Chicago Bears Chairman George McCaskey called the Bears a “legacy franchise,” and while the team might be in the midst of some lean years, things could change for the better in the blink of an eye. Armed with a young, upside quarterback, a top-10 defense, a top-10 draft pick, and a ton of cap flexibility, hiring the right head coach to replace John Fox could really accelerate the Bears’ rebuild.
But how does the head coach job in Chicago compare to the other openings around the NFL? Well, perhaps not as great as we might want to think.
The Chicago Tribune’s football big-wigs contacted 20 front-office employees, head coaches, coordinators, and position coaches to find out the answer to that very question. The 20 NFL employees ranked the six teams with known coaching openings from most attractive to least attractive – you can read all about the process here – and the Bears, well, they finished second-to-last, receiving no first-place votes:
- Raiders: 102 points
- Lions: 96 points
- Giants: 69 points
- Colts: 59 points
- Bears: 57 points
- Cardinals: 37 points
On-top of no first-place votes, the Bears received just three second-place votes and 1 third place vote. Woof.
Fortunately, it isn’t all gloom and doom for the Bears. One of the second-place told the Tribune: “I really like the quarterback there and the running game is terrific. Think of all the guys they had to plug in on the offensive line and they still were able to run the ball. They have to find their next Alshon Jeffery and I like the defense. They need to find a couple linebackers.”
Considering how injuries decimated the offensive line in 2017, it’s remarkable Jordan Howard was able to pick up his second straight 1,000-yard rushing season. Adding a proven pass catcher on the outside, linebackers (an edge rusher on the other side of Leonard Floyd or an inside partner for Danny Trevathan would be nice), and a little bit of health could make the Bears job look better in an instant.
Then again, there’s a reason the Bears ranked fifth of six teams. In fact, one respondent who placed the Bears at the bottom said: “The quarterback is an unknown and there’s almost no skill talent and no cornerbacks if they don’t bring back Kyle Fuller.”
Understandably, the quarterback situation has a lot to do with how these jobs are portrayed. The Raiders and Lions are pretty settled, while the Giants have a short-term answer in Eli Manning and are in a position to draft a long-term solution in whichever quarterback doesn’t go first overall. If there is a consensus to be drawn here, it’s that the job’s future lies on the right arm of Mr. Trubisky. And it sounds like the Bears will go only as far as he takes them. For a complete look at the rankings, you can read it all at the Chicago Tribune.