Kellen Moore: A Possible Next Bears Head Coach Deep Dive

matt nagy
Nov 28, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore (L) and head coach Jason Garrett review plays in the third quarter against the Buffalo Bills at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Nagy survived for another week after beating the Detroit Lions on Sunday to even the Chicago Bears‘ record at 2-2. However, nobody is suddenly saying the man should be considered safe. His team had trouble with an opponent they should’ve dominated and one of the only reasons the offense improved was that he gave up play calling duties. People still don’t see what purpose he serves running this team beyond 2021. So if and when the search for a replacement begins, one name that should get a look is Kellen Moore.

The 33-year old is widely considered one of the hotshot offensive coordinators in the NFL. That in itself is something that can’t be ignored. Yet people don’t understand how crazy his rise has been. Moore first emerged into the public consciousness back in 2008 where he became the starting quarterback at Boise State as a freshman. A job he would hold for the next four years. From there he rewrote the record books with 14,667 yards, 148 touchdowns, and just 28 interceptions. During that run, the Broncos went an astounding 50-3 and 3-1 in bowl games.

Not only was Moore prolific but he was a winner too.

So why did he go undrafted? A simple matter of physical capability. Though widely respected for his intelligence, leadership, and accuracy the sad reality was he didn’t have good enough size or arm strength to make it in the NFL. He survived as a backup for three seasons in Detroit and then three seasons in Dallas. Eventually, he came to the realization he was never going to get a shot and chose to retire in 2018.

The fates smiled on him though. At the same time, Cowboys quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson retired as well. Needing to fill the opening, the organization offered it to Moore. A testament to how much they trusted his knowledge and work ethic despite so much inexperience in coaching. The young man made quite an impression. After just one year as the QBs coach, Dallas made the radical decision to promote him to offensive coordinator. It didn’t take long to realize they’d made the right call.

Kellen Moore turned Dak Prescott from good QB to superstar

In his first three seasons as a pro, Prescott posted a 96.0 passer rating with 67 touchdowns and 25 interceptions. This was over a span of 48 games. In the 25 games he’s worked under Moore? The man has 49 touchdowns, 17 interceptions, and a 102.1 passer rating. He has well and truly entered the realm of the elite. Dallas had the #1 offense in Moore’s first season running the show. Even last year despite losing Prescott to a broken ankle, the team still finished 14th with Andy Dalton filling in.

Now one month into the 2021 season, Dallas has the 4th ranked offense in the league and is cruising at 3-1. Prescott is the hottest quarterback in the league with a 116.1 passer rating. There is no denying the facts. Kellen Moore has excelled from the moment he took over calling plays for that offense. The fact he’s done it under two different head coaches in Jason Garrett and Mike McCarthy makes it even more impressive.

It feels like only a matter of time before he’s running his own team.

For the Bears? This is a guy they need to have in their top 5 list of candidates. If for no other reason than he’s worked with Prescott. A player many compared Justin Fields to coming out of Ohio State. At least in terms of playing style. If Moore could do that for Dak, why not Fields? What people need to figure out is whether he has the capability of commanding a locker room. Calling plays is nice, but it won’t matter if veteran players don’t respect him.

Reports have stated he comes across as mild-mannered and soft-spoken. Something that might give people pause about whether he can hold the attention of others when he speaks. Yet players close to the young coach swear by his total command of the offensive room. So the risk might definitely be worth it.

SOURCETim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Educated to be a writer at the prestigious Columbia College in Chicago, Erik has spent the past 10 years covering the Bears.