Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
2. Mel Tucker vs Lovie Smith
There’s no way to sugarcoat this, Mel Tucker has been awful since he arrived at Halas Hall. He was clearly not the first choice when Rod Marinelli turned down the opportunity to stay on as DC when Lovie Smith was fired. Tucker was asked to run Lovie’s defense in his first year. Keep the same scheme and the same terminology so you don’t have to have all the players learn a new system. It made sense. But the players all got old and got hurt and it was a disaster.
I was really surprised that Tucker was allowed to return this season. He hasn’t failed to disappoint. I don’t know if back to back 50-burgers by the Patriots and Packers was rock bottom, but you have to hope so.
When the Bears and Bucs buckle up the chin straps on Sunday afternoon, Mel Tucker is going to be going against Lovie Smith. He’s going against all the Lovie lovers. If he plays the usual vanilla defense that he’s been playing, Josh McCown will carve it up. He too knows the nuances of the Cover-2. Mel needs to mix things up. Be unpredictable. Throw in a safety blitz or a delayed corner blitz. Do something – ANYTHING – to get some pressure on McCown.