The status of defensive coordinator Mel Tucker after a historically bad season has been a subject of conjecture and analysis outside of Halas Hall. Neither Phil Emery nor Marc Trestman answered the Tucker-future question on Thursday.
They shouldn’t have.
The problem with answering one "back-or-gone?" question is that it creates a no-win situation. If Emery or Trestman respond to a question as to Tucker being in place for 2014 — say, theoretically, that Tucker is the DC for ’14 — then their not answering a similar question regarding Julius Peppers or Charles Tillman becomes an answer in itself: “Well, you said Mel is back; so the fact that you won’t say one way or the other on Peppers says…”
Actually, the question was ostensibly answered by both Emery and Trestman. Emery, who said that coaching-staff decisions belong to Trestman, pointed the thumb rather than a finger at the injury situation, faulting himself for a depth chart that wasn’t good enough. Trestman used a different adjective for Tucker’s job this time than the “amazing” he used late in the season.
“I thought Mel did an outstanding job,” Trestman said Thursday. “I never felt anything but a positive sense for what was going on in those meetings and the way that Mel related to those players…
“I think that what we started out with was very, very good, and we were on our way to being a highly competitive, highly physical, highly disruptive defense. We try to coach offense here the way we play defense, quite frankly.”
Trestman said that evaluations are still in progress, and he included himself as an object of that assessment process. Unless he is effectively lying about what he thinks of Tucker’s performance, the conclusion was there without him stating it — which he shouldn’t have.