Thursday, January 17, 2013
Trestman mum on Urlacher's Bears future
By Jon Greenberg
Will Brian Urlacher be back for a 14th season in Chicago? Marc Trestman didn't provide any answers.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Rod Marinelli isn't staying as defensive coordinator under new Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman, could franchise middle linebacker Brian Urlacher be on the way out as well?
On his first full day as the team's head coach, Trestman wouldn't say whether or not he wants Urlacher, who will be a free agent, to remain for a 14th season. But of course, he's familiar with Urlacher's track record.
"I've watched the man play for a lot of years," Trestman said at his introductory press conference Thursday afternoon. "He exemplifies what being a Chicago Bear is all about, and we all know that. When I step out of this room we'll begin to study, and I'll talk to (general manager) Phil (Emery) about where personnel fits on this football team and how it works. I need to be educated on that and I can't wait to get started."
When asked about his gut feeling, the cerebral Trestman again deferred comment.
"I have a feeling that this guy has been a great player for this team, and I recognize certainly what he's meant to this locker room and to the fanbase of the Chicago Bears," he said.
Urlacher played the first 12 games in 2012, after missing most of training camp with a slow recovery to a knee injury suffered in the final game of the previous season. He injured his hamstring in the Bears' loss to Seattle and missed the final four games of the season.
A lot could depend on the new defensive coordinator and the scheme he wants to run. Trestman wouldn't say whether defensive backs coach Jon Hoke is a candidate for the job. Given the team's makeup and recent string of success, it seems unlikely the Bears would radically change their defense to say, a 3-4 scheme. But changes could still be forthcoming.
"I'm open to whatever it takes to stop football teams, but I also know what this football team has done over a number of years," Trestman said. "They have excellent football players, and they've been well-coached. I don't know the personnel on this football team right now, so to ask me now is premature."
The Bears were second in offensive points allowed in 2012, at 15.3 per game, fifth in yards per game at 315.6 yards, and first in takeaways with 44.