After Brian Urlachers retirement, linebackers making defense serious business
They have been so valuable that the team is now counting almost entirely on the linebackers for defense and with the injured players piling up, they have responsibility on their shoulders.
Even though during the previous season Urlacher didn’t live up to his reputation and performance wasn’t that of a seasoned veteran, he was the main force of the defense and had been for the 13 years of his entire career he devoted to the Bears.
With him dominating his position, his teammates were able to play their positions too and problems such as those against the Detroit Lions did not happen. Even so, the defense has rebounded well from that match and the linebackers are back in action.
The Bears is for now under work and in a little trouble. With Stephen Paea suffering a sprained toe, Henry Melton and Nate Collins suffering from torn ACL, the defense looks like it has been improvised. Even if the Bears main players do come back, they may win but might not be able to put up their signature performances where they are always in control. When linebacker Lance Briggs was asked if the linebackers have what it takes to lead, he said that they do.
"We have to be. Nothing has changed as far as that. LBs have to be strongest position for this defense," he said.
Wide receiver Roy Williams has certainly evolved. His performance from the first to week 5 has drastically improved. His range has increased and he is around the ball more often now. The Bears are impressed with his performance and are looking for him to start taking snaps.
"Numbers don't always express how I graded out," he said. "I am starting to feel more comfortable. We're beginning to jell together."
The bottom line for Briggs, after consecutive losses, is the performances have not been good enough.
But the ball come downs to the fact that the team hasn’t been putting up a good performance as is expected from them. With back to back losses, Bears gameplay is definitely under question.
"We're getting better. We have two linebackers (who) just finished their fifth game in this system. So, chemistry-wise we are getting better," he said.