Bears passing game coordinator Dave Ragone named Falcons’ offensive coordinator

The Bears also are expected to lose running backs coach Charles London, who is likely to be named the Falcons’ quarterbacks coach. That leaves Matt Nagy with three — or four — coaching vacancies.

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Charles London (center) has been the Bears’ running backs coach the past three seasons. He also was the Texans running backs coach from 2014-17.

Elsa, Getty

Bears passing-game coordinator Dave Ragone was hired as the Falcons’ offensive coordinator, and NFL Network is reporting that running backs coach Charles London is expected to be hired as the Falcons’ quarterbacks coach.

Ragone, 41, was the Bears’ quarterbacks coach in 2016-19 and became the passing-game coordinator in 2020 after the Bears hired John DeFilippo as quarterbacks coach. Ragone was hired by new Falcons coach Arthur Smith, the former offensive coordinator of the Titans.

The departure of Ragone and expected departure of London leave coach Matt Nagy with three or four openings on his staff. Ragone’s passing-game coordinator position was created when DeFilippo was hired last offseason, largely because of Ragone’s experience with Mitch Trubisky. So it remains to be seen if that position will be filled.

Nagy already is looking for a defensive coordinator to replace Chuck Pagano, who retired; and a defensive line coach to replace Jay Rodgers, who is expected to be hired as defensive line coach for the Chargers.

London, 45, has coached Bears running backs the last three seasons after coaching running backs with the Texans in 2014-17. This was London’s second stint with the Bears. He got his start in the NFL as an offensive quality-control coach under Lovie Smith in 2007-09.

Under London, running back David Montgomery was fifth in the NFL in rushing this season with 1,070 yards (4.3 per carry), plus eight touchdowns. He also was fifth in yards from scrimmage with 1,508. Montgomery and the Saints’ Alvin Kamara were the only running backs in the NFL with more than 1,000 rushing yards and more than 400 receiving yards this season.

London, a Duke product, has been interested in becoming a coordinator and head coach in the NFL — often a difficult path for a running backs coach. When he came to the Bears, it was reported that he left the Texans to become a quarterbacks coach — a much more direct road to becoming a coordinator or head coach — but London denied that assertion recently.

“History says being a running backs coach isn’t usually a pipeline that gets you to be a head coach,” London said last month. “Obviously [Eric Bienemy, the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator] is an exception. A-Lynn [former Chargers coach Anthony Lynn] is an exception. So it’s not like it’s never occurred. But the natural progression is quarterback coach to coordinator to head coaching position.

“There’s a lot of talented guys that I know that are running backs coaches, receiver coaches, and maybe tight ends coaches that if given the opportunity in the league, they’d be very successful. They just need to be given the opportunity.”

London, in fact, attended the NFL’s Quarterback Coaching Summit in Atlanta by teleconference last summer — a career-development event to help minority coaches advance in the coaching ranks.

“I think if more of the owners can participate in summits like that and see the multitude of talent that is in the NFL and college, I think getting in front of these owners and decision-makers would be huge,” London said. “It’s about getting in front of these decision-makers and having them see what these guys can do — see how they present ideas; see how players can respond to them. I think that would make a huge difference.”

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