Football Night in Chicago

Is a DE or DT more important to Bears' defense?


The Bears are coming up on a vital step in the organization's path to success, as the team approaches an offseason promised north of $100 million in cap space and eight draft picks, including the potential No. 1 or 2 pick in the draft. 

Many believe the Bears – if they hold onto their pick – will chase either Will Anderson Jr. (Edge, Alabama) or Jalen Carter (DT, Georgia) in the draft. 

But, which one? 

On the Football Night in Chicago Show on NBC Sports Chicago, ex-Bears head coach Dave Wannstedt posed the very question to Super Bowl-winning head coach, Tony Dungy, who both proclaim they've coached defenses similar to that of Matt Eberflus'.

"I thought the tackles were the guys," Dungy said. "We had John Randle and you had Russell Maryland and some really great players inside."

Eberflus has noted in the past the importance of the three-technique defensive tackle as a key cog in his defense. Should the Bears go with Carter?

Carter is a 300-pound behemoth who can plug up the middle gaps with ease. He's posted 67 tackles in the past two seasons for Georgia, along with six sacks in the same time frame. 

On the contrary, Dungy believes the NFL has changed since the days an inside, run-stopper was the lynchpin to a defense. 

"The way the game is going now I think you just have to get a dominant pass rusher no matter where he is," Dungy said."The ideal is Aaron Donald. You get that big, fast, physical guy in there that nobody can block inside. That makes a world difference."

Many prognosticate Anderson to be a game changer on the end as the top pass rusher and athlete in the draft. 

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The Bears have the worst rushing defense and pass rush in the league. They've allowed 158.3 rushing yards per game (31st) and recorded the least amount of sacks this season (20).

Ryan Poles and the front office will have a tough decision ahead of them. Both a dominant pass rusher, as well as a run-stopper, will be imperative additions to the defense. 

"The best pass rusher the Bears can get, I think that's who they should take," Dungy said. 

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