One key offseason addition that may not be garnering the attention it deserves is the return of veteran assistant Brad Childress to coach Matt Nagy’s staff.
On May 1, the Bears announced the hiring of Childress as a senior offensive assistant. It’s his second stint with the team after having served as a senior offensive consultant last year during the offseason and training camp.
“For him, what he’ll do for us is kind of oversee everything,” Nagy said, “whether it’s throughout the week with scripts, with game-planning, and then he’ll have some game-day responsibilities.”
Childress owns 20 years of NFL coaching experience, including five seasons as Vikings head coach from 2006-10. Before joining the Bears, Childress spent five years working alongside Nagy on coach Andy Reid’s staff with the Chiefs.
With Nagy and Childress as co-offensive coordinators in 2016, Kansas City won the AFC West with a 12-4 record. Childress was instrumental in the use of All-Pro Travis Kelce, who led all NFL tight ends in receiving yards (1,125) and first downs (55).
With Nagy continuing as the coordinator and Childress lending a hand as assistant head coach in 2017, the Chiefs offense ranked second in the NFL in yards per play (6.1), fifth in yards per game (375.4), sixth in points per game (25.9) and led the league in fewest turnovers (11). Quarterback Alex Smith led the NFL in passer rating and rookie running back Kareem Hunt topped the league in rushing.
“Everybody here knows how well we get along and how much I look to him for advice, and not just on offense, but how to run things as a head coach,” Nagy said. “So having him and coach [Chuck] Pagano as a former head coach, it’s been great for me.
“Brad does a great job at all positions. But then on top of that, some things that get lost in this thing is that these young coaches that we have on staff, he’s really good for them too. We want to develop not only our players but our coaches.”
One thing that Nagy appreciates most about working with Childress is knowing that the veteran coach isn’t afraid to voice his opinion.
“He’s not scared to tell me when I’m doing something maybe not wrong, but when I maybe should think about doing something else,” Nagy said. “He’ll give me advice. He’s not worried about who I am or what I do or what my title is.
“He’ll pull me aside at the right time and say, ‘Hey, maybe think about doing this.’ Or, ‘Did you think about that?’ And I love that. It keeps you where you need to be. From the day I met him, I’ve always felt that way about him, so he helps me.”