Bears’ Matt Eberflus details plan for defensive line rotation

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The Chicago Bears are transitioning to a 4-3 base defense with the arrival of new head coach Matt Eberflus, where there are changes coming to the defensive line.

In the new scheme, the Bears will have two defensive ends coming off the edge, as well as a defensive tackle and a nose tackle. Aside from edge rusher, there are questions about the interior of the defensive line, which lost starters Akiem Hicks, Bilal Nichols and Eddie Goldman this offseason.

Eberflus explained his plans for a defensive line rotation using eight to nine linemen to keep fresh legs on the field. Impact players — like a Robert Quinn and perhaps Justin Jones — could likely see around 65 percent of snaps while others would see 50 percent or less of snaps.

“The defensive line for us is really about playing in waves,” Eberflus said on The Cris Collinsworth Podcast, via ChicagoBears.com. “We want those guys playing max speed all the time. That might be just 30 plays, that might be 40 plays, that might be 25 plays. Everybody’s going to have a role, and everybody has to understand what their role is. We feel that over the past years that that’s the best way to do it: just play those guys in waves and do a great job rotating those guys.”

The strength of the defensive line is no doubt coming off the edge — with Quinn, Trevis Gipson and Al-Quadin Muhammad, among others. Where things currently stand, newcomer Justin Jones figures to serve as the three-technique while second-year pro Khyiris Tonga currently projects as the starring one-technique.

The Bears have some solid depth along the interior of the defensive line, including Angelo Blackson and Mario Edwards, guys who figure to see plenty of action given Eberflus’ approach on defense.

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