Today Marc Trestman was introduced as the head coach of the Chicago Bears, but there were some unanswered questions regarding the remaining assistant coaches from Lovie Smith’s staff. Those questions have now been answered as the Bears have fired all but three of the remaining staff members left over from previous regime.
The only coach that have been retained are secondary coach Jon Hoke, defensive line coach Mike Phair and Gill Byrd assistant secondary coach. It's been rumored that Hoke is a candidate for the vacant defensive coordinator position.
The day started out with the news that Rod Marinelli will be leaving the team to become the defensive line coach for the Dallas Cowboys. Linebackers coach Bob Babich, who is Lovie Smith’s brother-in-law, will also move on to pursue other opportunities.
The Bears also depart with the entire offensive coaching staff: Mike Tice as the offensive coordinator, who was originally hired as the offensive line coach; Tim Spencer, the running backs coach; Tim Holt, the offensive line coach who replaced Tice; Darryl Drake, the wide receivers coach; and Mike DeBord, the tight ends coach.
Quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates was rumored to be a potential holdover since Trestman coached with his father Jim Bates, but the Bears have released him from his duties as well. Byrd, Spencer, Drake, Babich and Hoke all are original staff members from Lovie Smith’s hiring in 2004.
The Bears now move forward with two staff positions already filled – Aaron Kromer (offensive coordinator/offensive line coach) and Joe DeCamillis (assistant head coach and special teams coach – and will add more staff members in the coming days.
Trestman said some of his coaches from the CFL will be following him to Chicago.
“Yes there will be some guys coming down,” Trestman said today. “I’ve talked to them about it. But we haven’t locked it up because they may have other opportunities or decide to move in a different direction. But I would expect we’d have a few guys from the staff come South.”
Andy Bischoff was seen at Halas Hall during the press conference today and is expected to be on the staff. Bischoff coached the running backs for the Montreal Alouettes. Pat Meyer, the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach for the Alouettes, is also expect to join the staff.
Of note, none of the coaches who have biographies listed on the Montreal Alouttes Web site has an NFL coaching background. Trestman has also been out of the league since 2004.
There is no current word on who else may follow Trestman to Chicago or what other coaches will make up the remaining open spots on the coaching staff.
If Hoke decides to leave, the Bears will be faced with constructing an entirely new defensive staff, and likely implementing a brand new defensive scheme. Losing Hoke is the worst-case scenario for the veterans who remain on the team, those who have held out hope that Lovie Smith’s defensive system would remain in place.
Brett Solesky has worked in TV, newspapers and, for the last seven years, in radio. He also co-hosts the best Chicago Bears podcast on the Web, Bear Report Radio, which appears on BearReport.com and his blog MidwayIllustrated.com.