One of da most famous skits in SNL history debuted 27 years ago this month, my friends:
“Da Bears” skit debuted on Saturday Night Live in January of 1991.
27 years and runnin’. 🐻⬇️ pic.twitter.com/hUyowknaNA
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) January 20, 2018
- I have a feeling we’ll be talking about the wide receiver position for much of the offseason, at least until the Bears provide solutions to their biggest weakness on the offensive side of the ball. Free agency is months away, but BearsWire’s Bryan Perez already sees one player who might be a questionable fit in Chicago. Allen Robinson is entering his age 25 season and is just three years removed from a Pro Bowl campaign in which he caught 80 passes for 1,400 yards and hauled in 14 touchdowns. However, Robinson is coming off a non-contact ACL injury, which makes him a significant risk for a front office that can’t necessarily afford another high-profile miss in free agency.
- If the Bears were to bring Robinson in the mix, even on a one-year “prove it” deal, it would mean the possibility of their receiving corps will feature three players coming off season-ending injuries from 2017. Chicago cycled through eight wide receivers last season as injuries an ineffective play handcuffed the passing offense. The Bears need improved production from the position, but also more availability. If Robinson gets a clean bill of health, he could be worth the risk having already proven he can put up big numbers despite catching passes from an inaccurate quarterback.
- Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune writes that the Bears’ head coach and offensive coordinator aren’t expecting an overnight turnaround. The leaders of Chicago’s new offense have much to implement and install between now and when games matter. Mixing Matt Nagy’s West Coast concepts with the spread options and Air Coryell background Mark Helfrich was schooled in should ultimately lead to some more interesting football, but the transition might not be all that smooth.
- No matter who the Bears add in the offseason, it would be unfair to expect a ridiculously fast rise to the top of the offensive charts. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t set high expectations, just know that there could be some bumps in the road along the way.
- There was a time where Brian Urlacher would have preferred John Fox stick around for another year and see the completion of the Bears’ rebuild, but Phil Thompson of the Chicago Tribune notes the future Hall of Fame linebacker is on board with the Matt Nagy hire. The Bears must be doing something right to get the approval of a defensive legend to co-sign on the hiring of an offensive-leaning coach. Then again, Nagy kept the defensive hierarchy in tact and has added some Dave Toub disciples to the special teams room. It’s hard to feel bad about that.
- Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times explains why Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio returned to the Bears, even though they chose not to hire him as the team’s next head coach. Because the Bears moved as quickly as they did to hire Nagy, Fangio’s free agency was one of the hottest stories of the early offseason. He weighed options from other teams, but never moved his stuff out of Halas Hall. In the end, Fangio’s challenging of a handful of returning players opened up a window on why he would be open to a reunion in the first place. Fangio knows he does good work and will get to show it all on his terms in 2018 as the singular voice of the defense.
- On the other side of the ball, Bob LeGere of the Daily Herald analyzes the importance of hiring Mark Helfrich to lead the offense — even if it’s in job title alone. With Mitch Trubisky’s development being at the forefront of the Bears’ priorities moving forward, it was necessary to bring in a coach who was well-versed in coaching quarterbacks. Under the Bears’ new coaching hierarchy, the team has a head coach (Nagy) and offensive coordinator (Helfrich) teaming with the returning quarterbacks coach (Dave Ragone) who will have their hands on molding the most important player on the field. It’s similar to what the Rams put in place for Jared Goff and what the Eagles pieced together for Carson Wentz. Here’s hoping the results in development are similar.
- Some additional details regarding the hiring of Assistant Special Teams Coach Brock Olivo from the Bears’ official website. Olivo is well-traveled, having spent time as an assistant coaching up running backs and special teams at Coastal Carolina (2012-13) and in the United Football League (2011), and was a head coach and offensive coordinator in pro American football leagues in Italy. Olivo’s background is eclectic, to say the least.
- There’s also this video from when Olivo took over as the leader of the Broncos’ special teams that was unearthed by Adam Hoge from WGN Radio via the Denver Broncos’ official Twitter page:
— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) January 20, 2018
Well, let’s do it then! 🤘
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) February 8, 2017
- The further I step back from the Nagy hiring, the better I feel as the Bears’ coaching staff as a whole. I don’t have a crystal ball to tell me whether I’ll be right or wrong, but isn’t that the fun in this? Nagy was able to maintain continuity on defense (Vic Fangio) and with Trubisky’s position coach (Dave Ragone). He also attempted to recapture some of the Dave Toub magic by hiring one two of his former assistants (Olivo, Chris Tabor) and both have experience as a team’s top special teams coach. Offensively, he paired his offensive mind with another experienced quarterback developer. We’ve touched upon the idea that good processes yield positive results. So far, there isn’t much to complain about regarding this process.