Chicago Sun-Times

Defense determined to make marked improvements

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Although he's missed the last three games, Bears safety Chris Harris expressed his frustration with a defense that's ranked second to last in the NFL.

"Being the 31st ranked defense after four [weeks] is disgusting," Harris wrote on his Twitter account. "It makes [you] stop, step back and look in the mirror. We will get that fixed."

The Bears have looked pretty awful, particularly for most of the last three games. They played solid in the first half against the New Orleans Saints and in the fourth quarter against the Carolina Panthers. But they've been gashed on the ground and through the air.

"It hasn't been typical of the type of defense that we play, or we're supposed to play to be successful. Or to be one of the top defenses in the NFL," Lance Briggs said. "The only warning signs are when you turn on the tape, and you see the mistakes. And the fact that guys aren't in their gaps. Guys aren't playing as violent as we need them to play. There are things we need to do defensively that starts right here."

Unlike the offense, the Bears defense has been fairly healthy, with the exception of Harris, who -- in his absence -- is proving his importance to the unit.

And the Bears defense, which set the tone so often last season, has allowed opponents to score on the opening drive the last two games.

The Bears have hoped that someone would step up in Harris' absence but safeties have continued to struggle.

And there isn't just one problem.

They have been hurt by running backs, quarterbacks, tight ends, etc...

"I don't know what it is," linebacker Brian Urlacher said. "We're just not making big plays and giving up too many long runs, long passes. We're giving up big plays and not making any ourselves."

Asked if it's just missing assignments, Urlacher said, "It's not that simple.

"Wish it was. We could fix that real easily. We're just not doing the things we normally do. Sometimes we're not running to the football, sometimes not catching the balls that are thrown to us like we usually do. It's all fixable. We've got to just do it."

Now, they face a tough game, at Ford Field, against an explosive Lions offense.

How big is this game?

"It's huge," Briggs said. "It's a division game, and it's a game that puts us right in the mix or will set us back three games. We're coming off two losses, in the conference. This is a must have. We have to have it. Period."

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15 Comments

ahhhh...of coarse tehy re bad sense they all SUCK!!!

harris...loosr bUST!

briggs...looseer bust!@!

urlacher...old looser bust looser!

luvvy shmuvie is prorobaly teh WOSRST coach in teh nfl abnd his defense SUCKS!!

angelo...ohhhh donut even get ME STRATED ON TAHT ANGELO!!!! I HATE HATE HATE TAHT ANGELO SOO MUCH!!! THIS SI TEH WORSTE TEAM EVER ANDS THEY WILL OOSE EVERY FGAME!! DO OYU LLOSERS HERE ME????? THEY WILL OOSE EVERY GAMY!!!!

but yoy guys now me old crap-ton....just tyrying to be poatciv

ps mY MY the wether is so nicee....i may just hav to step out in my pink panties!! he y fellas.... yoo hoo!

The Bears defense is ranked 31st for a reason. They need to stop living off of last year. They're not good.
P.S. Thanks again Jerry Angelo.

The Bears defense will come back and do so in a big way on Monday.
They will dominate the line of scrimmage, they will get some sacks and turnovers. The safety play with Harris back will be solid and run defense stout.

Let's hope the offense shows up with Forte leading the way, Cutler making good decisions and o line giving him some time to convert big plays.

Bears 27-Lions 20

Dahlillama - I'm curious, what color is the sky in your world?

Dahlillama, I hope your prediction is right on! Your sky may be a little bit rose-colored, but being optimistic makes a lot more sense than bemoaning the fate of the bears. Most would agree that the Bears could be awesome if they got their acts together on both offense and defense. It seems that if the offense does well, the defense falters and vice-versa. In any case tne Detroit game is an extremely important one. Go Bears! Please!

Dahlillama - apparently you haven't been a Bears fan very long and are completely unaware of their performances on Monday Night Football. They just can't help themselves from sucking on Mondays - even against mediocre teams.

