The Chicago Bears have reportedly found a new running backs coach to replace Charles London — and it’s someone with ties to their current roster. Per ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg, the Bears are set to hire Oregon State running backs coach Michael Pitre to fill the same role in Chicago.
Source: #OregonState running backs coach and recruiting coordinator Michael Pitre is set to join the #ChicagoBears staff as running backs coach. Coached Jemar Jefferson and Artavis Pierce with the Beavers. Replaces Charles London, who left to become Falcons QB coach.
— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) February 3, 2021
Artavis Pierce’s former college RB coach joins him in Chicago
Imagine he made an impression on the Bears when they were asking about Pierce as a potential UDFA last year, pretty cool https://t.co/qrBqYFZIOe
— Brad Spielberger (@PFF_Brad) February 3, 2021
A former running back for UCLA from 2003-07, Pitre worked with current Bears back Artavis Pierce for two seasons at Oregon State, and he has also served as a recruiting coordinator with the Beavers for the last three seasons. This will be his first coaching job in the NFL.
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Michael Pitre: What Kind of Experience Will He Bring to the Bears?
Pitre has been coaching since 2009, with an emphasis on the running back position. He entered the college ranks in 2012, where he has coached up players like Pierce and Jermar Jefferson at Oregon State. Jefferson had 2,923 yards and 27 scores in 27 games with the Beavers, and he’s a prospect to keep an eye on, per draft expert Jacob Infante of Windy City Gridiron:
New #Bears RB coach Michael Pitre has ties to Artavis Pierce, which could help Pierce’s roster status next year.
Pitre also coached Jermar Jefferson at Oregon State. He’s an under-the-radar draft prospect who had 2,923 yards and 27 TDs in 27 games. Keep an eye on him. https://t.co/KyYhQUupCS
— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) February 3, 2021
Here’s a look at Pitre’s coaching resumé so far:
OREGON STATE (2018-2021) — Running backs coach
MONTANA STATE (2014-2017) — Running backs coach
COLORADO (2012-2013) — Graduate assistant coach for running backs and offensive line
INTERN/SERVITE/RANCHO MARGARITA HIGH SCHOOLS (2009-11):
- Defensive assistant (2009-11) at Servite High School
- Running backs coach (2008) at Rancho Santa Margarita High School
- New England Patriots scouting intern in 2009.
Pitre also served as a coaching intern for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2017, where he worked closely with then-Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy and current Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy.
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Could Addition of Pitre Mean Increased Role for Pierce in 2021?
With Tarik Cohen missing the bulk of last season due to a knee injury, Pierce, who the Bears signed as an undrafted free agent, was elevated to the active roster, and he impressed in limited action. He had six carries for 36 yards and a touchdown (he averaged 5.7 yards per carry), and Nagy spoke highly of him as the season progressed.
“He has done everything he possibly could have done to this point to impress us. And we like that,” Nagy said about Pierce, via the Chicago Tribune.
“He’s a kid that really came on and early on for us he did some really good things. I think he’s got really, really good vision, patience in the hole, you know we’re continuing to keep working on his ball skills coming out of the backfield,” Nagy added, via 247 Sports.
“He’s a great kid, he learns well, he learns fast so I think when you have a guy who obviously we didn’t draft him but our personnel did a great job of finding him and now bringing him in here. … He’s done everything that he possibly could have done to this point to do good things and impress us and we like that.”
Will the addition of Pitre mean a bigger role for Pierce in the Bears offense? That remains to be seen, but his presence certainly can’t hurt the running back’s chances.