There is not a more apt description of the Chicago Bears top four defensive tackle rotation in their game against Redskins, than dominant. Henry Melton, Matt Toeaina, Nate Collins, and Brian Price dominated in one form or another on Saturday night.
In total the four man DT rotation had a total of 16 disruptions, pressures, tackles or sacks in this game. The Redskins ran 65 total plays in both the running and passing game, that means nearly 25-percent of the time there was a Bears defensive tackle causing a problem for the Redskins.
That type of production represents total disruption up front from the Bears.
Henry Melton and Matt Toeaina got things started early in the game for the Bears. Melton had five penetrations, or pressures that caused a disruption of a player with one tackle. Toeaina four pressures or disruptions with a half sack. Nate Collins and Brian Price chipped in two a piece and likely would have had more had the Redskins not started rolling their QB out of the pocket on passing plays getting away from the run game.
As of right now this group of tackles looks like it might be the strongest five man group of DTs in the history of Lovie Smith's defense.
With the amount of depth on this roster the Bears can afford to let Stephen Paea rest and come back ready to go on a long lengthy timetable.
The four man rotation essentially has four players that could start for the Bears any year. Toeaina hasn't had a very good camp, but his play in the Redskins game showed that he's far from washed up and is still a fundamental part of this defense. He was strong at the point of attack and was getting into gaps to cause disruption.
Henry Melton is starting to show the signs of developing against the run. He got pressure, penetration and was able to stretch the blocker down the gap of running lanes which allowed other players to make plays.
Brian Price's one tackle for a three yard loss came when he essentially tackled the running back with the offensive guard. He bull rushed the guard back into the back for the TFL a show of utter strength and power.
Nate Collins had two solid plays, one in which he stacked up the guard, shed him and made the tackle in his gap on the RB. The stack and shed was text book on the part of Collins showing quick and strong he is with his hands.
This effort comes on the heels of another strong effort against the Denver Broncos, and should give Bears fans more confidence in the defense in Urlacher's absence.