By Chris Emma–
(670 The Score) Matt Nagy’s first hire as Bears coach is one with a major impact, adding respected offensive line coach Harry Hiestand to his new staff in Chicago, as the team officially announced on Wednesday evening.
Hiestand rejoins a Bears coaching staff that he served on from 2005-’09 under Lovie Smith. He has worked with Brian Kelly at Notre Dame since 2012, furthering his reputation of doing quality work in developing offensive linemen. This past season, the Fighting Irish earned the Joe Moore Award, which is given to the top offensive line in college football.
Hiestand, 59, coached two linemen in Quinton Nelson and Mike McGlinchey who are expected to be drafted in the first round this April. In past seasons at Notre Dame, he coached Ronnie Stanley and Zack Martin, another pair of first-rounders.
During his first tenure with the Bears, Hiestand coached Pro Bowl talents like Olin Kreutz and Ruben Brown. He will replace Jeremiah Washburn, who spent a year on John Fox’s coaching staff before moving to Miami to join Dolphins coach Adam Gase, who previously was the Bears’ offensive coordinator.
Hiestand inherits a Bears offensive line that has some questions entering the 2018 season. Charles Leno is the only player who spent last season at the same position for every play. Cody Whitehair and Bobby Massie had mixed results. Meanwhile, three-time Pro Bowl guard Kyle Long is spending a season consecutive offseason recovering from injury, and veteran Josh Sitton faces an uncertain future with the team.
The Bears could look for help on the offensive line during the draft — and perhaps even covet a player like Nelson or McGlinchey for their line.