Monday, January 24, 2022

George McCaskey Reveals Who Will Lead Bears Coach/GM Searches

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Chicago Bears fans got what they wanted when Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace were fired on Monday. George McCaskey made a clean sweep of the football operations and will start over from scratch. Unfortunately, keeping Bears fans happy is not easy these days. When McCaskey stepped in front of the cameras for the first time in almost a year, he revealed his plans for fixing the problems that have ailed his franchise.



One of them is leaning on Hall of Famer Bill Polian to help direct the search for the new GM and head coach. This sent several fans into a rage. Polian is 79-years old. Clearly behind the times. Also, this feels like just a repeat of 2015 when McCaskey hired Ernie Accorsi, another former successful GM to do the same thing. That didn’t exactly work out. Yet the team chairman seems committed to letting Polian help direct this process.

Those are fair concerns.

Yet one thing remains undeniable in all of this. McCaskey is not a football guy. He has no history with the game outside of being a fan and was lucky enough to inherit the franchise from his grandfather. At least he’s willing to admit it. Would Bears fans rather have him run the search by himself or ask for help from a guy that has a gold jacket and a Super Bowl ring? Those seem to be the only two options on the table. So it might be wise to take the latter.

Like it or not, Polian’s own track record for hiring coaches is pretty impressive. Marv Levy (Buffalo) and Tony Dungy (Indianapolis) are both in the Hall of Fame. Jim Mora Sr. went to the playoffs twice in four years. Jim Caldwell got to a Super Bowl in his first season. He understands what qualities to look for in that job. Sure that doesn’t mean he’ll ensure McCaskey gets this decision right, but it should least improve the odds.

George McCaskey still holds the final say

So far the Bears have requested interviews with two people. Colts director of college scouting Morocco Brown for GM and Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier for head coach. More names figure to surface in the coming days. Polian has done this sort of thing before. In 2017, he helped the Colts conduct their search for a new GM. That led to Chris Ballard getting the job. People seem to agree that hire was a good one for Indianapolis.

Knowing how Polian thinks, don’t expect him to do anything revolutionary. He is going to steer the Bears towards solid, proven talent evaluators at GM and leaders of men at head coach. It might not be the newest method in terms of regime-building but it’s one that has found a lot of success in the NFL over the years.

The hard part is finding the right two men for the job.

Hence why George McCaskey having the power to make that final decision is so terrifying. People have no confidence that he’ll get this right because he’s already tried multiple times before. Phil Emery. Ryan Pace. Marc Trestman. John Fox. Matt Nagy. Those were all he signed off on. Now the Bears passed through a full decade with two winning seasons. Finding hope is difficult these days for fans.

Erik Lambert
Educated to be a writer at the prestigious Columbia College in Chicago, Erik has spent the past 10 years covering the Bears.

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