Originally posted on Rumors and Rants  |  Last updated 10/14/11



The Chicago Bears have, quite publicly, acknowledged that they need to fix things on defense. In fact, the team’s two defensive leaders claim to be really mad about how they have played. Well, apparently the coaching staff has decided to make a chance.

The Bears have made the move to bench not one, but both of their starting safeties. Veterans Chris Harris and Brandon Meriweather have been shown to the sidelines and the team will start Major Wright at strong safety and rookie Chris Conte at free safety on Sunday night against the Minnesota Vikings.

The Bears have been giving up big plays all season and this past Monday night against the Detroit Lions was no different. Calvin Johnson broke free for a 73-yard touchdown and Jahvid Best run untouched for an 88-yard touchdown in Detroit’s 24-13 win. When you consider that head coach Lovie Smith’s Tampa Two defense is designed to stop big plays, you have to be puzzled by how that has happened.

Harris played against the Lions after missing the previous three games with a pulled hamstring, and the Bears had mentioned how much the missed him while he was gone. But after just one game back he has been relegated to the bench because he has been undisciplined in his assignments.

Meriweather was cut by the New England Patriots after he routinely blew his assignments and tried to freelance far too often. The Bears immediately picked him up and signed him to a $3.25 million contract. Now Chicago has seen exactly why Meriweather was a free agent to begin with.

The Bears have been a defense-first team for the better part of a decade, yet this season they rank 29th in the NFL in total offense, allowing 419.6 yards per game. They are also allowing 24.4 points per game.

I’m not sure if making the equivalent of a line change at safety is going to fix things for the Bears defensively, but I guess it’s a start. Don’t be surprised if more modifications follow this one.

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