Three candidates to become the next Bears offensive coordinator
Joe Nicholson - USA Today Sports

Three candidates to become the next Bears offensive coordinator

by - Senior Writer -

It's finally official, and although it may have taken a bit longer than many thought it would, the Bears have made their first significant shake-up of the offseason. No, this has nothing to do with Justin Fields directly, but it could have a lasting impact on whether the Bears hold on to Fields beyond this season or go with a fresh face in 2024.

With it becoming more likely that Matt Eberflus will remain as the team's coach in 2024, the Bears instead made the move many wanted them to make last season as offensive coordinator Luke Getsy and some of his staff were let go. Considering that Alan Williams was also fired mid-season, the Bears are entering a crucial offseason down two coordinators, as Eberflus and Ryan Poles have their work cut out for them.

While this move was expected, some feel it was made a year too late as Getsy had no prior experience as a playcaller, and many thought he wasn't fit or ready for the job. Along with Getsy, the Bears are also letting go of QB coach Andrew Janocko as they hope a new vision for the offense is just what Justin Fields needs to get back on track. The hiring of Getsy was always questionable, but when you look at what he accomplished in Green Bay, you can see why the Bears were interested.

After all, Getsy was the QB coach in Green Bay for three seasons and worked hand-in-hand with Aaron Rodgers during his final MVP run. How much of that was Getsy helping as opposed to Aaron knowing what he is doing is a different argument, but Getsy generated tons of interest because of that and then landed with the Bears.

Everyone knew the hiring of Getsy was questionable, and many felt it would take a little while for him to settle in. What they didn't expect was his lack of creativity as a play-caller, as many will point to that as the reason why Fields has struggled to reach his potential as a player. Sure, Fields did show tons of improvement throughout the season, but when the season was on the line, Getsy returned to his old ways with some of the most basic play designs you can think of.

That will win at the high school level, but this is the NFL, and the only way to get by is to have a sense of creativity in your offense. Getsy didn't have that, and it shouldn't surprise anyone to see their offense finish 31st in 2022 and 25th this season. That alone isn't going to cut, and now the Bears are going in a different direction.

Regardless of whether the Bears keep Fields or draft a QB No. 1, this was the right decision, as the Bears had to do something to get their offense back on track. They have too much invested into that side of the ball, especially with Fields and DJ Moore, so failing to help them reach their potential is a slap in the face. Granted, it's not ideal that Fields will be learning his third offensive scheme in four seasons, but this could be the scheme that sets him up to be the most successful he can be.

With the reports coming out of Bears camp that Eberflus will indeed be back in 2024, it's time he focuses on the coordinating side of things, where he must find both an offensive and defensive coordinator. Regarding the new playcaller, Chicago has already made it clear that they will interview Eric Bieniemy should Washington make him available this season.

Bieniemy was a candidate for the head coaching job two seasons ago and was also a candidate for the OC position when Matt Nagy was here. If you want a brilliant offensive mind running the show, he is your man, and you can look at how much the Chiefs offense struggled without him this season and look at the growth of Sam Howell in Washington.

Having a guy like Fields would be a unique challenge for Bieniemy as he would have an opportunity to work with one of the more athletically gifted players in the league while creating an offensive scheme geared toward his strengths. That alone is something Getsy couldn't do, and Fields would thrive with Bieniemy calling the shots.

If Bieniemy is made unavailable or once again tries to hit the head coaching ranks, could Josh McDaniels or Brian Johnson be possible OC replacements? Starting with McDaniels, his tenure with the Raiders was rocky, to say the least, and he once again proved he has no business being a head coach.

However, he knows how to run an offense and call plays, and he would be an excellent pairing for Fields. Granted, Fields is different than any other QB McDaniels has worked with, but he is at least smart enough to know what works offensively and will build upon that to set this team up for the most success possible on the offensive side of the ball.

Brian Johnson is the wild card in this situation, mainly because he is viewed as one of the head coaching targets this offseason. He is also the current OC of the Eagles, so for him to make a lateral move would be difficult unless the Eagles feel they can do better without him. What makes him stand out is what he has done with Jalen Hurts the past two seasons.

Yes, Hurts has taken a step back this season, but he was an MVP front-runner last year and was playing poorly in the second half. He also has a makeup and playing style similar to Fields', so Johnson should be comfortable orchestrating a new system for Fields. Either way, significant changes are coming to Chicago, and this was one change that needed to be made.

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