signed free-agent PK Zach Hocker (Dolphins).

Joseph RandleMay 16 07:32p

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle has the skills to lead the team's backfield in 2015 but he'll need to work on his off-field issues, according to Jon Machota of [ More ]

Matt CasselMay 15 07:52p

Buffalo Bills QB Matt Cassel is likely to enter Week 1 of the season as the team's backup quarterback, in the opinion of The Buffalo News' Vic Carucci. He [ More ]

Santana MossMay 15 07:12p

Free-agent WR Santana Moss (Redskins) is not ready to hang up his cleats and retire this offseason. 'I'm a free agent right now, you know how they do [ More ]

Robert TurbinMay 14 05:32p

Seattle Seahawks RB Robert Turbin (hip) underwent hip surgery this offseason, according to sources. No timetable was disclosed for his recovery.

Tom BradyMay 14 03:52p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has officially appealed his four-game suspension.

Greg SalasMay 13 02:23p

Free-agent WR Greg Salas (Jets) signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions Wednesday, May 13. Financial terms were not disclosed.

John ConnerMay 13 12:03p

Free-agent FB John Conner (Jets) signed with the Buffalo Bills Wednesday, May 13. FB Corey Knox was waived to make room for him.

Tom BradyMay 13 10:03a

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's four-game suspension could be reduced significantly, and possibly overturned, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Brady has put together a renowned legal team to appeal his suspension.

D.J. SwearingerMay 12 05:22p

Free-agent SS D.J. Swearinger was officially claimed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tuesday, May 12.

Fred JacksonMay 12 03:13p

Buffalo Bills RB Fred Jackson may not make the final roster if the Bills end up keeping only three running backs, according to Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. RB LeSean [ More ]

Lance MooreMay 12 01:23p

Free-agent WR Lance Moore (Steelers) signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions.

Justin BlackmonMay 12 11:02a

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon was denied reinstatement by the NFL this offseason, according to The Associated Press' Mark Long. It's unclear whether Blackmon failed a drug test or [ More ]

Joseph RandleMay 12 10:42a

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle could see the bulk of the carries as the season weighs on, in the opinion of beat writer Todd Archer. Archer pegged Randle for [ More ]

Jimmy GaroppoloMay 11 09:42p

New England Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to start while QB Tom Brady serves his suspension for 'DeflateGate'. Brady was suspended four games by the National Football League [ More ]

Tom BradyMay 11 07:12p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady will appeal his four-game suspension, according to his agent.

Tom BradyMay 11 05:52p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has been suspended four games for his involvement in the deflated-football incident in the AFC Championship. In addition, the Patriots will lose their [ More ]

D.J. SwearingerMay 11 04:12p

Houston Texans SS D.J. Swearinger was officially released Monday, May 11.

Carey SpearMay 11 01:22p

Cleveland Browns PKs Travis Coons and Carey Spear will compete for the kicker job this offseason, and the competition is wide open at this point, according to special teams coordinator Chris Tabor.

Garrett HartleyMay 11 01:12p

Cleveland Browns PK Garrett Hartley was released Monday, May 11.

Kyle ArringtonMay 11 10:32a

New England Patriots CB Kyle Arrington was released Monday, May 11, according to a source. The team left the door open for him to return.

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