The Chicago Bears spent New Year’s Eve making some coaching changes for 2020.
The team announced Tuesday that they have “parted ways” with a number of staff members, including Offensive Coordinator Mark Helfrich, Offensive Line Coach Harry Hiestand, Tight Ends Coach Kevin Gillbride and Special Teams Assistant Brock Olivo.
The announcement comes just hours after General Manager Ryan Pace declined to comment on any staffing changes.
Pace did, however, pledge the team’s commitment to quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who he said will open next season as their No. 1 quarterback.
Chicago went 8-8 after winning the NFC North at 12-4 and missed the playoffs for the eighth time in nine years. They came in with Super Bowl hopes, only to fall out of the playoff running in the early going. And now, they're trying to pick up the pieces rather than prepare for the postseason run they had been expecting ever since they got knocked out in a gut-wrenching wild-card loss to Philadelphia last year.
“We won the division last year. You saw it," Pace said.
That's why he believes the Bears can bounce back next season even though they have no plans to change the quarterback or the play-caller, with Nagy retaining those duties. But he also acknowledged there is work to do.
“Our heads are not in the sand, like, ‘Everything’s fine, we're 8-8,'" he said.
Chicago once again failed to put together back-to-back winning seasons, something the Bears haven't done since 2005 and 2006.
Even so, chairman George McCaskey insisted his faith in Pace and Nagy remains strong.
“We can't be afraid to point the finger at ourselves,” McCaskey said. “Matt says he wants to know what he can do to make us better. Ryan wants to know what he can do to make us better. And the same applies to me. I want to know what I can do to make us better. Is it staffing? Is it resources? Is it facilities? Do I need to ask more questions? Do I need to ask fewer questions? It's a balancing act. You want to be involved, but you don't want to interfere. We'll just have to see how it plays out.”