Chicago Bears Make Mistake Retaining Mel Tucker

By Ryan Heckman
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears’ 2013 season was highlighted by an unbelievably high-powered offense. It didn’t seem real watching Chicago’s pair of Pro Bowl wide receivers dominate the opposition all year long as the Bears finished in the top five overall offenses in the league. Who would have thought we’d be saying that? I would have laughed at you just three years ago if you would have told me Chicago’s offense would be this potent.

Yet, this high-powered offense wasn’t enough to make the playoffs. Why? Chicago’s defense was absolutely horrendous all season long.

With that said, it’s a bit surprising that head coach Marc Trestman announced that defensive coordinator Mel Tucker would remain in his position going into next season. Trestman did say that defensive line coach Mike Phair and linebackers coach Tim Tibesar were fired, but Tucker will stay.

“We need to improve in all areas defensively and that will be a focal point for us this offseason.  The process starts with me as the head coach,” Trestman said according to The Chicago Tribune. “Our search for a defensive line and linebackers coach has begun and we will be looking for the best candidates whose experience can bring the most out of our veteran and young players in both areas.”

Trestman went on saying that he believed his defensive coordinator is still the right man for the job.

“Our team evaluation remains ongoing.  We believe Mel is the right person to lead our defensive unit.  He fully understands where we need to improve, has the skill set and leadership to oversee the changes that need to be made and to execute our plan to get the results we know are necessary.”

While I feel that Trestman wants to keep his coordinator just to give his guys a stability they have lacked over the years as far as consistent coordinators in the organization, this was a bad decision. It is on Tucker’s shoulders to make sure his unit is ready each week, and he did not do that.

The Bears boasted one of the worst rushing defenses in the history of the league this past season. The safety play was some of the worst I can remember watching in the past decade. Regardless of injuries, the lack of tackling I saw on the defensive side of the ball for Chicago was disturbing, disgusting and downright unacceptable.

I recall, over the last nine years, the Bears preaching things like “swarm to the ball” and “take the ball away and score.” This season, I didn’t see defenders swarming to the ball. I saw some of the worst angles I’ve ever seen taken from defenders on a football field. I saw consistent tackling attempts above the waist. I saw lazy play all-around from the majority of the unit.

Just what was Tucker doing in practice all season long? I’d love to know the answer to that question. The way this unit played in 2013, you would have thought Tucker never mentioned a word about defensive fundamentals. It’s frightening that the Bears brought him back for another year.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior Writer for RantSports.comFollow him on Twitter @ryanmheckman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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