Bears hire Tucker as defensive coordinator

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 18, 2013 at 7:52 pm •  Published: January 18, 2013
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LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears hired Jacksonville's Mel Tucker as their defensive coordinator to replace Rod Marinelli on Friday.

Tucker spent the past four seasons as the Jaguars' defensive coordinator and was assistant head coach this season.

He interviewed to replace Mike Mularkey, who was fired after going 2-14 in his lone season as their head coach, but that job went to Seattle defensive coordinator Gus Bradley on Thursday.

New Bears coach Marc Trestman wanted to retain Marinelli, but he chose not to return. Now, he's turning to Tucker, who has experience with the 4-3 as well as the 3-4 defensive formations.

The Jaguars last season also used Cover-2 defense, a staple in Chicago under the fired Lovie Smith.

With the Bears, Tucker will take over a defense that ranked among the best this season with stars such as Charles Tillman, Lance Briggs and Julius Peppers.

But Chicago also has a big question mark with Brian Urlacher's contract expiring after an injury-filled season.

The Jaguars were 30th in the league in total defense in 2012, but they were sixth the year before at 313 yards per game, with Tucker spending the final five games as interim head coach after Jack Del Rio was fired.

He was also reportedly considered for the head coaching job at his alma mater Wisconsin, which went with Gary Andersen to replace Bret Bielema.

Tucker was an assistant with Cleveland from 2005 to 2008, spending the first three years as defensive backs coach before being promoted to defensive coordinator.

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