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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Brian Urlacher: Bears Defense has Trust Issues

The Chicago Bears won the NFC North last year with an 11-5 record and advanced to the NFC Championship Game. Their defense was the strength of the team, allowing the fourth fewest points in the league. Chicago is 2-3 this season and 21st in points allowed. Linebacker and team leader Brian Urlacher explained the defense’s struggles Thursday, and said they had some trust issues.

“It’s a trust thing,” Urlacher said. “You have to trust (teammates) are going to be in their gap and don’t get head-sy and don’t start getting on a block and looking out of your gap. Stay in your gap and trust that the (other) guy is going to be there. If we do that, we eliminate a lot of big plays.”

The Bears allowed several big plays in their Monday night loss to the Lions. They surrendered a 73-yard touchdown to Calvin Johnson, and 163 yards on only 12 carries to Jahvid Best.

Urlacher denied that he and fellow linebacker Lance Briggs are fighting, and said their anger is related to on-field problems.

“We were both mad because we aren’t used to this. As long as (Briggs) and I have been here, we haven’t played like this,” Urlacher said. “We’ve had some spurts when we’ve been bad, but not for five games in a row when you get hit on big plays like that. So it’s frustrating, but it’s fixable.”

The Bears looked great in week one, blasting the Falcons 30-12. They’ve won both their home games and they’ve lost all three of their road games. It’s important to recognize that they lost to the Packers, Lions, and Saints, who rank 1-3 in the NFC in points scored. Maybe the Bears defense isn’t bad, but just not good enough to keep up with the best offenses in football. Then again, last time we heard a player mention “trust issues,” things did not end well.

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