INDIANAPOLIS – Bears coach Marc Trestman had his turn at the podium this morning and spoke about improving his team's once proud defense. Trestman said it would be a "defense-oriented draft" and the team has added defensive coaches Paul Pasqualoni and Reggie Herring to the staff and have committed to defensive coordinator Mel Tucker's 4-3 front, but expect to be more versatile.
One player these changes may impact is Julius Peppers, the pass rushing defensive end who has been on the Patriots radar in the past. Peppers had an inconsistent season in 2013 for a Bears defense that allowed the most points and yards in team history. Trestman was asked to evaluate Peppers, who some believe could be released and a possibility for the Patriots.
"Like most players on the roster, he had an 8-8 season," Trestman said. "He had some very, very good moments and others that weren't so good."
Trestman did not elaborate on Peppers' future and Bears general manager Phil Emery, who spoke roughly an hour later, did little to shed any further light on the topic.
"That would be a contract question and I think I have a demonstrated history of not answering those questions," Emery said. "I'll say that Julius is part of our football team. He's under contract. We're all coming off an 8-8 season. We have a lot to improve upon."
If Peppers does get released, he would make sense for the Patriots as an additional pass rusher who would need to play every down. Last season the team looked into acquiringJohn Abraham and Dwight Freeney, two veteran pass rushers similar to Peppers. They couldn't land those two but perhaps Peppers, if available, will be different.