Bears Hire Former Oregon HC Mark Helfrich as Offensive Coordinator

Oregon State Athletics

Oregon State Athletics

Harry Hiestand: The veteran offensive line coach returns to Chicago after a six-year stint at the University of Notre Dame.

Helfrich spent the 2017 season working as a college football analyst for Fox Sports.

But Helfrich could not sustain the success of his first season and was sacked by OR after a 4-8 2016 season, finishing with a 36-17 record in four seasons at the helm. Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace announced the hiring of Matt Nagy as the NFL football team's 16th head coach, Monday, Jan. 8, 2018.

Helfrich didn't call plays as Oregon's offensive coordinator and he won't in Chicago.

According to the settlement, both parties acknowledged that the lump sum was less than the maximum that UO would have owed had it paid Helfrich through the end of his contract in 2020 but was calculated "with the expectation that coach's earnings from comparable employment. through January 31, 2020, will not exceed $1,700,000".

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As much as the Bears sought a fresh voice and new approach for the offense and quarterback Mitch Trubisky, they were pretty happy with how the defense has come along.

He takes over a 5-11 team that missed the playoffs for the seventh straight season and hasn't finished above.500 since Lovie Smith got fired after going 10-6 in 2012.

The development of Trubisky, the No. 2 overall draft pick last spring, will go a long way toward lifting an offense that ranked 30th overall and last in passing. He spent the last seven seasons with the Cleveland Browns as their special teams coordinator. The Browns ranked sixth in kickoff return average against (21.8), seventh in the National Football League in punt return average (9.9), ninth in total kick return yards (8,974) and 10th in total return yards allowed (7,627) during that time.

It also signals the Bears' need to add speed and dynamic playmakers after the catch to an offense that was severely lacking in both areas, except for rookie sensation Tarik Cohen, whose upside is exciting with the new creative offensive minds on board.

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