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

Paul RichardsonMar 26 12:43a

Seattle Seahawks WR Paul Richardson (knee) might not be ready for the start of the season, head coach Pete Carroll indicated Wednesday, March 25. Carroll did say Richardson's rehab [ More ]

Blake BortlesMar 25 08:43p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles received an endorsement from head coach Gus Bradley Tuesday, March 24. Speaking at the AFC Coaches Breakfast at the NFL Annual Meetings Tuesday, Bradley [ More ]

Travis KelceMar 25 06:03p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce played at roughly 250 pounds in 2014, but head coach Andy Reid wants Kelce to report bigger in 2015, and Reid thinks Kelce [ More ]

Drew BreesMar 25 05:03p

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota isn't an option for the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, according to head coach Sean Payton. Payton said [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 25 04:33p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is wanted back in Minnesota, but the question is if Peterson wants to come back. Head coach Mike Zimmer said he doesn't believe Peterson [ More ]

Ifeanyi MomahMar 25 03:13p

Free-agent TE Ifeanyi Momah (Lions) signed a one-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals Wednesday, March 25. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Terence NewmanMar 25 01:53p

Free-agent CB Terence Newman (Bengals) agreed to a one-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings Wednesday, March 25, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Jordy NelsonMar 25 12:23p

Green Bay Packers WR Jordy Nelson (hip) underwent hip surgery this offseason and is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks.

Victor CruzMar 25 11:53a

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) could miss the start of the 2015 season with a torn patellar tendon in his knee, according to head coach Tom Coughlin. [ More ]

Josh HillMar 25 11:03a

New Orleans Saints TE Josh Hill is expected to have a bigger role in the offense in 2015. Head coach Sean Payton has mentioned him quite a bit since [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 25 10:53a

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is disgruntled and reportedly wants out of Minnesota, but head coach Mike Zimmer said the team has no plans to trade him.

Cody LatimerMar 24 09:33p

The Denver Broncos plan to use WR Cody Latimer as the third receiver behind WRs Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders in 2015. 'I think it's time for him to [ More ]

Casey MatthewsMar 24 06:32p

Free-agent LB Casey Matthews (Eagles) agreed to terms with the Minnesota Vikings Tuesday, March 24. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

R. Griffin IIIMar 24 04:42p

Washington Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan said that the team will go with the best player available in the 2015 NFL Draft with the No. 5 overall pick, which [ More ]

Michael CrabtreeMar 24 03:02p

Free-agent WR Michael Crabtree (49ers) is having a hard time being signed this offseason, reportedly due to concerns regarding lower-leg injuries and a negative perception about his attitude.

Ray McDonaldMar 24 02:02p

Free-agent DE Ray McDonald (49ers) is signing an undisclosed deal with the Chicago Bears Tuesday, March 24.

Stephen BowenMar 24 01:32p

Free-agent DE Stephen Bowen (Redskins) is signing an undisclosed deal with the New York Jets Tuesday, March 24.

Geno SmithMar 24 01:22p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith will be the starting quarterback ahead of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick entering training camp this summer, according to new head coach Todd Bowles. 'You [ More ]

Zach MettenbergerMar 24 01:12p

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota is a realistic option for the Tennessee Titans with the second overall selection in this year's NFL Draft, and head coach Ken Whisenhunt is impressed [ More ]

Jarvis JenkinsMar 24 10:42a

Free-agent DE Jarvis Jenkins (Redskins) agreed with the Chicago Bears Tuesday, March 24, on a one-year deal.

Johnny ManzielMar 24 08:52a

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel is expected back with the team for offseason workouts April 20 after completing more than two months of treatment.

Adrian PetersonMar 23 07:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's agent, Ben Dogra, said Monday, March 23, that he doesn't think 'it's in Adrian's best interest to play in Minnesota' in 2015 and beyond. [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 23 06:02p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is expected to be part of the Vikings next season, according to general manager Rick Spielman. 'Adrian's a member of our football team,' Spielman [ More ]

Drew BreesMar 23 01:22p

New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees will not be traded, according to general manager Mickey Loomis. Recent speculation said that Brees may be on the trade block after his [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 23 12:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's preference is to play elsewhere than with the Vikings in 2015, according to a league source. He is under contract through the 2017 season [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 22 08:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's future remains unclear, but head coach Mike Zimmer recently said that the Vikings are 'excited' to have him back. Zimmer had previously said that [ More ]

James HarrisonMar 22 12:42p

Free-agent LB James Harrison (Steelers) signed a two-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, March 22. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Branden OliverMar 21 03:52p

San Diego Chargers RB Branden Oliver is penciled in as the starting running back at this point.

EJ ManuelMar 21 12:52a

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel is not locked in as the starting quarterback. Head coach Rex Ryan said Friday, March 20, that the quarterback competition will be open. 'It's [ More ]

Kevin VickersonMar 20 05:52p

Free-agent DT Kevin Vickerson (Chiefs) agreed to terms on an undisclosed deal with the New York Jets Friday, March 20.

Matt MooreMar 20 04:32p

Free-agent QB Matt Moore (Dolphins) re-signed with the Miami Dolphins Friday, March 20. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Adrian PetersonMar 20 02:42p

Updating an ongoing story, Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is clearly wanted back by the organization, and general manager Rick Spielman once again stressed that they will make every [ More ]

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