Unless there are unforeseen departures on the horizon – and in an offseason with so much coaching turnover, it’s not inconceivable – John Fox’s coaching staff is locked and loaded for 2017:
#Bears have added assistant coaches Zach Azzanni, Brandon Staley and Derius Swinton II.
More details to follow shortly.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) February 22, 2017
According to their Twitter account, The Chicago Bears have hired Zach Azzanni, Brandon Staley, and Derius Swinton II.
We’ve already looked at Azzinni’s addition and its potential importance earlier today, so for now, let’s focus on the other two new coaches.
Staley will coach the Bears’ outside linebackers, replacing Clint Hurtt, who left for Seattle to be the team’s defensive line coach. Slated to be the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga defensive coordinator in 2017, Staley last coached at Division III John Carroll as a defensive coordinator. Finishing the season 9-1, John Carroll won the Ohio Athletic Conference and ranked 10th in Division III, but the school is probably best known as the alma mater of Hall of Fame head coach Don Shula.
And Swinton, who was the 49ers special teams coordinator for one season under Chip Kelly, returns to work under Fox and special teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers for a third time – most recently in 2015.
And, of course, Fox is entering the third year of a four-year contract he signed upon leaving Denver in 2015, meaning 2017 could be a make-or-break year for him and the rest of the Bears’ organization.