• Bears defensive coordinator Tucker to return
    The Associated Press | January 13,2014
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    LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Mel Tucker will have two new coaches on his staff for next season.

    Tucker is keeping his job after Chicago’s porous defense played a key role in its 8-8 season, but the Bears announced Sunday that defensive line coach Mike Phair and linebackers coach Tim Tibesar had been dismissed. Hit hard by injuries, Tucker’s unit allowed 29.9 points and 394.6 yards per game in his first year in the position.

    “Our team evaluation remains ongoing. We believe Mel is the right person to lead our defensive unit,” Bears coach Marc Trestman said in a statement. “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.”

    Phair was a holdover from Lovie Smith’s tenure as Bears coach, joining the team in 2011 as an assistant defensive line coach. Tibesar was hired a year ago from Purdue, where he was the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.

    The rest of the coaching staff is expected to return for next season.

    “Our search for a defensive line and linebackers coach has begun and we will be looking for the best candidates whose experience can bring the most out of our veteran and young players in both areas,” Trestman said.

    Tennesse’s Dawson interviews for Miami job

    MIAMI — Tennessee Titans vice president of player personnel Lake Dawson has become the fifth candidate to interview for the Miami Dolphins’ job of general manager.

    Dawson, who interviewed Sunday, joined the Titans in 2007 as director of pro scouting, became vice president of football operations in 2011 and became vice president of player personnel in 2012.

    The former NFL receiver has been mentioned as a general manager candidate around the NFL for the past two years.

    Interviewed earlier for the Miami job were Browns assistant general manager Ray Farmer, Steelers director of football and business administration Omar Khan, Cardinals vice president of player personnel Jason Licht and Dolphins assistant general manager Brian Gaine.

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    AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org
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