Joniak’s Journal: Defense Still Important In NFL
By Jeff Joniak-
(CBS) Defense NEVER goes out of style.
That statement challenges the prevailing opinion of NFL analysts, enthusiasts, I’m sure some coaches, most general managers, and probably every starting quarterback these days.
Me, I’ll take the stingy defense and a power running attack every day to win games. I love a nasty pass rush and three yards and a cloud of dust.
That first half performance by Seattle’s front four Monday night was vicious. They beat the blank out of the Packers. Didn’t you love that? I guess I’m surprised that so many are so disappointed the defense is still needed to carry the day in Chicago.
Who cares how they win? Just win…by any means necessary.
If you want the Bears to eventually win a Super Bowl, they will need their defense to routinely pressure the quarterback and take the ball away. That will NEVER change. The Aikman ratings rank the Bears defense No. 1 in the NFL after three weeks if you care.
It doesn’t mean I didn’t get excited about the explosive pass plays in the Bears week one win over the Colts, but this new Mike Tice-Jeremy Bates collaboration is not some instant drink mix.
New offensive systems need time to grow and produce fruit. And I understand that no one wants to hear about it. However, Jay Cutler is on his third coordinator in five seasons in Chicago. That doesn’t help him or the rest of the offense. I can give you similar examples all over the league where that is not a good thing.
Cutler’s accuracy needs to improve, and so does the pass protection. Improvement needs to be swift on first down and third down. Matt Forte needs to get healthy. His explosiveness is a big key for the offense.
As for the defense, nothing has changed. The high paid stars like Julius Peppers, Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, and Charles Tillman have to shine, and the younger players like Henry Melton, Major Wright, and Stephen Paea have to realize their potential.
They are blending well on that side of the ball, and with the sudden impact of Tim Jennings and a fierce pass rush by committee, optimism after less than a month into a long journey seems like a good thing.
Jeff Joniak is the play-by-play voice of the Chicago Bears on WBBM Newsradio 780 & 105.9 FM. You can follow Jeff on Twitter @JeffJoniak.