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Jon Hoke explains why he stayed with Bears
Jon Hoke didn’t need much convincing to remain with the Bears.
And the primary reason was a common one.
“Obviously, my family is here. My two girls are in school here, they’re sophomores,” Hoke said. “So to me, it was driven by that. The organization has been great to me.”
New Bears coach Marc Trestman wanted Rod Marinelli to remain, but the veteran defensive coordinator wanted a fresh start after the organization fired his close friend Lovie Smith.
Asked if he ever considered not returning, Hoke said, “I never had any thoughts at all, one way or another.
“I wanted to see how things played out, see what opportunities were out there.”
The decisions, though, are always difficult.
“Those are always hard, because we had a great group of coaches here. Coach Smith was a very good head coach. He was here for nine years,” Hoke said. “But change is always hard on everybody.”
Hoke interviewed to replace Marinelli, but Trestman instead chose Mel Tucker, who had been the defensive coordinator in Jacksonville.
“They didn’t have to do that,” Hoke said of granting him an interview. “They wanted to hear what I had to say. Marc was fantastic through it. It was a wonderful experience.”
Despite his familiarity with the scheme and personnel, Hoke is trying to lay low, only speaking up when Trestman seeks his input.
“He’s done a good job of finding out on his own,” Hoke said. “He asked me a little about player evaluations, as much as anything else.”
Trestman said he wants the scheme and style to remain the same but that some tweaks are inevitable. Asked about possible changes, Hoke said, “It’s hard to say right now.
“We’re still in the evaluation process. We’re still looking at tape,” he said. “We’re still looking at players. I couldn’t tell you exactly what’s going to be the same, what’s going to be different. I have no idea.”