The Bears look to their past to start building Matt Nagy’s new coaching staff
LAKE FOREST – The winds of change have blown through Halas Hall, and the breeze is quite refreshing.
Showing off an enthusiastic, straight-forward approach in his introductory news conference, Matt Nagy takes over the reigns of the Bears on the field in hopes of completing Ryan Pace’s vision for a rebuild.
Nothing’s guaranteed, of course. New coaches have come to Lake Forest with hope and promise only to leave unfullfilled after a firing. Yet Nagy’s youthful enthusiasm and offensive reputation does give him a different look than some of the other coaches that have joined the franchise the past three decades.
Yet to start off this new, fresh era of Bears football the team has decided to first surround the first time coach with people who know a little bit about the organization.
That started officially on Wednesday with offensive line coach Harry Hiestand, who returns to the franchise for the second time in his career. Arriving with offensive coordinator Ron Turner in 2005 after they were each let go at Illinois, Hiestand helped to mold the line that would help the Bears to their last NFC Championship in 2006.
When he was fired after the 2009 season, Hiestand returned to college at Tennessee for 2010 and 2011 before joining Brian Kelly’s staff in 2010. During his time in South Bend, Hiestand helped the Irish to a BCS National Championship game as he coached offensive lines that produced a number of NFL Draft picks over the past six years.
Meanwhile the next reported hire was there around the time of Hiestand as well. That’s Browns special teams coach Chris Tabor, who will take the same position on Nagy’s staff according to numerous reports on Wednesday night.
From 2008-2010, he served as the assistant special teams coach under Lovie Smith as the team made their way to the NFC Championship in his final season. He joined the Browns in 2011 as the main special teams coach and has remained in the same position ever since.
Logically the next hire would be to keep another assistant who is even more familiar with the workings of the franchise recently. Yet as of Wednesday, despite talks continuing, there is no deal for defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.