Bears hire Jeff Rodgers as special teams coordinator

Bears hire Jeff Rodgers as special teams coordinator

The Chicago Bears announced the first official coaching staff hire of the John Fox era on Monday, agreeing to terms with former Denver Broncos’ special teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers.

Rodgers spent his time in Denver with Fox, of course, but came over with him from Carolina before that, where he spent the 2009 season as a Panthers’ special teams assistant before being promoted to coordinator in 2010.

Rodgers played linebacker at North Texas, and he got his first shot in the NFL in 2003 as a special teams quality control coach for the San Francisco 49ers.

In terms of his success as a special teams coordinator under Fox, Rodgers’ resume is a mixed bag.

According to Football Outsiders’ metric for ranking regular season special teams, a Rodgers-led unit has never been listed higher than 18th:

  • 2014 Broncos: 27th
  • 2013 Broncos: 21st
  • 2012 Broncos: 18th
  • 2011 Broncos: 18th
  • 2010 Panthers: 22nd
  • 2009 Panthers: 29th

In terms of more individual ST statistics, the Chicago Tribune points out that during Rodgers’ four-year stint, Denver ranked 10th in gross punting average (45.6 ypp), 11th in net punting average (39.6 ypp), and ninth in kickoff return average (24.5 ypr).

And, according to the team press release, Denver had six kick returns for touchdowns during Rodger’s time there, good for second most in the NFL during that time.

In a 2014 interview with denverbroncos.com, Rodgers said this of his style under coach Fox: “We’re a very fundamental and technique-oriented team. That’s something [John Fox] always teaches — what to do and how to do it and seeing if guys can do it under pressure, so those two philosophies marry up pretty decent.”

While Rodgers is the first hire for head coach John Fox in Chicago, he (Fox) is currently in talks with a number of other candidates to fill out the staff. We’ll keep you posted.

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