Bears hire ex-Oregon coach Helfrich as OC


As the Bears play the waiting game with Vic Fangio to determine if he's in or out as the team's defensive coordinator, it's worth wondering what the timeline will be for a decision. He's among the many big hires for new head coach Matt Nagy, who is looking to get the Bears out of the NFC North basement.

The Bears' defense finished in the top 10 in passing yards (seventh), points allowed (ninth) and total yards (10th) allowed in 2017.

Helfrich began his coaching career as running backs coach at Southern Oregon in 1996 before playing and serving as offensive coordinator in Europe with the Vienna (Austria) Vikings in 1997. He is the first defensive coordinator to be retained by a new Bears coach since Buddy Ryan was inherited by Mike Ditka - at George Halas' behest - in 1982.

Before posting a 37-16 overall record at OR, which included guiding the Ducks to a Pac-12 championship and an appearance in the national championship game in 2014, Helfrich was Kelly's offensive coordinator.

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Fangio has spent the past three seasons as the Bears defensive coordinator.

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Nagy still has several coaching positions to fill, but Fangio's return is somewhat of a clincher. Hiestand also coached the Tennessee Volunteers' offensive line from 2010-11. Jones posted on social media yesterday that he had a procedure earlier this week to fix the shoulder he injured in the Week 15 win against the Chicago Bears.

Tabor spent the past seven seasons as Cleveland's special teams coordinator. Six of those players never made the Pro Bowl before they played for Fangio and haven't made it since he left.