The Bears finished near the bottom of the league in both yards and points allowed, but they won’t be changing defensive coordinators.
The team announced Sunday that Mel Tucker will return for a second year running the defense under head coach Marc Trestman. Tucker’s job was made much more difficult in 2013 by the absences of several key players because of injury. Linebacker Lance Briggs, defensive tackle Henry Melton and cornerback Charles Tillman highlight that list and the Bears will have to decide what kind of offers to make to the latter two as they head toward free agency in March.
Those changes will include a couple of new position coaches. While formally announcing the return of Tucker and the rest of the team’s coaching staff, the Bears said they have parted ways with defensive line coach Mike Phair and linebackers coach Tim Tibesar. Phair was a holdover from Lovie Smith’s staff while Tibesar, who worked with Trestman in Montreal, was in his first year with the Bears.
Whoever replaces them will be charged with improving on a run defense that gave up 161.4 yards per game in 2013, a number that is way too high regardless of who is missing from the lineup.