Well they need to get together. Peppers is having a bad year so far, yes he has some sacks, but by and large he has been missing from games, and his play against the run has taken a step back. Which really strange because as it stands he has not faced anyone who has been playing well: Clifton looks like he needs to retire, Bushrod is nothing special at all, Gross is playing well and he basically shut Peppers down. Izzy is having a bad year, he has been ok against the run but he is getting no pressure. Your not going to get any pressure from Adams but he has been solid against the run, biggest problem with the line as it stands is that except for Adams everyone else has sucked against the run, and if you can run on Lovie's defense you can beat Lovie's defense. We saw it in 2007. I think Okoye needs a shot over Melton, Melton has been average with his pressure, last week I thought he would turn it up against Carolina given their weakness at guard but he had his worst game of the year. He is big liability against the run as well. To many of these pass rushing DT's don't play the run and are hurting their teams, Bears need a guy like Tommy Kelly who gets pressure and stops the run. Toe has also been pretty damn bad.

We can blaim the secondary all day but the line needs to step up.

Tillman is having a good year in coverage, but even he is struggling against the run. Jennings is bad, QB's have completed 64% of their passes against him for 232 yards, he has 0 int's and 2 passes defended.

Biggest holes on defense are Melton against the run, Izzy getting pressure, Roach at LB has been bad, his play against the run is mediocre and he gets killed in coverage. Mariweather has been worse than bad, the average QB rating when throwing into his zone is 146, that's almost perfect, but he is not the worst on the team. Major Wright has allowed a 156.3 passer rating in his zone. OMG that is bad.

Best Players on defense this year have been Urlacher, Tillman and Briggs. That's according to PFF and they are usually right. Everyone else has a negative gade and a few are listed in the bottom of the league.

The good news is, like I said is if you want to beat the Lovie 2 defense you need to run on it, Detroit sucks at running, they suck at run blocking and they have no legit running back. However the problem remains that the last two weeks the Lions O-Line has played to prety good front sevens in Min and Dal, and yes the Vikings have a good front seven, their secondary sucks. Same for the Cowboys. Those front 7's are better than the Bears right now, before that they Lions did a good job run blocking against the Bucs and KC. Tampa Bay has a solid run defense, it's not as good as the Vikings but it is solid. KC also has a solid run defense, both those teams rank ahead of the Bears on defense, and the Bears are on the road. It's a tough call I would take the Bears if they were at home.

The other thing is Detroit circled this game on their calander, they said, this is the team they want to beat. Like Lovie said it about the Packers when he first got here, Detroit said that about the Bears. They really want this game and it is at home for them.

It will be tought to pull off a win, it's a tough place to play, they are young, they have some decent talent, and they are hungry. The Bears need to play smarter than them, penalties can kill the Lions. If Suh decides he wants to play the run, and he can play it really well when he wants to, he just never wants to, but if he does, the Bears got problems, cause Louis can't handle him and Garza is bad. The Bears right side is not in a good way right now.

Really? What are you smoking, this has blowout written all over it.

Its a huge game... it will eiether expose or give hope.. agree urlacher forte and briggs are the only ones standing out..

The Bears will be ready to play and Peppers should be motivated. I agree Okoye might be the better to start over Melton and put a little more pressure on Stafford.

The key to this game is the line play and whether the Bears can get to Stafford, if they do on a consistent basis they win and create turnovers.

By the way my sky is clear blue, smoke only the best.

Never give up, never give in.

GO BEARS!!!!!

Really, well maybe it will be a blowout, but last I checked, the 0-4 Vikings lost by 3 points and the Cowboys had them beat until Romo threw the game away. Not even great plays or anything by the Lions, just Romo tossing away another win like he usually does. Don't kid yourself the Bears are a lot better than KC

Then we have the Bears, who have faced three of the most talented offenses in the nfl, yes three, the Packers, the Saints and the Panthers. Yes the Panthers.

