The atmosphere around Chicago has quickly shifted since the Bears maddening loss to the Green Bay Packers last Sunday.
Talks of playoff hopes have quickly changed to hopes for a new head coach to develop rookie Mitchell Trubisky. As seven games remain on the schedule for head coach John Fox and his staff, barring a miraculous playoff run, any other outcome may still lead to their termination at season’s end.
If and when a new head coaching search begins, the Bears job may just be the most attractive job opening in the NFL this offseason.
General manager Ryan Pace will most likely be given the power to find his next head coach and could target a offensive coordinator to coach up his most important draft pick in Trubisky.
Unlike Fox, Pace’s job will most likely be safe this offseason as the Bears owners do not want to have another total rebuild after three years. If a coordinator is indeed hired as the next head coach, he will have the security of Pace’s scouting and player personnel staff already entrenched with a team vision. When a firm front office is already in place, it makes the job of a first-time head coach more easier as the coach’ able to focus solely for on-field game planning
Unlike other possible job openings in the NFL this upcoming offseason, the Bears job will most likely feature the lowest need of roster turnover. With teams like the Giants and Bengals possibly replacing their head coaches at season’s end, these team will be in need of replacing a majority of their rosters due to lack of talent and aging veterans.
The Bears, on the other hand, will still feature young up and coming skill players on the rise such as Eddie Jackson, Leonard Floyd, Eddie Goldman, Jordan Howard, Tarik Cohen, and Trubisky. The roster management is reduced from a total rebuild to just adding pieces to a core that is already in place.
With an offensive mind being the most sought-after commodity for the Bears, the current offense does offer hope heading into next season for any possible coaching candidate.
The Bears have pieces along the offensive line and in the running game as they feature two running backs with a combined level of NFL experience of just three years.
Trubisky will have a year’s worth of game experience and film for an incoming coach to examine. The coach will be able to determine what Trubisky’s strengths and weakness are and design plays based off of that. Furthermore, with a reliable running game, the Bears can rely on their running game to ease Trubisky into getting accustomed to the new playbook.
The biggest selling point that Pace may have to offer to a new head coach is having a solid defense already in place. Once the 2017 season comes to a close, it would be in Pace’s best interest to retain Vic Fangio as defensive coordinator and his coaching staff.
Whenever a new coach is hired, the coach and front office majority of the time will hire a new offensive and defensive coordinator. For Pace, there would be just too much work needed if he chose to replace Fangio and risk a change from their 3-4 defensive scheme. Other than the letdown against the Packers last week, the Bears defense has been one of the best in the league. The defense has not given up multiple touchdown passes to a quarterback since Aaron Rodgers in week four this season.
All these possible aspects would provide an incumbent head coach a low-risk, high-reward possibly of having a winning season in their first season next year. The Bears opportunity closely mirrors that of the Los Angeles Rams of last off-season.
The Rams had a really good defense that kept them competitive last year with an inconsistent offense. They also had Todd Gurley at running back along with rookie quarterback Jared Goff. The team chose to hired offensive coordinator Sean McVay from the Washington Redskins last off-season. McVay has done an excellent job developing Goff and leading the Rams to success as they currently are seven and two this season with McVay a possible candidate for Coach of the Year award.
Ryan Pace has done a good job transforming the Bears back to a respectable organization in just three years time. When he was hired back in 2014, the vacant Bears coaching position was highly unattractive with little talent and aging veteran at the skill positions.
If Pace chooses to replace Fox at the end of the season, he will be able to offer the opposite scenario to anyone interested in the job. With so many possible assets in place, Pace will be able to hire a coach the best coach available that he sees fit to be the Bears back to the playoffs.