Bears

Bears add another assistant coach to John Fox's staff

Bears add another assistant coach to John Fox's staff

John Fox and the Bears have added another assistant coach.

Zack Azzanni is leaving the University of Tennessee to become the Bears' new receivers coach.

Azzanni has been with Tennessee since 2013 as a receivers coach and passing game coordinator. Prior to that, he spent time at Wisconsin, Western Kentucky, Florida, Central Michigan and six seasons at Bowling Green.

Azzanni was on Urban Meyer's coaching staff at Bowling Green in 2001-02 and also coached Pittsburgh Steelers superstar receiver Antonio Brown at Central Michigan. Under Azzanni's tutelage at CMU from 2007-09, Brown totaled 305 receptions for 3,199 yards and 22 TDs, earning a sixth-round draft selection in 2010.

Curtis Johnson spent 2016 as his first season in the role of Bears' wide receivers coach, but announced he was leaving after the Senior Bowl to take a job with the New Orleans Saints.

It's unknown if Azzanni will get a chance to coach Alshon Jeffery (who is currently a free agent) but the incoming coach will have an important job in molding young receivers like Kevin White and Cameron Meredith.

The Bears also announced the additions of assistant coaches Brandon Staley and Derius Swinton II Wednesday morning:

Staley will replace Clint Hurtt as outside linebackers coach and Swinton will be the assistant special teams coach under Jeff Rodgers.

Swinton is reprising his role he held on the Bears coaching staff in 2015 before leaving to take a promotion with the San Francisco 49ers special teams. 

Hurtt left the Bears to take a position as the defensive line coach with the Seattle Seahawks. Staley spent last season as the defensive coordinator at Division-III John Carroll University, the alma mater of New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Hall of Fame coach Don Shula.

Under Center Podcast: Mitchell Trubisky is a Pro-Bowler!

Under Center Podcast: Mitchell Trubisky is a Pro-Bowler!

JJ Stankevitz, Cam Ellis and Paul Aspan wonder if Mitchell Trubisky’s trip to the Pro Bowl can be beneficial. Plus, they talk about the Bears going to London next year and how Ryan Pace can fix issues at kicker and running back in the offseason. You can listen to the whole thing right here, or in the embedded player below:

0:25: What if you had someone who both knew Sean McVay and was friends with Manny Machado? Would they be an NFL head coach or be playing for the White Sox?
1:20: Mitchell Trubisky is a Pro Bowler. Did he deserve it? Does it matter?
6:30: Why it’s cool to see Charles Leno and Cody Whitehair get Pro Bowl nods, too
9:05: The Bears are going to London! Neat opportunity, or cause for concern?
12:45: Did the NFC/AFC Championship games make you think the Bears are closer or farther to the Super Bowl?
15:10: Would you rather your team lose on Cody Parkey’s double-doink or on an absurdly missed pass interference call?
19:10: How should the Bears go about fixing their kicking situation?
23:00: What does Ryan Pace need to do to address the run game?
26:40: Sneaky positions of need for the Bears in 2019
 

The Bears were the best bet in the NFL this season

The Bears were the best bet in the NFL this season

The Bears were the most profitable NFL team against the spread in the 2018 season. According to The Action Network, the Bears were 12-4 against the spread (ATS), and almost automatic at home, going 7-1 for bettors backing them at Soldier Field.

The NFC Champion Rams, despite going 13-3 during the regular season, were not a great bet, going just 7-7-2 ATS.

The second most profitable teams for bettors backing them? The 13-3 Saints who rewarded bettors with a 10-6 record…and believe it or not, yes, the Cleveland Browns, who despite finishing 7-8-1, also went 10-6 against the spread.