Chicago Bears

6 Chicago Bears Head Coaching Candidates If Matt Nagy Fired, Including Ryan Day

6 Bears head coach candidates, including Ryan Day originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

After the Bears latest loss to the Packers, all fans want to think about is the team’s future. Is Justin Fields the franchise quarterback they’ve been waiting for? Will the defense still have enough in the tank when the offense finally catches up? And who will be leading the team going forward?

Judging from the “Fire Nagy” chants that have been heard from Soldier Field to the United Center all the way to the University of Illinois, it’s safe to say most fans don’t want the current head coach to stick around. But who’s out there that could be a viable replacement?

The Bears have never fired a coach midseason. If they didn’t fire Marc Trestman amidst a season that featured offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer admitting to throwing Jay Cutler under the bus to reporters, then it doesn’t seem likely that the McCaskeys will tell Ryan Pace to fire Nagy now. But a new NFL rule could change that precedent. This year, teams may begin interviewing head coach candidates over the final two weeks of the season, giving front offices an incentive to move on from lame duck coaches ASAP. 

Regardless, if the Bears were to make the move, either now or in the offseason, here are some names that could be on their next hire wish list:

Greg Roman - Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator

Roman was the man tasked with creating an offense around Lamar Jackson in 2019, and the results speak for themselves. Jackson won MVP that season, and the Ravens have featured one of the most exciting offenses ever since, even without a ton of weapons at the other skill positions. Developing Fields is the most important thing for the franchise moving forward and Roman already has shown he can design an offense for a burgeoning star to succeed.

Ryan Day - Ohio State Buckeyes head coach

Since the growth of Fields is the single most important factor for the Bears’ Super Bowl dreams moving forward, why not turn things over to the man who helped Fields become a star at Ohio State? Day and Fields had a 20-2 record together in Columbus, and combined to lead the Buckeyes to back-to-back college playoff appearances for the first time in school history. In just two seasons at Ohio State, Fields racked up 5,373 yards (10th most in OSU history) and 63 touchdowns (second most in OSU history), completing 68.4% of his passes along the way (second most in OSU history). Is it time to get the band back together?

Nathaniel Hackett - Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator

If you can’t beat ‘em, hire one of ‘em away. That could be the thought process with Hackett, who has overseen Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ dynamic offense since 2019. While Davante Adams truly blossomed the year before Hackett arrived, he did run the show for Adams’ All-Pro season last year. He’s also shown flexibility by putting more of a focus on Aaron Jones, A.J. Dillon and the run game this season.

Byron Leftwich - Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator

You could say it’s easy designing an offense around Tom Brady and the Bucs’ glut of weapons. But bringing a bunch of superstars together doesn’t always work, and Leftwich has helped Bruce Arians put together arguably the most complete offense in the NFL. As the Bears develop Fields, it wouldn’t hurt having a guy who just worked with Brady either.

Josh McDaniels - New England Patriots offensive coordinator

There’s a chance McDaniels stays in New England to remain Bill Belichick’s heir apparent. But the Bears should still kick the tires on McDaniels after the wonderful job he’s done developing Mac Jones into the top rookie quarterback of 2021. McDaniels has also put together a strong running game featuring Damien Harris, Rhamondre Stevenson as primary ball carriers and Brandon Bolden catching passes out of the backfield.

Todd Bowles - Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator

Bowles has already had a crack at being a head coach, with the Jets from 2015-18. It didn’t go well, but honestly what has gone well for the Jets over the past decade? Since then he’s created one of the most dominant defenses in the league, and had his fingerprints all over the Bucs’ Super Bowl win last season.

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