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Of all the blows taken by Bears defensive players in the loss to Buffalo, none may have been as harsh as the ones delivered Sunday or that will be dealt out this week by coordinator Greg Blache.
Blache ripped into his players as well as himself after the 33-27 loss, making it clear there will be changes.
"We're a poorly coached, undisciplined defense right now," Blache said. "The onus is right here. We'll go through the film, we'll regroup the troops, see if we've got the wrong people on the field and what's the problem. But right now we're not getting the job done. There's no way of candy-coating it.
"That starts with coaching the details of getting things done. It's doing the corners, finishing things off. It's not just almost doing it. That's where the passion comes in, the passion to be the best and do it right. We've got guys that just kind of run around and just kind of float at times and it's really upsetting me. We've been patient and it's going to cease. Trust me, it's going to cease."
Blache is consistently both the staunchest defender and harshest critic of his players. He is protective at times, but Sunday was not one of those times.
"I'll put new people on the field," Blache declared. "Sometimes you've just got to get people's attention. Sometimes it's just getting somebody else out there on the field. Right now guys are saying, 'OK, I'm the guy. I'm going to be out there.' If it's not important enough for them to win, if it's good enough for them just to line up out there, then I don't want them. We'll find some other people, to be quite honest."
Blache refused to accept injuries as a reason for the defense's problems. After linebacker Warrick Holdman was injured Sunday, the defense was without four starters and was in the hands of numerous young players as a result. Blache started by blaming himself.
"I'm not playing this hand as well as I can," he said. "It is not the same hand we had before; the secret is playing the hand well. We have a hand that's good enough. I have to play it better and make certain the details are done better. The details start with me, at the top. We're not doing things with any discipline, and an undisciplined team is a reflection of leadership."
Blache's players, however, were not blaming leadership. Cornerback Todd McMillon, filling in for the injured R.W. McQuarters, said being in the spotlight comes with being in the NFL and he and others simply need to play better.
Rookie defensive end Alex Brown, who made several excellent plays in his most extended playing time, also was victimized on a run by Travis Henry when Brown was executing a pass-rush stunt to the inside and Henry ran right past him.
Brown also had a chance to sack quarterback Drew Bledsoe, or at least strip the ball, on the game's final play. Brown nearly had Bledsoe early in the play, hesitated, then was almost on him as Bledsoe threw the TD pass to Henry in overtime.
Bledsoe pumped the ball once, Brown thought he threw it and, said Brown: "I didn't want to hit him after he'd thrown it, but then he started scrambling and I thought, 'He's still got it; I have to get him.'" I've got to be more aware and improve on everything. I could have made that play and the outcome of the game could have been different.
"I learned that thinking you've got him and actually having him are totally different. I thought I had him and he threw a touchdown pass, so I didn't have him. I've got to strip that ball from behind and come up with that play. I've got to make that play, and I didn't."