No sweeping changes for struggling Bears’ ‘D’

SHARE No sweeping changes for struggling Bears’ ‘D’

Linebackers Shea McClellin and Jared Allen are part of a struggling Bears defense. (Getty Images)

Even if it’s not a complete evaluation, Vic Fangio said it’s fair to judge players after only two games.

If he means that, his guys better watch out, right? Fangio, though, gave no indication Wednesday that changes — either in personnel or his 3-4 scheme — are afoot as the Bears prepare to travel to the Seahawks’ home opener.

“I’ve been at this a long time, and we’ll just keep trudging along,” he said. “I think the worst thing you can do is panic and start changing schemes left and right, looking for a magic potion.”

The Bears might be tempted to go grocery shopping for some eye of newt. No team in football has allowed more than the Bears’ 39.5 points per game; only one has a harder team getting off the field than the Bears, whose third-down percentage is 58.

Even if the yardage stats don’t show it, the Bears’ pass defense, which does not have a sack, is a mess. Coach John Fox singled it out Wednesday, blaming the combination of the team’s pass rush and pass coverage.

“Right now we’re faced with a quandary,” Fangio said. “You know, some people say we should play more (Cover 2) to help the corners. Then the next statement from the same guy may be, ‘Hey we need to pressure more to help the rush.’

“So we’ve got to balance that conflict and use both.”

Defensive end Jarvis Jenkins said the Bears’ pass rushers shoulder the blame for the pass defense, which has allowed a league-high seven passing touchdowns. He cited the Seahawks and Jets, who boast perhaps the league’s two secondaries because of their strong pass rush.

“Those guys can’t cover forever,” he said. “A lot of these secondaries are getting ‘shine’ because the front four or the front seven are actually getting pressure.”

With a talent deficit and veterans learning new positions, the Bears have to be close to perfect.

‘Right now our margin for error is so tiny and so small,” cornerback Alan Ball said. “We gotta find a way to overcome that. Every time we mess up, we gotta be on top of it, because we have a really small window for error.”

Jenkins said the players have to fix themselves first, warning against the habit of trying to do a teammate’s job “him because one mistake can turn into 10 mistakes.”

Share Events on The CubeBears coaches have been preaching the same mantra this week — “finish.” Whether players interpret that as finishing a sack or a tackle, or as the team playing as well in the second half as the first, is up to them.

“Whether you consider that hard or easy, we just gotta finish,” outside linebacker Willie Young said.

It won’t get any easier Sunday. Asked about Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, Fangio praised his running skill and confidence with his throws.

Maybe the Bears need that potion.

“He’s a magician,” Fangio said.

Follow me on Twitter @patrickfinley


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