Bears

Bears hire Tulane HC Curtis Johnson to coach wide receivers

2-15-curtis-johnson-tulane-bears.png

Bears hire Tulane HC Curtis Johnson to coach wide receivers

The Bears filled a key vacancy on their coaching staff on Monday, hiring Curtis Johnson to replace Mike Groh as wide receivers coach in addition to adding Ben McDaniels as offensive assistant.

Johnson, who was Tulane head coach from 2012-15, was wide receivers coach for the New Orleans Saints from 2006-11 while Bears GM Ryan Pace was Saints director of pro scouting. During that stretch the Saints led the NFL in gross passing yards (28,749), completion percentage (67.6) and passing touchdowns (202). The Saints had 42 100-yard receiving performances by wide receivers during those six seasons. The Saints made four playoff appearances, won three division titles and won Super Bowl XLIV following the 2009 season while Johnson was with the team. In 2011, New Orleans established an NFL record for gross passing yards (5,505; now second in NFL history).

[MORE: Matt Forte situation means looking beyond simple conclusions]

Johnson was the position coach for wideout Marques Colston, drafted in the 2006 seventh round by the Saints. Prior to the NFL, Johnson coached at Miami where his players included future NFL Pro Bowlers Andre Johnson, Santana Moss and Reggie Wayne.

Johnson replaces Groh, who left to become receivers coach and passing-game coordinator for the Los Angeles Rams after the Bears named Dowell Loggains to replace Adam Gase as offensive coordinator.

[SHOP BEARS: Get your Bears gear right here]

McDaniels is the brother of former Denver Broncos head coach and current New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. Ben McDaniels coached the past two seasons at Rutgers, last year serving as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach. Prior to his time at Rutgers, McDaniels spent two seasons (2012-13) as an offensive assistant with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. From 2009-10, McDaniels worked on the staff of the Denver Broncos, overseeing the quarterbacks in 2010 after starting as an offensive assistant in 2009.

The Bears also promoted Pierre Ngo to assistant strength and conditioning coach.

Bill Belichick scoffs at Khalil Mack-Lawrence Taylor comparison

Bill Belichick scoffs at Khalil Mack-Lawrence Taylor comparison

All of the good graces Bill Belichick may have won on Tuesday afternoon -- when he compared the Bears' offense to Kansas City's -- are officially gone. 

Today, when talking to reporters, a Khalil Mack-Lawrence Taylor comparison came up. Belichick, who coached LT as the New York Giants’ defensive coordinator in the 1980s, was NOT having it: 

"Wait a minute, we’re talking about Lawrence Taylor now. I’m not putting anybody in (LT’s) class. Put everybody down below that. With a lot of respect to a lot of good players, we’re talking about Lawrence Taylor."

A bit harsh, Bill. 

For what it's worth, here's Khalil Mack's 2018 projection, assuming his latest ankle injury doesn't make him miss time: 

20 sacks, four interceptions, 16 forced fumbles, 4 fumble recoveries

That's .5 sacks less and four INTS, 16 FFs and 4 recoveries more than LT had in his 1986 MVP season. And yeah, maybe "they didn't record tackles/fumbles in 1986" and "16 forced fumbles would not only blow the current record (10) out of the water but is just plain unrealistic" but whatever, we're just sayin'. 

UPDATE: shocker, LT agrees: 

Matt Nagy gives update on the state of Khalil Mack's ankle

Matt Nagy gives update on the state of Khalil Mack's ankle

The Bears have seemingly dodged a bullet, for now. 

Following Tuesday's announcement that Khalil Mack would undergo further tests on the right ankle injury he sustained during Sunday's loss, Bears head coach had more optimistic news on Wednesday:

It could obviously get a lot worse than a day-to-day diagnosis, though not practicing on Wednesday might raise some eyebrows. 

It sounds like Mack is expected to be a go for Sunday's matchup with the Patriots, though as the Bears saw with the Dolphins' QB situation last week, things can change in a heartbeat.