2018 NFL coaching changes: Chicago Bears

2018 NFL coaching changes: Chicago Bears

Coaching Change

2018 NFL coaching changes: Chicago Bears

(Kamil Krzaczynski, USA TODAY Sports)

Head Coach: Matt Nagy

A former Delaware and Arena League Football quarterback, Nagy, 44, never played a down in the NFL. He joined the Philadelphia Eagle in 2008 as a coaching intern and became an assistant in 2010 before spending two years as an offensive quality control coach. In 2013, he joined Andy Reid in Kansas City as the quarterbacks coach.

Reid promoted quarterbacks coach Matt Nagy to co-offensive coordinator in 2016, a position he shared with veteran coach Brad Childless, earning the full-fledged title in 2017. Following a three-game slide after a hot start, Reid turned over the play-calling duties to Nagy, and the offense was immediately jump-started, despite a fourth consecutive loss. KC would go on to score at least 26 points over the final five games of the regular season.

Nagy will bring a version of the West Coast offense to the Windy City. The Chiefs were pass-heavy under Reid and Nagy, throwing it nearly 60 percent of the time. However, it is a deceiving stat given the offense’s predilection to extend the running game via screen passes. Nagy will call the plays in Chicago, deploying an offensive attack and pace bound to be more aggressive than what Bears fans have seen in recent years.

Offensive Coordinator: Mark Helfrich

Helfrich comes over after spending the past year analyzing for FOX Sports. He spent the prior four seasons as the head coach of the Oregon Ducks following Chip Kelly’s departure for the NFL. Helfrich spent the four prior seasons as the Ducks’ offensive coordinator. He made several stops throughout college football dating 1996.

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A proponent of high-paced play-calling, Helfrich won’t get the chance to make his mark with the Bears as more than an offensive consultant to begin his stint with the Bears. He should put a stamp on game planning and be a factor in creating specialty plays.

Bottom Line

Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky should be more comfortable in this offensive system and will be given the chance to grow. Short-area passing will be prevalent. The second-year passer is mobile enough to fit into the read-option offense and function in a hybrid system of a conventional West Coast blended with RPO deception. Trubisky’s lack of weaponry — which will improve through free agency and the draft — and continued maturation process will limit his fantasy worth to nothing greater than low-end QB2 status.

Running back Jordan Howard is a bruiser who offers three-down utility and has a legitimate shot at his third consecutive season of more than 1,000 rushing yards. It will be interesting to see the creativity behind play creation for Tarik Cohen out of the backfield. PPR gamers could enjoy a jump in production from the second-year scatback, although consistency figures to be an issue. The Reid-Nagy system has created fantasy stars from running backs of all types and even multiple at a time. This is the strongest area of concentration for fantasy players to find success.

The wide receiver position effectively will be a clean slate in 2018. Kendall Wright, Josh Bellamy and Dontrelle Inman will be unrestricted free agents in March. The Bears will regain Kevin White and Cameron Meredith from Injured Reserve, but neither player has much of a track record. It will be a surprise for any of the wideouts to achieve higher than WR3 status over the course of the year. It has been historically rare for this system to generate more than one fantasy-worthy wideout in a season.

At tight end, Zach Miller appears poised to retire after a nasty injury, though he’s set to become a free agent anyway. Second-year man Adam Shaheen has potential to develop into a fine fantasy contributor, and he could be the focus of the passing game as Trubisky develops. Young passers tend to rely on tight ends, and we’ve seen this offensive system produce fantasy-relevant tight ends dating back to Reid’s early coaching days. Consider him a sleeper candidate.

The offensive line is strong enough to power the the running game and protect Trubisky, while also enabling Shaheen to run routes and not have to be as much of a blocker.

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