Dec 22, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen (69) stands between plays in the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati Bengals beat the Minnesota Vikings by the score of 42-14. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowksi-USA TODAY Sports

Latest Chicago Bears Scrum Is A Good Sign

Anybody who watched the Chicago Bears last season saw a team that got pushed around much too often.  Early signs paint a different picture for 2014.

Lamarr Houston and Jared Allen setting a different tone

It takes talent to win in the NFL.  That is the simplest fact of all.  However, to beat the best teams it takes talent and toughness.  Not just a toughness to endure pain, but a toughness in the face of an overwhelming situation.  For the Bears, particularly the defense, they were manhandled a lot in 2013.  Mediocre teams played good against them, good teams played great against them and great teams made them look like they belonged on a high school field.  More than the injuries and age, the Bears lacked tone-setters.  It didn’t take long into the OTA practices for the coming season to see that had changed.  It occurred when defensive ends Jared Allen and Lamarr Houston, two of the Chicago Bears biggest free agent pickups in March, got into a scuffle with right tackle Jordan Mills and tight end Martellus Bennett.  Tiffs between players in practice is nothing new, but the fact it happened so early clearly was less about personal beefs and more about the defense sending the offense a message.  After all the Bears offense was captain of the ship last year, ranking top ten in nearly every category.  Allen and Houston told them that nothing was coming easy against this new defense, not from them or the rest of the NFL.

Martellus Bennett and Jordan Mills response just as important

On top of that, while it might not seem like it, the response given out by Martellus Bennett and Jordan Mills during the scuffle is equally important.  For all their success last season, too many times the Chicago Bears offense got pushed around by more physical teams.  Some prime examples include New Orleans, Detroit, St. Louis and Philadelphia.  In those instances the Bears seemed passive and a bit soft of mind and body.  It led to the kind of sacks, hits, penalties and turnovers they normally avoided.  Could practicing against a depleted defense last season have had a hand in that?  Possibly.  What is certain now is that there will be no cruise control for Jay Cutler and company this year.  Allen, Houston and the rest of the defense are on a mission to restore their reputation.  If that means humiliating their own offense, they don’t a problem with it.  The fact that Bennett and Mills have a problem with it is a good thing, and should serve the team well when they run into the top dogs of the NFC during the season.

Tags: Chicago Bears Jared Allen Jordan Mills LaMarr Houston Martellus Bennett

  • Cutler2Marshall312

    Couldn’t have said it better myself..very good point of view

    • Erik Lambert

      Appreciate that.

  • bearisity

    Mills i would say was the weakest of the line last year. Don’t get me wrong he did good but he was over achieving. I hope he does that and better this year. Didn’t those two (Mills and Bennett) get a couple bad timed penalties that cost a couple bears drives to stall? I hope this helps them keep better composure in actual games or even learn how to get the better of D-lines

    • Erik Lambert

      Bennett’s primary issue was holding. Mills had the occasional problem with false starts due to his being a rookie and a tackle. Facing off with a couple of tenacious, smart veterans like Allen and Houston is precisely what they both need to get their physical and mental toughness up.

      • bearisity

        I really hope so. I am getting tired of packer fans shooting their mouths off. We “need” the whole team collectively to smack them in the mouth. Cutler too. I think the only way for people to back off of him or use him as their arguement for the bears weakness is if they go win a superowl.

        • Erik Lambert

          To quote Mike Holmgren, any time a team gets a streak going against another team, it’s usually because they’re better. The Bears will start beating the Packers again when their talent level is high enough. Is it right now? Offensively yes. Defensively there’s no way to tell until the season starts.