Two weeks after Bears chairman George McCaskey opted for stability, the Bears’ coaching staff is in a state of flux.
Bears inside linebackers coach Mark DeLeone will be hired as the linebackers coach with the Detroit Lions under new head coach Dan Campbell, ESPN reported. DeLeone would be the sixth assistant coach to leave the Bears since the end of the 2020 season. DeLeone’s hiring was not announced by the Lions, but the Bears removed DeLeone’s bio from the team’s web site.
Previously, defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano retired; defensive line coach Jay Rodgers is expected to sign with the Chargers; And outside linebackers coach Ted Monachino, passing game coordinator Dave Ragone and running backs coach Charles London were hired by the Falcons under new head coach Arthur Smith.
The Bears promoted safeties coach Sean Desai to defensive coordinator, but Desai now has four position coaches to replace — DeLeone, Rodgers, Monachino and himself, Cornerbacks coach Deshea Townsend, in fact, is the only remaining position coach on defense from last season.
DeLeone joined the Bears in 2019 when Pagano replaced Vic Fangio as coordinator. He has been held in high regard by players he has coached and is credited with the development of Roquan Smith, who was a second-team All-Pro in 2020, when he led the Bears with 139 tackles and 18 tackles-for-loss, with four sacks, two interceptions and seven pass break-ups.
Nick Kwiatkoski also blossomed under DeLeone, parlaying an outstanding 2019 season as an injury replacement for Smith and Danny Trevathan into a three-year, $21 million contract with the Raiders. And Trevathan had a standout season in 2019 before his injury, earning a three-year, $21.8 million contract extension with the Bears.