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Chalk Talk


How have first-year coaches fared?


Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of email questions from fans on

Over the past couple years, how have NFL head coaches fared in their first season?

Steve S.
Bloomington, Indiana

There were 15 head coaches hired in the NFL in 2013-14, and of that group six had winning records in their first season. Chip Kelly led the Eagles to the NFC East title in 2013 with a 10-6 record, while three coaches earned wildcard berths: the Chiefs' Andy Reid (11-5) and the Chargers' Mike McCoy (9-7) in 2013 and the Lions' Jim Caldwell (11-5) in 2014. The other coaches with winning records in their first year were the Cardinals' Bruce Arians (10-6) in 2013 and the Texans' Bill O'Brien (9-7) in 2014. The Bears' Marc Trestman was the only coach to go 8-8 in his first season the past two years. Those with losing marks in their first year were the Bills' Doug Marrone (6-10), the Jaguars' Gus Bradley (4-12) and the Browns' Rob Chudzinski (4-12) in 2013 and the Browns' Mike Pettine (7-9), the Vikings' Mike Zimmer (7-9), the Redskins' Jay Gruden (4-12), the Buccaneers' Lovie Smith (2-14) and the Titans' Ken Whisenhunt (2-14) in 2014.

Have any of the coaches who worked under Marc Trestman been retained by the Bears?

Albuquerque, New Mexico

The first (and so far only) assistant to be retained by the Bears from Marc Trestman's staff is Clint Hurtt, who will coach outside linebackers as part of new coach John Fox's staff after serving as assistant defensive line coach in his first season with the Bears last year. As for Trestman's other assistants, offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer has joined the Bills as offensive line coach, defensive coordinator Mel Tucker is now defensive backs coach at Alabama and special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis has accepted the same role with the Broncos. Linebackers coach Reggie Herring also has joined Denver in the same capacity.  

What do you know about John Chiles, the wide receiver the Bears signed this week?

David G.
Pensacola, Florida

John Chiles entered the NFL in 2011 with the Saints as an undrafted free agent from Texas. (Bears general manager Ryan Pace worked in New Orleans' personnel department at the time.) Chiles was waived shortly before the regular season and then spent some time on the Rams practice squad in 2012 before joining the CFL's Toronto Argonauts. In Toronto, Chiles caught 44 passes for 725 yards and eight touchdowns in 2013 and 29 passes for 475 yards and one TD in 2014.

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