at Panthers 24, Bears 17 at Bears 33, Chargers 28
at Bears 33, Chargers 28
Thursday vs. Browns, 7 p.m.
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Updated: August 26, 2013 10:37PM
Former Bears coach Lovie Smith had assistants who stood by his side for years, but he never could find the right offensive coordinator.
It was a revolving door that eventually turned into a reason for his dismissal.
Coach Marc Trestman didn’t have that problem. He’s the offensive mastermind. His task was to find the right assistants to make things work immediately for a team coming off a 10-victory season.
Preseason games might not be a true indicator of what teams will be, but it would be hard to argue the assistants Trestman chose to be the leaders of his staff — offensive coordinator/line coach Aaron Kromer, defensive coordinator Mel Tucker and special-teams coordinator/assistant head coach Joe DeCamillis — aren’t doing some things right.
‘‘We have something to build on,’’ Trestman said of the Bears’ preseason success. ‘‘We have reasons to be optimistic.’’
Trestman’s No. 1 responsibility is maximizing quarterback Jay Cutler’s talents, but Kromer, Tucker and De-
Camillis have challenging tasks, too. Kromer must
rebuild a porous offensive line basically from scratch. Tucker has to keep the
defense at a high level despite the loss of Brian Urlacher and Smith. And DeCamillis has a similar job on special teams, but he also must reinvigorate Devin Hester.
So far, so good.
Not only will rookie guard Kyle Long be a Week 1 starter, but so might rookie tackle Jordan Mills. That’s the Kromer effect.
The defense looks as good as it did last season — with a few different wrinkles — and that’s with rookie Jon Bostic playing in place of Urlacher. That’s the Tucker effect.
The special teams have made several big plays during the exhibitions, including Hester, who looks focused and healthy. That’s the De-
‘‘Your staff is so important, [especially] if you can’t trust them,’’ Trestman said. ‘‘First of all, I think they’re tremendous people. Secondly, they’re really good teachers.”
And they’re experienced, which is the biggest difference from the Bears’ first season under Smith. Smith’s first staff had a combined 29 years of NFL experience. Trestman brought coaches with him from Canada, but Kromer, DeCamillis and Tucker combine to pass that total by a wide margin themselves.
That experience allows Trestman to empower his coaches. He lets them do their jobs, as long as they’re communicating with him.
‘‘He told me from the
beginning that’s the way it’s going to be,’’ Tucker said. ‘‘I appreciate that he has confidence in myself and the staff to do what he needs to be done.’’
In DeCamillis’ eyes, that includes devoting ample time to special teams.
‘‘[Trestman is] very interesting from the standpoint of how much he cares for other people,’’ DeCamillis said. ‘‘That’s not always the way it is in our profession. And Marc cares for all his coaches, all his players.
‘‘I’m just really impressed with his organization skills, how much time he puts in the kicking game, how much he really wants it to affect the game.”
Kromer, Tucker and DeCamillis are possible future head coaches, something Trestman acknowledges with a smile. Kromer and Tucker have been interim head coaches, and DeCamillis was interviewed for the Bears’ head-coaching job.
As the saying goes, you’re only as good as the company you keep.
‘‘They’ve been in the league for a long time,’’ Trestman said. ‘‘I don’t have to be hands-on to empower them to do the things that we need to do as a staff and as a team to succeed because their mind-sets are very similar. Their cultural mind-sets are very similar on what they’re trying to accomplish as coaches.”