Friday, January 18, 2013
Urlacher moving on?
By Tim Kavanagh
The Chicago Bears are making big changes on the coaching staff this offseason: Lovie Smith was fired and eventually replaced by Marc Trestman, who is in turn hiring a slew of new coaches. Though the Bears had one of the best defenses in the league in 2012, DC Rod Marinelli has elected to move on, and there will need to be a replacement. On the field, there are a number of impending free agents, perhaps none more visible than LB Brian Urlacher.
Urlacher has been a mainstay for the Bears for 13 seasons, and his potential for being around for a 14th (and beyond) was a hot topic of discussion throughout the season. With a new HC in place -- and a new DC on the way -- things will crystallize more on that front, and perhaps that will help to determine whether No. 54 will be back. In his wide-spanning introductory press conference, however, Trestman was guarded in his comments regarding the LB.
"I've watched the man play for a lot of years," Trestman began, per ESPNChicago.com. "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."
Asked for his gut feeling on the matter, Trestman responded, "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."
It is not expected that the Bears will be hiring a DC that would run a 3-4 alignment -- which could necessitate a large-scale roster churn -- but the specifics of the new coach's defense could help to drive the decision on Urlacher.