Official, the Bears Give No Fox – Who Should They Hire?

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It seems like the Chicago Bears do this far too often. For a franchise that has lasted 97 years, they’ve only had 18 head football coaches over that span. Recent years haven’t been too kind to the Bears, in terms of coaching, and after the news of John Fox getting fired – the new search is on.

So who should the Bears look to bring in? A list of prior head coaches? Maybe an offensive guru to help the growth of Mitchell Trubisky? A strong defensive mind, with an equally strong offensive coordinator? College? Coordinators? Steal someone away? One thing is for sure, the focal point will be what is best for Mitchell Trubisky.

We will look at the options.

Vic Fangio

My personal opinion is he’s done with Chicago. He is familiar with the roster, and that can be a plus for a young unit. The Bears would likely retain most of their defensive staff under Fangio, and keep the 3-4 scheme. While he likely wants to leave town, a promotion to head coach could sway him.

Offensively, he would need a strong offensive mind. Vic is rather meticulous, and whoever he brought with him would need that same passion for perfection. In a league where most good coordinators are looking for a promotion to HC, Fangio may need to look outside the box here.

Looking through Fangio’s history, the most notable names he’s worked with are retired or comfortably employed. The biggest name that jumps out isn’t current Buffalo Bills Sr Offensive Assistant, Chris Palmer. Chris has had a lot of coaching experience, having offensive coordinator runs in Jacksonville, Houston, and Tennessee. He also coached the Cleveland Browns for two years, but at this point who hasn’t.

Palmer would bring a balanced offense, one which is contained, but has some flashiness to it. His teams (outside of Cleveland) tend do perform well, and has had several years experience working with Tom Coughlin (Jacksonville and New York).

What I like most is his experience working with Eli Manning. Now, I’ve never been a big Eli fan, but there was a time Eli was considered an “elite QB.” It was because of Palmer’s guidance. If Vic can secure Palmer, he would be a very interesting hire.

Steve Wilks

Steve is currently the defensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars, and it has been revealed that Chicago has asked to interview him.

Wilks would mean a change in defensive scheme, rolling back to a 4-3, which is neither bad nor good as long as the personnel can adapt. The Bears would also compete with the Detroit Lions and Mew York Giants, as they have also requested to meet with the Jags coordinator.

Steve has familiarity with the Bears, having coached under Lovie Smith here. This could benefit them both, as Wilks would understand how the building works, have familiarity with routine, and have a general comfort level with the area. He would also get the best years (presumably) of Trubisky, and not the later years of Manning or Matthew Stafford.

I like the idea of a defensive coordinator, but only with an incredibly strong offensive coach and QB coach. You will get sick of this, but every move from here on out is to benefit Trubisky. That means from a coaching perspective to general manager to what kind of sod they use on Soldier Field. Wilks seems to be a sexy interview, but I don’t think he is ready to lead the Bears and their young quarterback.

John DeFilippo

Currently John is the quarterbacks coach in Philadelphia, and until his injury, had Carson Wentz in MVP talks. What might be more impressive was his ability to continue the success with backup Nick Foles.

DeFilippo is another one of those sexy interviews, but he could pay off. With Mitch being the center of every thought around Halas Hall, John has shown the ability to get MVP level play from a young and developing QB. When all we ever hear in Chicago is a comparison between the Bears QB and Aaron Rodgers, DeFilippo could close that gap with Trubisky and Rodgers.

The biggest knock against him is going to be experience. He is 39 years old and the highest position he’s had was offensive coordinator for the Browns. That’s basically Pop Warner level experience…

He would have to not only prove to have the ability to coach Trubisky AND have the organizational skills AND bring enough people around him to succeed. One such person could be Jeff Stoutland, current Eagles offensive line coach.

Jeff is considered one of the best O-line coaches, and would be a great addition to a coaching staff in Chicago. He would likely need an assistant head coach label to make a jump, but adding him to what should be a good Bears line would be an immediate difference-maker.

Press Taylor (asst QB and QC coach) and Eugene Chung (asst O-Line, TE, and runningbacks coach) could also be useful jumps from the Eagles to Chicago.

