After being hired as head coach of the Chicago Bears, Marc Trestman built his coaching staff by pulling talent from across the football landscape. He brought coaches with him from the CFL, coaches from the collegiate ranks, and coordinators and positional coaches from around the NFL.
Falling under the latter category is offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer, who spent the previous five seasons with the New Orleans Saints, mainly as the club's offensive line coach.
As we prepared for free agency, Bear Report outlined the strong possibility of the team pursuing former players of the current staff. In particular, we mentioned Jermon Bushrod, who played under Kromer in New Orleans.
Bushrod, a 2007 fourth-round draft pick, hardly saw the field his first two years in the league. When Kromer was installed as O-line coach in 2009, he immediately inserted Bushrod at left tackle. After two years of development, Kromer turned Bushrod into a two-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman.
Heading into free agency, the Bears made it a priority to upgrade the tackle position and heavily pursued Bushrod, who said his decision to sign in Chicago had much to do with Kromer.
"He's a major factor of why I'm here," Bushrod said today. "We established a good relationship over the last three or four years. He's worked with me. He's seen the lows; he's seen the highs. He's familiar with me and I'm familiar with him. When I found out that this was one of the places that I could end up, it was a no-brainer."
After the press conference, GM Phil Emery discussed the team's salary cap situation, saying there is "little wiggle room" for the organization to sign big-name free agents going forward. Most likely, the remaining roster spots will be filled by role players and draft picks.
If you're wondering who those players might be, just take a look at the free agents who recently played under some of Chicago's new positional coaches. This is particularly so on defense, where new coordinator Mel Tucker could be looking to recruit some of his former Jaguars, specifically LB Daryl Smith and CB Derek Cox.
There is one exception to this suggestion, which is quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh, who held the same post for the New York Jets the past four seasons. The odds of the Bears bringing in either Tim Tebow or Mark Sanchez are slim to none.
Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Follow Bear Report on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Bear Report Web site or magazine, click here.