CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bears hired Minnesota Vikings assistant Andrew Janocko as their quarterbacks coach on Thursday.
Janocko joins new coach Matt Eberflus’ staff after spending the past seven years in a variety of roles under Mike Zimmer in Minnesota, most recently as the Vikings quarterbacks coach this past season. He replaces John DeFilippo, who was also Chicago’s pass game coordinator in 2021.
The Bears also hired Tyke Tolbert as wide receivers coach and pass game coordinator and David Overstreet II as assistant defensive backs coach. Tolbert has coached 19 years in the NFL — the past four as the New York Giants wide receivers coach. Overstreet spent the past four seasons in Indianapolis, as defensive quality control coach from 2018 to 2020 and defensive backs coach in 2021, while Eberflus was the Colts defensive coordinator.
Janocko goes from working with veteran Kirk Cousins to trying to get the most out of Justin Fields. Cousins threw for 4,221 yards with 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions this season. Fields had a shaky rookie season after being drafted out of Ohio State with the No. 11 overall pick, though he also showed some potential.
Janocko was an offensive quality control coach his first two seasons in Minnesota and assistant offensive line coach in 2017. He shared offensive line coaching duties with tight ends coach Clancy Baron in 2018 following the death of Tony Sparano, then went back to assistant offensive line coach in 2019 with the hiring of Rick Dennison.
He was promoted to receivers coach in 2020, and helped Justin Jefferson deliver a Pro Bowl rookie season with 1,400 yards and seven TDs on 88 receptions.
Janocko played college ball at Pittsburgh from 2007 to 2010. New Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy was a graduate assistant there in 2010 on Dave Wannstedt’s staff.
The Bears decided to make major changes following a 6-11 season, firing general manager Ryan Pace and coach Matt Nagy. They hired new GM Ryan Poles out of Kansas City’s front office and Eberflus, hoping they can turn around a franchise mired in mediocrity the past decade.