Matt Nagy knew he had to hit the ground fast when he got to the Chicago Bears. Often one of the biggest keys for a head coach is his ability to assemble a top notch staff. This takes timing, finesse and a little luck to accomplish. So far he’s done well. Word is Vic Fangio is open to returning as defensive coordinator. No deal is done yet but sides are optimistic it should happen.
With the defense largely taken care of for the moment, Nagy is free to put his focus on his area of personal expertise. No doubt the offense needs a serious overhaul going into next season. If that’s going to happen they need quality assistants to do it. Nagy is close to making his first official hire and it looks like it will be a good one.
hearing whispers that Harry Hiestand from ND likely next #Bears OL coach – ran West Coast scheme for Ron Turner under Lovie Smith – good fit for Matt Nagy zone blocking
— John Mullin (@moonmullinNBCS) January 10, 2018
Harry Hiestand brings credentials and Bears blood to the table for Matt Nagy
Most Bears fans won’t remember Hiestand and that’s a real shame. The memorable run the team made in 2005 and 2006 that included Super Bowl XLI wouldn’t have happened without him. He was the teams’ offensive line coach at the time, holding the position from 2005 to 2009. His loss was felt most severely by quarterback Jay Cutler who took a savage beating after he left.
Since then he’s been working in the college ranks and putting together a portfolio of success stories. From 2010 to 2012 he was the O-line coach at Tennessee where he helped tackle Ja’Wuan James become a first round pick in Miami. His best work though has come at Notre Dame. Not only did he help them reach a national championship, he’s also churned out a slew of quality NFL linemen.
Ronnie Stanley was a first rounder and is the starting left tackle in Baltimore. The best of the bunch was undoubtedly Zack Martin who has become a four-time Pro Bowl guard in Dallas.
Few will benefit from this more than Trubisky and Howard
It appears that two more Hiestand products, guard Quenton Nelson and tackle Mike McGlinchey could be first round locks for this April’s NFL draft as well. Put simply if you want top offensive line play, there isn’t anybody better. It’s a credit to Nagy that he did the research necessary to know about Hiestand and then the ability to make a pitch that lured him away from a cushy position in South Bend.
Few will benefit more from his presence than quarterback Mitch Trubisky and running back Jordan Howard. During his first stint in Chicago the offensive line allowed less than 30 sacks in a season twice and went over 40 just once. They also produced a 1,000-yard rusher three times (Thomas Jones and Matt Forte). The benefits of this move could be far-reaching.