The Chicago Bears filled their vacancy at the tight ends coaching position with Clancy Barone, and his hiring could mean Pat Shurmur is next.
General manager Ryan Pace opened his offseason by firing a few assistant coaches, including offensive line coach Harry Hiestand and offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich. The Chicago Bears had yet to fill these spots, until Thursday afternoon.
Pace decided on veteran coach Clancy Barone to fill the tight ends coaching spot.
After spending a year out of coaching, Barone returns to the NFL under Matt Nagy and will take over a group that includes: Trey Burton, Adam Shaheen, Ben Braunecker, J.P. Holtz and Jesper Horsted. This is definitely a position of need going into free agency and the draft, and Barone will likely be working closely with Pace to address it.
The Barone hire is very intriguing, because his last job was working as both the offensive line coach and tight ends coach with the Minnesota Vikings. He handled the tight ends in 2017 and the offensive line in 2018.
In 2017, the Vikings’ offensive coordinator so happened to be Pat Shurmur — so the two certainly have a connection.
Don’t forget, Shurmur and Nagy also have a connection dating back to their days with the Philadelphia Eagles.
With Barone on board, now, I would not be shocked if the Bears bring in Shurmur to fill Helfich’s shoes as the team’s offensive coordinator. The real question, going forward, is whether or not Helfrich’s replacement will be calling plays.
Whomever the Bears hire to take over as offensive coordinator will immediately face that question. Will Nagy decide to pull back and focus more on head coaching duties, while allowing his new coordinator to call plays?
Many Bears fans would agree that the Bears would benefit from Nagy making that tough decision. He’s an incredible head coach when it comes to building a positive culture and bringing people together — Nagy is a leader of men.
But, it’s the play-calling which needs improving. Hopefully, Barone can help in that some respect. His experience with coaching both the offensive line and tight ends most recently in Minnesota speaks to two of the biggest issues on offense for the Bears. Stay tuned, as we’re hoping to hear news on the offensive coordinator in the near future — and it very well could be Shurmur.