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Bears' Tucker to return as coordinator

The SportsXchange

Mel Tucker will be back as defensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears in 2014.

Tucker was informed he would return for his second season under head coach Marc Trestman, who blamed injuries and youth for the team finishing 30th in total defense.

With linebacker Lance Briggs and cornerback Charles Tillman out with injuries for more than half of the 2013 season, Trestman said there was a clear dropoff. The defense was also thinned at defensive tackle by injuries, including franchise free agent Henry Melton.

"Our team evaluation remains ongoing," Trestman said. "We believe Mel is the right person to lead our defensive unit. He fully understands where we need to improve, has the skill set and leadership to oversee the changes that need to be made and to execute our plan to get the results we know are necessary."

Tillman is an unrestricted free agent. The Bears re-signed cornerback Tim Jennings to a four-year deal and general manager Phil Emery said the team hopes to retain Tillman.

Melton and versatile defensive lineman Corey Wootton are also free agents.

Two defensive coaches were fired -- defensive line coach Mike Phair and linebackers coach Tim Tibesar.
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