Could Bears Undergo Changes To Coaching Staff?

Blame for the Bears' offensive woes could begin with coach Matt Nagy's staff.

Chris Emma
December 26, 2019 - 5:36 pm
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LAKE FOREST, Ill. (670 The Score) -- A former college quarterback and head coach, Bears offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich understands where accountability starts when a football team fails.

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"The quarterback and the head coach are the easiest guys to blame," Helfrich said. "That's going to happen.

"It's just not always that easy."

Nothing is simple when it comes to assessing the struggles of the Bears offense, which ranks 31st in the NFL in averaging 4.7 yards per play entering the final week of the regular season. 

With coach Matt Nagy's job all but certainly safe and quarterback Mitchell Trubisky likely to be given another chance in 2020, who will get the blame when the season ends? It could be Helfrich and other members of the Bears' offensive coaching staff.

The Bears (7-8) making changes on Nagy's offensive coaching staff would effectively place blame on Helfrich and other assistants, whose role in the struggles are more from a support staff perspective than a detrimental factor.

Helfrich understands firings are in play for the offensive staff.

"You're in this business, stuff happens," Helfrich said. "That's a possibility." 

The Bears hired Helfrich as offensive coordinator in January 2018, with Nagy wanting a unique view of offense from the former Oregon coach. Helfrich's primary task is in the preparation of the offense. He oversees the unit, while Nagy is responsible for the play-calling and scheme. 

Nagy declined to relinquish play-calling duties as the Bears sputtered offensively this season. Chicago is averaging 17.3 points in 15 games, which ranks 30th in the NFL. Led by Trubisky, the passing game (207.5 yards per game) has been inconsistent, while the running game (86.6 yards per game) has been ineffective and often non-existent.

The Bears have endured struggles at every offensive position group, which calls into question the job security of each assistant coach. Despite boasting a league-leading defense in 2018, the Bears dismissed several coaches on their defensive staff last offseason when Chuck Pagano arrived as coordinator to replace the outgoing Vic Fangio, who became the Broncos' head coach.

If Nagy was willing to alter the coaching staff of a dominant defense, it's certainly in play for his broken offense. 

Nagy and the Bears have maintained that their focus is on the season finale at the Minneapolis Vikings on Sunday. The first steps of this offseason aren't yet clear, and Helfrich isn't certain of Nagy's plan to assess the offense moving forward.

The Bears haven't yet set a date for their season-ending press conference, which is expected to feature Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace. It's a media session that in the past has often come the day after the last game.

However, the Bears waited to hold their season-ending remarks last January until after Pagano was hired as defensive coordinator and began transitioning the coaching staff.

It's possible Monday could bring changes inside Halas Hall. 

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.