It’s likely that new Chicago Bears’ defensive coordinator Mel Tucker will stick to the 4-3 Cover-2 as the team’s base defense. However, there’s a possibility that he’ll throw his own wrinkles into the scheme now that he’s working with better personnel.
It will definitely be interesting to see how Tucker uses Julius Peppers and second-year player Shea McClellin.
Tucker has experience running 3-4 defenses, and while I don’t think you will see classic 3-4 alignments in 2013, it's possible he’ll use Peppers and McClellin as defensive end/linebacker hybrids; specifically with McClellin, who has experience lining up in a two-point stance at Boise State.
McClellin’s athleticism and quickness off the edge from a two- or three-point stance could make him a legit weapon as a hybrid pass rusher.
Henry Melton and Israel Idonije (free agents likely to be brought back) are both versatile defensive linemen who can lineup and rush the quarterback from both the defensive tackle and defensive end positions. The talent in the Bears’ secondary should also give Tucker the confidence to be more aggressive with his front seven.
Unlike when he was with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tucker now has better talent at his disposal to experiment with. It’s possible that there were things he wanted to do in Jacksonville that the personnel made it impossible for him to accomplish.
I assume Tucker adjusted to the talent that was given to him and ran a more simplified system that wouldn’t go too far over the head of his players. Now that he has better veterans to work with, Tucker should have more confidence disguising coverages and coming up with more creative blitzes with his front seven.
Don’t be surprise if he gets more aggressive with the Bears’ defense.