Marc Trestman and the Bears made quick work of the defensive coordinator position, left vacant when Rod Marinelli decided not to return and leave for Dallas to coach the defensive line under buddy Monte Kiffin. The Bears have hired former Jaguars defensive coordinator, 41 year old Mel Tucker.
Tucker is highly regarded around the league, having interviewed for a few head coaching jobs in the last couple of years including interviewing for the Jacksonville job that ended up going to Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley.
What makes this hire interesting to me is that Tucker has experience running both 4-3 and 3-4 defenses. What does that mean to the Bears? For 2013, I’d expect that they’ll run a similar system to what the Bears ran under Lovie. Tucker’s Jags ran a lot of Cover-2 last season, so he’ll have a version that will go with the Bears’ current personnel.
But here’s where it gets interesting. As the Bears re-stock their aging defense, they could convert to a 3-4 defense. Do you start to re-shape the defense in a new image? You have a building block for a 3-4 in Shea McClellin to play that rush outside linebacker. Watch how the Bears approach free agency and the draft. I don’t expect any drastic changes in 2013, but it could offer some insight into how they see the defense longer term based on the moves they make this offseason.
As for Urlacher, I think he’ll be back if he wants to be back, meaning the Bears will offer him a 1 or 2 year contract at an affordable price. If he wants to finish his career in Chicago as he’s stated, he’ll accept a deal. If he wants a big payday, he could test the free agent market.
What do you think? Do you like the hiring of Tucker? Would you have preferred they promote Hoke? Do you think Urlacher comes back under Tucker?