Bears fire two assistant coaches, retain Mel Tucker
Former Bears head coach Lovie Smith lost his job after his team posted a 10-6 record for 2012. An 8-8 record and arguably the worst defensive season in franchise history one year later will cost two assistant coaches their jobs.
Defensive line coach Mike Phair and linebackers coach Tim Tibesar will not return for the 2014 campaign. Phair spent three seasons in Chicago while Tibesar's tenure lasted only a single year.
Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, despite the backlash from fans and #FireMelTucker hashtags, remained unscathed.
"We thank Mike and Tim for their effort and dedication," head coach Marc Trestman said. "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.
It's hard to believe the firings weren't attributed to the defense's poor season. The Bears allowed the most points (478), total yards (6,313) rushing yards (2,583) in franchise history. The team also tied the 2008 winless Lions for allowing the most consecutive 100-yard rushers.
Ultimately, someone was going to pay for this season's collapse. However, it was entirely the coaching staff's fault. Injuries plagued the Bears all season, many sidelining key players on the defense for extended periods of time.
Lance Briggs, Nate Collins, Charles Tillman, D.J. Williams, Henry Melton and Kelvin Hayden all missed significant time due to injuries.
It also appears the rumor of hiring former Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips is shot down; the Bears will move forward with Tucker. However, a switch to a 3-4 defense is still on the table.
"We believe Mel is the right person to lead our defensive unit," Trestman said. "He fully understands where we need to improve, has the skill set and leadership to oversee the changes that need to be made and to execute our plan to get the results we know are necessary."