Primetime games are showcases for players and the NFL brand, but at this time of year, it’s also an opportunity for some potential coaches to put themselves on the map.
Take Monday’s game between the Bills and Patriots. That showdown featured a duel between a darn good coach (Sean McDermott) and the best ever (Bill Belichick). More to the point, the matchup also featured Bills Offensive Coordinator Brian Daboll and his Patriots counterpart Josh McDaniels. Not only do those two orchestrate top-10 scoring offenses, but both were also reportedly on a short-list of head-coaching candidates the Bears would consider if/when they dump Matt Nagy.
And I think it McDaniels parlaying his team’s Monday Night Football appearance into re-claiming a spot on our radars:
I know the Daboll squad has numbers. But those Pats stats got me thinking about McDaniels getting a second chance to be a head coach… pic.twitter.com/bOKOoDXMoB
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) December 7, 2021
All. Three. Throws.
*A play-action design
*Another play-action design
*A professional screen pic.twitter.com/gEi34gehfX
— Mark Schofield (@MarkSchofield) December 7, 2021
McDaniels’ past comes with some notable red flags (in terms of his football history), but you can’t watch the Patriots’ plan of attack — put together by McDaniels — without respectfully being in awe. It’s as simple as that. McDaniels follows the Belichickian philosophy that game-planning the opponent is as important as the scheme, itself. And last night was just one example of it working. The scheme isn’t the draw. It’s the process of creating an opponent-specific plan that will win this week’s game.
By contrast, sometimes, it feels like the Bears don’t have a plan, at all.
And just so we’re crystal clear … this isn’t about running the football for the sake of running the football (although, the meatball in me loves an old-fashioned stuff-it-in-your-face ground-and-pound game every once in a while). But instead, it’s about doing whatever a situation calls for to win a certain game. Whether it is running it 40 times, calling 40 drop-backs, or landing somewhere in between, doing what it takes to win takes priority in New England. And that is something Bears fans should be willing to get behind.
I might not like it any more than you do, the Bears are in no position to turn their nose up at an option as intriguing as McDaniels.
But there’s a “but” to consider. Two, actually.
First, McDaniels’ reputation precedes him, and that isn’t easily shaken off. He did damage to relationships upon arrival in Denver. When he was given a chance to land on his feet in St. Louis as the Rams’ offensive coordinator, McDaniels fumbled the bag. It wasn’t until he returned to New England, paid his dues, and rebuilt his brand when McDaniels found his way into head-coach candidacy conversations. Even then, he jumbled that when he left the Colts at the altar after getting cold feet.
Second, the Bears’ head-coaching position still isn’t open yet. There have been rumors suggesting Matt Nagy’s time is coming to an end. And candidate names are already being dropped around football circles. But there’s nothing officially official just yet. And we know enough to put the cart in front of the horse when it comes to the Bears making what should be the easiest and most logical decisions.
In other words, we still have a ways to go here. But it’s never too early to start making a list, just in case it comes up on us quicker than we think. And for what it’s worth, we’ve got McDaniels’ résumé already on file. Although, we’ll want to freshen it up if it comes to it.