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Bears' D-C Mel Tucker: The star of the defense is the defense

2013-09-28T17:30:00Z 2013-09-30T14:48:04Z Bears' D-C Mel Tucker: The star of the defense is the defenseAl Hamnik al.hamnik@nwi.com, (219) 933-4154 nwitimes.com
September 28, 2013 5:30 pm  • 

LAKE FOREST | Mel Tucker admits the Bears are stingy.

"We want more, more, more," says the first-year defensive coordinator.

The Bears venture into Detroit's Ford Field today with a league-leading 11 takeaways (six fumbles, five interceptions) resulting in an NFL-high 44 points.

The defense has scored three touchdowns but it's no reason to blow kisses in the mirror, says Tucker.

"We're asking for more pressure. We're asking them to be more physical, to play faster," Tucker said. "We're asking for better coverage in the secondary, for better coverage by the linebackers, and for better tackling.

"More, more, more. That's what we want."

The Bears (3-0) need an united effort to beat a Detroit (2-1) team averaging 410.7 yards of total offense and whose quarterback — Matthew Stafford — throws 40 passes a game like it's second nature.

"You throw the ball as many times as he does, you get comfortable in your system and we can't allow that," Bears' linebacker Lance Briggs said.

For the moment, the NFC North race appears to be between Chicago and Detroit.

"It's just three wins (we have) and three wins don't get you in the playoffs," Briggs said. "You have to continue to separate yourself in your division."

The Bears have won nine of the last 10 meetings but Detroit is now a threat running the football with veteran Reggie Bush.

"There aren't many players that are better in space than Reggie. He can run inside and outside as well," Bears coach Marc Trestman said. "He's a difference-making player and certainly a guy we have to pay a lot of attention to."

Offensive shootout or defensive scrum? Could be either.

"Offensively, they're capable of scoring a lot of points," quarterback Jay Cutler said. "Defensively, they're playing well, especially on third down."

Detroit's opponents are converting 26.5 percent of their third-down attempts.

Cutler and Tucker know what the key is for their respective units and a possible 4-0 record.

"It takes all 11. You can have one great player but without the other 10, it's hard to be successful out there," Cutler said.

"We're not leaving it up to one guy," Tucker added. "Everybody's got 'guys' (to stop) and this week is no different, so we all have to be on the same page every play.

"The star of the defense is the defense. That's the way it has to be."

Bears' cornerback Charles Tillman (groin) has vowed he will play today. That's bad news for Lions' game-breaker Calvin Johnson who has failed to score in their last three meetings and is averaging just 62 yards receiving against Chicago.

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