Bears keep it in the family with defensive line coach hire


The Bears have shown a preference for assistant coaches that worked with head coach John Fox in Denver, including their hire of special teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers.

So it’s no surprise that they found another former Broncos assistant to coach the defensive line, especially when that defensive line coach is also the older brother of the guy running the special teams.

The Bears announced the hiring of Jay Rodgers late on Sunday as they continue filling out Fox’s initial staff in Chicago. The elder Rodgers spent the last three years coaching the defensive linemen in Denver and was on the Broncos’ staff for six years overall.

Rodgers coached a pair of Pro Bowlers in DeMarcus Ware and Elvis Dumervil during his time with the Broncos and the Broncos were the league’s stingiest defense against the run for the last three seasons.

21 responses to “Bears keep it in the family with defensive line coach hire

  1. Another nice hire, but none of these guys will be successful without an upgrade in talent.

  2. So they’re basically bringing Fox’s whole crew over from Denver other than Fangio, Donatell, and the LB Coach.

    Some are going to criticize that approach, but as Bears fan – who looks at how the Broncos have performed the last 3 years as compared to the Bears – I’m all for keeping people together who seem to have achieved pretty good results. I don’t have a problem with what Pace and Fox are doing at all.

  3. Compared to the coaching staff who was here the last two years, this is all a major upgrade. And, as previous posts have stated, once you get the talent level improved, it will look even better.

  4. It’s a great start – hiring coaches from a winning, successful organization – but it will all be moot unless they upgrade the talent on the roster as well. There’s only so much talent that coaches can “coach up”, and there was hardly any on the defense last year for the Bears.

  5. The Bears do need some more talent, however, defensively how the hell do they know what they have because of Emery, Trestman, and Mel Tucker? Linebackers playing out of position…every former coach /NFL commentator thinks Bostic is weak side LB, which was the chubby/old Lance Briggs position. Christian Jones a strong side LB…plus there are players on the roster, Ferguson, Washington who played in a 3-4 at Bama, that haven’t been evaluated by a coach or coaching staff that actually has NFL chops…now they do. It may very well be that Emery’s picks are bust outs, or maybe with GOOD coaching they find a couple players in there. They absolutely need an NFL grade A Safety. If you want to pull your hair out ponder this…if they switch to a 3-4…Shea McCleelin is now in his natural defense…what do you do?? I think he has had enough time to show if he can play in the NFL, and I don’t see it, maybe I am wrong, but he doesn’t deserve new paper at all.

  6. Players aside, this group of Coaches is better than what the Bears have had in DECADES!! Lovie would have some good Defensive coaches, but then he’d do something stupid like FIRING Ron Rivera for one of his lackeys who couldn’t hold Ron’s jock!!

  7. Given Pace’s public commitment to “Best Player Available” philosophy – as well as the potentially large implications of Fangio’s hire on the overall approach to defensive personnel – I think this year’s Bears draft is gonna be a real interesting and almost impossible to predict.

    With only 4 or 5 guys on offense who looked like they deserved to start that year – and possibly fewer than that on defense – there aren’t many positions where the Bears couldn’t stand to get better talent wise. Which opens up a lot options for the Bears in the draft, but also makes it important that they hit on darn near all of them. And they’re already down a pick from a prior trade, too.

  8. As a Bear fan, I like the coaching upgrades.

    But, 6 years with Cutler, 1 playoff win !?!?

    I liked Cutler, but he just can’t win the big game, and until the organization realizes that, the Bears will be like the Cubs and we will here ” wait til next year !”

    All do respect, but how did that work out for the late, great and beloved Ernie Banks ! Banks never once played a playoff game.

    Even though Cutler set franchise records, where did it get the Bears , 5-11, and I’m pretty sure the players feel the same way.

    We must have a QB change to insure playoff wins !

  9. Ok, where are you going to get a QB? FA? Have you seen the guys out there? The draft – who?

    Cutler is overpaid, yes. And he has plenty of bad games. But the reality (where most posters on these and other boards don’t live) is he is still better than HALF the starting QBs out there.

    As much as everyone who like to get rid of him and his monster salary, there is NO ONE you could replace him with that would even be an equal trade, much less an upgrade.

    Best you can do is: a ) commit to more running, b) play better defense and special teams, c) utilize more roll-outs and moving pockets, d) hope to find or develop someone for 2016.

  10. Might as well bring the whole team, the city and state over too. Doesn’t matter what you do, Bears will choke if Cutler is under center, just as he did playing against the Packers in 2010. If he hadn’t done that Packers would never had won a single Super Bowl with pee wee Rodgers, who also choke in big games too. LOL!!!!!

  11. @ Bassplucker

    I agree with you, and I do not want to be critical of these choices. I am just a little bit concerned about the fact that the talent in Denver, especially on defense, was definitely better than it is in Chicago. There is a lingering thought in my mind that these coaches could have a much harder time with lesser talent. Either way, Fox deserves to be trusted and I think you are right, having a staff that has worked together like a team for many years should be a plus.

  12. The Bears went 8-8 in the first year of Trestman’s run before the whole coaching staff and locker room completely imploded this year. With these new coaches and a decent draft, I have to think they can get back to .500 in Fox’s first year even playing in a strong division and what looks to be a pretty daunting 2015 schedule.

    By year 2 under Fox the Bears should have the system and talent in place to contend for the postseason. They must must MUST starting winning games in the division though to accomplish anything, which Trestman and Co. were completely unable to do.

  13. At least they won’t have to worry about the pack! Their self destruction will be lasting for several seasons because mike and ted will be in denial: those undrateds are good players aka Bostick

  14. Always seems like a risk when a coach turns to his buddys to fill out a coaching vacancy. Bob Babich was equally as horrid as Tucker.

  15. Well, speaking of winning divisional games, as much as the majority (apparently) of Bears fan always blame Lovie, you can’t deny that the strategy he outlined in his introductory press conference was correct: 1) beat Green Bay; 2) win the NFC North; 3) go to Superbowl. I still remember it and I think he is right, and he achieved that. The excellent coaching staff put together by Fox must start winning against some strong NFC North teams. It all starts within your division.

  16. I see nothing wrong with what the Bears have done with their staff rebuild, It’s weird to feel like a Vikings and Lions fan has been feeling for the past 50 years though. Being at the bottom of the division and getting zero respect for being so terrible would make me go on my divisional opponents blogs and spit vomit hate out of shear jealousy too…..right Cody?

    The Bears offensive weapons make a good case for a quick improvement under Fox’s leadership and Gase’s play calling. The question is what will Fangio do to drastically turn around our defense.

  17. All I know is that from Mel Tucker to Vic Fangio, the Bears got lucky enough to upgrade from the worst Defensive Coordinator in the league to one of the very best. This alone is enough cause for optimism, regardless of personnel.

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