Wanting to take some time away from the game after getting fired is only natural for most coaches – especially those hoping to get their ducks in a row, before coming back to the league with vengeance a year later.
Pat Shurmur doesn’t appear to be one of those coaches.
Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post reports that Shurmur wants to keep coaching in 2020 and that he’s expected to be plenty sought-after … *as an offensive coordinator.* Conveniently enough, the Chicago Bears have an opening at the offensive coordinator spot. And as was discussed earlier, Shurmur’s credentials are arguably second to none among the possible candidates out on the open market. And between interviewing Shurmur for the head-coaching gig (that eventually went to Matt Nagy), as well as Nagy having worked with Shurmur when the two crossed paths in Philadelphia, there is likely a decent amount of rapport between the two parties (and certainly plenty of connections).
The fit makes so much sense, right? Of course it does. But it’s not like the Bears are the only team in search of a new coordinator. Washington has reportedly had some internal deliberations regarding Shurmur, though there’s apparently nothing close to an interview on the docket. Meanwhile, the Chiefs could be losing their OC, Eric Bieniemy, to a head coaching job elsewhere, which could open things up for Shurmur in Kansas City. OR, Bieniemy could turn to Shurmur as his new OC, given his familiarity with Andy Reid’s offense, as well as his experience as a play-caller.
In any case, if Shurmur wants to jump back into the coaching ranks as a coordinator, his résumé should allow him to sit and wait for his ideal gig to open up.
From a Bears perspective, Shurmur is the type of offensive coordinator candidate they should be racing to scoop up. (1) An extended history of being a successful play-caller, (2) head-coaching experience that Nagy and other offensive coaches could lean on and bounce ideas off of in meetings, (3) a history steeped in quarterback identification and development – these are all qualities the Bears should be looking for in their next offensive coordinator. But I can’t help but wonder if Shurmur – who has called plays for the Giants, Browns, Vikings, Rams, and Eagles – wouldn’t wait out an opportunity to become the CEO of an offense and full-time play caller rather than accept a position where he would be second in command behind a play-calling head coach such as Nagy (or maybe Nagy would be willing to relinquish control to the right person?)
These are the conversations we’ll continue to have until the Bears come through and hire a new offensive coordinator. And while we don’t know who that will be just yet, at least we have an idea that a theoretical top candidate wants to coach that position instead of taking off for a year.
Michael Cerami contributed to this post.