Bears Head Coach Search Watch: New Timetable? Dolphins and Giants Factor? What's Up With Leftwich? More

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Bears Head Coach Search Watch: New Timetable? Dolphins and Giants Factor? What’s Up With Leftwich? More

Chicago Bears

Where the Bears general manager search felt like it was without a lot of heat and intrigue (which is not to say the Bears didn’t do well!), the hunt for a new head coach is liable to be a hot zone of rapid-fire rumors. Heck, it already is.

Let’s discuss some of the latest with known candidates and others seemingly on the periphery.

Timetable For a Bears Hire?

Independent reporter/podcaster Jordan Schultz provides a window into the operating time the Bears might be dealing with. In reporting the Bears’ meeting with Cowboys Defensive Coordinator Dan Quinn earlier in the afternoon, Schultz shared what he had heard regarding when the team could lock in the team’s field general.

Schultz hears Poles “would ideally like to make a decision this week.” That would be quick. And convenient, too. For what it’s worth, though, Schultz is not alone, since the whole “this week” thing seems to be the consensus. On Monday, NBC Sports Chicago’s Adam Hoge suggested the Bears GM and head coach searches could be done by next week. Earlier today, we discussed a report from NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, who believes the Bears could strike a deal with a new coach soon. And now Schultz hears similarly. I doubt this is all coincidental timing.

If Poles has his eyes on a candidate he hasn’t spoken with over the last two days, then he shouldn’t wait for things to shake out. Then again, things might fall into place for the Bears in one way or another because of how other teams operate.

Dolphins Throwing Wrenches, Giants Stacking Interviews

Depending on your point of view, the Dolphins could truly throw a wrench or two, and that is impressive, seeing as Dolphins don’t have opposable thumbs. *ba dum tsss* In any case, Miami’s football team has a coaching search of its own going on. And one of their top targets could set off a domino effect.

Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News reports Bills Offensive Coordinator Brian Daboll is someone league sources see as the front-runner to be Miami’s next head coach. Many had thought Daboll was a lock for New York, so, in turn, Daboll landing with the Dolphins would leave the Giants choosing between Cowboys Defensive Coordinator Dan Quinn and former Miami head coach Brian Flores. a pair of defensive-leaning former coaches. But let’s not leave Bills Defensive Coordinator Leslie Frazier out of the equation. NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero reports Frazier will get a second interview with the Giants on Friday.

For safe measure, we should note that Giants DC Patrick Graham was interviewing for the position on Wednesday. It is just a hypothetical at this point, but could you imagine the fallout if the Giants chose to stick with an in-house candidate? Hiring Graham would keep Daboll, Flores, Frazier, and Quinn still on the table for any number of teams. Plucking Frazier would keep Daboll, Flores, and Quinn as possibilities.

Or, what if the Bears prefer Quinn, but the Dolphins snatch up Daboll and the Giants quickly pivot to Quinn? Of course, we still don’t yet have a sense of whether new Bears GM Ryan Poles truly wants to give Daboll or Flores a closer look, so maybe the impact would be on that side of the equation?

That is all to say, the Giants and Dolphins hold some cards here. The Bears should keep tabs on what is left in the deck.

What’s Up With Leftwich?

The feeling this morning around the football world was that a Byron Leftwich homecoming in Jacksonville was all but a done deal. And while ESPN’s Adam Schefter was trying to pump the brakes on something that felt like a given, it turns out that Jaguars-Leftwich pairing wasn’t totally ironed out. Moreover, reports are surfacing that Packers OC Nathaniel Hackett is lining up for a second interview with the Jags. Maybe it is a hard-line bargaining ploy by Jacksonville? Perhaps Leftwich is cool calling the Jaguars’ bluff? Nevertheless, it is something I find unexpected.

Maybe this sudden change-of-direction could benefit the Bears?

Eh … maybe not:

Oof. That is a bummer. And after seeing how things took a tumble in the Nagy era after the brain drain hit his staff after 2018, I can understand why the Bears might be hesitant to dive back into the waters with a first-time head coach who may not be quite as able to build out an impressive, deep staff.

Even still … Leftwich is an intriguing candidate with coaching upside stemming from being the Buccaneers’ play-caller. Teaming a young, talented, dynamic quarterback like Justin Fields with a coach like Leftwich, whose philosophy includes taking plenty of deep shots is a little enticing. But admittedly, that would come with a healthy amount of risk. And after watching the last regime crash and burn, it might not be a risk this franchise wants to take.

All that to say that this thing doesn’t feel any closer to being decided than when we woke up this morning, which is a surprise. I’d even go as far as to say options feel more open than we might’ve otherwise expected by the time the sun set on Wednesday. Stay tuned.

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.