Offseasons are generally times of building through key additions, but the 2016 one has come with some early challenges for the Bears as a fourth member of their coaching staff has left for a promotion elsewhere.
Wide receivers coach Mike Groh has left to become the passing-game coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Los Angeles Rams after the Bears went outside to hire Dave Ragone as quarterbacks coach to fill that job. The Bears’ vacancy was created after Dowell Loggains was promoted to offensive coordinator, replacing Adam Gase, hired as Miami Dolphins head coach.
Groh, a former quarterback at Virginia, was one of two coaches retained from the Marc Trestman staff when coach John Fox arrived.
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The Fox coaching tree, which boasts Gase and San Diego's Mike McCoy as head coaches, is expanding but at the expense of some continuity on Fox’s staff. Groh joins a list of former Bears coaches that now includes Gase, offensive assistant Bo Hardegree (to Miami as Gase’s quarterbacks coach) and assistant special teams coach Derius Swinton (to San Francisco 49ers special teams coordinator), according to a report by the Sacramento Bee. Assistant strength and conditioning coach Jim Arthur also went to Miami with Gase.
The Bears blocked a request from the Dolphins to hire linebackers coach Clint Hurtt for the same job in Miami. But the Rams offered Groh a promotion in the form of a coordinator’s title in addition to coaching quarterbacks, a common launching point for NFL coaching careers.
“I’m very excited to have coach Groh join our staff,” Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said in a statement Monday. “He’s a talented young coach that has proven himself on the college level as well as in the NFL. We’re looking forward to what he will bring to our offense.”
We'd been circling this news all week, and now it's getting closer to reality: late Saturday night, Adam Schefter reported that QB Mitch Trubisky will be under center for the Bears' matchup with the Saints this Sunday:
Trubisky was a full participant in practice from Wednesday to Friday of last week, but had still been listed as questionable up to this point. He returns after dislocating his left shoulder in Week 4 against the Vikings and missing the team's Week 5 loss to the Raiders.
The news comes at a crucial juncture of the season for the Bears, who are currently 3-2 and in third place in the NFC North.
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When the Bears announced their 2019 schedule, we decided to have some puppies reveal the opponents. Now, we have taken it a step further. We have a puppy that will make weekly picks for the Bears games.
It is Week 7!
Walter's choices in Week 7 are a chance to go to Mardi Gras or a celebration of St. Patrick's day in Chicago. Bears fans should be excited about his decision in Week 7... and now we're all looking forward to St. Patrick's Day again!
The 12-week old dachshund was hand-selected by the scouts at NBC Sports Chicago and hails from One Tail at a Time rescue. He came from a shelter in Alabama and was transported to Chicago. At just 7 weeks old and without his mom, he beat a deadly virus and spent some time in the doggie ER, where he healed and became strong again.
Now, Walter is ready to rumble between the well-manicured lines of Sweetness Field. He is NOW adoptable via onetail.org and has two adorable sisters named Martha and Millie, who are already adopted.
Walter will pick the games throughout the NFL season, including the playoffs and we hope that his nose follows the scent to the Bears every week, all the way to that magical game in Miami in February. Narrated by Jason Benetti, play-by-play announcer for the White Sox.
It is time for Puppy Pick ‘Em presented by Nissan.
To learn more: www.onetail.org