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Mel Tucker Will Return as Defensive Coordinator in 2014

| January 13th, 2014

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From Adam Hoge at CBS:

Head coach Marc Trestman announced that Tucker will return for the 2014 season, but defensive line coach Mike Phair and linebackers coach Tim Tibesar have been let go.

The remainder of the coaching staff will remain in place for next season.

“We thank Mike and Tim for their effort and dedication,” Trestman said in a statement. “They are men of high character and integrity. These are not easy decisions and we do not attribute our lack of success on defense to two individuals. We need to improve in all areas defensively and that will be a focal point for us this offseason. The process starts with me as the head coach. Our search for a defensive line and linebackers coach has begun and we will be looking for the best candidates whose experience can bring the most out of our veteran and young players in both areas.”

I don’t blame the defensive deficiencies of the 2013 season on Mel Tucker. I blame the defensive deficiencies of the 2013 season on the guys playing defense. I am players first, coach second when it comes to the complicated riddle known as the blame game.

Tucker was brought to Chicago in an organizational attempt to achieve status quo. Same system in place. Same calls in the huddle. Same results expected. But major injuries at every level of the defense left Tucker’s defensive unit scrambling for live bodies and saw the unit plummet to depths rarely seen in the city with the sport’s most storied defensive history.

Will there be pressure on Tucker in 2014? Absolutely. But that pressure clock doesn’t start ticking until Emery & Trestman have provided the proper personnel. This decision is about the Chicago Bears leadership, not Tucker. They are taking responsibility for the major problems 2013. Now they have tasked themselves with finding solutions.

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