New Bears head coach Marc Trestman is currently at the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix, and he provided some notable Bears nuggets to the media on Wednesday. 

The two main things to take away from Trestman's comments on Wednesday were in regards Devin Hester and Brian Urlacher.

Trestman basically said that the Bears will not use Hester as a wide receiver, and instead will let Hester focus on his duties as a kick and punt returner:

"We'll see how that evolves, but he's going to spend more time with [special teams coach] Joe [DeCamillis] and make sure that we're paying attention to that," Trestman said. "He'll come in and compete for that job."

Will he work with receivers?

"I don't know yet. We're going to talk about that next week," Trestman said. "Most of [Hester's] time will be with Joe, meeting with Joe and spending time with Joe." 

What did Trestman see during his evaluations from Hester on film?

"Not enough," Trestman said. "There's some quality plays, but there's not enough. We had this long discussion of just starting with him, making sure that he would be the returner that we need to have. That's the No. 1 thing. That's hopefully what he'll go to the Hall of Fame as. It's making sure we get the most out of him and then see where he goes from there."

How does Hester feel about this?

"I think he feels really good about it," Trestman said. "You'll have to ask him, but the conversation we had was to do it that way to start."
Source: Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times

So Trestman didn't officially say that Hester won't be in the fold at receiver in 2013, but he more or less did. And the "Not enough" response when asked how good Hester looked as a wide receiver on tape was quite telling.

I've thought it's 50/50 that Hester would be on the 2013 roster, but it really sounds like they're intending to have him back. And if it's just as a returner, I'm on board with that, especially if he's on board with that. I wouldn't be surprised to see Hester be a dynamite returner again for a year or two without the receiver duties weighing on his mind and body.

As for Urlacher, 670 The Score's Laurence Holmes caught up with Trestman for an interview (the whole interview is just a few minutes and make sure to give it a listen), and Trestman had this to say about No. 54, who is of course a free agent:

“We evaluated him and simply — I’m not going to go through specifics — we thought, without question, he could play on first and second down for us,” Trestman told Holmes Wednesday.

Of course, that leaves out third and fourth down, so does Trestman think Urlacher provides enough value?

“Absolutely. We’ve established that,” the first-year Bears head coach said. “We wouldn’t be trying to get him back if we didn’t think he could play for us. So that’s what Phil (Emery) and Cliff (Stein) are trying to do and working out with Brian and the people who represent him.”
It's been widely reported that the Bears would indeed like Urlacher back at the right price, and these comments from Trestman certainly confirm that. But it's definitely worth noting the "he could play on first and second down for us" comments. Urlacher had always been a part of the Bears nickel packages, and Nick Roach did a fine job in replacement of Urlacher in nickel packages when Urlacher was injured in 2012. But, Roach is of course gone now (signed with the Raiders), leaving the Bears without a starter at strong-side linebacker as well.

So, even if the Bears bring Urlacher back to be the middle linebacker, they're not only going to also need  a strong-side linebacker, they're going to need an athletic strong-side linebacker that can handle passing downs. Given the Bears' limited cap space, and assuming they have to use $2 million+ to retain Urlacher, getting an athletic, three-down strong-side linebacker in free agency is unlikely to happen. So, addressing linebacker in the first or second round of the draft seems like an even more likely proposition for the Bears. Georgia's Alec Ogletree and Kansas State's Arthur Brown (both expected to be drafted around No. 20) would appear to be perfect fits for this scenario.

Holmes also tweeted some nuggets from the Trestman interview in regards to Martellus Bennet, Jay Cutler, and Matt Forte:


(LOVE this next quote)


It seems a lot of media members talked to/are talking to Trestman at the owners meetings so I'll make sure to share some more notable info on the blog if it becomes available.

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