Last week I reported that the Chicago Bears had begun researching potential head coach candidates in case they end up firing Matt Nagy. Something that is looking more likely by the week. A loss to Pittsburgh on Monday night could well seal it. Insider Benjamin Allbright confirmed it a few days later. Barring a miraculous midseason turnaround, Nagy is out at the end of 2021. From there the question becomes obvious.
Who will be his replacement? Predicting a specific name at this juncture is close to impossible. There are still nine games to go and a lot can change in two months. However, one source revealed a few interesting details about the thought process inside Halas Hall. The thinking right now is that ownership prefers a head coach with experience. Be it a former NFL guy or a current college head coach.
The reasoning behind this?
A steady track record of getting burned by first-time head coaches over the years. Dave Wannstedt, Dick Jauron, and now Nagy. Lovie Smith was the only bright spot in an otherwise ugly stretch. Then again Marc Trestman and John Fox had experience and they didn’t do all that great. Though in fairness Trestman got his in Canada, a very different style of game, and Fox was 60-years old. Past his prime at that point.
It isn’t set in stone but for the time being the top brass are focused on experience. Guys who have produced consistent quality teams in the past. One other thing mentioned? There is a strong belief that when the time comes this January, the Bears will already know who they want and the hiring process will be swift. No doubt a byproduct of starting the research this early in the season. So who are some possible targets they’ll consider?
Chicago Bears do have some interesting options
One name certain to get immediate looks is Ryan Day. He is the head coach at Ohio State and was the man who helped transform Fields into an 11th overall pick. Nobody understands the quarterback’s strengths and weaknesses better than him. Why not have a reunion in the NFL? Another obvious name that will get mentioned is Jim Harbaugh. He’s busy at rival Michigan and had great success as head coach in San Francisco from 2011 to 2014. Not to mention he has deep connections to the Bears franchise.
From the NFL side? There are a number of possibilities. Doug Pederson will be available when the hiring cycle begins. He has a ring and is only 53. Some may be starting to think he wasn’t the problem in Philadelphia. Todd Bowles and Dennis Allen have done outstanding work as coordinators in Tampa Bay and New Orleans after difficult first stints in New York and Oakland. They may deserve second chances. The same goes for Leslie Frazier whose defense in Buffalo is playing terrific.
Going by history? It may come down to the interview process.
The Bears have shown with two of their previous three hires (Trestman and Nagy) that the interview, not necessarily the resume, is where the job is won. A big reason why fans are so nervous about letting McCaskey lead this process again. That is just the way it is. The buck stops with him.