The Chicago Bears’ success moving forward hinges on Matt Nagy’s tutelage of Mitch Trubisky, as well as Trubisky’s growth into a long-term/franchise-caliber quarterback. But Trubisky won’t be able to reach those heights without a productive effort from the five guys in front of him. That’s where Harry Hiestand comes into play.
“To have a guy like Coach Hiestand that deals with these guys on an everyday basis in college and coming from the backgrounds they come from and they’re kids, and we’re turning these guys into men,” Nagy said during a press conference during the team’s recent rookie minicamp. “It’s definitely a benefit to have Harry here. I’ll be really neat to see how that relationship grows over time.”
Like Nagy, Hiestand will have his work cut out for him when it comes to the development and untapping of the potential possessed by some of the team’s youngest players. In fact, you’ll probably see James Daniels at the top of the list of players Hiestand will be working to get the most out of starting in 2018.
If you recall, the Bears drafted Daniels with the first of their two second-round picks, selecting one of the draft’s top center prospects with the intent of moving him to guard.
Chicago is confident that keeping Cody Whitehair at center and moving Daniels to left guard will work out. After all, it’s not like Daniels is moving to a completely foreign position, and while it’s somewhat of a dice roll for a guy who hasn’t played there since he was a true freshman at Iowa, Nagy has his reasons (and I think I’m with him).
“You want to be careful moving guys around too much. We have Cody at center and that’s his spot. We want Cody to be able to really focus in and hone in on that,” Nagy explained. “The benefit of having a guy like James Daniels is that he’s versatile, he’s flexible, he can play different positions. So to be able to let him come in here and learn how to play guard, see what he can do, learn from the other guys, let Harry teach these guys the technique.”
Nagy continued: “He’s a young kid now. He’s only 20 years old. For him, his arrow is up, but I think for us it just gives us an opportunity to let Cody grow at center but as a staff, also know that we have a quality of guys, depth wise, at guard and center, which is really good.”
Basically, the Bears are betting that the combination of Hiestand’s coaching and Daniels’ talent/versatility will make it all work. And since I’m never one to bet against talent or quality coaching, I’m feeling good about the future regarding this particular decision.