The decision makers in the Chicago Bears’ front office are going to be busy on Friday.
Because not only are they reportedly scheduled to meet with New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that the Bears will also interview Shurmur on Friday in Minnesota.
Of course, the Bears aren’t the only team scheduled to meet with Shurmur this weekend. In fact, the Bears’ Friday interview is sandwiched between the Detroit Lions and Arizona Cardinals on Thursday and the New York Giants on Saturday.
Shurmur has re-emerged as a top tier head coaching candidate because of his work orchestrating Minnesota’s offense. The Vikings finished 10th in scoring and 11th in yards in 2017 despite injuries to stud rookie running back Dalvin Cook and starting quarterbacks Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford.
In the three years prior to 2017, the Vikings never ranked higher than 27th in points or 18th in yards. So, yes, there’s something very positiveto be said about the strides Minnesota’s offense made during Shurmur’s first full season as the team’s offensive coordinator.
Finding a coach who can maximize Mitch Trubisky’s talent should be a top priority, and Shurmur’s coaching history could give him a leg up. For example, Shurmur unlocked former No. 1 overall pick Sam Bradford’s potential. Since crossing paths when Shurmur was the Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive coordinator in 2015, Bradford has completed 68.6 percent of his passes, posted a minuscule 1.7 percent interception rate, and a 94.2 quarterback rating in 31 games.
Like McDaniels, Shurmur has a failed head coaching stint in his history and has his eyes on making the most of a second chance. Shurmur was 9-23 in two seasons with the Cleveland Browns, which looks like a minor miracle compared to the 1-31 record the team has posted over the last two seasons. He also has a win as an interim head coach for the Eagles in 2015 when he stepped in for Chip Kelly.
Three days into the Bears’ coaching search, they have been tied to a handful of the most highly sought-after candidates. And that all of them (save for Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks) are offensive coaches shouldn’t be overlooked and probably isn’t a coincidence.
And finally, because I know this is hard to keep up with:
Josh McDaniels – Interview scheduled (Friday)
Pat Shurmur – Interview scheduled (Friday)
John DeFilippo – Interview scheduled (This weekend)
George Edwards – Interview requested
Matt Nagy – Interview requested
Steve Wilks – Interview requested