One of the more overlooked rumors of the early 2019 offseason is in regards to Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich. One wouldn’t think he’d be in demand for job opportunities elsewhere but after the success he and Matt Nagy had turning the Bears offense into something respectable, it seems he caught the attention of NFL teams.
The one team that seemed to have the most smoke coming out of it was the Tennessee Titans. They’d just lost their own offensive coordinator Matt Lafleur to the Green Bay Packers head coaching job. This kicked off their search for a replacement. Helfrich popped up on their list for a key reason. His relationship with Marcus Mariota.
The Titans quarterback has struggled the previous two season both on the field and with injuries. No doubt Tennessee is eager to get him back into a more productive for. Who better to hire than the man who oversaw his development at Oregon where he set all sorts of records and won the Heisman?
Mark Helfrich quietly declined a chance to speak with Titans
Reports on this are conflicting. Some say the Titans are interested. Others say they never reached out and have no plans to. One source informed me though that they did attempt to get in contact with Helfrich to set up a meeting. The answer they received was swift and crystal clear.
“Helfrich declined to interview with the Titans. The Bears gave him permission and told him it’s ok if he leaves. They understand his relationship with (Marcus) Mariota but Helfrich said Chicago is where he wants to be.”
The exact reasoning for Helfrich’s decision is unknown. There’s no question turning around Mariota in Tennessee would elevate his stock considerably, giving him a chance at another head coaching job. Then again if he can help turn Trubisky into a Pro Bowler, the results could be the same. So why bother uprooting his family again after just one year to go elsewhere when he already seems to have a pretty sweet gig.
Either way, it seems the Bears managed to avoid losing both coordinators in the same offseason.