For the third time since 2013, the Chicago Bears are looking for a head coach. The ideal candidate is someone who can stabilize the position, hire a top-notch coaching staff, keep the defense performing at a high level, bring the offense up to speed, and ultimately, win a Super Bowl. It’s a lot to ask, but someone could be up to the task.
With those characteristics in mind, we’re going to take a look at each of the candidates the Bears plan on interviewing leading up to the announcement of a new head coach.
Name, Current Team, Position
George Edwards, Minnesota Vikings, Defensive Coordinator
NFL Coaching Experience
- 1998-2001 Dallas Cowboys (Linebackers)
- 2002-03 Washington Redskins (Linebackers/Assistant Defensive Coordinator, Defensive Coordinator)
- 2004 Cleveland Browns (Linebackers)
- 2005-09 Miami Dolphins (Linebackers)
- 2010-12 Buffalo Bills (Defensive Coordinator)
- 2012-13 Miami Dolphins (Linebackers)
- 2014-present Minnesota Vikings (Defensive Coordinator)
- 1998-99 Chan Gailey
- 2000-01 Dave Campo
- 2002-03 Steve Spurrier
- 2004 Butch Davis
- 2005-06 Nick Saban
- 2007 Cam Cameron
- 2008-09: Tony Sparano
- 2010-11 Chan Gailey
- 2012-13 Joe Philbin
- 2014-present Mike Zimmer
Notable Associates with an Offensive Background
Hue Jackson (2002), Rob Chudzinski (2004), Terry Robiskie (2004), Scott Linehan (2005), Jason Garrett (2005-06), Mike Mularkey (2007), Curtis Modkins (2010-11), Dan Campbell (2012), Norv Turner (2014-15), Pat Shurmur (2016-present)
Hey, It Might Work…
Edwards isn’t totally green to coaching. After all, he coached the West in the 2017 East-West Shrine Game, which featured a slew of draft-eligible college prospects. And when his boss Mike Zimmer was sidelined after offseason eye surgery, it was Edwards taking command of the team’s defense during the offseason training period. Showing leadership skills in an adverse situation isn’t something that is easily ignored.
Besides, defense wins championships … right? Seven playoff teams ranked in the top-10 in scoring defense. Six of the 12 coaches of this year’s playoff teams have a background and four of those have either won or coached in a Super Bowl. So just because all the cool kids are hiring offensive-minded gurus to lead their team doesn’t mean the Bears have to.
OK, Maybe He’s Not The One…
For as much credit as Edwards (rightfully) deserves for his work as a coordinator, the Vikings defense is kinda sorta Mike Zimmer’s thing. Zimmer calls the plays, but is considering giving those duties to Edwards … starting next season.
The last time the Bears hired a defensive-minded head coach, John Fox did the right/smart thing and hired a great coordinator in Adam Gase to run his offense. It lasted just a year as Gase parlayed arguably Jay Cutler’s best season into a head coaching job of his own. His replacement, Dowell Loggains, was never able to recreate any of the good vibes from 2015.
So not only would Edwards have to hire a great coordinator, he would need to hire a staff full of ace assistants in the event his offensive leader left for greener pastures. The Bears would be risking deja vu all over again, and even worse, jeopardize quarterback Mitch Trubisky’s growth the way the revolving door of coordinators handcuffed Cutler.
In The End …
I’m not sure Edwards is the right pick for the Bears right now. His experience as a defensive coach and the unit’s position as a top-10 group with room to grow would make him a better candidate if it wasn’t for the team’s lackluster presence on offense.
Edwards’ known offensive associates include three active head coaches (Jason Garrett, Mike Mularkey, Hue Jackson) and a pair of future candidates (Pat Shurmur, Dan Campbell) but are otherwise uninspiring. Not quite what you want from a coach who inherits a quarterback who was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.