GM Talk: Oakland's issues, Bears in 2013

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GM Talk: Oakland's issues, Bears in 2013

As unsettled as the Bears general manager situation may be, it seems almost settled compared to what is lining up in Oakland.

Reggie McKenzie left his job as director of football operation in Green Bay and went to the Raiders, skipping any interview with the Bears, who have made it clear that the new GM inherits Lovie Smith as head coach.

Evidently that is not the case in Oakland with coach Hue Jackson.

Mike Florio over at ProFootballTalk.com reports that McKenzie has the juice to fire Jackson, whos been head coach just one year and that ended badly. He ripped his own team after missing the playoffs, the ninth no-postseason in a row for the Raiders, and that never plays well in front offices.
GMs typically want to hire their own head coaches; that was a very, very difficult situation for Jerry Angelo when he came in 2001 and had Dick Jauron in place.

The difference there was that Jauron handled himself and the job with class, and he proceeded to have a 13-3 season in 2001, which put Angelo in an untenable position as far as making a coaching change. Jauron parlayed that into a contract extension, which was enough to get him two more years.

Smith is off the table as a decision for the incoming Bears GM. Whether thats a good thing or not doesnt matter, because its fact. And no reflection on Smith, but it also is not a plus for a GM candidate.

The reason is that if the Bears rebound and have a good year, Smith is a virtual lock to return for the 2013 season, particularly if next year includes a playoff win or better.

Then the situation becomes even more murky, because Smith would be on the brink of his final contract year (2013). If hes coming off a season like Jaurons in 2001, the pressure will switch, for the organization to give Smith another extension or stand to lose a coach coming off two playoff seasons in three years.

The Bears GM hire wont have the melodrama Oakland has. But after next season.

Bears' best rookies will have another learning curve

Bears' best rookies will have another learning curve

There's a sense of irony and, to a certain degree, concern about what changes the Bears' coaching staff has undergone.

Think of the best of Ryan Pace's 2016 rookie class: Leonard Floyd, Cody Whitehair, and Jordan Howard. They were brought along under the position group tutelage of outside linebackers coach Clint Hurtt, offensive line coach Dave Magazu and running backs coach Stan Drayton. The latter was the first to depart, shortly after the season ended, to return to the collegiate ranks on Texas' new staff.

He's been replaced with former 49ers and Bills offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins (also serving as that position coach in Detroit, Buffalo, Arizona and Kansas City). Howard certainly adapted to the NFL game well, more than anyone expected, as the NFL's second-leading rusher. One would think Drayton played a part in that.

Longtime John Fox assistant Magazu was also let go after the season despite the impressive move of second-round pick Whitehair to center the week of the season opener after Josh Sitton was signed following his release by Green Bay. Whitehair was sold as a "quick study" following his selection out of Kansas State, where he was a four-year starter at three different positions (but not center).

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

Like Howard, he wound up making the All-Rookie team, but whether he remains in the middle of the line or not, he'll be getting his orders now from Jeremiah Washburn.

Rounding out the trio of All-Rookie selections was Floyd, who was brought along by Hurtt. He impressed Fox enough to be kept around from Marc Trestman's staff, and moved from defensive line to outside linebackers.

That's where he assisted Willie Young in morphing to a foreign role, yet still managing 14 sacks over the last two seasons. The Bears have yet to name a replacement for Hurtt, who's joined the Seahawks in taking over one of their strengths in recent years, the defensive line.

These three were already good, and the jewels of last year's draft. But if they're to grow and ascend into impact contributors if and when this team becomes a regular playoff contender, it'll come from new faces, new voices in their respective classrooms and position groups.

Bears announce additions to John Fox's coaching staff

Bears announce additions to John Fox's coaching staff

The Bears announced Monday several additions to John Fox's coaching staff in 2017.

Roy Anderson has been hired as the assistant defensive backs coach, Curtis Modkins has been named the new running backs coach and Jeremiah Washburn is the new offensive line coach. The team also announced that outside linebackers coach Clint Hurtt's contract was not renewed.

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

Anderson was the assistant defensive backs coach for the San Francisco 49ers last season, and spent his previous seven years with the Indianapolis Colts (2012-15) and Baltimore Ravens (2009-11). He replaces Sam Garnes.

Modkins has 22 years of coaching experience, and also spent the 2016 season with the 49ers as the team's offensive coordinator. His previous stops include the Detroit Lions (2013-15), Buffalo Bills (2010-12), Arizona Cardinals (2009) and Kansas City Chiefs (2008). Modkins replaces Stan Drayton.

Washburn served as the Miami Dolphins assistant offensive line coach last season, and spent his previous 14 years with the Lions (2009-15), Ravens (2003-08) and Carolina Panthers (2002). He replaces Dave Magazu.