CHICAGO – Finishing near the bottom of the NFL on offense led to immediate changes on that side of the ball by the Bears right after the 2019 season came to an end.
Offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich and offensive line coach Harry Hiestand were fired, and already Juan Castillo has been hired to replace the latter. Earlier this week, Bill Lazor was reportedly hired to take Helfrich’s spot after spending the 2019 season as a consultant at Penn State.
Now it appears there are more shake-ups coming to the offensive staff, including the addition of a man who was thought to be a head coaching candidate for the Bears two years ago.
Big changes to Bears coaching staff: former Jaguars’ OC John DeFilippo is being hired as their QB coach, QB coach Dave Ragone is being promoted to passing game coordinator, and Bill Lazor is being hired as OC, per league source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 15, 2020
Per Adam Schefter of ESPN, the team will hire former Jaguars offensive coordinator John DeFilippo as their quarterbacks coach with the man in the position the last four years, Dave Ragone, moving to passing game coordinator.
The team has yet to confirm the hire.
DeFilippo returns to the position he held with the Eagles in 2016 and 2017 when he was regarded as one of the emerging offensive coaches in the NFL. He was considered for a number of NFL head coaching jobs, including the Bears, but ended up joining the Vikings as an offensive coordinator. But things have been a bit rough for DeFilippo the past two years, as he was fired before the end of a disappointing 2018 season in Minnesota in which the team finished out of the playoffs.
Head coach Doug Marrone brought DeFilippo on to be his offensive coordinator with the Jaguars in 2019, but things took an interesting turn when starter Nick Foles was injured in the first half of the first game of the season. Rookie Gardner Minshew took over for most of the season and the offense ended up 26th in points per game with just 18.8 a contest.
Earlier this week, DeFilippo was fired, which gave the Bears the opportunity to hire him.
DeFilippo will now have the task of helping Mitchell Trubisky turn things around after a disappointing third season in 2019, where he dropped in almost every offensive category. Ragone switches to passing game coordinator after working with Trubisky the past three seasons, with the hope this new staff can bring out the best in the signal caller and the offense as a whole.