The qualities that led Marc Trestman to hire Mel Tucker as Bears defensive coordinator in January have been evident to the first-year head coach early in the regular season.
“He’s got great people skills,” Trestman said. “He’s got great communication skills. I know he knows football. I spent a lot of time when I was interviewing talking football with him and knowing his complete understanding of the game in all three levels. He has the football acumen and has the technique and fundamentals. He has the whole package and he’s an outstanding leader.”
Tucker spent the last five seasons as an NFL defensive coordinator with the Browns (2008) and Jaguars (2009-12). He served as Jacksonville’s interim head coach for the final five games of the 2011 season and returned as defensive coordinator on Mike Mularkey’s staff in 2012 while adding the title of assistant head coach.
Trestman is ultimately responsible for how the defense performs and chats regularly with Tucker, but he has the utmost confidence in his coordinator.
“I hold myself accountable for [the defense], in this position,” Trestman said. “I speak with Mel every day on things that are going on, on things that I see, and I’ll spend a lot of time with him. I don’t think I have to; I think him and I can talk in sound bites and get done and move onto the next job that we have. But I’m aware of what’s going on.
“He’s the expert on defense. I don’t claim to be an expert on defense. I know where and how, but I don’t know all the details, certainly. I don’t know that there’s anybody that knows everything. I feel like I know enough to be a sounding board for him and give him some feedback from an offensive standpoint as well.”
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