Why Bears are marquee destination for next head coach originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Hiring a new head coach is no easy task. First, a team needs to figure out exactly what it wants in its next leader. Then, it must simultaneously interview candidates, while also selling themselves to any prospective new hire. That’s because there’s never just one team looking for a head coach. Every year, several teams are competing to bring in the top candidates, so how well each franchise is positioned makes a difference. Luckily the Bears should have a leg up on the other teams looking to fill their head coach vacancies.
The first thing to look at when projecting the future, and long term success, of an NFL team is the quarterback position. If a team has an answer at QB, they’ve already got a big point in their favor, with bonus points if that quarterback is still playing on his rookie deal. The Bears check both of those boxes with Justin Fields. Obviously any prospective head coach will need to share the Bears’ belief in Fields. But it’s not hard to see why he’s an exciting talent for any coach to mold. Fields has incredible arm talent, oft-mentioned 4.4 speed, and the toughness and determination to carry him to incredible heights. It’s an unbelievable combination of attributes, and only the Jaguars can offer similar upside at the position.
If the most important factor for a team’s success is their quarterback, then the other side of the coin is how well a team can disrupt an opponent’s quarterback. Here, the Bears excel as well. In fact, a case could be made they have the best pass rush in the league, let alone among teams looking for a new head coach. Robert Quinn just set the franchise record for most sacks in a Bears season, Trevis Gipson has taken great strides as a young talent, and, oh yeah, Khalil Mack is waiting in the wings to return from injury. They ranked top-five in the league in sacks without Mack for half of the season. How good can they be when he returns?
Of course, the best path to the playoffs is by winning the division, and once again the Bears are well situated to rise to the top. Green Bay has dominated the NFC North for decades, but with Aaron Rodgers’ uncertain future that could change in a hurry. The Vikings have been mired in mediocrity, like the Bears. But with Kirk Cousins becoming a free agent in 2022 and Kellen Mond sitting behind him, the Bears have the brighter quarterback picture. As for the Lions, well, they’re still the Lions.
You could put all of that aside however, and the Bears would still be a marquee destination, simply because they’re the Bears. They will always be the charter franchise. The team of George Halas and Walter Payton and Mike Ditka and Dick Butkus. They have an incredibly rich history, and a fan base starved for another Super Bowl champion. The man who can bring the Lombardi Trophy back to Chicago will be deified along with those other legendary names.
That is something truly no other team can offer.