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Bears players want new coach to bring team an identity

Guard Kyle Long said the next Bears coach must give the team an identity.

The Bears need a personality.

Their players know it.

“The right coach for Chicago is one that wants to instill an identity, demands a team that has an identity,” Pro Bowl guard said Kyle Long said Monday, while teammates cleared out their lockers at Halas Hall. “And when we play opponents, we should say, ‘We don’t want to play those guys.’

“There’s a handful of teams in the NFL that are like that, and I feel like we have the nucleus to be able to do that. And we haven’t done that, and that’s something that we need to do.”

GM Phil Emery and coach Marc Trestman were fired Monday, leaving the brain trust of chairman George McCaskey, president Ted Phillips and advisor Ernie Accorsi to likely hire a general manager first. That man would be responsible for naming a field general.

“Best way I can describe (Trestman) is, he’s enlightened,” Brandon Marshall said on ESPN1000 . “He’s not the (Jim) Harbaugh that’s going to be on the sideline screaming and yelling.”

The Bears could use some of that. McCaskey repeatedly said Monday a fiery personality was not a prerequisite, but his own impassioned answers — “People need to know that when they play the Chicago Bears, that they’ve been through hell,” he said — hinted otherwise.

After cornerback Tim Jennings spoke of finding a coach to build a “sound base” defensively, he was asked flat-out: Was that a vote for the defensive-minded Jets head coach deposed Monday?

“Rex Ryan, I don’t know,” he said. “I’m all for it. I’m all for anybody who comes in here. Hopefully the next guy that comes in here, he has his foundation already planned out, and we can go for him and get the right guy.”

Marshall said the Bears grew predictable offensively, and that “some” players never bought into Trestman when he replaced Lovie Smith.

“When change happened,” Marshall said, “a lot of guys didn’t respond well, and that hurt us.”

Trestman’s 11 a.m. farewell meeting was “weird,” said Jennings, who still praised the coach.

“I can honestly say it wasn’t as heart-breaking and it wasn’t Lovie-like,” he said. “But it’s always a bad, always a sour feeling when you lose a guy, a guy that you spent all your blood, sweat and tears with, a player it’s always heart-breaking.

“It’s the business of the game — changes going to be made if you want to be successful.”

Marshall felt the same when he was driving to Halas Hall on Monday as he did the three other times in his career he saw a coach fired.

“It felt,” he said, “like I was going to a hospital to see someone that was dead.”

Email: pfinley@suntimes.com

Twitter: @patrickfinley