Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy (27) gets tackled by Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs (55) and defensive tackle Corey Wootton (98) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
The Chicago Bears earlier this month elected to keep defensive coordinator Mel Tucker in the fold, but they did let go of defensive line coach Mike Phair and linebackers coach Tim Tibesar after a horrendous season by the team’s defense.
Late Wednesday night, it was reported that the Bears finally had chosen replacements for the duo. Paul Pasqualoni, who was fired from his previous job as head coach at UConn back in September, was named the team’s new D-line coach, while Reggie Herring was named the new linebacker’s coach.
According to Patrick Finely of the Chicago Sun-Times, Pasqualoni interviewed for a position with the Bears last week, and was with the team’s brass down in Mobile, Alabama during Senior Bowl festivities this week. Pasqualoni and Herring both have experience with the 3-4 defense during their time with the Dallas Cowboys, and that could be a sign of where Tucker is thinking of taking the Bears’ defense next season.
Historically, the Bears have never utilized a 3-4 defense (three defensive linemen, four linebackers) in their history, but there has been a lot of talk that the team could adopt a sort of hybrid system next season after experiencing an awful year in rushing defense and in terms of pressuring the opponent’s quarterback. The New Orleans Saints use a similar system, and they made a huge improvement in the 2013 season under Rob Ryan’s tutelage.
Obviously, the Bears will reveal their plan by who they sign in free agency in early March, as well as the NFL Draft in May, but it would appear at least that they are leaning towards adopting a more flexible style in 2014.