The Chicago Bears haven’t hired a new general manager yet, but with all signs pointing toward them having one in place by the end of the week.
With that in mind, we’re coming up with our list of priorities that the new G.M. of the Bears will need to address when he takes over the organization. Which players will stay? Which will be brought in to replace those that are sent packing? We’ll tackle those issues and more in our “G.M.’s To-Do List.”
We get things started with perhaps the most important decision the new boss will have to make: who to hire as the team’s next head coach.
While there are plenty of arguments to be made about which players had the most detrimental impact on the fate of the 2014 Bears, the fact remains that the team was coached by a man who was at worst incompetent and at best overmatched, as Marc Trestman bumbled his way through his second season with the organization.
Trestman will likely find work elsewhere, but his lack of leadership in the locker room, and the ensuing lack of respect that followed because of his passivity and ineffectiveness, will keep him out of the ranks of head coaches for the foreseeable future.
With that in mind, the new Bears G.M. will have to look for a coach who can not only command respect in the locker room (and no, this does not mean that he has to be a “vocal leader” or have “fire and passion”) but can also establish an identity for this team. This man has to be willing to make the tough decisions about which players to use in which situations, and after seeing Trestman fail multiple times on that test, he’ll have to be a guy that the team will respect straightaway.
Those qualities are tricky to find of course, but there are a solid group of coaches that could fit the criteria. Guys like Mike Shanahan (two Super Bowl rings), Dave Toub (special teams coaches have to learn how to make due with nothing, and he does it better than anyone), Todd Bowles (coaches a ferocious defense and likely learned some great head coaching pointers from Bruce Arians in Arizona), and Dan Quinn (same thing, expect in Seattle with Pete Carroll) all could come into Chicago and establish a team identity, something the Bears sorely lack.
Between garnering the respect of the players, establishing a team identity, and being able to adjust game plans and tactics when necessary, the Bears’ new head coach will have to check a lot of boxes in order to be hired. The team is hellbent on getting this decision right after completely whiffing on the Trestman hire, and when the new G.M. assumes his duties, this first choice will set the tone for everything else that he does.