May 14, 2013; Lake Forest, IL, USA; Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Mel Tucker during organized team activities at Halas Hall. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Mel Tucker has to go. There’s no way to sugar coat it. The Chicago Bears need to fire Mel Tucker and find a new defensive coordinator. When Lovie Smith came to the Chicago Bears, he had Terry Shea on board as his first offesnive coordinator and it was a disaster. He got a Mulligan and was able to bring in Ron Turner who was able to produce a Super Bowl offense. Things didn’t work out and the rest as they say, is history.
Now, Marc Trestman was brought in as head coach but was asked to keep Lovie Smith’s Cover-2 defense in place. The original plan was to keep Rod Marinelli to maintain continuity, but he eschewed the Bears and headed to work with his pal Monte Kiffin in Dallas. PS – that was a train wreck too. Some thought Marinelli refused to stay out of loyalty to Lovie. Maybe he saw the writing on the wall.
Tucker was brought in as a fallback, having experience running both 4-3 and 3-4 defenses in Cleveland and Jacksonville. Give him credit, rather than forcing all of his players to learn his terminology, Tucker learned the Lovie Smith lingo so the core players didn’t have to relearn a whole new language.
Tucker isn’t exactly a highly decorated defensive coordinator. He was the D coordinator for the Cleveland Browns in 2008, where the Browns ranked 26th in yardage and 16th in scoring. During his time in Jacksonville from 2009 – 2012, he presided over a defense that had two top-10 seasons defensively, but was typically middle of the pack. Middle of the pack would have been welcomed here in 2013.
Things started off decently enough for the Bears defense. They followed the old Lovie Smith format, getting turnovers and scoring, but injuries to key players caught up with the unit. Losing two 3-technique defensive tackles crushed the interior of the defensive line. Then losing Lance Briggs and Peanut Tillman really turned a bad situation worse.