Any time I get a chance to share some highlights of future Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher, I’m going to do it.
Today was no exception:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) January 18, 2018
- Larry Mayer of the Chicago Bears’ official website writes Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy is thrilled to land the three coordinators leading the offense, defense, and special teams. I’d be worried if he felt any other way, but it’s safe to say Nagy has good reason to be excited about the group he has assembled to assist him in his first head-coaching job. In Vic Fangio and Chris Tabor, Nagy has hired coaches who are experienced and have had success at the NFL. With Mark Helfrich, Nagy gets an offensive coordinator whose playbook and concepts are different, but has a lengthy background in coaching/developing quarterbacks. There is some risk in this being Helfrich’s first NFL job, but it could be worth it over the long haul.
Pace today: Ladies and Gentleman … THE BEARS!! pic.twitter.com/w0utTRqbrG
— The Ten-Yard Line (@TheTenYardLine) January 18, 2018
- And yet, Helfrich is the most intriguing addition to the Bears’ coaching staff. Dan Durkin of The Athletic takes a deep dive into how Helfrich will strengthen the Bears’ offense, bring it up to speed, and blend his spread concepts with the West Coast base Nagy is working with. The big takeaway here is that quarterback Mitch Trubisky and running back Jordan Howard will be the major beneficiaries to the new looks Helfrich will bring to the table.
- Last season, the Bears ran more plays out of the shotgun (490) than under center (443) according to Pro Football Reference’s metrics. Howard has 128 carries and 831 yards (6.5 yards/attempt) when running out of the shotgun in the last two years. Trubisky averaged 5.8 yards per carry out of the gun, but threw more interceptions (7) than touchdowns (2) out of that particular formation. That will have to improve if this Bears offense is to reach another level.
- A Toub is returning to Chicago, though it’s not the one many wanted. While Dave Toub remains the Kansas City Chiefs Special Teams Coach, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports Shane Toub, Dave’s son, will be hired as an offensive quality control assistant. Shane spent 2017 as a graduate assistant under Lovie Smith at the University of Illinois. So while there are some who are disappointed Dave has yet to find a head coaching job despite paying his dues, it’s neat that his son will get a shot to start his own NFL coaching career in Chicago.
- Having a productive coaching staff is the first step toward making the Bears’ future successful. However, the Bears won’t reach the mountaintop until they get some players these coaches can mold into greatness. DraftWire’s most recent four-round mock draft by Luke Easterling has the Bears tackling a handful of needs. Things would be looking good for the Bears if they can use the draft to fill holes at wide receiver (Calvin Ridley in the first, Oklahoma State’s Marcell Ateman in the fourth), cornerback (Auburn’s Carlton Davis in the second), and offensive line (Humboldt State’s Alex Cappa in the fourth).
- Bryan Perez of BearsWire makes a case for the Bears going in a different direction in Round 1. Rather than going with a high-end skill position player, Perez views Notre Dame offensive guard Quenton Nelson as a sure-fire top-10 pick. While the Bears don’t have a need at the position, we can’t ignore the time both have missed due to injuries. Guards don’t necessarily get picked high, but the Bears could do worse than using the eighth pick on an offensive line anchor.
- In case you missed it, Mel Kiper Jr. sent the Bears college football’s best wide receiver prospect in his first mock draft. Here’s how the rest shakes out:
And so it begins…. pic.twitter.com/WgkNpnMBIR
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 18, 2018
- The Bears will have to have some hits in free agency, too. More Akiem Hicks kind of signings and fewer Mike Glennons would do the trick. Buried in this deep profile of Vikings quarterback Case Keenum by Dan Pompei is a reference of the Bears and Bills being among the teams who had an interest in the journeyman quarterback during the offseason, but it was Minnesota’s push to get him on board that led him to sign with that team. I don’t imagine Keenum becomes an overnight sensation under Dowell Loggains while throwing to the Bears’ set of receivers, but I won’t stop you from thinking otherwise. Offseasons are for dreamers.
- Speaking of dreamers, I have visions of not having as many players to cycle through on Bears injury reports in 2018. I love the Injury Bear more than I should care to admit, but it would be nice to have more healthy bodies in 2018. Perhaps a new strength coach will change the thinking here. So if you like photo galleries and Bears players who didn’t miss a game in 2017, then this is the link for you.
- The Chicago Tribune reports Tyna Karageorge, the mother of Brian Urlacher’s 12-year-old son, has filed a $125 million defamation lawsuit against the former Bears linebacker. Karageorge claims Urlacher, his legal team, and a Tribune reporter conspired to paint her as a murderer after a 2016 incident in which her husband was fatally shot. It’s a very sensitive situation in which Urlacher was awarded temporary custody of their child after Ryan Karageorge’s death. An Urlacher attorney called the accusations “essentially a reiteration of the same false statements, twisting of facts and quotes out of context that she has claimed and filed in Court proceedings all during this case. None were found to have merit.”