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).
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.
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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.