Chris Rumph: Following a Tough Act With Bears

Chris Rumph: Following a Tough Act With Bears

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Where Are They Now: Former Alabama Defensive Line Coach Chris Rumph

The Extra Point: Since winning back-to-back national championships with the Crimson Tide, former Nick Saban assistant could have a top-notch line with the 2021 Chicago Bears.

It's not unusual to see Nick Saban's assistant coaches move on to bigger and better things, but former defensive line coach Chris Rumph has taken an interesting tract since leaving Alabama. 

He's since made stops at Texas, Florida (under former Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain) and Tennessee (with former Crimson Tide defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt) before making the jump to the National Football League. 

He spent the 2020 season with Bill O'Brien, now the Crimson Tide's offensive coordinator, and the Houston Texans. In January, he replaced Jay Rodgers, who left the Bears reportedly to join the Los Angeles Chargers, to be Chicago's defensive line coach.

To give one an idea of just how small football circles can be, the Chargers just selected Rumph's son, a linebacker at Duke, in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft. 

At Alabama, Rumph was part of back-to-back national championship teams in 2011 and 2012, and both were known for their defense. 

In 2011, the Crimson Tide led the nation in points per game (8.2) and total yards allowed (183.6). In the national title game, Alabama shut out LSU, which managed to cross midfield just once in the 21-0 loss. 

But he'll have a different kind of challenge with the Bears, and not just because Rodgers has a strong reputation and had his line's been one of the team's bright spots of late.

According to Pro Football Focus, it’s the sixth-best defensive line in the NFL.

In the Bears' 3-4 scheme, edge rusher Khalil Mack is listed as an outside linebacker instead of a defensive end. Either way, he remains one of the best defensive playmakers in the league. He was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2016, and is a three-time All-Pro not including being a second-team selection last season.

Chicago also has veteran linemen Akiem Hicks and Bilal Nichols, but the key up front is nose tackle Eddie Goldman, who opted out last season and was a no-show for the team's recent mandatary minicamp.

The NFL Network reported on Wednesday that anyone opting out due to coronavirus concerns in 2021 will be paid a $350,000 stipend. Goldman is due to make $4.75 million this season, and the Bears say they expect him to report to training camp next month. 

With Goldman back in the fold, the Bears can put Nichols back at defensive end, where he's most effective. With former Crimson Tide standout Eddie Jackson going back to his ball-hawking role in the secondary, Chicago could have an outstanding defense this season. 

"Hopefully with Eddie Goldman it's like riding a bike," Rumph told FanNation site Bears Digest. "He'll just pick it back up and start pedaling again. He probably won’t be able to pop any wheelies right now, but eventually he will be able to pop some wheelies.

"So I'm just excited to get him back in the building."

Chris Rumph

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It's not unusual to see Nick Saban's assistant coaches move on to bigger and better things, but former defensive line coach Chris Rumph has taken an interesting tract since leaving Alabama. 

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