Seventh-ranked Bears defense done with 'new' label


Seventh-ranked Bears defense done with 'new' label

During an interview with before the start of the season, John Fox was a realist about how he anticipated his first season as Bears coach playing out:

“Our first four games, and a little preseason, there’ll be a learning curve,” Fox said. “Whenever you have a new staff, it’s just not as well-oiled early. Going back to both places I’ve been (Carolina, Denver), it didn’t start great. By the time you finish that first year, then it consistently gets better because you have some core players that know your system.

“It doesn’t happen overnight, even from just the learning curve. Forget about the ability level; it’s knowing and understanding the system.”

Indeed, the “new” excuse was there for the taking when Vic Fangio was hired as Fox’s defensive coordinator: “The Bears are changing over to a 3-4 scheme” ... “don’t have all the players that fit it” ... “even the ones that might fit have to learn new teammates and Fangio’s system.”

[MORE BEARS: Expect Bears to start Matt Slauson at center vs. Chiefs]

But after throttling the Raiders and allowing just 243 yards, the Bears rank No. 7 in yards allowed. They have allowed just two rushing touchdowns through four games and just two offensive touchdowns of any kind to Oakland and one to Seattle.

The Bears aren’t interested in the “new” label anymore.

“I don't think it's a ‘new’ defense,” linebacker Sam Acho said. “I think it was new in April, maybe in May, maybe even in June. But come August and September, it's not new anymore.

“This is our defense, we're taking ownership of it, and there's definitely areas we can grow and we can grow as unit, but it's not new anymore, it's starting to become our own defense.”

[MORE BEARS: Explaining Jay Cutler's Week 4 grade vs. Raiders]

Some of the early going, as Fox predicted, was rocky, for reasons beyond just orientation into the Fox-Fangio system. The Green Bay Packers are the No. 8 offense in yardage, the Arizona Cardinals No. 3. Before Sunday, the Oakland Raiders were No. 5. Arizona ranks No. 2 in scoring, the Packers No. 6, the Seattle Seahawks No. 11 before Monday night’s game against the Detroit Lions.

But besides individual player performances, the confidence level in the Fox coaching staff is palpable. And with confidence comes success, and vice versa.

“Vic is just a great teacher, he understands the game,” Acho said. “It's almost like he wrote the book on defense and how it's played.

“Obviously everyone has their different mentalities, different styles of defense, but he just understands it and understands the game in a way that we can go out and play fast and play physical and he knows what it takes to win and play good defense and that's what we do.”

WATCH: Mitchell Trubisky runs like Michael Vick for 8-yard touchdown

WATCH: Mitchell Trubisky runs like Michael Vick for 8-yard touchdown

The New England Patriots defense wasn’t giving Mitchell Trubisky many options through the air, so he decided to take matters into his own hands at Soldier Field.

The young quarterback’s legs were the Bears’ most-effective weapon in the first quarter, as Trubisky led the team with 35 rushing yards on four carries in the opening period of play.

He capped it off with an eight-yard touchdown scramble that had him looking like Michael Vick on the field.

The Bears will need to have a more well-rounded offensive attack to keep up with teams like the Patriots, but Trubisky found what was working in the first quarter.

Perhaps most importantly, he’s been smart and safe with his running, opting to slide and go to the ground on his big plays to avoid any big hits.

His legs continue to make this offense more dynamic, to keep up with top-notch opponents like New England.

Watch Matt Forte attack Lance Briggs with a cardboard box, because why not


Watch Matt Forte attack Lance Briggs with a cardboard box, because why not

It's gameday. 

The Patriots are in town. 

Khalil Mack is probably playing with a significant injury. 

Stressed out? Don't blame you. So enjoy this video of Matt Forte pranking Lance Briggs:

The best pranks are the most simple ones.