Vic Fangio expected to return as Bears defensive coordinator


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

The Bears have had a busy week of hires this week, bringing in Mark Helfrich as their offensive coordinator and Chris Tabor as their special teams coordinator.

Helfrich, 44, was the OR head coach from 2013 to "16, after four years of being the Ducks" quarterbacks coach-offensive coordinator under Chip Kelly. He was sacked on the heels of a 4-8 finish in 2016.

Helfrich spent this past season as a college football analyst for Fox.

Helfrich's arrival signals that Nagy will continue to meld Reid's West Coast scheme with spread principles, including run-pass options and utilizing every inch of the field, not every second on the play clock.

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The 44-year-old Helfrich worked with Tennessee Titans quarterback and former Heisman Trophy victor Marcus Mariota in college. Now, he is expected to aid in the development of Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.

The Bears announced the move a week after firing coach John Fox, who went 14-34 in three seasons for a.292 winning percentage that is the second-lowest in team history.

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. But the Bears will need to acquire some play-making receivers, which they sorely lacked this past season.

Fangio's defenses have been ranked in the top 10 in points and yards during five of the last seven seasons. Now that the Fangio wait is over, you can expect the rest of the team's assistant coaches to be named pretty quickly.

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) since Tabor joined Cleveland in 2011. He was an offensive assistant with the Bears from 2007-09.