After merely a few days, new Bears head coach Matt Nagy has all but entirely completed his offensive staff. The latest hire is former Giants tight ends coach Kevin M. Gilbride to the same position in Chicago. This was originally reported by Football Scoops and has since been confirmed by the Bears themselves.
Gilbride, 38-years-old, comes to the Bears after spending the last eight seasons in New York. There, he began as an offensive quality control assistant, eventually transitioned over to wide receivers coach, and for the past four seasons has worked with Giants tight ends as that positions’s mentor. He is the son of former Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride.
Under Gilbride, journeyman tight ends such as Larry Donnell have enjoyed career years with 600-plus yards and six touchdowns in 2014. Most recently, Gilbride helped coax out an impressive campaign out of the Giants’ 2017 first-round pick Evan Engram: who led all rookie tight ends in most relevant receiving statistics this past season with 64 receptions, 722 yards, and six scores. Respectively, in terms of receiving, Engram not only had one of the greatest rookie seasons in terms of Giants’ franchise history for tight ends, but NFL history as well.
Thanks to both Engram’s talent and Gilbride’s coaching, that kind of performance worked quite well to shine out.
The primary crucial task for the youthful Gilbride now will be to unlock the potential of the Bears’ 2017 second-round pick in Adam Shaheen. Shaheen figures to be an incremental piece of Chicago’s offense for a long time, but he has a ways to go as a both a relied upon starter and potential star player in general. Gilbride’s tutelage of the 23-year-old will be key.
As Nagy and the Bears round out the rest of their staff, they’ve acquired quite the underrated teacher to coach their tight ends in Gilbride.
Robert Zeglinski is the Bears beat writer for The Rock River Times, an editor for Windy City Gridiron, and contributor to The Athletic Chicago. You can follow him on Twitter @RobertZeglinski.