Mel Tucker opts for field over upstairs

November, 8, 2013
11/08/13
12:46
PM ET
Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Mel Tucker refrained from his usual perch in a room up in the press box at Lambeau Field on Monday night, and opted instead to work from the field during the club’s upset win over the Green Bay Packers.

Tucker plans work from the sidelines again Sunday at Soldier Field when the Bears host the Detroit Lions, and superstition has nothing to do with it.

“I’m not sure how much it helped,” Tucker said of his decision to work from the field. “You would have to ask the guys. I decided to go down because I thought I could help with communication, get the call in quicker. It was actually a different group of guys out there than when we first started. So I just wanted to be down there to help some of the younger guys and facilitate some of the things on the sideline, and just speed up communication and some of the adjustments. That’s why I decided to go down.”

With nothing changing on Chicago’s banged-up defense, which is teeming with youth at linebacker with rookies Jonathan Bostic and Khaseem Greene, Tucker can better serve the team by continuing to work from the sidelines. Veteran James Anderson is making the defensive calls, but Bostic also plays a role in lining up the defense.

It’s important, however, to remember that Anderson hasn’t made the calls in the past for the Bears. With a better understanding of what’s going on throughout the course of the game by being on the sidelines, as opposed to working from the box, Tucker can help the defense make quicker adjustments.

“Direct communication, and that type of thing” is one of the advantages of working from the field," Tucker said.

“You get the call in a little quicker,” Tucker said. “It [comes] directly from me. There’s advantages to both, being up and being down, and I’ve done both before in the past. With this particular group of guys at this particular time, I thought it would be better for me to be with them on the sideline. It was just as simple as that.”

Michael C. Wright

ESPN Chicago Bears reporter

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