Lets look at those Panthers, the Panthers have a much better offensive line than Detroit, it's not even close they can run and pass block on a much higher level. Then you have the recievers, Steve Smith when healthy is one of the best in the nfl and Steve Smith is healthy. He also has a much better history against the Bears than Johnson and is a known cover 2 killer. After that the number 2 and 3 recievers are not that different from Detroit. Carolina has two good TE's, and the Panthers have much better running backs, much much better running backs. Then you have Newton who is more athletic and more talented than Stafford. Matt Stafford aka the Pillsbury throw boy has yet to finish a game against the Bears.

On defense they are not that different than the Panthers, they both have undersized ends who are not good against the run, Detroit basically has Suh who also sucks against the run so far and the Lions in general are weak againsth the run just like the Panthers. At LB they are a little better than the Panthers, and the Panthers have a better secondary.

The Lions have not played the Saints in New Orleans, or the best team in football the Packers. They have not faced an elite QB all year. Bears faced the two out of three of the Best QB's on the planet and what looks like the Rookie if the year.

Sure the game is in favor of the Lions, and they should win at home, but a blowout or a lock win? Please, Bears can hurt anyone with Special teams, the big weakness on the Bears defense is the run and the Lions don't run well, and Forte is more than capable of hurting the Lions. I expect the Lions to win, but I don't think it will be an easy game and the Bears are capable of beating the Lions.

All the sports writers are already kissing the ring of the Lions. The Bears have played a brutal first quarter and are at .500 the Lions haven't seen the teams the Bears have so let's not make this more than it is. The Lions have the Saints, Packers, Falcons and Chargers on their schedule with at least 3 of those will be loses. So let's not anoint Lions yet. Stafford has yet to prove he can win without a gift. Let's see how well he does being chased and harrassed like Cutler Creighton makes sense (did I say that?) The Packers are still the team and because of them the Bears will be out of contention and drafting in the middle of the pack with the same idiots in charge. Angelo, Lovie and Martz have to go. Someone with common sense and a plan to utilize the player you gave away a draft for must be found. Tice is probably the heir apparent he fits. Get the Cowher dreams out of your heads.

Deputy, I am not convinced that the Bears still can't win the division or make the playoffs as a wild card. I do admit that catching the Pack will be unlikely but if the cards fall right and the Bears play good solid football stranger things have happened.

As for Angelo, Lovie and Martz I coul not agree more, time to send them packing.

Bears can still get the wild card easily. The east sucks, the west sucks, and the south is not as tough as the north. Bears need to beat the Bucs. All the teams in the north have some tough games but they also have plenty of easy games. Lions are good but not great, but it remains to be seen where the Bears stand. Carolina may have a losing record but they are tough.

The Bears have the Eagles, Chargers at home, KC, Den, Sea, and two against the Vikings. None of those teams is very good, you beat them and the bucs who are decent but not great and you have a good shot at the playoffs. That is 10 wins.

Win just one game against the Packers, Lions, Raiders, and you make the playoffs easy.

On the flip side lose to the Lions tonight and your half way out of the playoffs in week 5. I think they will split with the Lions this year. Probably not going to beat the Packers and Raiders on the road. That means you can't afford to lose against the Bucs or Chargers.

It's soon going to be the old 49er BS all over. Remember it? You are effusive in your praise of GB/Rodgers. I hope you don't repeat this bow with Harbaugh/SF. I was born in Chicago long before you, Creighton, lived in SF for over 20 years (and during the Walsh era) and am always amazed at how my fellow Chicagoans default to praise of brains over brawn. Ditka showed us the only way to win with a Chicago team: you kick the (take your choice of four-letter words here) out of them, steal their women, plunder their town, and have a beer. Harbaugh has surrounded himself with that elitist Silicon Valley crap and scared all us dumb s----s off. Look at him for ------ out loud. He's a total dork! Peter King is blubbering about the 49er miracle and Steve Jobs. So is Phil Rogers, another blubberer.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on October 7, 2011 1:56 PM.

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