Bob Babich inherited a vaunted defense when he took over as Bears defensive coordinator in 2007, replacing the wildly popular -- at least to everyone but Lovie Smith -- Ron Rivera. Rivera had the Bears playing elite defense in 2005 and 2006, which they rode to two division titles and a Super Bowl appearance. He was shown the door, and since then the defense has been mediocre at best (most of this season), and among the worst in football at times (most of last season and yesterday in Green Bay).
While it's hardly comforting, after the debacle in Lambeau Field yesterday, Babich has finally shown some emotion and accountability.
"There are a lot of things that went wrong, OK?" Babich said. "It starts with me, all right? We just didn't stop the run. We didn't do anything well as a defensive unit.
"We have to play better. We will play better. Our players have a lot of character, a lot of pride, and we have to get it taken care of."
I tend to agree. Everything was awful yesterday. In true Jim Mora form, I'd like say the offense sucked, the defense sucked, the coaching sucked. The whole team sucked!
From a defensive line that is loaded, Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, Charles Tillman, Mike Brown, and Nathan Vasher; the Bears have tons of talent on the defensive side of the football ... on paper. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean anything, because football games aren't played on paper. Whether the scheme is flawed, the players are washed up, or the players aren't playing hard enough; something is wrong. It needs to get fixed.
"We blitzed a little bit more," Babich said. "We played a little more eight-man front, but ... we obviously didn't fill up our gaps well. And consequently we gave up a lot of yards rushing."
Yeah, that didn't work, Bob. Try something new, please.
I don't know the answer, but it's not my job to coach football. For my money, the onus is on Lovie to fix this thing. He's supposedly the defensive guru, and he's the one who ran Rivera out of town.
The Bears are in a three-way tie for first place in the NFC North. The time is now for the ship to be righted, because the hapless Rams are on the docket for Week 12 and it's time to get things back on track in Halas Hall.
The season can be salvaged, and it all starts with the defense.