Rogers and Niyo break down the Lions' upcoming game against the Bears, as well as Monday's wild shootout between Kansas City and Los Angeles. Justin Rogers, The Detroit News
Allen Park — There are few more improbable seasons in recent Detroit Lions history than Mike Furrey's 2006 campaign, when he went from an unknown to leading the NFC with 98 receptions.
Furrey played two more seasons in Detroit, followed by a year in Cleveland before his career fizzled out and he transitioned into coaching. He served two years as the head coach at Kentucky Christian (2011-12), three years leading the wide receivers at Marshall (2013-15) and two years as Limestone College's head coach before getting his first taste of the NFL this year, joining Matt Nagy's staff in Chicago.
It turns out Furrey and Nagy are former teammates, from their days with the Arena Football League's New York Dragons.
“Well, he only had some good years (in Detroit) because he had a good quarterback in the Arena League throwing to him before that," Nagy said. "(He) had a great career in the NFL, which was just so neat to see. I’ll never forget the day he told me he was getting a tryout with the Rams once when we were teammates in the Arena League and what he turned it into.
"Ultimately, in the end, when you get into this profession, you need to surround yourself with people that you trust. And there aren’t many people I trust more than him."
A year ago, Chicago's receivers were among the least productive in the NFL. This offseason, the team revamped its corps, signing Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel in free agency and drafting Anthony Miller in the second round.
That trio have combined for 104 receptions, 1,292 yards and 11 touchdowns through 10 games.
"I think he’s done an unbelievable job his first year as a coach," Nagy said of Furrey. "He relates well with these players. They respect him because he’s been there, done that, and we’re lucky to have him.”