John Fox has brought an old friend with him to Chicago. On Monday, the Bears named Jeff Rodgers, who worked for Fox with the Broncos and Panthers, their special-teams coordinator.
Rodgers spent the last four seasons as the Broncos special teams coordinator. He started as a special-teams assistant for Fox in 2009 in Carolina before becoming coordinator in 2010.
Rodgers is Fox’s first hire as Bears coach. Fox will officially introduced on Monday at 11 a.m. at Halas Hall.
Rodgers replaces Joe DeCamillis, the Bears’ special-teams coordinator the last two seasons. DeCamillis also was assistant head coach under Marc Trestman
Here are some of the highlights on Rodgers from the Bears’ announcement:
During Rodgers’ four seasons in Denver, the Broncos ranked 10th in the NFL in gross punting average (45.6 yards per punt) and 11th in net punting average (39.6 ypp). Denver’s six total kick return touchdowns (four punt and two kickoff) were tied for second most in the NFL during Rodgers’ time with the team with the Broncos 24.5 kickoff return average ranking ninth in the NFL since 2011.
Under Rodgers’ tutelage, Broncos kicker Matt Prater was named to the Pro Bowl following the 2013 season after setting franchise records in field goal percentage (96.2 percent, 25-of-26) and points scored (150). Prater’s 64-yard field goal on December 8, 2013 is the longest in NFL history. In 2014, Connor Barth’s 93.8 field goal percentage (15-of-16) was second-highest in franchise single-season history.
In Rodgers’ second season with the Broncos, Denver’s special teams allowed the second-lowest punt return average (6.0 yards per return) and the seventh-lowest kickoff return average (22.1 ypr) in the NFL. During the Divisional Playoffs that season, Trindon Holliday became the first player in NFL history to record multiple return touchdowns in a single playoff game (90-yard punt return score and a 104-yard kick return touchdown).
In 2011, Denver was third in the NFL in punt return average (12.7 ypr), including two touchdowns.
Under Rodgers’ direction in 2011, Colquitt set single-season franchise records for gross (47.4) and net punting (40.2) averages. Denver was sixth in the NFL in gross punt average and eighth in net punting average as punter Britton Colquitt set a franchise record with a 47.4 gross average. Colquitt’s 42.1 net punting average in 2012 and 40.2 average in 2011 are first and second in franchise single-season annals.