Chicago Bears

Bears coaching changes trickling out, for different reasons

Bears coaching changes trickling out, for different reasons

John Fox laid out the NFL reality that there would be changes in his coaching staff after a 3-13 season. In the day since the final loss, at Minnesota, four coaches have exited, for different reasons, but coming with interesting possible implications.

Exact details of any personnel move, staff or player, are difficult to ascertain.

Running backs coach Stan Drayton, whose career goal is to become a college head coach, left to join the staff at Texas. Outside linebackers coach Clint Hurtt, who was blocked by the Bears from considering a move to the Miami Dolphins and coach Adam Gase last offseason, passed on a contract extension from the Bears and is on the market. The Dolphins, who are at Pittsburgh on Sunday in one AFC wild-card playoff game, hired Matt Burke last January to coach linebackers after Hurtt was unavailable.

Fox said on Tuesday that his coordinators remained “intact” but the organization did not retain assistant secondary coach Sam Garnes, who played safety five seasons under Fox while the latter was defensive coordinator for the New York Giants. Garnes was an assistant DB’s coach under Fox in Denver, and he coached safeties there from 2011-14 and with the Bears the past two seasons.

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

But Garnes was not a choice of coordinator Vic Fangio, who was not pleased with safety play during seasons marked by the two lowest takeaway totals in franchise history, including tying the NFL record for fewest takeaways with 11 this season.

Over Garnes’ two years working with safeties, the group had just two interceptions (both by Harold Jones-Quartey), four forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in a total of 1,992 opponent plays.

The Bears also fired offensive line coach Dave Magazu, who oversaw a generally successful season that saw the Bears tied for seventh in fewest sacks allowed and No. 6 in rushing average. Magazu had coached with Fox since 2003, in Carolina, Denver and finally Chicago.

Bears edition of 'Who he look like?'

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USA TODAY

Bears edition of 'Who he look like?'

Who says football can't be fun?

Per wide receiver Markus Wheaton's Instagram account, the Bears had quite a bit of fun playing the "Who he look like?" game on Wednesday: 

No mercy on the new guys as Roberto Aguayo was compared to Pedro from "Napoleon Dynamite." Are "Vote for Roberto" T-shirts next? 

Even the most respected veterans don't have a free pass as Kyle Long apparently looks like Marcin Gortat. 

This could be the best one, though. Kevin White as Kel from "Good Burger." 

We'll order up a healthy season for White and many touchdowns. 

 

What you need to know from Bears practice: Kyle Long gets ankle checked out, expresses remorse for Monday fights

What you need to know from Bears practice: Kyle Long gets ankle checked out, expresses remorse for Monday fights

Coach John Fox said Kyle Long expressed “remorse” and was “embarrassed” after being kicked out of Monday’s final training camp practice in Bourbonnais for sparking a pair of skirmishes with teammates.

Long hasn’t been available to the media since his pair of physical outbursts on Monday, and wasn’t at practice Wednesday. Fox said Long was at a doctor’s appointment to get his surgically-repaired ankle checked out, but is expected to be back at practice on Thursday.

Long’s father, NFL on Fox analyst Howie Long, addressed his son’s practice ejection on the Rich Eisen Show on Tuesday.

“He’s gotta get it under control,” Long said. “It’s one of those things where you’re coming back from injury and you’re switching positions, maybe you’re not where you want to be right now.”

Fox said “everything’s fine” with Long after talking with him, and understood where he could be frustrated by slowly being eased back into full team activities during practice (and possibly not playing in any preseason games).

“I think any time a player's injured, they get something that they love taken away from them,” Fox said. “It's been a minute, there's some pain and suffering that goes along with it and I'm sure those are things. But we have a lot of resources here, Kyle knows he's loved here, by his teammates and by everyone in the building. He'll get through it and we talked about that and I think he feels confident in that.”

From the sick bay

Cornerback Prince Amukamara didn’t participate in practice Wednesday due to a strained hamstring and is day-to-day, Fox said. Wide receiver Markus Wheaton had surgery on his fractured pinkie, too, Fox said.

There was some good news for the Bears on Wednesday, though, with Jeremy Langford and Mark Sanchez both participating in practice. Langford isn’t quite back to full health after spraining his ankle during a walkthrough in July, but sounded confident he can get back to that level.

“I think my main thing is getting back to 100 percent and being the player that I am and can be, and the rest will take care of itself,” Langford said.