Sunday, 21 January, 2018

Bears' staff takes shape with Mark Helfrich, Chris Tabor as coordinators

Lions TJ Jones has successful shoulder surgery Cardinals could end up with Vic Fangio as DC if Pat Shurmur is coach
Kristopher Love | 13 January, 2018, 05:36

The status of defensive coordinator has been an open-ended question all week, but now it seems as though the team has finally found out his answer.

Fangio's contract is for three years, a league source told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Matt Nagy responds to a question after Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace introduced him as the club's 16th head coach in franchise history during an NFL football news conference Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in Lake Forest, Ill. Fangio ultimately spurned every potential job, opting to stay with Chicago.

But the move to professional football comes after Helfrich spent the 2017 season as a college football television analyst for Fox Sports, a position which he accepted after being fired from Oregon's head coaching position in November of 2016. Line coach Harry Hiestand and running backs coach Charles London were hired on Wednesday. Helfrich served as the offensive coordinator for the Ducks from 2009-12 before being elevated to head coach after Chip Kelly left for the Eagles.

But the Packers hired former Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine on Wednesday, a day after the Los Angeles Chargers announced they had reached an agreement to retain their defensive coordinator, Gus Bradley. It provides continuity for a defense that has improved from 30th in yards allowed the year before Fangio arrived to 10th last year; from 17th to 11th in rushing; 30th to seventh in passing; 17th to sixth in sacks; and 31st to ninth in points allowed.

Helfrich isn't the only college coach Nagy added to his staff. And it also is likely to convince position coaches to return, including defensive line coach Jay Rodgers, secondary coach Ed Donatell and inside linebackers coach Glenn Pires.

For now, the waiting game with Fangio continues and if the Bears' fallback plans aren't currently available, there is no reason to hurry.

The decisions leading Fangio back to the Bears should make it interesting to watch the defenses in Green Bay and Chicago over the next few seasons.