Mentor Needs?

June 10, 2022  (9:40)

After the recent issues with losing an OTA, the Bears' coaching staff has had their lack of experience questioned. Ryan Poles has made it clear that he has a plan in place to form the roster. He does NOT have a win-now mentality; it's a build for the future mindset. In order to build, he starts with young players and uses the draft to get more players that fit the system. When you look at the roster, the average age is 25.5. So Poles' plan has its foundation.

While youth is great, players can be projected to grow over a few years and on average, have fewer health concerns. But there is a lack of experience, especially at this level. The thing with teaching young players techniques and schemes is that coaching only goes so far. We have of the four main coaches, half of them are holding a position for the first time in their careers:
Matt Eberflus: 13 years in NFL, 0 as Head Coach
Luke Getsy: 7 years in NFL, 0 as Off Coordinator
Alan Williams: 21 years in NFL, 2 as a Def Coordinator
Richard Hightower: 16 years in NFL, 5 as Special Teams Coordinator
In areas where an inexperienced coach lacks knowledge, a veteran player can step up and explain situations. But on this currently, we lack those players. On the most recent roster, 55 players have played three years or less in the NFL. Of our "crafty vets" with the most experience, there are only a handful of players with multiple starting years. So even our experienced guys are inexperienced.
Things can get complicated when you try to sign a veteran starter. They want to be compensated for their tenure. So then you're looking at the guys who are on the verge of retirement and praying they'll sign a team-friendly deal since they aren't getting much attention from many teams. Much like how the Bears got Jason Peters for one year $1.75 million. It is great to have a guy who can play if the young guys get injured or don't pan out.
Take a look at what the Colts have done with their coaching staff. Their receiver coach: Reggie Wayne. O-line coach: Kevin Mawae. They also have Cato June and Mike Mitchell and until this year they also had Robert Mathis helping with linebackers. All former players who transitioned into coaching roles. If a veteran player was considering coaching after they retire, they may sign one of those team-friendly deals to try and get their foot in the door for the future and gain experience teaching up younger teammates.
Here is my top 10 list of available free agents that could fill the possible coaching mentality yet still could play roles for the Bears:
RT: Bryan Bulaga
CB: Richard Sherman
DT: Gerald McCoy
C: Matt Paradis
LT: Duane Brown
RB: Carlos Hyde
LB: Pernell McPhee
G: Kyle Long
DE: Ryan Kerrigan
WR: Emmanuel Sanders
I considered guys like Julio and Dont'a but they are still going to pull good money contracts and others I just don't see as much as coaches. I also wouldn't be opposed to having Kreutz, Peanut, Forte, Briggs, or Urlacher come back and join the coaching staff eventually!
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