The Bears won’t be going to a 3-4 defense anytime soon under general manager Phil Emery but one of those schemes with distant ties to the Bears is being credited with defensive successes with several of the division-leading teams in the NFL.
New York Jets coach Rex Ryan, who learned his defensive philosophies from father and legendary Bears coordinator Buddy, has gotten the Jets back on their feet with a 3-4 blitzing approach that has produced results in Kansas City (8-0) and New Orleans (6-1), second and fourth, respectively, in scoring defense. The Jets currently stand sixth in yardage defense.
Ryan’s influence is even being credited with some of the defensive success enjoyed by the Buffalo Bills, whose defensive coordinator (Mike Pettine) held that job with Rex in New York until his contract expired after last season. It probably also helps that Pettine’s defensive line includes 330-pound tackle Marcel Dareus, the third-overall pick of the 2011 draft, end Mario Williams, the first-overall pick in 2006 and signed for a free-agency ransom from Houston, and 335-pound end Alan Branch, formerly with Arizona and Seattle.