Mel Tucker says facing Seahawks good preparation for season
BY ADAM L. JAHNS Staff Reporter August 25, 2014 8:53PM
Updated: August 25, 2014 9:37PM
Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker tried to paint a positive picture Monday of the thrashing his starters endured Friday against the Seattle Seahawks.
One of the positives in his eyes?
‘‘No double-digit runs,’’ Tucker said. ‘‘I think that’s the first time in the preseason we haven’t had a run over 10 yards. That’s the first time in quite some time.’’
The best-case scenario for Tucker is that the Seahawks’ 34-6 rout of the Bears — most of which came against the starters in the first half — will provide his players with a blueprint for better results against other mobile quarterbacks. Because if the Buffalo Bills’ EJ Manuel and the San Francisco 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick do the same things in Weeks 1 and 2 that the Seahawks’ Russell Wilson did, then Tucker will have a real mess on his hands.
‘‘It’s attention to detail,’’ Tucker said. ‘‘A lot of times, pocket contain is a decision you have to make on the move in the game. It’s been great to get that type of exposure in the preseason.
‘‘Our preseason opponents have been outstanding — the different types of offenses we’ve seen, the different types of schemes . . . and mobile quarterbacks. We’re going to see several mobile quarterbacks early in the season.’’
The defensive line is starting to look like the strength of the defense. According to Pro Football Focus, the Bears’ starting four — ends Lamarr Houston and Willie Young and tackles Jeremiah Ratliff and Stephen Paea — generated 10 hurries in their half of play against the Seahawks. That’s even more impressive, considering projected starter Jared Allen was out. Houston had five hurries, and Young also had a sack.
But even though the Bears nipped at his heels, Wilson remained upright. He ran for 23 yards and a touchdown on four carries and completed 15 of 20 passes for 202 yards and two more touchdowns.
Tucker said the pass rush and coverage have to work together against mobile quarterbacks, and that didn’t happen against the Seahawks. He said the defensive backs have to ‘‘plaster’’ their receivers, where ‘‘you just have to cover longer.’’
‘‘Some quarterbacks are more difficult to contain than others, but at the end of the
day our job is the same,’’ Tucker said.
The speed of the Bears’
defense has come into question, but Tucker remains confident in his veteran-laden bunch. Most of his starters are expected to sit in the preseason finale Thursday against the Cleveland Browns.
‘‘Obviously, we were dis-
appointed in some of the outcomes at the end of the day,’’ Tucker said, ‘‘but they are all correctable — all correctable.’’