Hot Hits

New coaches signal new direction for Chicago Bears defense

 

New defensive coaches Paul Pasqualoni (pictured) and Reggie Herring have experience coaching both 4-3 and 3-4 defenses.

New defensive coaches Paul Pasqualoni (pictured) and Reggie Herring have experience coaching both 4-3 and 3-4 defenses.

The Chicago Bears finalized their coaching staff this week with the hiring of defensive line coach Paul Pasqualoni, linebackers coach Reggie Herring, and defensive line assistant Clint Hurtt.

These moves could be an interesting hint as to what is coming for the Chicago Bears defense this offseason.  It has long been speculated that change is inevitable as many longtime defensive stalwarts either left last offseason or are free agents this year.  These coaching hires reflect the impending change in two distinct ways.

Reggie Herring brings over twenty years' experience working with linebackers at the college level, which should help him teach the young Chicago Bears under his tutelage.

Reggie Herring brings over twenty years’ experience working with linebackers at the college level, which should help him teach the young Chicago Bears under his tutelage.

Teaching emphasis

All three new Chicago Bears coaches have extensive experience in the college ranks.  Pasqualoni has been a defensive or head coach at South Connecticut State, West Connecticut State, Syracuse, and Connecticut, totaling over thirty years’ experience at the college level. Herring, meanwhile, has spent over twenty years coaching linebackers at colleges like Oklahoma State, Auburn, Clemson, Texas Christian University, and Arkansas.  Hurt is the youngest of the bunch and the only one with no NFL experience, but he has coached the defensive line or over a decade at Louisville and the University of Miami.

This experience teaching young football players should pay dividends for these coaches as they move to the Chicago Bears, who are in the midst of a youth movement on defense.  Chicago already has second year players like Khaseem Greene, Jonathan Bostic, David Bass, and Cornelius Washington under contract in their front seven, and they are likely to add two or three rookies (or maybe more) to that number in the draft.

These new coaches are used to coaching up college kids, so working with a number of Chicago Bears just out of college should be right up their alley.

It should be noted, also, that both Pasqualoni and Herring have spent a healthy amount of time in the NFL as well, so dealing with professional athletes will not be a new experience to them.

Hybrid front

There has been rampant speculation among beat writers that the Chicago Bears will use this offseason to go in a different direction than the standard 4-3 defense they have run for, well, pretty much forever.  General manager Phil Emery’s repeated comments about wanting players that transcend schemes has led many to believe they will look to run a hybrid 4-3/3-4 front, similar to what the Seattle Seahawks do.

Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker now has the coaches in place to switch the Chicago Bears to a hybrid 3-4/4-3 defensive scheme.

Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker now has the coaches in place to switch the Chicago Bears to a hybrid 3-4/4-3 defensive scheme.

If that is indeed the direction the Chicago Bears are heading, their defensive coaching hires over the last two seasons suddenly make a lot more sense.  Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker held the same post for both 3-4 (in Cleveland) and 4-3 (Jacksonville) defenses before coming to Chicago.

Likewise, Pasqualoni and Herring have both coached defenses playing both styles as well.  Herring’s most recent job was as the linebackers coach in Houston, where they ran a 3-4 defense, and Pasqualoni’s last NFL experience was in Dallas, who ran a 3-4 while he was there.

Hurtt is an exception, as his experience as both a player and coach is solely in the 4-3, but he is only the assistant position coach.  If anything, his hiring suggests the Chicago Bears will likely not completely abandon the 4-3 look.

It is the defensive line and linebackers that change what they do the most between a 4-3 or 3-4 alignment, and the Chicago Bears now have coaches for both positions-as well as a defensive coordinator-familiar with both fronts.

Changes coming

It would appear that the Chicago Bears are moving away from the standard 4-3 cover two defense they have run in the past.  Phil Emery has stated he wants to be more aggressive on defense and hinted at a change in scheme, and the new defensive hires both suggest those changes will be implemented this offseason.

The defensive coaches necessary for a change in scheme are in place.  Now it’s time for the Chicago Bears to get the personnel for them to coach.  Stay tuned.

1052 comments
gatrbuc17 again
gatrbuc17 again moderator

I must say that the best thing about relapsing with the Flu this week and almost developing Bronchitis is that I have not had a Cigarette in FIVE DAYS!!!! Think Im done with em

LambeauOrWrigley
LambeauOrWrigley

It says school was cancelled in Austin today.  Why do I feel that this year's SB is on the path of a disaster?  The great freeze of 2014 meets the great Goodell experiment of 2014

http://i.imgur.com/FoJXXoI.jpg

Koosh12684
Koosh12684

What, how is this ghost ship thing not a fake story!  How do you lose a fucking cruise liner!

LambeauOrWrigley
LambeauOrWrigley

Rick Majerus is the new Bears LB coach?  I remember when he coached Marquette b-ball team.

gatrbuc17 again
gatrbuc17 again moderator

You guys rag on my Bucs alot but could you even IMAGINE being a Browns fan right now?????

Donny33
Donny33

Draft rumores from zee walterfooseball:

"Still early but source beleves if its up to Bill O'Brien expect Blake Bortles/UCF at 1st pick or Zach Mettenberger/LSU at the top of rnd 2." - Tony Pauline 

gatrbuc17 again
gatrbuc17 again moderator

Seriously though Ive been smoking for about 22 yrs and I really think Im done. It is a strange feeling

gatrbuc17 again
gatrbuc17 again moderator

I havent been able to smoke a bowl either and THAT is killing me

Donny33
Donny33

@gatrbuc17 they could be very good in the near future.  they just need a QB.


As could the Bucs.

Donny33
Donny33

1/24: The Packers are interested in Stanford outside linebacker Trent Murphy. Green Bay has some edge rushers in Clay Matthews and Nick Perry, but both players have dealt with injuries. Murphy (6-5, 252) fits the mold as an edge rusher in their defense as he led the nation with 15 sacks last season. If Murphy falls to their second-round pick, that would be ideal for Green Bay. 

Donny33
Donny33

1/24: "The Browns are "willing to trade up" to obtain Johnny Manziel." - Jason La Canfora 

Donny33
Donny33

1/24: "#Packers GM Ted Thompson was watching North Carolina S Tre Boston closely this morning and spoke with Boston after practice. Boston fits GB." - Charlie Campbell 

Donny33
Donny33

1/24: A Packers scout called Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd "not draftable" after watching him at the Senior Bowl. 

Donny33
Donny33

... by drafting Johnny Football.