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Chris Tabor signs with the Panthers

The Bears lost their special teams coordinator, but there could be a replacement soon.

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Chicago Bears Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago’s 2021 assistant coaching staff are all expected to be working elsewhere soon, but the first big name to officially leave is special teams coordinator Chris Tabor. The Carolina Panthers have signed Tabor to a three-year contract to fill the same role for their franchise.

Tabor came to the Chicago Bears in 2018 as a part of Matt Nagy’s first coaching staff, and his units improved each year he was in the Windy City. According to Rick Gosselin’s annual NFL Special Teams Rankings, Tabor’s teams went from 26th in 2018, to 23rd in 2019, and then 9th in both 2020 and 2021.

That first year had the disastrous Cody Parkey hanging over the third phase, but it also started a string of 4 straight years with an All-Pro; Tarik Cohen as a punt returner, followed by Cordarrelle Patterson in 2019 and 2020 as a kick returner, and then Jakeem Grant Sr. in 2021 as a punt returner. Tabor’s time in Chicago also featured kicker Cairo Santos setting a franchise record for consecutive field goals made.

New Bears head coach Matt Eberflus has already been rumored to be targeting Rich Bisaccia as their next special teams coordinator, which would be a huge addition to his staff. Bisaccia just completed his second season as the Las Vegas Raiders’ special teams coordinator, and as their assistant head coach he took control of the team as their interim head coach for the final 12 games of the 2021 season. He went 7-5 and helped get the Raiders into the playoffs where they lost to the Bengals in the Wild Card round.

He interviewed for Las Vegas’ head coaching position, but it’s not expected he’ll get the job, so he’d be free to sign on for Eberflus’ coaching staff.