Thursday, May 16, 2024

Bears Were Warned To Stay Away from Josh McDaniels


The Chicago Bears were quick in their head coach hiring process. They went through a string of interviews and after the round was done they ended up choosing Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy as their guy. The choice caught some by surprise. Over time though many have warmed to it, believing Nagy to be an inspired choice. If the rumors were to be believed though, there was a brief time where he wasn’t the frontrunner.

Early in the process, there was a rumbling that the Bears had eyes for Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. It’s not hard to see why. His track record is impressive. He has two rings as an offensive coordinator and coached Tom Brady through the most productive stretch of his Hall of Fame career. Most consider McDaniels one of the sharpest play callers in the game. Pairing him with Mitch Trubisky certainly fuels the imagination.

At the same time, there’s more to being a head coach than just the quarterback. Could McDaniels overcome the demons of his past? Everybody knows what a disaster his first head coaching run became back in 2009 and 2010. Had the 41-year old learned his lessons? Many around the league didn’t think so and told the Bears as much.

Bears brass was heavily cautioned to avoid Josh McDaniels

According to a source, at some point during the hiring process word leaked out the Bears were starting to key on McDaniels. He fit the profile of what Ryan Pace wanted after all:  a young, hotshot offensive mind to pair with Trubisky. It didn’t take long though for ice cold water to get thrown on that fire.

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“Multiple people who had considered hiring McDaniels in the past contacted the Bears after word got out he might be the guy and pleaded they not hire him. San Francisco, Denver, and Los Angeles (Rams) all voiced that opinion.”

The Broncos, of course, employed McDaniels as their head coach back in 2009 and 2010. They had firsthand experience of how he operates. The 49ers and Rams had interviewed him for their vacant positions in 2017. It seems he made a not-so-good impression on them.

Thankfully their warnings got through. The McDaniels buzz vanished and Nagy was hired. Barely a month later they appeared to receive validation for taking the advice. McDaniels shook the NFL landscape to the core when he backed out of his commitment to the Indianapolis Colts to become their next head coach in order to stay with the New England Patriots.

It was not a good look for the young coach in any sense. Most feel it was done because Patriots owner Robert Kraft gave him assurances that he would be the heir whenever Bill Belichick retired. Though McDaniels never signed a contract, it still came off looking bad. Especially when several assistants he’d recruited to the team had already signed deals. In essence, he left them all hanging.

That easily could’ve been the Bears. Be grateful.

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