ChicagoFootball.com
Digital Subscribers Login

The Bears' real problem fitting the run

Philadelphia Eagles' LeSean McCoy, right, scores a touchdown past Chicago Bears' Chris Conte during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)

For weeks now as we’ve queried Mel Tucker and Marc Trestman as to why the Bears run defense can be so epically bad, the party line has been to talk about the run fits.

Run fits basically mean players fitting into the places or gaps they’re supposed to be in to stop the run.

Speaking Monday after the Eagles disaster, Tucker indicated the run fits weren’t very good vs. the Eagles and also said they only had about five different running plays.

At that point I had to ask Tucker if it’s only five different plays, how can it be that hard for your guys to know where to go, or fit?

Tucker’s response was, “Sometimes we’re in the right place but we’re just not winning the one-on-ones, or you miss a tackle. That’s a big part of it and like I’ve said the past couple weeks it’s not so much now knowing where to fit as when you get there are you able to shed the block, are you able to finish on the ball, are you able to make the tackle, are you able to get there quickly enough? That’s also part of it.”

It was the best and most honest answer I’ve heard in weeks.

If players don’t know where they’re supposed to be, or fit after 16 weeks, that’s a huge coaching failure. The coaches should be replaced and those players shouldn’t be on the roster.

If the players do know where to fit but aren’t making plays when they get there, that’s a talent deficit and there’s not a coach in the world who can overcome that.

Trestman and Tucker can’t just come out and say our players aren’t good enough and then expect those players to go out and sacrifice for them. I get why they keep talking about run fits and don’t blame them.

But it’s time to stop pretending this group of defenders are going to get better as a unit at this point in the season.

We don’t need to blame anyone for the failure of the Bears run defense, which will almost certainly keep them from winning a playoff game even if they beat the Packers.

But we all need to face the fact that Phil Emery’s the only one who can fix it now by bringing in better players. It has to be priority one this offseason and expecting a coach to take the fall for this season’s disaster is just not fair.