Bears fill pair of defensive coaching vacancies

Bears fill pair of defensive coaching vacancies
January 23, 2014, 8:15 am
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Ten days ago, the Bears made their only offseason coaching staff moves, parting ways with defensive line coach Mike Phair and linebackers coach Tim Tibesar. The two had combined for 30 years of coaching experience. They're being replaced by a pair with 75 years of coaching experience.

Former Connecticut and Syracuse head coach Paul Pasqualoni had already been seen with other Bears representatives scouting Senior Bowl practices this week in Mobile, Ala. He will replace Phair, while  while Reggie Herring - a star linebacker three decades ago at Florida State - will be in charge of a group at that position that includes recent draft picks Jonathan Bostic, Khaseem Greene and converted defensive end Shea McClellin.

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The 54-year-old Herring has been a coach for 33 years, the last six in the NFL, split between the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans under Wade Phillips. DeMarcus Ware blossomed into a perennial Pro Bowler under Herring's guidance in a 3-4 scheme with the Cowboys. Upon moving on to Houston, he oversaw Pro Bowl linebackers Brian Cushing and DeMeco Ryans, while Mario Williams moved back and forth between as a stand-up rusher on the outside and an edge rusher with his hand on then ground.

Between his two college head coaching jobs, Pasqualoni spent time in the NFL in Dallas and Miami as a defensive coordinator with both clubs, in addition to time in charge of linebackers and the defensive line with the Cowboys.

The Bears officially announced the hirings Thursday morning.