Who will be the Bears' new GM and head coach?

Good news: The Bears fired Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy.

Worrisome news: They’re using the same process to find the new guys that they used to find Pace in 2015.

So, Bears fans: Let’s hear who you want the Bears to hire, and who you think they’ll hire.

I’m not a Bears fan but Mike Flores is looking for a job and Chicago could do worse (and has IMO).

I don’t have any particular person in mind, but I think that the Bears should hire a head coach with a defensive background. When the team has been good in the past 40-ish years, it’s largely been due to having an excellent defense.

Conversely, in the past decade, they have, twice, gone for a coach with a reputation for offensive smarts (Trestman and Nagy), and both times, not only were they unsuccessful overall, but after those coaches’ first seasons, their Bears teams were underwhelming on offense.

Regardless, I also think that part of the blame for the past couple of decades at Halas Hall lies with team president Ted Phillips, and the McCaskeys. Phillips has now been running the show for 23 years, and they’ve only made the playoffs in 1/4 of his seasons in charge.

You mean just-fired Dolphins coach Brian Flores? It’s a surprise that he’s available, and I hope they give him a call.

Time for some Urban Development in Chicago!

I was thinking Brian and for some reason my fingers typed Mike, stupid brain moment.

I think this is overblown a little. Certainly everything boils down to ownership but the Bears have been mediocre-to-bad primarily because they’ve never had a QB. It’s really that simple. The Bears have been “good” when they had a great defense and overachieved in a few seasons along the way, but even in the Super Bowl season they were predictably undermined by Rex Grossman. I think it’s just a little lazy to say we can’t find a QB because of Ted Phillips and the McCaskey’s. Several other NFL teams have struggled to find a competent QB for 20-odd years too. I think the biggest difference between “great owners” like Kraft and Rooney versus “terrible owners” in the McCaskey’s and Stephen Ross is that they lucked into excellent coaches paired with excellent QBs. I don’t think they have some special insight that helped them find that right coach/GM who subsequently found the right QB in the draft. There’s simply more luck involved than anyone is will to admit.

I’m sick of Ted Phillips but I’m not convinced that pushing him aside would magically lead to us finding a top guy who’s going to hire all the right guys and send us to the promised land. If there was some football savant out there that the McCaskey’s could hire to replace both George and Ted effectively isolating the McCaskey’s from all football operations I’d be on board, but it’s not like there’s a bunch of those guys out there shopping for jobs. I think the more likely path forward is that the Bears hire a unproven commodity at GM and get lucky. The guy turns into a winner and then eventually gets promoted to chairman several years later in order to keep him from leaving.

Do note that I said part of the blame. I agree with you that drafting a quarterback who pans out is tremendously challenging, and sometimes a matter of luck – the “hit rate” of first-round draft choices spent on quarterbacks is distressingly low, and failure at this has ended the tenures of an awful lot of GMs and head coaches.

But, that said, Phillips has overseen the selection of three general managers and four head coaches, with fairly little success to show for it (particularly over the past 10 seasons). Were I a Bears fan, I would have to ask if a completely new approach needs to be tried.

Maybe not, but ISTM now is the perfect time to distance Phillips from everything football-related. Let him focus on the move to Arlington Heights, so the opening of the stadium there in 2026 can be his crowning achievement before retirement. Meanwhile, hire a President of Football Operations to oversee the GM and head coach. I heard the name Trace Armstrong (former Bear, current top agent) bandied about, but there might not be anything to that.

Yeah, I wasn’t specifically intending to single you out, but your comment gave me the opportunity to vent a little. Over the last couple weeks I’ve been seeing all the typical meatballs all over Twitter and Reddit screaming for the McCaskey’s to sell the team as if that’s the magic cure. No one seems to understand that the next guy could just as easily be WORSE as they could be better.

One point that I think should be made is that Matt Nagy’s career record with the Bears was 34-31. He had two pretty inexperienced rookie QBs and Mike Glennon under center for most of that time. His play calling was absolutely maddening and I wouldn’t want him back…but I think finishing with an over .500 record with the total shit show that was they Bears QB situation is maybe better than you can hope for. I look around the league and see a bunch of teams that I wouldn’t trade places with for all the money in he world.

Were the Bears over .500 because of Pace? Because of Nagy? Is it really a massive indictment of ownership to be basically a .500 for the last 4 years without a NFL caliber QB? I’d say that’s performing above expectations.

