Bears RB coach Charles London headed to Falcons — report

Bears RB coach Charles London headed to Falcons — report

Charles London (center) has been the Bears’ running backs coach the past three seasons. He also was the Texans running backs coach from 2014-17. | Elsa, Getty

With an eye on career advancement, London is expected to become the quarterbacks coach of the Falcons. His departure would leave Matt Nagy with three coaching vacancies to fill.

Bears running backs coach Charles London is expected to be named the quarterbacks coach of the Falcons, NFL Network’s Tom Pellissero reported.

London, 45, has coached Bears running backs the past three seasons after coaching running backs with the Texans from 2014-17. It was London’s second stint with the Bears. He got his start in the NFL as an offensive quality control and offensive assistant under Lovie Smith in 2007-09. He has 12 seasons of NFL experience.

London’s departure would leave Bears coach Matt Nagy with three coaching spots to fill. Nagy also is looking for a defensive coordinator to replace Chuck Pagano, who retired; and a defensive line coach to replace Jay Rodgers, who left to become an assistant coach with the Chargers under new head coach — and former Bears assistant — Brandon Staley. Presumably, the defensive coordinator would hire the line coach.

Under London, running back David Montgomery was fifth in the NFL in rushing in 2020 with 1,070 yards on 247 carries (4.3 avg.) with eight touchdowns. Montgomery also had 54 reception for 428 yards (8.1 avg.) and two touchdowns. He also was fifth in the NFL in yards from scrimmage with 1,508 (100.5.) Montgomery and the Saints’ Alvin Kamara were the only running backs in the NFL with more than 1,000 rushing yard and more than 400 receiving yards this season.

London, a Duke product, has been interested in becoming a coordinator and head coach in the NFL — often a difficult path for a running backs coach. When he came to the Bears, it was reported that he left the Texans to become a quarterbacks coach — a much more direct road to becoming a coordinator or head coach — but London denied that assertion recently.

“History says being a running backs coach isn’t usually a pipeline that gets you to be a head coach,” London said last month. “Obviously [Eric Bienemy, the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator] is an exception. A-Lynn [former Chargers coach Anthony Lynn] is an exception. So it’s not like it’s never occurred. But the natural progression is quarterback coach to coordinator to head coaching position.

“There’s a lot of talented guys that I know that are running backs coaches, receiver coaches, and maybe tight ends coaches that if given the opportunity in the league, they’d be very successful. They just need to be given the opportunity.”

London, in fact, attended the NFL’s Quarterback Coaching Summit in Atlanta by teleconference last summer — a career-development event to help minority coaches advance in the coaching ranks.

“I think if more of the owners can participate in summits like that and see the multitude of talent that is in the NFL and college, I think getting in front of these owners and decision-makers would be huge,” London said. “It’s about getting in front of these decision-makers and having them see what these guys can do — see how they present ideas; see how players can respond to them. I think that would make a huge difference.”

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