GREEN BAY, Wis. -- I'm on my way to the Green Bay Packers' evening practice and will have some Day 1 observations for you afterward. But first, I wanted to pass along this report from ESPNChicago.com's Jeff Dickerson, who pounded home what we have discussed in various forms this offseason: The Bears won't change much of what they do defensively under new coordinator Rod Marinelli.
Here is an excerpt of Dickerson's post:
The prospects for any dramatic revamping of the Bears defensive system went out the window when Lovie Smith promoted Rod Marinelli to defensive coordinator on January 10. Smith and Marinelli, long considered one of the top defensive line coaches in the game, have shared the same defensive vision since the two worked together on the Buccaneers staff in the mid-to-late 1990s.
"There are subtleties in everything that you do, [but] not drastic changes schematically, but just some subtle changes," Marinelli said Thursday afternoon.
Since becoming Bears head coach in 2004, Smith has been heavily involved in the day-to-day operations of the defense, officially taking back play calling duties from former defensive coordinator Bob Babich in 2009.
According to Marinelli, he and Smith will work closely together when it comes to calling plays for the upcoming season.
"It will be a lot," Marinelli said of Smith's play calling input. "He's done a great job in this league with this system, and we've been together all those years in Tampa, too. I've got a good feel for exactly what he wants."
I continue to be torn about this development. On the one hand, I'm not sure I would approve of Smith dropping his lifelong core values and entirely changing his defensive scheme. That move would smack of desperation and seem disingenuous. But after watching the defense's steady slide over the past three years, I'm thinking it would benefit from at least an injection of open-mindedness. What say you?