Monday, May 24, 2010
More personnel changes for Bears' defense
By Kevin Seifert
One of the news bits coming from the Chicago Bears' minicamp was a position swap in the starting secondary. For most of the weekend, Zack Bowman lined up as the left cornerback while Charles Tillman was on the right side.
Many NFL teams routinely flip-flop their corners based on matchups and scheme calls. The Bears have been known to do the same, but generally speaking, they have lined up Tillman on the left side in recent years because most offenses (with right-handed quarterbacks) tend to scheme their first reads in that direction.
We'll discuss the Bears' pass defense in more detail later this week. But according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, Tillman believes the move is permanent. Does that mean the Bears consider Bowman their top cover man? I suppose that remains to be seen. For now, I'll classify it among a series of overt moves the Bears have made to elevate a defense that -- as we discussed earlier this month -- was among the NFL's worst last season in obvious passing situations.
As it stands now, the Bears likely will have turned over more than half of their starting lineup by the time the regular season begins. Here is one look at how their starting lineup might look Sept. 12 against Detroit:
Left end: Julius Peppers*
Defensive tackle: Marcus Harrison/Anthony Adams
Defensive tackle: Tommie Harris
Right end: Mark Anderson*
Outside linebacker: Pisa Tinoisamoa
Middle linebacker: Brian Urlacher
Outside linebacker: Lance Briggs
Left cornerback: Zack Bowman*
Strong safety: Danieal Manning/Major Wright*
Free safety: Chris Harris*/ Wright
Right cornerback: Charles Tillman*
*New starter or different position
Again, we'll touch on this topic again soon. For now, let me know if you think these changes -- along with the promotion of defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli -- will be enough to halt the Bears' defensive slide over the past three years.