Briggs: Defense stays positive amid change

Lance Briggs says it was tough to accept change to a defense that he believes wasn't broken. Scott Boehm/Getty Images

Linebacker Lance Briggs said Thursday that change in the defensive coaching staff was tough to accept given the Chicago Bears' success in recent seasons, but he maintains the veterans will "stay positive" during the transition.

"Initially doubt goes through everybody's mind because as a defense we don't think there's anything wrong," Briggs said on "SVP & Russillo" on ESPN Radio. "There's nothing wrong with the defense so to make changes to something that there's nothing wrong with, the first thing that goes through your mind is you can only hurt it.

"But we're vets, and we understand this is a change and you have to stay positive about it and work through it. We brought in Mel Tucker (as defensive coordinator) ... I haven't spoken to any of these coaches yet but staying positive that things are going to work out."

The Bears fired Lovie Smith on Dec. 31 after a 10-6 season that ended without a trip to the playoffs for the fifth time in the past six seasons. Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli decided not to return and was hired by the Dallas Cowboys as defensive line coach.

New Bears coach Marc Trestman hired Tucker, who ran a similar scheme with the Jacksonville Jaguars, to lead the defense.

Briggs played nine seasons under Smith, who did not get one of the eight head-coaching openings this offseason, and believes his former coach will get another chance to lead an NFL team.

"Lovie is a smart hire for any team, what he builds and what he brings to the table," Briggs said. "He'll bring a winner to whatever team hires him."