John Fox's coaching staff is coming together at a rapid pace. He added ten coaches from Monday through to Friday, offensive assistant Bo Hardegree from his Denver Broncos days yesterday, and today the Chicago Bears announced a new defensive line coach to replace the departed Paul Pasqualoni, now with the Houston Texans:
#Bears have reached agreement with Jay Rodgers to become their defensive line coach. Rodgers spent last 3 years in same role w/ Broncos.— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) January 26, 2015
Rodgers, now the second Rodgers you can get behind as a Bears fan, joined the Broncos as a coaching assistant in 2009 after coaching in college for nine years, being promoted to defensive quality control coach in 2011 and overseeing the D-line from 2012-2014 during John Fox's tenure. Larry Mayer sums up what he did there:
Over the last three seasons the Broncos led the NFL in rushing defense (90.8 yards per game) and were fourth in the league with 134 sacks. Rodgers coached two Pro Bowlers in defensive ends Elvis Dumervil and DeMarcus Ware and had a lineman record at least 10 sacks all three years.
In 2014, the Broncos defense ranked second against the run (79.8 yards) and allowed the second fewest runs of 10 yards or more with 29. In Rodgers’ first year as Denver’s defensive line coach in 2012, the Broncos tied for the NFL lead with 52 sacks and ranked third against the run.
Clearly, being able to rush the passer as teams chased a prolific Peyton Manning-led offense has its benefits, but new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio is likely to have had a role in bringing him in; perhaps a sign that the change to a full-blown 3-4 isn't a foregone conclusion? You can find out more about the scheme the Broncos ran under John Fox in Jeff Legwold's article here, and our SBN Broncos sister site MHR has an article on it here.
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