Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur is interviewing for the Chicago Bears’ coaching job.
Shurmur could be a strong candidate considering the Vikings have an effective offense despite early losses of quarterback Sam Bradford and running back Dalvin Cook on the way to the NFC North championship.
The Bears are looking to get the most out of quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. Shurmur helped journeyman Case Keenum emerge as one of the league’s top quarterbacks after Bradford went down.
Shurmur was 9-23 as the Cleveland Browns’ coach from 2011-12. He returned for a second stint as Philadelphia’s offensive coordinator from 2013-15. He joined the Vikings as tight ends coach in 2016. He served as interim offensive coordinator for the final nine games that year following the resignation of Norv Turner and took over the job in 2017.
The Bears were meeting with Shurmur in Minnesota on Friday [url=http://www.pantherscheapstore.com/dj-moore-jersey-cheap]Cheap DJ Moore Jersey[/url] , one day after interviewing Vikings defensive coordinator George Edwards. Chicago also interviewed defensive coordinator Vic Fangio on Wednesday at team headquarters.
The Bears fired John Fox after a 14-34 record in three years and a .292 winning percentage that ranks as the second-lowest in franchise history. The Bears were 5-11 this season.
From an offensive-minded head coach to a new set of receivers, the Chicago Bears have spent the offseason adding pieces to help Mitchell Trubisky develop into the franchise quarterback they believe he can become.
It's easy to envision them continuing along that path with the No. 8 pick in the draft on Thursday. Then again, maybe a potential difference-maker on defense is the way they go.
"I think the needs of this team are pretty defined," ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said.
General manager Ryan Pace said the Bears have identified eight players the Bears are comfortable taking with the eighth pick.
Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson and Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith would appear to be strong possibilities for the Bears, assuming they are still on the board.
The 6-foot-5, 329-pound Nelson would fill a void the Bears created by letting four-time Pro Bowler Josh Sitton go.
With his size and strength, Nelson would help protect Trubisky and create space for the running backs. It doesn't hurt, either [url=http://www.authenticsgreenbaypackers.com/cheap-jaire-alexander-jersey]Jaire Alexander Color Rush Jersey[/url] , that Bears line coach Harry Hiestand was his position coach in college.
Smith would also be an intriguing possibility with his speed and quickness.
"If you can get him at 8, great," Kiper said. "Nelson's also one of the best three or four or five players in this draft. But he's a guard. I value the linebacker over the guard."
Pace clearly values Trubisky.
Pace staked his reputation to the quarterback by trading up a spot with San Francisco to draft him No. 2 overall last year and made it clear the No. 1 priority this offseason was to improve his supporting cast.
The Bears hired an offensive-minded coach in Matt Nagy to replace the fired John Fox and revamped the receiving group, most notably signing free agent Allen Robinson.
Whether they go offense or defense in the first round, the Bears need to hit on the pick. After all, Chicago has made the playoffs just one time since the 2006 team's Super Bowl run and has four straight seasons with 10 or more losses.
Here are some things to know heading into the draft:
While the Robinson signing is the headline move of the offseason so far, he's not the only new target for Trubisky.
The Bears also signed the speedy Taylor Gabriel, and brought in Bennie Fowler after deciding not to match New Orleans' offer sheet for Cameron Meredith. They added a versatile tight end [url=http://www.49ersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-weston-richburg-jersey]49ers Weston Richburg Jersey[/url] , too 鈥?Trey Burton. He threw a memorable touchdown pass to quarterback Nick Foles in Philadelphia's Super Bowl victory over New England.
The Bears could still use help at wide receiver, something they might try to address on the second or third day. Pace was part of a front office in New Orleans that found some good players in the later rounds and on the undrafted free agent market.
The Saints got six 1,000-yard seasons in 10 years out of Marques Colston after drafting the Hofstra product in the seventh round in 2006. Lance Moore, undrafted out of Toledo, had 346 receptions for 4,281 yards and 38 touchdowns for New Orleans from 2006-13.
"There's a lot of things that you value with the receivers," Pace said. "They can be different animals small, big [url=http://www.bengalsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-sam-hubbard-jersey]Bengals Sam Hubbard Jersey[/url] , good route runners, speed guys but I would say the trait that has to be there is good hands, natural hands."
Along with the No. 8 pick, the Bears have one second-rounder and two in the fourth. They also have one each in the fifth, sixth and seventh. But they don't have a third-round pick.
Pace has an uneven record drafting in the first round.
Oft-injured receiver Kevin White has been a bust since Pace took him with the No. 7 pick in 2015. Limited to five games, the West Virginia product has 21 catches for 193 yards.
Linebacker Leonard Floyd and Trubisky have flashed some promise, but have room to improve.
HITS, MISSES AND BARGAINS
While White is a huge miss [url=http://www.authenticssanfrancisco49ers.com/cheap-korey-toomer-jersey]Korey Toomer Jersey Elite[/url] , Pace hit in a big way in the second and fifth rounds in 2016.
He grabbed Cody Whitehair in the second round, landing a big contributor at both guard and center not to mention an emerging leader. In the fifth round, Pace took running back Jordan Howard out of Indiana. All he has done is run for 2,435 yards, though his struggles catching the ball could be an issue in Nagy's system.
Pace got another bargain running back last season when he drafted Tarik Cohen in the fourth round. He had 370 yards rushing and 353 receiving as a rookie.
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