If there is one thing Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy knows, it’s that the road to an NFL coaching gig can be a circuitous one.
And while the career path for ex-Bears quarterbacks isn’t full of success stories, perhaps a good one is on the horizon:
Matt Nagy said former Bears quarterback Henry Burris will remain on the team's coaching staff for this season. He was in camp as part of the Bill Walsh fellowship program.
Said Nagy: "We're fired up about having him this season."
— Chris Emma (@CEmma670) September 3, 2020
Henry Burris, one of the greatest quarterbacks in Canadian football League history, is joining Nagy’s staff for the 2020 season. Burris, 45, started the summer as a coaching intern as part of the Bill Walsh Coaching Fellowship program. Evidently, Burris impressed Nagy and the front office enough to keep him on board for the rest of the year. That’s pretty neat.
Burris played six games for the Bears in 2002. The stint, which included one start, saw him complete just 35.3 percent of his passes, and throw more interceptions (5) than touchdowns (3). But an ill-fated stop in Chicago was just a blip on Burris’ radar. Because long before he began his climb up the coaching ranks, Burris was one of the most decorated quarterbacks in CFL history.
During his CFL playing career, Burris authored one of the most decorated résumés in league history. Grey Cup championships? Burris has three of them. Championship game MVPs? He’s got two of those. Most Outstanding Player awards? Burris has two of those, too. Over the course of his career, Burris racked up 4,638 completions, 63,227 yards, and 374 touchdowns. Ultimately, Burris landed a spot in the CFL Hall of Fame in 2020. All things considered, someone with Burris’ experience, credentials, and career arc might make for a good coach. And with that in mind, I’m glad Nagy is giving him an opportunity with the Bears.
Two years ago, Ronnell Williams was part of Nagy’s first class of Bill Walsh Diversity Fellowship recipients. One year later, the Bears hired Williams as the team’s Defensive Quality Control Coach. So there is hope for coaches to use this opportunity as a springboard to bigger things in their respective careers. Hopefully, Burris will be next.