Chicago Bears: Turk McBride

LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman offered no definitive statement on the future of embattled defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, but Trestman praised the way Tucker handled the injury-riddled defense on multiple occasions during Thursday’s 90-minute joint news conference with team general manager Phil Emery.

However, Trestman said a direct conversation between himself and Tucker still needs to take place before he can comment on the status of his coaching staff.

“I don’t want anybody to read into anything what we are doing,” Trestman said. “Everything is on the table. We’re going through a very thoughtful and methodical process here. Other than that, we’ve talked enough at these press conferences that I’m hopeful you won’t [draw conclusions on the staff]. We’re going to look at everything because we have an obligation to do that and what I can do to get this football team better.

"Everything is on the table. Again, we’re just three days into this. All we’ve done is looked at some tape. This is a process that’s going to involve not just myself, but all of our coaches. It’ll be a process where we’ve left everything on the table.”

The Bears finished 2013 ranked No. 30 in total defense and dead last in rushing defense and yards allowed per play. The defense was also tied for 30th in points allowed and ranked 26th in sacks per pass play.

But the group did suffer key injuries to cornerback Charles Tillman, linebacker Lance Briggs, defensive tackles Henry Melton and Nate Collins, middle linebacker D.J. Williams, nickel back Kelvin Hayden and defensive lineman Turk McBride. Veteran defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis also opted to retire on the eve of training camp, further depleting the Bears’ depth on the defensive line.

When relatively healthy, the Bears' defense put up respectable numbers over the first three games of the regular season, but their performance sharply regressed as the year wore on.

“I think it’s a real shame that Mel got the raw end of the deal,” Bears cornerback Tim Jennings said.

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler said on ESPN 1000’s “The Jay Cutler Show” on Monday that he believes Tucker will be the team’s defensive coordinator until “he lands a head coaching job” either in the NFL or college ranks.

Trestman said he and Emery work together when shaping the coaching staff, but Emery clarified that Trestman has final say on the matter.

Phillips: Bears still opposed to FieldTurf

November, 21, 2013
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LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Sunday's severe weather that delayed the Chicago Bears' home game against the Baltimore Ravens and damaged the Soldier Field natural-grass playing surface was not enough to convince the Bears to reconsider their long-standing opposition to having FieldTurf installed in their home stadium.

In an interview on Thursday with ESPN 1000's “Waddle and Silvy Show,” Chicago Bears President and CEO Ted Phillips cited safety issues as the reason for the organization's ongoing refusal to switch to an artificial surface.

“I've been with the Bears for 30 years, and this was the first and only time I ever remember having a storm like that blow in during a game where you had to relocate fans,” Phillips said. “To me, that's not a reason to go to FieldTurf. You can't make a knee-jerk decision. You can't do that. It's a health and safety concern. We're still not at the point where we feel that artificial surfaces play as well, or even as close to grass.

“It's hard enough. Look at the kind of injuries we've had this year. I'm not blaming it on any kinds of surfaces, necessarily, but why go to the extra risk of injuries when you see the results of medical surveys that indicate that the risk of lower-leg injuries is significantly higher [on] artificial surfaces.

“Until that time comes when it gets to be a little closer to how grass plays, I wouldn't see us changing.”

Soldier Field was ranked the NFL's third-worst playing surface when the NFLPA released the 2010 NFL Players Playing Surfaces Opinion Survey back in February 2011 -- 1,619 players from all 32 teams participated in the survey.

However, according to the report, 32 of the 39 Bears' players surveyed felt that artificial surfaces are more likely to contribute to injuries than natural grass, and 74.4 percent of the Bears preferred grass to artificial surfaces.

Interestingly, all four lower-leg injuries the Bears have suffered in 2013 have occurred on natural grass: cornerback Kelvin Hayden (Soldier Field Family Night), defensive tackle Nate Collins (Soldier Field), defensive tackle Henry Melton (Heinz Field, Pittsburgh) and defensive lineman Turk McBride (Olivet Nazarene University, Bourbonnais, Ill.).

Bears DT Collins (knee) leaves game

October, 6, 2013
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CHICAGO -- Chicago Bears defensive tackle Nate Collins sustained a left knee injury in the third quarter against the New Orleans Saints and has been ruled out for the remainder of the game.

Collins hurt the knee while attempting to pressure Saints quarterback Drew Brees on a pass attempt. Collins' knee appeared to buckle as he was tied up with a New Orleans offensive lineman. The four-year veteran defensive lineman grabbed his knee after falling to the ground and remained on the turf for a short period of time before eventually walking back to the locker room under his own power.

Collins moved into the Bears’ starting lineup after Pro Bowl defensive tackle Henry Melton suffered a season-ending ACL tear. Entering Sunday’s game versus the Saints, Collins led all Bears defensive linemen with 10 tackles through the first four games. Collins also recorded two quarterback pressures and forced one fumble.

