Over the past few weeks, two things have become relatively apparent about the Chicago Bears head coach situation. Matt Nagy is almost certain to be fired after the regular season concludes on January 9th and George McCaskey seems intent on seeking a replacement with a proven track record. Kevin Clark of The Ringer referred to it as “big-game hunting.” This makes sense. After multiple misfires in the past decade, the Bears owner no doubt wants to get this one right. Especially with a potential franchise QB in Justin Fields at stake.
That is why names like Sean Payton are being floated around the team. Maybe a Doug Pederson or a Mike Tomlin too. However, they might not be the only big fish the Bears have an opportunity to court. According to a source, there are some around the NFL who believe head coach Ron Rivera might consider stepping down as head coach of the Washington Football Team after this season.
What would compel him to do such a thing?
Growing frustration with the endless drama surrounding Daniel Snyder. The team owner came under a harsh media spotlight when an investigation revealed horrible treatment of female employees in the Washington organization going back several years. It’s only gotten worse since then as further digging by the Washington Post revealed Snyder employed tons of shady tactics to hinder the NFL’s investigation of those accusations.
The distractions won’t go away anytime soon either. Former #2 overall pick Robert Griffin III announced that he has a book coming out in August of next year titled, “Surviving Washington.” It promises to reveal all sorts of details about the dysfunctional four years he spent with the franchise from 2012 to 2015. One can make a safe bet Snyder will be mentioned several times in that. There is a good chance Rivera knows all of this. It’s hard enough winning in the NFL without such distractions.
Rivera would be a no-brainer target for the Chicago Bears
The man is everything they could ask for. A proven head coach with several years of experience. He’s taken two different teams to the playoffs. Most importantly he has shown he can develop quarterbacks. Cam Newton became an MVP under his watch in Carolina, coming one win away from a Super Bowl title in 2015. Now he’s squeezed viable starting play out of journeyman Taylor Heinicke in Washington.
Best of all? He has Chicago Bears blood in his veins. He played for the 1985 team as a backup linebacker. Then he was the defensive coordinator in 2006 when the franchise reached Super Bowl XLI. Him coming to Chicago would be the equivalent of Mike Ditka doing the same in 1982. Only Rivera is a better coach. There is no doubt the 59-year old would be an instant upgrade over Nagy and everything this organization needs.
Will it happen?
That is difficult to say. Rivera is a determined and loyal guy. It would be easy to see him eventually convincing himself to stick around in Washington. See the job he started through. At the same time, Snyder’s reputation for running off coaches is legendary. Not getting any younger and the Bears’ job about to come open, he may decide it’s best to exit stage left.