After firing Matt Nagy, the Chicago Bears are seeking to find a new head coach. In this piece, I will rank my top 6 candidates who could replace Nagy and become the next head coach of the Chicago Bears.
Leslie Frazier is the best candidate to replace Matt Nagy as head coach of the Chicago Bears. Frazier has a long history of success in the NFL and has been a leader on both sides of the ball. His experience could be what this team needs to take them back to their winning ways.
Matt Nagy’s tenure with the Chicago Bears has come to an end.
Nagy, 43, was sacked by Chicago after four seasons with a 6-11 record in 2021. Despite his 34-31 record and two playoff appearances, the Bears appropriately moved on following a disappointing season. Whoever succeeds Nagy as the Bears’ 17th head coach will inherit a club that includes rookie quarterback Justin Fields, outstanding linebacker Roquan Smith, and Pro Bowl pass-rusher Robert Quinn.
Who will the Bears select to replace Nagy? We have a few great candidates in mind, including many former NFL head coaches. The sole requirement for this list is that the candidate in question makes logistical sense. No, Bill Belichick and Urban Meyer aren’t among them.
The top choices stack up as follows when considering the aforementioned prerequisites:
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles
Bowles is one of few contenders on this list with head coaching experience in the NFL, having led the New York Jets to a 26-41 record from 2015 to 2018. Despite going 10-6 in Gang Green’s inaugural season, the long-suffering organization never won more than five games in the next three seasons.
Bowles, on the other hand, is a popular name in this year’s carousel, particularly after the Buccaneers’ defense held Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs’ powerful offense without a score in Super Bowl 55. Despite his age (Bowles turned 58 in November) and his time with the Jets working against him, he is a former athlete with a long CV.
Bowles isn’t the most enticing candidate in terms of name and profile, but he’s a viable choice.
5. New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels
What’s keeping McDaniels from working his magic on Justin Fields if he can do it with Mac Jones? McDaniels, like Bowles, has NFL head coaching experience (11-17 in parts of two seasons with the Denver Broncos from 2009-10), as well as a championship pedigree (six Super Bowl championships with the Patriots).
However, given of Jones’ rookie success, we’re reluctant to place McDaniels higher on this list. The Patriots look to have found a franchise quarterback, and the seasoned offensive coordinator remains Bill Belichick’s probable successor. This raises the obvious issue of whether the Bears’ job in 2022 will be better than the Patriots’ position in 2025.
McDaniels, who will be 46 in April, should ask himself that question if he hasn’t already.
4. Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus
Matt Eberflus, the defensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts, might be the next head coach of the Chicago Bears. | Getty Images/Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire
Eberflus, who will be 52 in July, has never held the position of head coach. It’s debatable whether or not it should be enough to frighten the Bears away. For what it’s worth, Eberflus allegedly interviewed for head coaching jobs with the Jets, Houston Texans, and Los Angeles Chargers last year.
In three of the previous four seasons, the Colts’ defense has ranked eighth or higher in points allowed and has excelled at forcing turnovers. Bears supporters may desire an offensive genius, but Eberflus and what he can accomplish with a good defensive core should not be overlooked.
3. Doug Pederson, former head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles
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Pederson is everything a Bears fan could hope for in a new head coach. He has head coaching experience (42-37-1 in five seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, a record that looks much worse after a 4-11-1 season in 2020) and has won a Super Bowl. Before coaching a young, mobile quarterback in Carson Wentz, the Super Bowl 31 winner played alongside Dan Marino and Brett Favre.
To put it another way, Pederson, who will be 54 on Jan. 31, should tick every box the Bears are likely to have right now. However, if neither is interested, the Bears must seriously examine two additional options.
2. Byron Leftwich, offensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Leftwich has supplanted Eric Bieniemy, the Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive coordinator, as the fashionable, up-and-coming offensive maestro who media members, coaches, and players believe will be a terrific head coach. The combination of Tom Brady plus a Super Bowl ring is a powerful combination in the coaching world.
Leftwich would offer a creative mind, a young appearance (he turns 42 on Jan. 14), and a proven track record as the Buccaneers’ offensive play-caller. At 44 years old, the former Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback has helped Brady stay among the game’s finest quarterbacks. Yes, Brady and his offensive coordinator are three years apart in age.
The idea of Leftwich coaching Fields is intriguing, and it’s one that Bears fans should embrace if the team unveils the 2003 first-round choice at Halas Hall in the coming weeks.
1. Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh
Will Jim Harbaugh, the head coach of the Michigan Wolverines, be the next head coach of the Chicago Bears? | Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Harbaugh is well-versed in both Chicago and the NFL. In seven seasons with the Bears, he finished 35-30, completing 58.2 percent of his throws for 11,567 yards, 50 touchdowns, and 56 interceptions. He was picked 26th overall in the 1987 NFL Draft.
Harbaugh finished 44-19-1 as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers from 2011 to 2014, reaching the NFC Championship Game in each of his first three years. He has spent the previous seven seasons at Michigan, where he has a 61-24 record and a 42-17 Big Ten record.
Harbaugh, who is 58 years old (doesn’t that make you feel ancient?) recently said that he is content in Ann Arbor. If the Bears come calling and provide the money, the veteran coach should seriously consider returning to the league. This isn’t asking him to take over a scrappy squad like the Jets or Texans. He’d have a potential franchise quarterback, an experienced defense, and around $44 million in cap space on his hands.
Who says you can’t return home? Harbaugh did it at Michigan, and he should do it in Chicago as well.
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The “new nfl head coaches 2021” is a list of six candidates who are currently in the running to replace Matt Nagy as Chicago Bears Head Coach.
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