The Los Angeles Rams had Sean McVay, Matt LaFleur and Greg Olson in place to design an offense and coach up Jared Goff in 2017. The Philadelphia Eagles had Doug Pederson, Frank Reich and John DeFilippo for Carson Wentz.
The Bears now have two-thirds of their quarterback-centric offensive structure in place.
According to multiple reports, Matt Nagy will hire former Oregon coach Mark Helfrich to be his offensive coordinator. The 44-year-old Helfrich was Oregon’s head coach from 2013-2016 and previously was the Ducks’ offensive coordinator under Chip Kelly from 2009-2012.
Helrich, like Nagy, was a former quarterback himself and held jobs as a quarterbacks coach at Boise State, Arizona State, Colorado and Oregon. He broke into coaching in 1997, when former Oregon offensive coordinator and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter hired him as a graduate assistant.
In a Bleacher Report article about Helfrich from 2014, Koetter had this to say:
"He sees the game through the quarterback's eyes. We all have ideas, but if your quarterback can't execute those ideas, they are lines on a paper. Mark is as smart a football guy as I know."
While Nagy will call plays for the Bears’ offense, Helfrich will be important in designing concepts and providing ideas for what the offense will look like. Expect Helfrich’s time running Oregon’s innovative up-tempo spread offense to blend with Nagy’s modern west coast scheme to allow more creativity for Trubisky, Jordan Howard, Tarik Cohen and the rest of an offense that, outside of a few trick plays, felt stale and conservative under John Fox and Dowell Loggains in 2017.
Helfrich hasn’t coached at the NFL level, but Nagy and the Bears clearly were not only sold on him, but sold him on their offensive coordinator job given this from ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg:
Likely would have rejoined Chip Kelly at UCLA but had heard he was leaning NFL. Interested to see who Kelly hires as OC https://t.co/CtFr34Hb3I— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) January 11, 2018
Nagy said on Monday his play-calling style is “aggressive” which would seem to fit the bigger picture of Helfrich’s style, too. The best-case scenario for this pairing is that the Bears’ offense is a lot more effective — and aesthetically pleasing — than it was in 2017.