The Bears hired Paul Pasqualoni as their new defensive line coach and Reggie Herring steps in to become the linebackers coach. With everyone talking about the Bears transitioning to a hybrid defense, this could be a step in that direction.
While not technically a 3-4 defense, the hybrid scheme will occasionally give 4-3 looks. Both Pasqualoni and Herring were coaches under Wade Phillips’ 3-4 scheme at Dallas, where the defense ranked in the top 10 during the time Pasqualoni and Herring were coaches. Pasqualoni has been credited with helping develop DeMarcus Ware. While the Bears don’t have a Ware on currently on the team, Pasqualoni and Herring will be instrumental in McClellin’s transition to OLB. Based on prior success, these hirings seem to make sense for the time being.
With the coaches in place under Mel Tucker with time to develop the new scheme, the shift turns to the free agency and the draft. To successfully transition to a hybrid, the Bears will need find players that fit the scheme.
Just as the offensive was rebuilt first with the offensive line, I expect the Phil Emery to start building from the defensive line, although many will argue that the Bears should prioritize at safety. For a list of the top defensive lineman in the 2014 NFL Draft, check out Bear Goggles’ own, Mike Flannery’s list of prospects.