From Coaches to Draft Picks, the Bears Are Hoping They've Pieced Together the NFL’s Next Great Offense

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From Coaches to Draft Picks, the Bears Are Hoping They’ve Pieced Together the NFL’s Next Great Offense

Chicago Bears

With John Fox and Dowell Loggains out of the picture, Chicago Bears GM Ryan Pace found himself working unencumbered by different, more conservative opinions to turn his vision of the perfect offense into a reality. He recently explained that vision, the decision-making process, and how he put it into motion in another must-read piece discussed here.

But with the dust settling and pieces finally falling into place, this new-look offense could bring something to the table that Bears fans aren’t necessarily accustomed to seeing: consistent, quality, aggressive offense at Soldier Field every week. Indeed, Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski even thinks it could be on the cusp of greatness – and that all starts with the coaches.

Change at the top was always going to bring optimism, especially after Fox’s Bears teams posted a 14-34 record. While much of the focus has been on Matt Nagy changing the culture, two of his top offensive assistants figure to play a major role in getting the offense into gear.

Offensive Coordinator Mark Helfrich isn’t going to call plays, as that responsibility will fall directly on Nagy’s shoulders. But Helfrich will have a fair amount of duties on his plate. At the top, of course, is quarterback development, a skill in which Helfrich is well-schooled. If you didn’t know, Helfrich served as a position coach or offensive coordinator at four different stops and even earned honors as college football’s Quarterbacks Coach of the Year in 2010 and 2012. Not too shabby, if you ask me.

Indeed, Helfrich would probably be the sleeper-candidate for coaching-hire-of-the-year if not for the sly luring of Harry Hiestand from Notre Dame.

Hiestand is an offensive line coach whose top priority is to help mold a unit that will ultimately determine how good the offense can be. After all, Trubisky can’t get the ball to playmakers if he is on his back or running for his life.

The Bears’ offensive line looks to be in good shape, but can also be viewed as a work in progress. Kyle Long’s health is a questionmark. Bobby Massie has been wildly inconsistent. James Daniels, despite being a highly regarded second-round pick, is a relative unknown since he is playing a position he hasn’t started at since his freshman year at Iowa. There’s talent there, it’s just in need of shaping. That’s where Hiestand has shined at both the college and pro levels.

There will be constant comparisons to the Rams between now and when games matter in the standings, but one we shouldn’t overlook is the value in the returning ace running back. Much like Jared Goff had Todd Gurley to lean on in his second-year revival (more on that momentarily), Trubisky has Jordan Howard lined up behind him as a proven load-carrying back.

No running back in team history has more yards in his first two-years than Howard, whose 2,435 rushing yards since the start of the 2016 season are the third most in the league. Only Ezekiel Elliott (2,614) and Le’Veon Bell (2,559) have gained more on the ground than Howard. Impressive, considering the offenses around Elliott and Bell were far more talented than the one Howard was running with in Chicago.

Perhaps the Bears are on the precipice of joining those elite offenses. Fresh faces who have been added in the last two drafts and this past free agency period have Chicago’s offense positioned to be sneaky good.

Signing Allen Robinson, widely believed to be this free agent class’ best wide receiver, snagged the headlines and sent a message that the Bears meant business. But the additions of Taylor Gabriel to play the “Zebra” role in Nagy’s offense and Trey Burton to jump into the “U” tight end role truly ushered in an era of change. The Bears signing new players at positions the team didn’t even utilize in 2017 is the epitome of what the changing of the guard is supposed to look like.

Drafting Anthony Miller and Javon Wims in 2018, coupled with the additions of Tarik Cohen and Adam Shaheen provide Trubisky role players who can create mismatches and make plays at any given time.

And then there’s Trubisky, himself: the quarterback leading the charge. Three new starting wide receivers, a new starter at a tight end position the team had not previously utilized, and an infusion of youth along the offensive line at left guard has the arrow pointing up for the Bears’ offense.

But is it enough to form the NFL’s next great offense, as Sobleski suggests? I suppose only time will tell.



Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.