The Bears are perilously thin on their defensive line. Not only are Turk McBride and Melton already on injured reserve, but starting nose tackle Stephen Paea was inactive on Sunday because of toe injury. The Bears also lost another prospective body on the defensive line when veteran tackle Sedrick Ellis announced his retirement on the eve of training camp.

Because of the rash of injuries on the defensive line, relative newcomer Landon Cohen and undrafted rookie Zach Minter are both in the defensive tackle rotation on Sunday, along with Corey Wootton, who the club bumped inside from his customary defensive end spot. David Bass is seeing significant playing time outside at end.

DE Wootton classified as day to day

August, 2, 2013
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BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears never disclosed results of the MRI exam on the hip of defensive end Corey Wootton, but said Friday the injury isn't serious and his recovery is "day to day."

"We'll monitor it," Bears coach Marc Trestman said. "The feeling coming out of today is that he's getting better. We'll let [head athletic trainer] Chris [Hanks] monitor it, and he'll be out here when he gets the OK to do that."

Wootton was one of eight players held out of Friday's workout, a group that included receiver Brandon Marshall (hip), cornerback Charles Tillman, linebacker D.J. Williams (calf), and offensive tackles Jonathan Scott (knee) and Jermon Bushrod (calf), as well as defensive ends Julius Peppers and Jamaal Anderson (knee).

Marshall, Tillman, and Peppers received a day of rest. Although Marshall continues to recover from offseason arthroscopic hip surgery, Trestman said the receiver's day off from practice Friday was a part of the plan.

"We were going to go three days on and one day off," Trestman said. "We did that the first week. We decided to go three days on, today off, so he could work tomorrow night, which will be a shorter practice. It's something I think he wanted to do as well as to practice tomorrow. Right now, we expect that he will. He's feeling good, and we'll continue to go forward with the plan."

Wootton, meanwhile, has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career, especially his first two seasons. A third-year player, Wootton produced a breakout season in 2012, posting seven sacks and becoming a full-time starter. Wootton also stood out through the first week of training camp, and appeared to hold the advantage over Shea McClellin in the derby for the starting job opposite Peppers.

Wootton became the third defensive lineman to suffer an injury since the Bears arrived at camp Thursday. The Bears terminated the contract of veteran Turk McBride after he suffered a ruptured Achilles on Monday in the second practice in full pads of camp. Anderson also sat out Thursday.

The club also lost defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis at the start of camp when he decided to retire rather than report with the rest of his teammates.

LB Williams carted off practice field

July, 31, 2013
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BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- New Chicago Bears linebacker D.J. Williams was carted off the practice field with a calf injury during a busy Wednesday morning practice.

Rookie Jon Bostic saw time with the first team in place of Williams, whose status is week to week, according to the team.

Among the other news and notes from Wednesday:

• Cornerback Tim Jennings was excused from practice for personal reasons. Zack Bowman took first-team reps in his place.

• Receiver Brandon Marshall and defensive end Cheta Ozougwu returned to practice after sitting out Monday.

• Starting left tackle Jermon Bushrod did not practice two days after suffering a right calf strain. He was seen Wednesday in a walking boot. Cory Brandon and Eben Britton took reps in his place at left tackle.

• The Bears signed defensive lineman Josh Williams to a three-year contract to replace the injured Turk McBride, who was lost for the season Monday with a ruptured Achilles tendon. Williams, an undrafted free agent out of Kansas, attended the Bears rookie minicamp. The Bears terminated the contract of McBride and he received an injury settlement.

• Offensive lineman Jonathan Scott got banged up at practice and was seen watching practice with hisright knee taped up.

Check back for updates on all these stories throughout the day.

ESPNChicago.com's Jeff Dickerson contributed to this report.

McBride out for season, Marshall rests

July, 29, 2013
7/29/13
10:39
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Chicago Bears defensive end Turk McBride ruptured an Achilles in practice Monday and is done for the season, the team announced.

Read the entire story.

Bears add DE McBride

March, 20, 2013
3/20/13
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The Chicago Bears and free agent defensive end Turk McBride agreed to a one-year deal on Tuesday.

Read the entire story.

Source: DE McBride to visit Bears Tuesday

March, 18, 2013
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CHICAGO -- Free agent defensive end Turk McBride is scheduled to visit the Chicago Bears on Wednesday, according to a league source.

He originally was going to visit Tuesday, but his travel plans were pushed back.

McBride played in only 15 combined games for the New Orleans Saints the past two seasons but started eight games for the Detroit Lions in 2010 when he had a career-high 5.0 sacks. McBride spent his first three seasons in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs and has 9.5 career sacks.

The Bears could be looking at McBride in the event the club does not re-sign veteran free agent defensive lineman Israel Idonije. Bears general manager Phil Emery said at the NFL combine the team wanted to talk with Idonije about coming back, but possibly at a reduced price.

Idonije signed a one-year, $2.5 million deal with the Bears last offseason. While Idonije had another productive year for the Bears, the free agent market has proven tough for many veteran players because of the salary cap constraints some teams are facing due to the new collective bargaining agreement.

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