Bears sign DT Jeremiah Ratliff to 2-year dealContinue reading.
Jared Allen excited to join Bears defense, work next to Jeremiah Ratliff
Plenty of things excite defensive end Jared Allen about being part of the Bears’ defense. He likes defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, who pitched him on the Bears from Disneyland. Then there’s cornerbacks Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings, linebacker Lance Briggs and fellow newbies Lamarr Houston and Willie Young.
But defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff might be the most significant to him.
“I’ve gotten to know [Ratliff] over the years at the Pro Bowl,” Allen said during his introductory press conference at Halas Hall on Monday. “What he can do from the nose tackle spot or the three-technique spot, not only in the run game but in the pass rush game, that’s huge. To have a guy that can consistently get three or four yards deep, a quarterback’s got one way to go, me or him.”
Ratliff, a four-time Pro Bowler with the Dallas Cowyboys, was re-signed after impressing the Bears brass in four starts late last season. Ratliff got a two-year, $4 million deal and is slotted to start at three-technique tackle.
“I know Jay Ratliff,” Allen said. “If he’s healthy, he’s a beast. He’s an absolute beast.”
For Allen, it’s all about developing a chemistry with Ratliff. He had that with defensive tackle Kevin Williams in Minnesota. They knew each other’s moves and counter-moves.
“With Kevin, it’s just so easy,” Allen said. “I had so many reps with him. He knows where I’m going to be at on my third step and I know where he’s going to be.
“I could literally look at Kevin if we had a set that we saw, [and] we just knew, ‘OK, you’re going to go up and I’m going to come under.’ Or vice-versa. It just comes down to reps and communication and talking about it and again it comes down to the philosophy in the D-line room or what coach is going to allow us to flow in and out of.”
Allen, who will start at right end, is confident that the Bears’ defense with its “mix of youth and experience” will come together.
“We’re going to be a vaunted Bears defense again,” Allen said. “It’s going to start with us up front.”