The Chicago Bears took a big step forward on January 8th by naming Matt Nagy the head coach of their team. However, the Bears are far from having their complete staff for next season.
In other words, they’ve found their Superman, but they still need to assemble the rest of the Justice League. Here are the names we know will be on the sidelines for the blue and orange next year along with our best guess as to who will be joining them.
What we know: These coaches have been confirmed by the Chicago Bears.
HC – Matt Nagy
The Andy Reid disciple has garnered high praise from his mentor and promises to bring a wide-open offense to a Bears team that has been bogged down with heavy personnel and an archaic passing attack. One of Nagy’s weaknesses is his lack of connections outside of Andy Reid. We’ll see that as we begin to speculate on some potential hires.
OC- Mark Helfrich
There aren’t many people who know how to execute the RPO (run-pass option) better than Helfrich. The longtime Chip Kelly assistant and head coach of the Oregon Ducks from 2013-2016 has plenty of gaudy offensive stats to throw around. However, he offers the most value to Nagy who will likely plan on utilizing a lot of zone reads and RPO in order to get Trubisky on the move. The offensive coordinator spot will act as a bit of a placeholder for the time being with Nagy calling plays, but it would offer Helfrich some NFL experience before pursuing another college job. Helfrich doesn’t have any ties to the Bears, but he does have a connection with Nagy as David Haugh reported that the two share the same agent.
OL – Harry Hiestand
Hiestand’s reputation precedes him when it comes to coaching offensive lineman. He helped groom the Bears offensive line for their Super Bowl run during his five-year stint in Chicago (2005-2009). What should get Bears fans excited is Hiestand’s recent record of NFL prospects he developed during his tenure at Notre Dame. Since 2014, Hiestand has seen two of his players go in the top-20 of the draft and another two that went in the within the first three rounds. This should be good news for youngsters Cody Whitehair, Charles Leno Jr, and Jordan Morgan who the Bears hope to develop into long-term solutions on the offensive line.
RB – Charles London
Another former Bears coach who will return for his second stint with the team, London boasts a solid track record from his recent stay in Houston. His teams never finished below 15th in rushing, and this is with a backfield that cycled between Arian Foster, Alfred Blue, Lamar Miller, and D’Onta Foreman. As a side note, Hiestand and London coached on the same staff in Chicago (2007-2009).
ST – Chris Tabor
Staying with running theme thus far, Tabor will return to the Bears for his second stint with the team. He learned under Dave Toub between 2008 and 2010, then took over as special teams coordinator in Cleveland from 2011 through this season. His units saw mixed success, but it’s hard to judge Tabor due to the Browns perennially weak roster. He will inherit explosive returners in Tarik Cohen and Eddie Jackson, but he will also be tasked with finding a consistent placekicker.
Speculation: Between former ties with Nagy, Reid, the Bears, or an outside source, these are names the Bears could bring in to round out the staff.
QB – Ken Dorsey
After the surprise overhaul of Carolina’s staff, Ken Dorsey has been left without a job. The former Heisman finalist certainly knows a thing or two about good mechanics. Not only did he practice mechanics as a quarterback, he also evaluated them as a scout for two years with the Panthers before being named quarterbacks coach in 2013. In five years, he and Mike Shula helped take Cam Newton from a raw athlete to a viable quarterback. He would be tasked with refining Trubisky’s mechanics, especially his footwork.
WR – Greg Lewis
The Bears looked to the college ranks with Zach Azzanni last season, and the results were subpar, to say the least. Granted, the Bears didn’t boast a wildly talented receiving corps, players ran sloppy routes and rarely created separation. Lewis can provide experience as a former player and a well-traveled wide receivers coach. He’s been on staffs under Sean Payton and Andy Reid during his coaching career which in turn ties him to both Ryan Pace and Nagy. To top it all off, he was born and raised near Chicago.
TE – Richard Angulo
This would be yet another case where the Bears bring in someone with previous ties to the organization. Angulo was on the Bears roster as a tight end in 2006 and again as a member of the practice squad in 2010. If the Bears are looking for continuity, which it appears they are considering with the Hiestand and London hires, Angulo would fit right in. Angulo has been coaching in Baltimore since 2014 including tight ends in 2015 and 2016.
We’ll find out soon exactly how the staff shapes up. Keep an eye out as I’ll be coming out with another post shortly about some potential hires on the defensive front.