Tight end was a trouble spot for the Chicago Bears in 2019.
Heck, that position has been problematic for a great, many years now.
Now, meet the guy reportedly tasked with coaching up the collection of talent at the position:
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) January 9, 2020
UPDATE: It’s happening:
— Chicago Bears (@BearsPR) January 9, 2020
As reported by Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, the Bears have hired Clancy Barone to fill the role of tight ends coach, which was vacated when the team announced the firing of Kevin Gilbride Jr. on Dec. 31.
Barone’s pending hiring is similar to the addition of Juan Castillo as offensive line coach, in that Chicago is bringing in an experienced voice to guide an under-performing position group. Not that Gilbride’s youth was the problem in the group, it’s just that sometimes experienced eyes and a voice who has been in those battles for a long time could be useful for a group in search of a shakeup.
Barone, 56, has NFL coaching experience that dates back to 2004. His stops in Atlanta, San Diego, Denver, and Minnesota had Barone coaching offensive linemen and tight ends. And considering that tight ends have their fair share of blocking to do, it would make sense for the Bears to hire someone to coach tight ends who has experience with molding blockers. Barone was most recently with the Vikings, a team he coached in 2017 (tight ends) and 2018 (offensive line) before his dismissal after the 2018 campaign. I suppose this is a good place to point out that Barone worked for Pat Shurmur when he was Minnesota’s offensive coordinator, and that Shurmur seems like an ideal fit for the Bears’ offensive coordinator gig. I’m not sayin’ … I’m just sayin’.
The Bears still have two assistant coaching positions left to fill, as offensive coordinator and assistant special teams coach still have vacancies. But if the hirings of Castillo and Barone are any indiction, it is easy to envision Chicago hiring someone with experience at each position. We’ll see how it unfolds soon enough.