Bears assistant coaches: Who stays, who goes?
BY ADAM L. JAHNS firstname.lastname@example.org January 3, 2013 9:38PM
Mike Tice Offensive coordinator There’s zero chance Tice remains as offensive coordinator. He might get a chance to stick as an offensive line coach. Injuries and average personnel didn’t help, but Tice never found a rhythm as a play-caller.
Updated: January 4, 2013 10:14AM
General manager Phil Emery uses Pro Football Focus, which breaks down each play of every game, for his player evaluations. So we applied the same player data to look at how the Bears’ main assistant coaches fared in 2012.
PFF has positive and negative ratings for players with 0.0 being average. Included here are the combined ratings of the Bears’ players by position — offensive and defensive linemen and defensive backs were combined — and their averages.
There’s zero chance Tice remains as offensive coordinator. He might get a chance to stick as an offensive line coach. Injuries and average personnel didn’t help, but Tice never found a rhythm as a play-caller. Emery didn’t want to blame Tice, but he made it clear that offensive deficiencies are reasons for change.
Pro Football Focus rating: -35.7 (30th in NFL).
If there’s any coach that should be retained first, it’s Marinelli. His motivational techniques work very well with the current players, and his understanding of the Bears’ scheme is irreplaceable. Of course, the new coach could opt for a new defensive approach.
PFF rating: 79.9 (5th in NFL).
The Bears’ new coach might want to keep Toub, one of the best special-teams coaches in the league. But Toub might find greener pastures elsewhere. Like last year, he might even get some calls about being a head coach. He has been here every year with Lovie Smith. Emery didn’t rule out interviewing Toub.
PFF rating: 41.3 (12th in NFL).
Bob Babich, Linebackers
Babich was Lovie Smith’s first hire, so he might be the first to go during the new coach’s makeover. He was the linebackers coach for seven years and the Bears’ defensive coordinator for two. Brian Urlacher is a big fan of Babich’s, but Urlacher’s future is very much uncertain.
PFF combined rating: 2.8. Average: 0.35.
Best: OLB Von Miller, Broncos, 78.5 and MLB Patrick Willis, 49ers, 23.0; Lance Briggs, 12.1 (Urlacher, -11.2).
Jeremy Bates, Quarterbacks
Bates is Jay Cutler’s guy, so if Cutler stays, that might mean Bates has a chance to remain for at least one more year. Cutler and Brandon Marshall love Bates’ approach. But the Bears still had the 29th-ranked passing game.
PFF combined rating: 3.0. Average: 1.5.
Best: Peyton Manning, Broncos, 53.2; Cutler, 8.7.
Mike DeBord, Tight ends
As Phil Emery said, Kellen Davis had a “tough year.” Matt Spaeth rated very well as a blocker, and Kyle Adams showed promise. But expected changes to the tight-end mix could mean DeBord is out.
PFF combined rating: -3.8. Average: -1.26.
Best: Rob Gronkowski, Patriots, 21.1; Spaeth, 10.6.
Darryl Drake, Wide receivers
Drake is very loyal to Lovie Smith and a vocal supporter. He has been with Smith since he took over in 2004. The Bears struggled to get production from receivers other than Brandon Marshall this year, and the decision to make Devin Hester a full-time receiver never panned out.
PFF combined rating: 12.8. Average: 2.13.
Best: Andre Johnson, Texans, 31.3; Marshall, 21.3 (Hester, -7.0).
Jon Hoke, Defensive backs
Hoke is considered one of the best position coaches in the league and could be a candidate for some defensive-coordinator openings. He has been in the past. Hoke helped the development of Tim Jennings, Major Wright and Chris Conte. He would be a big loss.
PFF combined rating: 36.9. Average: 4.1.
Best: Safety Eric Weddle, Chargers, 27.7; Charles Tillman, 22.8.
Tim Holt, Offensive Line
This was Holt’s first season with the Bears. He and Mike Tice didn’t have too much to work with, and injuries only made things worse. But a new coach might opt for a more experienced coach.
PFF combined rating: -51.8. Average: -5.18.
Best: Guard Evan Mathis, Eagles, 51.3; Gabe Carimi (at guard), 4.2.
Mike Phair, Defensive Line
Phair and Rod Marinelli did a good job with the defensive line’s rotation. Corey Wootton and Stephen Paea emerged as starters, Henry Melton became a Pro Bowl player and Shea McClellin made strides in his rookie season.
PFF combined rating: 40.2. Average: 3.65.
Best: Defensive end J.J. Watt, Texans, 101.7; Melton, 15.7.
Tim Spencer, Running Backs
Injuries to Matt Forte, Michael Bush and Evan Rodriguez hindered production. But Forte finished with 1,434 yards from scrimmage. Spencer, though, is tied to Lovie Smith, having been part of his staff for all nine seasons. Phil Emery also expressed displeasure with how Forte was used.
PFF combined rating: 4.1. Average: .68.
Best: Adrian Peterson, Vikings, 30.1; Bush, 2.3.