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Tim Jennings: Scuffle a good sign for Bears' defense

It's only June and it's only OTAs, but when you mix grown athletes and a football field, tempers are bound to occasionally flare.


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Case in point: Chicago Bears defensive end Lamarr Houston and tight end Martellus Bennett had to be separated during team drills Tuesday, with Bennett slamming his helmet and yelling at the free-agent signee.

Bennett didn't talk to reporters but had some fiery words on Twitter: "I go hard every (expletive) day. No doubt about that. Not a single ounce of (expletive) in me."

He should have added: Even in June!

Houston, meanwhile, brushed off the incident as just "football."

Cornerback Tim Jennings, however, told NFL Network's NFL AM crew that the scuffle was a sign the defense is ready to prove it won't be pushed around like last season.

"(The scuffle) just lets you know the fire that the OTAs is bringing at this defense," Jennings said Wednesday. "Each and everybody wants to be great and as (to) our defensive line, you're not going to push us around. You're not going to push us around. If you're going to bark, we're going to bark back."

Last year, the Bears' limp defense was marred by numerous injuries and was especially soft in the front seven. After adding Houston, Jared Allen and Willie Young, Chicago is ready to make last year's embarrassment this year's fuel.

"It started yesterday with the scuffle we had on the field," Jennings said. "That's a good sign from our starting front that last year was last year. This year we need to set the tempo and be a lot tougher than we were last year.

"We had a struggle last year because we didn't think we were tough enough and we didn't get it done. So this year we're going to start off with the fire, and we're going to be in training camp mode. We're going to run around, we're going to fly and we're going to hit like we used to when the Chicago Bears were playing good defense."

Last season the Bears' offense almost dragged the defense to an NFC North division title. If the defense improves, Marc Trestman's team could complete the deal in 2014.

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