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Final Notes on the Bears Coaching Staff

| January 22nd, 2018

Administrative Note: I’m doing one of those AMAs over at Reddit tonight at 6 pm CT. I don’t quite know how it all works so please stay tuned to DBB’s Twitter handle (on the right rail here at all times) for updated information. I have never been on Reddit or looked at one of these AMAs so I have no idea what to expect. But they asked so why the hell not?


We’ll be moving on to roster stuff and free agency soon enough but I wanted to put a punctuation mark on the coaching staff sentence after making a few phone calls and piecing things together.

  • Dave Ragone being kept on as QB coach was a difficult decision for Nagy but ultimately conversations with the Bears 2017 quarterbacks swayed him. I’m told the Bears had serious talks with former Raiders offensive coordinator Todd Downing about the position but determined this relationship – quarterback and quarterbacks coach – would benefit from continuity. Downing, they believed, was itching to get back into the coordinator’s chair as quickly as possible.
  • The Bears want Mark Sanchez back. Mark Sanchez wants to come back. But Sanchez has not given up on being a substantial NFL contributor and there is a belief that he simply does not fit the offense the Bears are going to be running under Nagy/Helfrich. The Bears would be open to bringing Sanchez back as third quarterback should they move on a Chase Daniel-type as backup. It’s a waiting game on one of Mitch Trubisky’s most trusted sounding boards.
  • Many criticized Ted Phillips’ involvement in the coaching search. Early in the process he was the primary information gatherer on potential coaching candidates. Per a source, one of Phillips’ first calls was to Dave Toub on Matt Nagy and Toub gave a substantial, effusive endorsement of the Chiefs offensive coordinator. That endorsement went a long way with ownership and is a major reason the Bears landed their first-choice coach quickly.
  • Per source, money was never an issue for Vic Fangio. Coaching staff was never an issues for Vic Fangio. Relationship with the new coach was not all that high a priority for Fangio, either. I’m told concretely that Fangio just wanted to be closer to California, closer to his lady and friends. And once he realized that wasn’t going to happen, he never really considered coaching anywhere other than Chicago.
  • From the Twitter of me:

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Data Responds: Bears at Vikings

| December 31st, 2017

Sorry for the break the last few weeks. I haven’t been able to watch games live due to various holiday scheduling hijinks. Darn that real life for getting in the way!

Before we get into today’s game specifically, reports are that John Fox will be fired today. I won’t miss you as Chicago’s head coach.

In general, this game looked very much like a disinterested team playing out the string on the road for a soon-to-be-fired coaching staff against a hungry opponent playing to lock up a first round bye.

Offense

  • The Bears got the ball to start and opened with a heavy set Jordan Howard run into a stacked box for no gain. On their 2nd drive, they followed that up with a Jordan Howard run into a stacked box for -4 yards. Shockingly, both drives ended in 3 and outs. Oh how I am not going to miss that.
  • On Chicago’s 3rd drive, they threw the ball on 1st down! You’ll be surprised to find out that not being incredibly predictable actually worked. Of course, the Bears followed that up with a FB dive into a 9 man box on 3rd and 1 (why is Michael Burton still a thing?), which lost yardage and forced a punt. Before they could get the punt off, the Bears took a delay of game penalty, because of course.
  • Rookie QB Mitchell Trubisky had a bad rookie moment that resulted in a safety. Under pressure, he kept backing up until he was in the end zone, which was the mistake. He then threw the ball away to pick up an intentional grounding penalty, which is a safety in the end zone. My complaint is not with the grounding, but with the fact that he backed up into the end zone first. He could have taken the sack at the 3 yard line, and needs to know the field position situation there.
  • Trubisky also had a terrible throw in the fourth quarter where he missed a wide-open Dontrelle Inman because his feet were not properly set. Despite a clean pocket, he did something weird where he torqued his upper body, which caused him to put the ball far too wide and out of bounds. Those mechanical issues, and the corresponding accuracy concerns, have been a repeated problem this offseason, and are the #1 thing Trubisky needs to work on this offseason.

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Across The Middle: Dave Toub Could Help Bears Follow Jags Model

| December 20th, 2017

Fans wanting the Bears to follow the Rams model should prepare themselves for the fact that it isn’t that easy. What the Jaguars have done, however, could be replicated next year by hiring Dave Toub.

The comparisons to the Rams are easy. An outgoing veteran head coach who appears to have lost his way, a young quarterback, stud running back and good defense. But is there a Sean McVay available for the Bears to hire?

The hot names are Josh McDaniels, Matt Nagy and Pat Shurmur. McDaniels without Tom Brady wasn’t thought to be an offensive genius, Shurmur had some of the worst offenses in the league in St. Louis and Cleveland and Nagy has one year as an offensive coordinator under his belt.

The other part of the Rams turnaround is that McVay was able to bring a defensive genius with him (Wade Phillips). I have no idea who the next crop of coaches would bring as I don’t see Vic Fangio returning if he doesn’t get the head job. Dom Capers figures to be available, but only because he isn’t getting the job done in Green Bay. Other potential candidates include Mike Pettine, Chuck Pagano and Mike Nolan. Not the most exciting collection of coaches.

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Three Things I Really Like About Potential Bears GM Chris Ballard

| January 2nd, 2015

Chris-Ballard

WANTS the job.

When the Jets mentioned Ballard in their initial GM search beat writer Manish Mehta Tweeted the following:

Intriguing GM possibility for the Jets: Chiefs executive Chris Ballard. Feeling is Bears might be his top choice though.

This was Monday morning, just hours after Phil Emery had been fired, and Ballard’s camp was already letting media folks in other markets know he had his eyes squarely focused on Chicago. While the Chicago media seems hell bent on convincing fans nobody wants these jobs (completely untrue, by the way) here is a guy who would break down the doors of Halas Hall to take over the operation.

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