The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Sports

November 14, 2013

Traditionally strong defense getting leaky against the run

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Mel Tucker calls it more a matter of trust than physical failure.

Traditionally strong against the run, the Chicago Bears defense has leaked of late, and players are trying to avoid blaming it on numerous injuries.

“It’s honestly not like we’re getting driven off the ball,” defensive tackle Corey Wootton said. “It’s just that we’re not fitting in our (assignment) gaps. When you’re not disciplined, the thing that should be a 1-yard gain or possibly a tackle for loss turns into a 20-yard gain. That’s where we need to clean that up because it’s starting to become a problem.”

The Bears rank 31st out of 32 teams stopping the run at 129.4 yards a game. If that holds by season’s end, it will be the worst mark since linebacker Dick Butkus was limping around trying to play on a bad knee. The Bears were 25th out of 26 teams in 1973.

The Detroit Lions ran for 145 yards last week against the Bears, who allowed 123, 209 and 199 yards rushing the three previous games.

Tucker said players had to trust each other and stay in their gaps of responsibility in the run defense.

“Typically, if you are in position where you are supposed to be, the plays will come to you,” Tucker said. “And so we ask guys not to try to do too much, just do what we’re asking you to do, and be where you’re supposed to be and then when you have an opportunity to make a play, make it.”

It’s not easy for players to establish trust when they’re unfamiliar with each other or the defensive scheme. With linebacker Lance Briggs ruled out already for Sunday’s game because of a broken shoulder, cornerback Charles Tillman done for the rest of the regular season, defensive tackle Henry Melton out with a torn anterior cruciate ligament and middle linebacker D.J. Williams done with a torn pectoral muscle, the Bears keep lining up new players.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • David Johnson Clinton grad, NDSU picked to lead MVC

     David Johnson, the former Clinton High standout now entering his senior season at the University of Northern Iowa, was named to the preseason All-Missouri Valley Football Conference first team that was announced Tuesday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thomas Smith Clinton's Smith to join Leathernecks

    Coming off a junior year in which he missed part of the football season because of injury, Clinton’s Thomas Smith figured he’d have to impress college recruiters with a big senior season for the River Kings.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • L'Kings offensive drought continues

    Shutout for the second time in two nights Saturday in a 2-0 loss to South Bend, the Clinton LumberKings' offense was limited again Sunday, managing just one run in a 4-1 Midwest League baseball loss to the Silver Hawks at Ashford University Field.

    July 28, 2014

  • 7-28-14 1B-Photo, Hall of Fame Thomas, Maddux enter Hall of Fame COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — Frank Thomas choked back tears, Joe Torre apologized for leaving people out of his speech and Tony La Russa said he felt uneasy.Being enshrined in the Hall of Fame can have those effects, even on the greats.Thomas, pitchers T

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Interest in Ernst rises as his game does, too

    Brady Ernst is having a summer to remember.
    The rising River King senior is spending the summer playing for the Iowa Barnstormers traveling basketball team. This weekend they're playing in the Fab48 tournament in Las Vegas.

    July 26, 2014

  • Jones leaves UNO program

    Jalen Jones is done with basketball — for now, anyway.
    The 6-foot-5 Clinton High grad who had committed to play for Nebraska-Omaha, has left the program, and according to his Facebook page, has enrolled at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids.
    The enrollment office at the community college confirmed that Jones was registered for classes this fall at Kirkwood. Kirkwood coach Bryan Petersen, a Clinton High graduate, declined to comment and gave no indication that Jones would play basketball for the Eagles this winter.
    "College basketball isn't for everybody," Clinton coach Nick Lawrence said. "A little time away might do him some good."
    Jones came home to Clinton after spending just a few days with the Mavericks, and enrolled to Kirkwood shortly thereafter.
    Jones, the Herald's Player of the Year, averaged 19 points a game for the River Kings in his senior season and finished with the second-most rebounds with 160.
    He shot 41 percent on the floor and 28 percent from 3-point territory. He committed to Omaha before last season started in October.

    July 26, 2014

  • Hawkeyes to offer student tickets to public

    Iowa athletic director Gary Barta says the Hawkeyes will make any unsold student football tickets available to the general public as well on Aug. 1.

    July 25, 2014

  • PHOTOS: Clinton Junior Baseball 2014 Tournament Winners

    Clinton Junior Baseball 2014 Tournament Winners - Majors, Minors, Pee Wee

    July 25, 2014

  • Testimony ends in trial LOS ANGELES (AP) — Testimony ended Wednesday in the trial to determine whether Donald Sterling’s estranged wife can sell the Los Angeles Clippers in a proposed $2 billion deal with former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.Shelly Sterling, who had testified

    July 25, 2014

  • Whitecaps take away Clinton offense CLINTON — The Clinton LumberKings (13-19, 43-57) mustered only five hits as the visiting West Michigan Whitecaps (20-12, 61-41) shut down the hometown club at Ashford University Field.Whitecaps’ starter Jonathon Crawford (6-2) allowed only four men t

    July 25, 2014

High School Sports