This is probably the most realistic outcome. George gave some mixed messages at his presser. He said that the next GM would report to him, not Ted, and that Ted would be focused on the stadium project and not be part of football operations. Which sounds great, but he also said that Ted would be “involved” in the GM search in some capacity. So I guess we can make of that what we will.

The Bears hired Ernie Accorsi to help them hire Pace 7 years ago. This time around they are hiring Bill Polian to help lead the search. I’m not a fan of Polian so this is discouraging to me, but they are getting experienced “football guys” involved and in both of the last two GM hires they weren’t reliant on George or Ted to lead the search.

I don’t know much about Trace Armstrong the agent/executive but I am always a bit skittish when a person’s best “credential” is that they were a Bear at some point in the past. That means close to nothing in terms of preparing them for success. And it’s not like there’s any common threads besides Virginia from today to when Armstrong played here so you can’t even say he knows the culture.

Morocco Brown is getting a lot of publicity in this early phase and the hiring of Polian seems like it might be more than partly influencing that. I’m not sure I want a lot of Colts DNA permeating the Bears organization after they shit show that team has been since Luck’s retirement. Pace predictably continued some of the Saints worst habits after his hiring so that’s in he back of my head.

The Bears finishing around .500 with mediocre QB play says a ton more about the value of a good defense than anything Matt Nagy did. I suppose going 12-4 with the best defense in the league is fine work by Nagy, but he accomplished that by simplifying his offense and trying to limit the mistakes of his QB, who was in waaaaayyy over his head.

I think that was the biggest mistake he, and Pace, made. Turning the keys of an offense over to Trubisky, a guy with 13 starts in college, when the team had a Super Bowl caliber defense for a couple years, was a mistake that cost them huge. I’m not really sure who else to blame.

I kinda wish they would’ve kept them.

I think that this is a fair point, though I think that what sealed his fate was that his team hit its high point in his first year as coach (12-4 and a division title), and then went 8-8, 8-8, and finally 6-11 this past season. I heard part of George McCaskey’s press conference today, and he mentioned that they felt that the team wasn’t going in the right direction.

Did they dump Nagy too soon? Did he do as well as he could have, given the circumstances? I’m not sure. This certainly was a weird season for them at QB, but as you note, for a guy who was touted as being part of the next wave of offensive geniuses when he was hired away from Kansas City, his playcalling (and his offense, in general) seemed to reflect that, less and less, with each season.

True, but the Bears have conspicuously not hired anyone with a Bear history since firing Mike Ditka, and look how that’s worked out.

One weird thing about Armstrong is that he’s Nagy’s agent. He’d obviously quit “agenting” if he took the job, but it would still smell weird.

Meanwhile, there are a number of guys who did have a history with the Bears, as players, and who did pan out to be OK coaches: Jim Harbaugh, Ron Rivera, even Sean Payton, who was a strike-replacement Bear in '87.

Are we not going to talk about Mike Singletary? Leslie Frazier? Jeff Fisher?

Couple former Bears I’m curious about…Vic Fangio. Will he consider coming back to be our DC after failing as an HC? I simply don’t think he has the personality/mentality to be a elite HC. But obviously he’s still maybe the best DC in the league. It worked for Dick LeBeau and probably a couple others who I’m not remembering. Also, Dave Toub…is he still interviewing for HC jobs or has he soured on the proposition? I suspect it’s a bit of selection bias at play but ST Coordinators seem to have a good track record. My theory is that they don’t get too wrapped up in coaching the offense or defense, no delusions of grandeur, so they are able to be objective and actually operate like an executive. The distance gives them greater perspective. I always loved Toub’s personality and I have to think that he’d resonate with players.

I did consider mentioning Singletary as a counterpoint. :wink: (Fisher was, IMO, an above-average coach in Tennessee, but his time with the Rams definitely tarnished his legacy.)

Here’s an updated list of interviewees for the Bears positions:

Head coach:

  • Todd Bowles, Buccaneers defensive coordinator
  • Brian Daboll, Bills offensive coordinator
  • Leslie Frazier, Bills defensive coordinator
  • Nathaniel Hackett, Packers offensive coordinator
  • Byron Leftwich, Buccaneers offensive coordinator
  • Doug Pederson, former Eagles head coach

General manager:

  • Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Browns VP of football ops
  • Morocco Brown, Colts director of college scouting
  • Glenn Cook, Browns executive

Some interesting names there.

Please not Todd Bowles! He was a disaster as the Jets’ head coach. I think he’s a good/great defensive coordinator, but not a head coach.

I’d never heard of him before yesterday, but I’m very intrigued.