On Monday, January 10, 2022, the Bears mercifully fired their head coach Matt Nagy. Chicago is officially on the hunt for a new head coach.In his four seasons at the helm of one of the oldest most beloved franchises in the NFL, Nagy went 34-31 in four seasons. He led the team to the playoffs in 2018 and 2020. Chicago went 12-4 in 2018 winning the NFC North and entering the playoffs as the number XX seed. Unfortunately, the season ended in heartbreak on the famous “double-doink” missed field goal by Cody Parkey as the Bears lost at home to the Eagles, 16-15 in the wild card round. In 2020, Chicago lost to the New Orleans Saints 21-9 in the wild card round; a score which made the game sound a lot closer than it was. But I’ll give Nagy credit for his two playoff appearances because of being handed Mitchell Trubisky as his quarterback. Trubisky is talented but lacks the instinct, accuracy, and ability to be a franchise quarterback. Remember the Bears, led by GM Ryan Pace traded up to pick Trubisky (number two overall out of North Carolina in the 2017 draft) while passing on DeShaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes.
Matt Nagy’s Offensive Slide
For someone that was known as a creative player caller and being one of the coaches to help develop Patrick Mahomes in his rookie season (2017), Nagy seemed to lose his creativity with his play designs steadily over the last four seasons. Many games it seemed as though the Bears had six plays: run up the middle, run to right, right to left, screen pass, a 10-yard out and a go route. Chicago has had playmakers such as Tarik Cohen, Jordan Howard, David Montgomery, Allen Robinson, and Darnell Mooney over Nagy’s tenure as head coach, but couldn’t get these players the ball consistently. An image I laugh at is of seeing Nagy on the sidelines (many times) late in the fourth quarter, down at least 20 points (you name the team and year), using his play sheet to cover his mouth as he was making play calls. I always thought to myself, what amazing 20-something point play was hiding?
What The Bears Need
The new head coach of the Bears needs to understand the franchise’s history and passion of its loyal fan base. They need to respect the past but look to the future. Unfortunately, it seems as though the organization is still living in the past unable to separate themselves from their famed Super Bowl XX Championship squad (1985) led by head coach Mike Ditka, arguably one of the greatest teams of all-time, which featured one of the best defensive units in NFL history led by defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan, linebacker Mike Singletary, linebacker Wilber Marshall, and defensive end Richard Dent to name a few. As soon as everyone involved with the franchise understands that the defense is no longer the feared “Monsters of the Midway,” the better they will be. Chicago needs to focus their energy on the development of their dynamic young signal caller, Justin Fields, 11th overall pick in the 2021 draft who can be a combination of Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson. The former Ohio State Buckeye is a unique talent, perfectly comfortable delivering an accurate strike from the pocket to his receivers and a dangerous option in the running game, as he’s difficult to tackle in the open field.
Possible Bears Coaching Options
Chicago will look at the many qualified coaches from the pro and college ranks to take over the franchise. Names such as Jim Harbaugh (former Bears quarterback and University of Michigan head coach), Ryan Day (head coach of the Ohio State University), Doug Pederson (former Super Bowl winning head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles), Jim Caldwell (former Indianapolis Colts and Detroit Lions head coach), Eric Bieniemy (Kansas City Chiefs Offensive Coordinator) and Byron Leftwich (Tampa Bay Buccaneers Offensive Coordinator) should be viewed as top candidates for the position. A head coach needs to be a leader, motivator, trustworthy, empathetic, someone who takes responsibility for their actions/behavior and surround themselves with smart hardworking individuals. If the Bears truly want to turn things around, it’s time to take a different approach and go in a completely unexpected route. Explore individuals with a passion for football, historical knowledge of the NFL, a keen eye for talent and understanding the strategies on how to play winning football. Someone like Scott Steinberg (yes, I’m referring to myself), a 20 plus years sports media veteran with experience at NFL Films (scoring a 100% on Steve Sabol’s famed football/pop culture quiz), a perfect score on Sports Jeopardy’s qualifying rounds in the late 90’s, strong relationships with noteworthy/honored coaches and players (current and former), other decorated media members and an athlete in his own right throughout his life, and even furthering involvement in athletics through coaching youth sports.
I would look to bring in young upcoming coaches to help me with my transition to being a head coach. I’d start by bringing in Joe Brady who’d be the offensive coordinator and assistant head coach. Brady did an amazing job working with Joe Burrow at LSU but was never given the same opportunity to work with a competent quarterback and head coach in his year and a half with the Carolina Panthers. As an offensive assistant under Sean Payton from 2017-2018, Brady is someone I’d 100% trust in getting Justin Fields to reach his potential. On the defensive side of the ball, I’d hire Steven Belichick, Bill’s son to be my defensive coordinator, who’s currently, the outside linebackers coach of New England Patriots. At 34 years old, he’s been taught how to coach defense by the greatest coach in NFL history. He wouldn’t be afraid to take on the challenge of a changing a team’s defense philosophy, making tough personnel decisions, and helping players limit mental mistakes on the field due to solid preparation on the practice field and the film room.
I leave you with my name for consideration, signed hopeful head coach of the Chicago Bears, Scott Steinberg.