Chicago Bears: Defensive Coordinator Mel Tucker Has to Prove Himself Worthy to Take the Reins of Defensive Guru

By Meriah Milliken
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears have faced the end of an era. The Lovie Smith and Rod Marinelli team is gone, and now it is the responsibility of another to keep the Bears defensive legacy going. With head coach Marc Trestman having an offensive state of mind, the weight falls on the shoulders of new defensive coordinator Mel Tucker.

Even though he doesn’t have the reputation like Marinelli, this doesn’t necessarily mean that he doesn’t have the ability to keep the momentum going.  He has had the opportunity to work under some legendary college head coaches like Barry Alvarez and Nick Saban. Both coaches are known for their defensive ability and therefore have passed on that knowledge to Tucker. As his first job in the NFL with the Cleveland Browns, he was able to prove that he had some coaching potential in spite of having a low-talent team.  Then he moved to the Jacksonville Jaguars as defensive coordinator, and after taking over as play caller the defense ranked higher in spite of having a low-talent. In 2011 the Jaguars were 6th in defensive yards, 9th in rushing yards allowed, and 8th in passing yards allowed.

No one is expecting Tucker to enhance the defense this season or to make it better, he just needs to keep it going. This is his year to hit the ground running and to start off strong to make a name for himself in Chicago. He has the right talent, a talented offensive staff to complement him, and Tucker is familiar with the 3-4 and 4-3 defense to add variation. He also can provide different perspective to get around the sometimes predictable Tampa 2. There are high expectations for the Bears this season, but there’s also a lot of weariness. If he is going to rise to the ranks of Marinelli, he’s going to have to work for it.

Meriah Milliken is a Chicago Bears writer for Follow her on Twitter @MeriahMilliken , “Like” her on Facebook, or add her to your Google network.

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