Bears, Matt Nagy to keep Henry Burris on coaching staff for 2021 season

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  • Henry Burris
    American football player
  • Matt Nagy
    Matt Nagy
    American football coach

At least one member of Nagy's staff confirmed to return in 2021 originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

At least one member of Matt Nagy’s coaching staff will be back for 2021. Henry Burris, who was a Bill Walsh Coaching Fellow in 2020, told Canadian news outlet CTV Ottawa that he’s going to return to Halas Hall next season.

“I had a talk with the head coach, Matt Nagy, and he wants me back,” Burris told CTV Ottawa. “He said he was going to get back in touch with me, but right now I am going to be a part of his staff heading into 2021. As far as what my role will be, I’ll find that out in the upcoming days, possibly by the end of the week. Now it’s just kind of sitting on the side and waiting. But more importantly, coach told me on the phone, ‘Just go be a dad and enjoy time with your family, and we’ll talk soon and get things set up for the future.’”

Burris, who played one season for the Bears in 2002, made quite the impression on the team's front office before landing his fellowship in 2020. Now, it sounds like the Bears may be grooming him for more responsibilities in the future.

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“It was a fabulous year,” Burris said. “This all started as an internship. Just an opportunity to go down and see if coaching was something that was a part of me, to see if I could see it in my future. Things just escalated quickly. While I was at training camp, a week before I was supposed to head back to Ottawa, the head coach and the GM both stopped me, Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace. They said, ‘Hey, have you ever thought about doing this? You could make a great head coach in this league one day.’ When they said that it completely blew me away. I called my wife, Nicole, and she said, ‘You better keep your butt down there.’ As soon as she said that, I went ‘Ok, I’m not leaving. Let’s make this happen.’”

While Burris had a short career in the NFL, he enjoyed more success in the CFL where he won three Grey Cups (Canada’s Super Bowl equivalent), including two Grey Cup MVPs and two CFL MVPs. Burris shed some light on how that success helped him during his first season on the Bears’ coaching staff.

“Everybody wants to know what we did in Canada. It’s crazy, because people want to implement and be the first to do this, and the first to do that. But a lot of people look to Canada, in terms of the CFL, in terms of the things we did. ‘How did you confuse the defense? What are some different types of concepts you ran that were able to get guys open versus different coverages?’ The thing is, it’s all the same stuff.

“You’re starting to see the transition taking place, and the fact that I get to be a part of it, the fact that I get to reach into the vault for things we did up here, because it’s proven to be successful. That’s why you see teams like Kansas City and the Green Bay Packers, they run a lot of the CFL analogies. I’m thankful I was able to spend that time, because for me it’s hitting right at home.”

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