Kentucky's Liam Coen emerging as Bears OC option
Kirby Lee - USA Today Sports

Kentucky's Liam Coen emerging as Bears OC option

by - Senior Writer -

We are less than a week into the Bears firing of Luke Getsy, and this team has already started making moves to get interviews going. Shane Waldron and Klint Kubiak appear to be the first NFL names listed for their search, but don't expect it to stop there, as the Bear's open OC position will have plenty of suitors.

Considering the Bears will have either Justin Fields back under center or a new QB is the big reason any up-and-coming coach or coordinator would kill to be in the position the Bears can give them. However, it's not only NFL coaches that want a crack at this opening as some college coaches appear interested in joining the Bears to become their next OC.

Liam Coen is the first of the college coordinators to throw his name in there, and according to reports around Halas Hall, the Bears are strongly considering giving him an interview to see what he brings to the table. For those unfamiliar with Coen and the work he does, Coen is the current OC/QBs coach for the University of Kentucky, but his experience goes much further than that.

While the offensive numbers the Wildcats put up this season were good, Coen also has some NFL experience, as he was the OC for the Los Angeles Rams in 2022. Granted, the Rams' offense wasn't great in 2022, but adding a guy with past play-calling experience coming from Sean McVay is a plus and something the Bears will strongly consider.

Coen has been around the coaching ranks for nearly 15 years, holding various offensive coaching positions since 2010. He has shown his value the past few seasons by bouncing between the NFL and NCAA ranks, which could go a long way in deciding what the Bears do at the QB position should they make Coen their guy.

Let's focus on this past season for a bit, the first season without Will Levis since 2020. Coen took over the playcalling and had Devin Leary come in to make plays for him. Leary ended up throwing for 2,746 yards with 25 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Before that, Coen was part of the Kentucky staff in 2021, where he had a chance to work with Levis.

Levis went on to have a phenomenal year with his 2,826 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions during Kentucky’s 10-3 campaign. Levis went on to become a second-round pick in the 2023 NFL draft, while Leary appears to have the making of being an excellent QB. His work with college-level QBs alone is worth noting, as the Bears are in a position to draft a college QB, which does seem to be a comfort level for Coen.

Coen had a crack at the NFL between his two stints with the Wildcats, where he worked hand-in-hand with arguably the best offensive mind in the game in McVay. Several of McVay's assistants have become head coaches, with Kevin O'Connell becoming the most recent. During Coen's tenure with the Rams, you saw the team go through what is called the Superbowl hangover as they finished in the bottom five in several offensive categories.

Some of those categories were yards (280.3) and points. He also worked as the Rams WR coach from 2018-19 before moving to QB in 2020 for Jared Goff. Coen is now the third offensive coordinator option to be mentioned to replace Getsy in what could be a long list. Not only that, but all three coaches are between 38 and 44 years of age, and all come from the McVay/Kyle Shannahan offensive scheme.

That shows you how much teams value those offensive schemes, as they are regarded as the NFL's best and most complex systems. Although Coen didn't have much success calling plays in his first attempt in the NFL, spending that much time in a McVay scheme is never bad, as he would bring some much-needed creativity to the Bears offensive staff, no matter who is under center.

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