What Will Mel Tucker’s Defense Look Like? and Other Bullets

MelTuckerApologies for the absence; I’ve been sick again since yesterday afternoon. After about 24 hours, I began feeling a bit better, so I’m guessing it was one of those things. This has pushed the offseason review for today (offensive line) back to tomorrow, and I obviously wasn’t able to get a bullets post up this morning. My apologies for that. So here are a few quick afternoon/evening bullets, and then things should be back to normal tomorrow.

  • There had been a lot of speculation centered on Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, but Whisenhunt accepted the Titans coaching position on Monday. Pro Football Talk reported that the Lions had indeed offered Whisenhunt the position, but the Titans beat the offer by $1 million per season.
  • The Lions wasted no time hiring Jim Caldwell, an offensive-minded coach who received a lot of credit for the Ravens Super Bowl run last year after he took over coordinator duties from Cam Cameron late in the season. Of course, the Ravens offense regressed this year, and I can once again call on my Indiana resident Colts viewing experience to say that I’m not exactly scared by the hire. He never struck me as a master strategist. But if he can get the Lions to play with any sort of discipline, he could very well be an upgrade.
  • Brad Biggs had a fascinating look at what we might expect from Mel Tucker in 2014. Included is Biggs saying the defense won’t switch to a 3-4, because the personnel isn’t there to make the transition. I sort of agree with this; other than McClellin, there aren’t a lot of players who seem like natural fits in a 3-4 front, and as Biggs notes Tucker had previously worked within a 4-3 scheme. Brad has some good stuff on just how well Jacksonville’s defense played in prior years under Tucker. He also touches on one of the main reasons (in my opinion) that Mel is getting another shot: he wasn’t truly allowed to run his defense. He basically had Lovie Smith’s defense forced upon him, and while that system had obviously worked well, it wasn’t ideal for the personnel in 2013.
  • I wrote about Corey Wootton on Monday afternoon as part of the offseason review, and then the Bears announced that he had undergone hip surgery last week. Tough for Corey as he enters free agency, but given the versatility he possesses, I still think he’s someone the Bears would like to have back. (That story by Jeff Dickerson includes some glowing quotes from Phil Emery’s end-of-season press conference, also praising Wootton’s ability to play multiple positions.)
  • Remember the weird play to end the Saints game? At the time, I thought it must have been a called play; why in the world would Marques Colston throw a cross-field pass of his own volition? And indeed, as Mike Triplett writes for ESPN.com, it was a called play, although one that Sean Payton apparently regrets calling.
  • ESPN.com has this look at the first-round draft order, for picks 1-28. (The order of the final four picks won’t be decided until after the playoffs are finished, of course.) At first glance, I count five teams that might be interested in a quarterback (Texans, Jags, Browns, Vikings, Titans) although that’s obviously just a guess. I mention that only because every team that takes a quarterback is a team that doesn’t take a player in whom the Bears might be interested at #14.

Jay Rigdon is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation Bears, and can also be found @BearsBN on Twitter.