Bears reportedly hire new assistant OL coach Jason Houghtaling
Peter Van Den Berg - USA Today Sports

Bears reportedly hire new assistant OL coach Jason Houghtaling

by - Senior Writer -

It was another day for the Chicago Bears at Halas Hall on Wednesday, and sure thing, another coaching hire as Matt Eberflus and his staff continue to go to work. At some point, you have to think that some defensive coaches will be brought in, but with Eberflus expected to call the plays again next season,, Eric Washington won't need to bring anyone in.

The same can't be said on the offensive side of the ball, where Shane Waldron has been extremely busy filling out his staff and trying to put together one of the most diverse staffs around. Sure, a lot of his hires have come from Seattle, and rightfully so, given his most recent tenure there, but it is nice to see him step outside the box a bit as Jason Houghtaling is being brought to work with the offensive line as the Assistant Offensive Line Coach.

Primarily a college-level guy when it comes to his overall experience, Houghtaling does have some NFL experience as he was part of the Tennessee Titans staff in 2021 as their assistant offensive line coach. Two years later, he was promoted to offensive line coach, and despite the team's overall struggles offensively, their offensive line was still ranked in the middle of the pack. Sure, that is down from where they previously were, but given the injuries and some of the overall struggles, it was a better job than what most thought it would be.

With Mike Vrabel getting fired in what many would call a surprising move, most of his staff was under question as to whether or not they would be back and were granted permission to interview elsewhere. Houghtaling was one of those coaches, and the Bears liked him enough to add him to their staff as he accepted their offer late Wednesday evening.

He has experience working with the offensive line in the NFL and several years of playcalling experience, as he was the offensive coordinator at Wagner and Cornell University. Sure, those may be college-level programs and FCS level, but when you look at how his offenses performed, you can see the trend where his teams ran the ball well and controlled the clock.

That is the style of offense that the Bears want to play, so it does make sense that Chicago showed interest in adding him to their staff. Also, his experience as a play-caller may come in handy as the Bears found out the hard way with Luke Getsy that some form of play-calling experience does matter in the NFL.

Houghtaling will be stepping into a great situation as he will join offensive line coach Chris Morgan to develop some of the Bears young talent. With Braxton Jones, Darnell Wright, and Teven Jenkins expected to anchor the Bears offensive line for the foreseeable future, Chicago has three young bodies to build around, as Houghtaling and Morgan will get to work to get the most out of those guys.

When you look at all the coaching hires the Bears have made this offseason, you immediately notice a few trends as, for the first time in forever, it does feel like this team is creating an offensive identity. They wanted to look for someone from the Sean McVay/Kyle Shannahan tree which they found in Waldron as a lot of his scheme comes from his time with McVay.

After that, he wanted to surround himself with coaches he was familiar with, as most of his staff hailed from his current team in Seattle, with several other coaches, such as Thomas Brown, crossing paths with him in Los Angeles. Then you have Houghtaling, who may not have the connections to Waldron or the McVay system, but he coached with a team that runs a similar style offense to Chicago, which comes in handy as you rebuild a group. These types of moves get overlooked but, they are just as necessary as some of the more significant hires.

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