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updated: 5/7/2014 7:52 PM

Bears' defensive line overhaul nearly complete

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The one thing the Bears' defensive line won't be next season is the same.

After injuries and ineffectiveness up front contributed greatly to one of the worst defensive seasons in franchise history, it was time for an overhaul.

The off-season additions of Jared Allen, Lamarr Houston, Willie Young and Israel Idonije should more than offset the loss of Julius Peppers and Corey Wootton at defensive end. Another 2013 defensive end, Shea McClellin, has moved to linebacker.

The defensive tackle position didn't get a complete facelift, but former Pro Bowler Henry Melton left via free agency. Jeremiah Ratliff is back, having been re-signed for two years and $4 million. The nine-year veteran may never regain the form that earned him four straight Pro Bowl berths from 2008-11, but he brings leadership and the versatility to play the 3-technique or nose tackle.

Ratliff has more experience at the nose, as does Stephen Paea, the Bears' second-round pick in 2011. Nate Collins, who played well last season before suffering a torn ACL in his left knee after five games, has taken snaps at both tackle spots, giving the Bears a solid three-man rotation inside.

The only missing ingredient is a young, disruptive, penetrating 3-technique.

That player could arrive via the draft.

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