Bears LB Roquan Smith Calls Out Entire Defense

Roquan Smith Bears defense

Getty Roquan Smith has called on the Bears defense to do some serious self-examination.

The bread and butter for the Chicago Bears over the years has always been defense, but that no longer appears to be the case.

The Bears are fresh from a 33-22 Week 8 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, and it was a game that saw rookie quarterback Justin Fields give the best performance of his young career, totaling over 300 yards of total offense. Fields threw for a score and ran another in on one of the week’s best highlights:

While Fields was showing definite flashes, his defense left tons to be desired. The 49ers totaled eight plays over 20 yards, and shredded the Bears’ ‘D’ for 176 rushing yards, the second-highest total it has given up so far this year.

The Bears are currently ranked 23rd in the league in run defense, allowing 125.0 yards per game to opposing offenses. They have allowed 100+ yard rushing games in each of the last three games, and after their third straight loss against the 49ers, starting linebacker Roquan Smith called out his fellow defenders while also issuing them a challenge.

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Smith Wants Bears Defense to ‘Look in the Mirror’

When he was asked after the Bears’ loss to the Niners what went wrong on defense, Smith didn’t have any answers — but he did call on the defense to step up its game.

“Not quite sure honestly,” he said on October 31. “The guys, they ran the ball in the second half, they got some yards, got some plays got some plays, got out on the edges, some things like that,” he added, before calling everyone out, including himself:

“It’s just about every man has to look themselves in the mirror, including myself. And we all just have to get better. It all just comes down to each and every individual doing their job on every given play.”

Smith calling himself out also shows a good degree of self-reflection. The 24-year-old linebacker is third among all LBs in solo tackles this season with 58, per PFF, but like nearly everyone on the Bears’ defense, he has missed his fair share of plays. Smith currently has a 52.9 overall rating from PFF, down from 67.2 last year, and while he has been a bright spot, even he can up his game.

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Smith Disappointed Defense Couldn’t Help Fields, Offense

“It’s very disappointing knowing the way the ‘O’ played today and knowing the way we did not play today,” Smith added. “It just sucks and it’s not the standard. There’s not much else to be said about it besides it sucked and we’ve got to do better. We’ve got to.”

A leader on defense, Smith isn’t getting discouraged, however.

“It’s just about not tucking your head. There’s always light at the end of the tunnel so you just have to stick true to who we are and the people that’s in the locker room because that’s all who matter. We don’t really care about anyone else nor their opinions. That’s what it all boils down to.”

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