Bears should think outside the box on their head coach in 2024
Kyle Terada - USA Today Sports

Bears should think outside the box on their head coach in 2024


by - Senior Writer -

It is no secret that the past five years in Chicago have been rough if you are a Bears fan, but it is the last two that take the cake. Coming off a franchise worse season in 2022, the Bears knew they would enter the 2023 season in rebuild mode, but also did a fantastic job acquiring assets this offseason.

Not only that, but they had the most money to spend last offseason, and they should have close to the most money again this offseason as the Bears could once again be heavy players in the free agent market. Typically, when that happens, it leads to wins in a hurry and, ultimately, the end of a rebuild period.

That isn't the case with this team, as the Bears are in just as bad of a spot this season as last season and are currently sitting at 2-7. That brings a lot of questions about whether or not Matt Eberflus is their guy going forward, and those questions appear to be very valid at this point in his coaching career. You tend to want to give a guy three years with a team before you can judge him as a coach, but a lot of what Eberflus has done already is concerning, which is a huge reason why he has been on the hot seat all season.

You can look at how he has handled Justin Fields, at times, to the struggling defense. The defense stands out the most, as Eberflus was a defensive coordinator and was brought here to solidify that defense. Instead, they have been one of the worst units in football the past two seasons, and it hasn't gotten any better.

Along with that, you have the turmoil within the organization as not one but two coaches were relieved of their duties this season due to inappropriate acts. Something isn't right in Chicago, and it just feels like Eberflus has no control over this team and has completely lost the locker room. When that happens, a change needs to be made, and it may be time for Chicago to look for another head coach next offseason.

Anytime a team looks for a head coach, you immediately look at fast-rising assistants looking to become a head coach for the first time. Several names come to mind, but the Bears tried a first-time coach with their last two coaches, and it hasn't worked out too well. Knowing that, should Chicago be in the market for a new coach, they may look to do something that only a few teams do, which is trading for one.

Most recently, the Denver Broncos traded for Sean Payton to become their head coach, but that has yet to work out in their favor. Before that, you had the Buccaneers trade for Jon Gruden while the Patriots elected to trade for Bill Belichick. Tampa Bay also traded for Bruce Ariens in 2019, as the later three coaches mentioned have either won or made a Superbowl after being dealt.

Granted, trading for coaches doesn't happen often, but when you like a guy, it does make sense to go after them, as you may never have that opportunity again. Should this be the direction the Bears want to take, there are a few names that come to mind, with Ron Rivera being one of them. The former Chicago Bears LB was linked to the Bears job before Eberflus got it. He has remained with Washington after a lengthy tenure with Carolina that saw him coach the Panthers to one Super Bowl appearance.

Although his tenure with Washington hasn't gone as planned, Rivera hasn't been given the greatest roster and has shown consistency over the years. Rivera may not have a winning record anymore with Washington, but he led them to the playoffs with Taylor Heinicke at QB and has seen second-year man Sam Howell thrive this season. A return to Chicago would be a great storyline, and he would be an affordable trade option that wouldn't cost a ton.

If defensive-minded guys are what the Bears are looking at again, a younger but very successful coach in Mike Vrabel could be another trade option for this team. The current Head man of the Tennessee Titans, Vrabel, was a long-time LB under Belichick, where he won multiple Superbowl rings. He then became an assistant for a few years before taking the reigns in Tennessee where he has been one of the Titans most successful coaches in team history.

The past two years have been rough for Vrabel, but his four years before that, the Titans were constantly in the hunt for a division title, and they even reached the AFC Championship in one season. Known for his ability to coach players individually and make strategic in-game adjustments, which Eberflus struggles to do, Vrabel has been the subject of trade rumors in the past year. His coaching style would fit well in Chicago, and he could help address the team’s recurring mistakes.

Considering the Bears have gone with the defensive-minded coach this time around, they may be looking at an offensive mind to jumpstart a struggling but young offense that is loaded with talent. You can look all over the league, and you will find talented offensive minds out there, but why not swing for the fences and try and pluck Sean McVay from the Los Angeles Rams?

Arguably the greatest offensive mind in the game today, McVay is also the youngest coach in the NFL and has two Superbowl appearances with one win under his belt. With the Rams teetering on the rebuilding phase, given their lack of draft picks, McVay may want out of that situation, which would make him an ideal candidate for anyone.

The Bears are a team that will not only have one high draft pick but two, and they will have a young roster with a ton of money to spend. That is the perfect situation for McVay to come to, as that is the situation he inherited when he went to the Rams in the first place. Adding McVay wouldn't come cheap, but he would undoubtedly make an immediate impact on a franchise desperate for an impact head coach.

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