It turns out Matt Eberflus wasn’t entirely done piecing together his coaching staff quite yet. Adding James Rowe as the defensive backs coach with David Overstreet II as his assistant made it seem like the Chicago Bears secondary had their guys. That was not the case. On Thursday, February 10th, the team announced they’d come to terms with veteran assistant Andre Curtis as their new safeties coach. A bit of a surprise, and a pleasant one, as it turns out.
A native of Virginia, Curtis has a military background. He got into coaching in 2000 at the Virginia Military Institute. He got his first ample opportunity as a defensive quality control coach with the New York Giants six years later. There he helped them win the Super Bowl in 2007. This led to his earning an opportunity as defensive backs coach in St. Louis in 2009. While the teams there were never good, his secondary helped the Rams become a top 10 pass defense in 2011. He was the one who helped develop eventual Pro Bowl safety Darian Stewart.
We have hired Andre Curtis as our safeties coach.https://t.co/SiLGa9QYiU
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) February 10, 2022
Curtis’ best work was still to come.
He spent three years in New Orleans as their assistant secondary coach before the Seattle Seahawks called on him to coach their safeties in 2015. His job was easy at first. He inherited two All-Pros in Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor. However, as those two faded out of the picture, it fell to Curtis to help the team fill the voids. It started with getting a career year out of former undrafted free agent Bradley McDougald with three interceptions in 2018.
A year later, the Seahawks traded for Quandre Diggs. In 37 games under Curtis’ tutelage, he has 13 interceptions and has made two Pro Bowls. It got even better in 2020 when Seattle made another bold trade, this time for Jamal Adams from the Jets. He delivered 9.5 sacks in 12 games during his first year for the Seahawks. The best performance of his career thus far. All of this points to the same thing. Curtis is good at his job.
#Lions fans must be sick watching Quandre Diggs #Seahawks highlights every week.
(via @NFL) pic.twitter.com/pA9JT3jiAr
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) December 9, 2019
Jamal Adams gets his first sack as a Seahawk 😤
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) September 13, 2020
Andre Curtis is precisely what the Bears need
One of his biggest specialties in his long run as a safeties coach is takeaways. Since 2009, whenever he has had direct control of that position group, at least one of his players has collected three or more interceptions in a season six times. Eberflus has preached the need for takeaways from the moment he took over the Bears. So it isn’t a surprise he’d target somebody like Curtis, given his track record.
It will be interesting to see what the man has in store for Eddie Jackson. The former All-Pro was once among the best ball-hawking safeties in the NFL. Now he’s failed to nab an interception for two full seasons. Andre Curtis is no stranger to working with high-profile names at that position. Players with egos and emotional baggage. If anybody can get through to Jackson and perhaps turn his career around, it would be the 45-year old.
This is a smart hire and further fortifies an already proven staff.
There is a chance that the Bears may boast one of the best secondaries in the NFL before too long. Defensive coordinator Allan Williams is a defensive backs specialist. Rowe is considered a rising star in coaching circles. Now they have Curtis as well. This is a strong group. It’ll be difficult to throw the ball on this team if they can add more talent to the roster alongside Jackson and Jaylon Johnson.
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