On Monday, Chicago Bears Head Coach Matt Eberflus announced the temporary hiring of nine-year NFL veteran and 1995 Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George for Organized Team Activities (OTAs).
Currently the head football coach at Tennessee State University, George was named NFL’s Rookie of the Year in 1996 while playing for the Houston Oilers. He stayed with the team for seven more seasons (all under the new Tennessee Titans era) before finishing off his career with one season with the Dallas Cowboys.
Many NFL fans recognize George as the first player featured on the cover of Madden (prior to 2001, John Madden adorned every cover himself).
George joins the Bears as part of the NFL’s Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship, which serves as a vocational tool to help people of color gain NFL coaching experience through off-season workout programs and minicamps. Program participants must select their five preferred NFL clubs and generally look to join full-time at some point in the following few years.
According to the Chicago Bears press team, George starts with the staff on Monday, May 15, for a two-week period. Though it’s unclear how he will participate in training sessions, Chicago’s young running back room should benefit from the legendary rusher.
George and Jim Brown are the only backs to rush for 10,000 yards while starting in consecutive games. A College Football Hall of Fame inductee, Ohio State retired his jersey number (27) in 2001.
Along with George, Florida State University co-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Randy Shannon will join Chicago’s staff for OTAs. A 31-year coaching veteran, former NFL starting linebacker, and Miami Hurricanes national champion, Shannon has coached nine first-team All-Americans, 79 all-conference performers, and 74 NFL draft picks.
Known for cultivating a disciplined culture, Eberflus has made a point of bringing highly experienced NFL veterans to Halas Hall. Former Bears legend Charles “Peanut” Tillman has visited camp two years in a row. Eberflus also noted reaching out to Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, Julius Peppers, and more than 30 other Chicago alums as a means of building support for the current roster.
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