Sunday, July 3, 2022

Chicago Bears Intrigued With Rising Head Coach Candidate


People have been quick one way or the other to declare where the Chicago Bears will go in regards to their head coaching position. Already ESPN has stated both Leslie Frazier and now Jim Caldwell are the guys to watch. Meanwhile, Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports stated the team is “smitten” with Brian Flores. All this while Matt Eberflus of the Colts is the only one to receive an official second interview.

The truth is the process is far from over. Still, interesting nuggets continue to trickle out of Halas Hall. A source informed SM a few days ago that Flores had made a good impression on the Bears. Not long after that, the Robinson update surfaced. Now the same source returned with new information. Byron Leftwich, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator, had a strong interview of his own. The words used to describe it were “grand slam.” He completed his interview on Thursday.

SM weren’t the only ones to hear this.

Jeff Hughes of Da Bears Blog, who has been on top of the team’s work since the offseason began, dropped a major hint about the same thing. When somebody pointed out how great Leftwich has been for the Buccaneers’ offense, Hughes indicated the Bears might be coming around to the idea of pairing him with Justin Fields.

This doesn’t automatically mean that Leftwich is going to be the next head coach. It means that he has entered the more serious conversations for it. The Bears aren’t in a position to hire yet anyway. Not with Tampa Bay still alive in the playoffs and trying to repeat as champions. That said, it is hard not to envision the idea. Leftwich, a former black quarterback who was also drafted in the 1st round. An understudy of Bruce Arians. His fit would Fields seems so obvious on paper. Especially after what he did with Jameis Winston in 2019.

Chicago Bears have many valid reasons to hire Leftwich

He’s a former quarterback who played in the NFL for a decade. His coordinating experience goes back to 2017 and he’s gotten better and better with each year. Winston threw for over 5,000 yards in 2019. Then a year later Leftwich wins the Super Bowl with a 43-year old Tom Brady. Since arriving in Tampa Bay, his offense has never ranked outside the top 5. In terms of qualifications for developing Fields, there are few on the market who are better.

The tricky part of this situation is if the Chicago Bears want to go with him, then they need to find a GM he can pair with. When looking at their current list of known options, nobody has direct connections to him as a coach. However, there is one that knows him quite well as a player. Pittsburgh Steelers director of football and business administration Omar Khan. Leftwich was with that organization during two different stints as a backup to Ben Roethlisberger including their Super Bowl title run in 2008.

It isn’t a hard sell presuming Khan likes the young coach.

He has worked at the top of an elite NFL organization for 20 years. Leftwich just won a Super Bowl as a coach last year and is gunning for a second. If the Bears were looking for two commodities that would bring a winning mentality to Chicago, they could do a lot worse.

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