LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Chicago Bears players and their new coaches are promising not to tamper with what worked in the past on defense.
Under coach Marc Trestman and defensive coordinator Mel Tucker only the faces have changed. The defensive scheme looks identical to the approach they used under Lovie Smith.
“I think that’s been the way and the style of defense that we’re going to play and have played here,” Trestman said Wednesday. “Obviously Mel being here and being a new guy from a defensive standpoint he’s going to put his spin on things and his take.”
Tucker sounded an awful lot like Smith did when asked about the chief aim of his scheme.
“It’s all about taking the ball away and getting to the quarterback,” he said.
The face of the franchise since 2000, Brian Urlacher, is gone, and former Bronco D.J. Williams is manning his middle linebacker spot. Ex-Carolina linebacker James Anderson is playing the strong side linebacker.
“It’s different,” defensive end Julius Peppers said. “But we have got to keep moving forward with the guys that are here. We definitely miss him, but we’ve got to adjust to it.”
Urlacher’s leadership has to be replaced on a defense that has several veteran Pro Bowl players.