Thursday, March 08, 2018

Harry Hiestand named most underrated NFL hire

By Matt Eurich
March 8, 2018

Lost in the shuffle of new Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy bringing back Vic Fangio and hiring Mark Helfrich to be his offensive coordinator was the fact that the organization brought in one of the most well-respected offensive line coaches in the game in Harry Hiestand. He's been credited for his outstanding work with offensive linemen at Notre Dame between 2012 and 2017 and adds a wealth of experience to Nagy's offensive coaching staff.

In Albert Breer's latest piece for The MMQB he listed Hiestand as the offseason's most underrated hiring, writing:
We don’t talk much about position coaches here. But I’m going to give you one that I believe has a chance to be a big-time difference-maker for his first-time head coach: new Bears line coach Harry Hiestand. Matt Nagy did incredibly well to poach Hiestand, who’d been a target for a number of guys interviewing for jobs in January, from Notre Dame.

Breer noted Notre Dame's Quenton Nelson and fellow teammate Mike McGlinchey are set to be first-round picks come April and players like Ronnie Stanley, Nick Martin and Zack Martin have all become NFL stalwarts under the tutelage of Hiestand in the past. Breer was told by Nagy that the young coach did not know Hiestand before the staff was assembled and Nagy is blown away by him on a daily basis.

"He impresses me more and more every day," Nagy said.

Hiestand is no stranger to Bears fans. The veteran offensive line coach followed offensive coordinator Ron Turner to the Bears in 2005 and held the offensive line coach position until the 2009 season. During that stretch he helped the offensive line become one of the team's strengths, backed by the play of Olin Kreutz and Ruben Brown on the interior of the line. After his five-year stint in Chicago he coached at the University of Tennessee before joining Notre Dame's coaching staff in 2012. During his time as an offensive line coach he has seen a long list of his collegiate players make major impacts in the NFL.

The veteran coach will have his work cut out for him this year as the Bears try to get better along the line of scrimmage after moving on from former Pro Bowl guard Josh Sitton. If Hiestand can work wonders with Chicago's offensive line like he did in the past then good things could be on the horizon for the organization.

Popular Posts