The 3 keys to success for the Chicago Bears new defensive scheme

Chicago Bears - Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears - Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports /
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Chicago Bears, DeForest Buckner
Chicago Bears – Syndication: The Indianapolis Star /

Maybe the most key position for the Chicago Bears defense is the 3-technique

After Eberflus’ first year as Colts defensive coordinator in 2018, GM Chris Ballard traded away the 13th overall pick for 49ers DT DeForest Buckner. This was a valuable draft pick for Indianapolis to trade away, but acquiring a star DT like Buckner was that important to Eberflus’ defense.

Eberflus needed a massive 3-technique defensive tackle who could plug up holes in the run game, and rush the passer from the interior. Without it, he didn’t have the beef up front that was needed to play dime sub-package a whopping 81% of the time as he did in 2021.

Since the trade, Buckner has been an integral part of the Colts’ defensive success. A true game-wrecker on the defensive line, wreaking havoc on the interior has been Buckner’s M.O. Recording 27 sacks since 2019. He scored PFF season grades of 78.8, 89.7, and 71.9, Buckner was one of the most valuable defensive tackles in the NFL the past three seasons. A rare talent at his position, he will be impossible for Eberflus to immediately replace.

There is plenty of talent coming off the edge, but I worry about the talent and depth on the interior of this Bears defensive line.  Without Buckner or a 3-tech DT of his caliber to deploy in Chicago, it will be interesting to see how well Eberflus can adjust in 2022.