Todd Haley

DeFilippo helped Wentz loft an offense to crazy levels, Todd Haley is directly responsible for record-setting offenses.

Anytime you can take a coach that has experience working with one of the best of the era, you give it a hard look. When that name is Haley, you owe the franchise and the fans an even harder, more serious consideration. The Pittsburgh Steelers offense has been a hard hitting pass and rushing attack for years. Haley’s ability to call both that smash it up your nose run, the six yard slant in the middle of a defense, a finesse run to the outside, and a double-move streak down the sideline is incredible. I don’t know if there is another coordinator in the game who is as versatile as he is.

But is it Todd Haley, or is it the weapons? My wife, who doesn’t know a thing about football, could look like a genius with Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell, and Ben Roethlisberger. There is also that rumor of Ben and Todd falling out of favor with each other – not news you want to hear from a guy who will be charged with growing Trubisky.

He would present perhaps the best offensive candidate, and he is likely out in Pittsburgh. Will the Bears see this as a chance to pounce on a great offensive mind?

Josh McDaniels

Josh’s first go around is what led Jay Culter to Chicago, and perhaps a huge reason the Bears are in this position to begin with. He didn’t have as good of a run in Denver as Cutler had in Chicago – however you may interpret that.

Josh has been an incredible coordinator for Bill Belichick over the years. With multiple Super Bowl titles to his name, and some of the best offensive schemes around, he could be ready to make that leap to head coach for good.

Josh brings a balanced offensive approach. One that will shift the focus from game to game, from pass heavy to run heavy. He also mixes up the weapons, one week a certain wide receiver or running back may be a focal point, whereas the next week it is someone else. This mentality could mesh well with a Bears offense that features two great backs and average talent in their receiving corps. Allowing Mitch to benefit from defenses inability to key in on particular players, forcing them to true up in their schemes.

He might of had a less than stellar first go, but he wouldn’t be the first coach to fail in his first stop before figuring it out.

Pete Carmichael Jr

Ryan Pace came from New Orleans, he has a lot of influence from the Saints organization, and Pete must might be ready for a step up.

Under Pete, the Saints have averaged the second most yards and the fifth most points. It helps that you have a guy in Drew Brees at the helm, but Carmichael’s offensive scheme is both second nature and continuing to evolve. He has been open in the past about continuing to learn, watching other ideas, and when they work incorporating them into his scheme.

“I think he’s a quick thinker, and I think that’s a plus. He’s not stammering over decisions,” Sean Payton said. “But the challenge is, he’s got a tough job (as a play-caller) because he’s wanting to please me. And I’m always on him about, ‘Hey, I’ll chime in with calls, but I don’t want you to feel like you’re trying to think about what I’d be thinking.’

Being a quick thinker has allowed Pete to change things up on the go. This has helped the Saints be one of the most effective and dangerous offenses in the NFL since 2009.

Whatever the Bears do, it is all about Trubisky, and I don’t think there’s another man you would want paired up with Mitch more than Carmichael. His experience working with Brees, his familiarity with Pace, having a GM and HC that are on the same page. There may not be a more perfect fit than Carmichael.

The Bears are familiar with him too. He was interviewed by the team in 2013, before they hired Marc Trestman. Several years later, and a lot more experience on Pete’s end, this could be the perfect union.

Other notables

There were some other notable coaching options I left off the list. One is Jim Harbaugh. I just don’t see Jim making the leap back to the NFL so soon. He seems to enjoy the college game, and at the very least doesn’t enjoy San Francisco. The lure of Chicago, and a good young quarterback could sway husband thoughts, but I just don’t believe he is ready.

Kansas CIty’s Matt Nagy will be a sexy option to interview, but he has a month’s experience calling plays in the NFL. His offense in KC had a roller coaster season, but was mostly great. His inexperience play-calling and interviewing will be his downfall.

It seems like Bears fans won’t let Dave Taub go. He is a great coach, but there’s a reason he hasn’t been hired as a HC yet. I don’t think the promotion will happen in Chicago, at least this time around.

Who else should be on the list? Let us know!