The Chicago Bears are four games away from starting their search for a new head coach. People may try to insist there is still a chance Matt Nagy can save himself, but every single indication at this point is a change is coming. Nagy had his last chance this year. George McCaskey took the backlash from media and fans to give it to him back in January. The head coach accepted it and promptly had the worst season of his career at 4-9 with another bad offense.
The bigger question is whether the changes will go higher than the head coach. That remains to be determined. At the same time, it appears the vultures have begun to circle. There is a widespread belief that interest in the Bears job will be quite high. Both because of its prestige due to the franchise’s history and also the presence of talented young quarterback Justin Fields. Many in the league see him as a potential star.
So who might push for the job?
One name a source brought up as being not just interested but “extremely” interested is Doug Pederson. The former Philadelphia Eagles head coach won a Super Bowl in 2017 but was fired after a tumultuous 2020 season. One that saw a rift form with quarterback Carson Wentz but more so due to an invasive owner in Jeff Lurie that kept demanding changes to the coaching staff. It finally reached a point where he’d had enough.
“On the surface, the firing looks more like a matter of Pederson putting his foot down as it pertains to being told what to do by Lurie and Roseman…
…The firing of Pederson comes amid reports that he wanted a say in who he hired to be his assistants and who he wanted to retain but Lurie wouldn’t allow that to happen.
Specifically, Pederson wanted to make Press Taylor his offensive coordinator after a year spent as the passing game coordinator/quarterback coach.
Last year, he wanted to bring back Mike Groh as his offensive coordinator and even told reporters that Groh would return. A day later, Groh was fired and Pederson was hung out to dry saying he had changed his mind when it was later learned the directive from Lurie was to fire Groh.”
After speaking with two people close to former #Eagles coach Doug Pederson, it sounds like this is what it boiled down: Pederson was sick of people telling him what to do.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 11, 2021
Pederson is 53-years old and had the 2021 year off to recharge. Most believe he is going to be a prominent target for teams seeking a new head coach. His interest in the Bears makes perfect sense. They have a young quarterback he can help mold. Pederson got the best seasons out of Wentz in his career to date. They also have a far different owner in McCaskey, somebody who is known for staying out of the way of both coaching and personnel decisions.
Chicago Bears would gain credibility with Pederson
He would be the first-ever head coach to take over who’d already won a championship with another team. Rumors have persisted that the Bears are interested in candidates with prior head coaching experience. Pederson makes perfect sense in that regard. The fact he’d be coming in with a chip on his shoulder would be a bonus. No doubt the man is anxious to prove the Eagles made a huge mistake letting him walk.
No doubt he sees an opportunity to do so with Fields as his quarterback. From 2017 to 2019, Wentz threw 81 touchdowns to just 21 interceptions with a 98.3 passer rating. Many felt he was in the MVP conversation at one point. Unfortunately, injuries kept setting him back. Soon the high-pressure atmosphere of Philadelphia wore him out. His relationship with Pederson frayed and he was eventually traded. The odds are good the coach wouldn’t have such an issue with Fields.
The young QB is known to have said he likes being coached hard.
From here comes the obvious question. Pederson might be interested in the Chicago Bears but are they interested in him? The short answer is yes. It isn’t known how much but the source indicated that McCaskey is an admirer of the former head coach. This leads one to believe the team will likely set up an interview at some point next month.