By Dan Durkin-
(CBS) Considering the unit he coordinates has allowed 106 points in the past two games and has set franchise high-water marks for first-half points allowed in each contest, Bears defensive coordinator Mel Tucker was peppered with tough questions during his Wednesday visit with the media.
“Across the board,” Tucker said, “I don’t have enough time to tell you — we don’t have enough time here — to talk about areas I can do better because every single thing that we do or that I do, I’m looking to do it better. Everything.”
Given that the Bears are allowing more points than any team in the league, it’s fair to say there’s probably not enough time left in the season to correct all the areas in which the team is deficient defensively. Schematically, the Bears are simple and still can’t execute. Talent-wise, they’re poor, and there are no in-season answers for that.
Last season, the Bears couldn’t stop the run, allowing a league-high 2,583 rushing yards, and were the only team to allow more than five yards per carry. This season, teams pass at will against them. Over their past six games, opposing quarterbacks have completed 72 percent of their passes for 24 touchdowns and a 121 passer rating against Chicago.
Despite those scary numbers, Tucker said there will be no lineup changes this Sunday against Minnesota.
“There is nothing set in stone on the lineup,” Tucker said. “But the group that we’re going to put out there we think will give us the best chance to win this game. And so, and I will tell you right now, we plan on going in with the group that started the game (against Green Bay). That is our plan.”
In all honesty, what other options do the Bears have? With few exceptions — perhaps linebacker Darryl Sharpton if he were healthy and maybe linebacker Christian Jones — the backups aren’t more talented. General manager Phil Emery wears a lot of the mess the defense has become, as he’s left the unit several players short in the back seven.
“Are we happy with where we are? No,” Tucker said. “Are we disappointed? Yes. Do we have to move on quickly and get ready for next deal? Yes, and that’s where we are. It is not a happy-go-lucky situation. It’s very intense, and it’s very focused and we know we need to get better in all areas.”
Amidst the intensity, disappointment and groundswell of opinion for him to be removed from his current post, Tucker was insistent that he doesn’t feel any additional pressure.
“I’ve never been anywhere where there wasn’t pressure to win and there wasn’t pressure to play well,” Tucker said. “I’ve never been in a situation where it wasn’t like that on a day-to-day basis. I don’t feel any pressure other than what I put on myself. And that’s a lot of pressure.”
Dan Durkin covers the Bears for CBSChicago.com and is a frequent contributor to 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter at @djdurkin.