Business is picking up for the Chicago Bears. They finally have a new general manager in tow, making space for the head coach search to kick up in a major way. And if NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport is on the money, then we could be hearing about Poles’ new running mate relatively soon:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 26, 2022
Here’s the money quote: “That feels, to me, like the closest to getting done,” Rapoport says of the Bears head-coaching search. Rapoport goes on to add that Matt Eberflus and Dan Quinn are at Halas Hall for interviews today, noting that Jim Caldwell was in for an interview on Tuesday. But, perhaps, most importantly, Rapoport says: “A decision should be coming soon” for the Bears.
On the one hand, there is a level of excitement that comes with the process potentially accelerating. Discussing finalists is fun. Sorting through options is neat. Trying to figure out who fits where and why is always a treat. But on the other hand, I’m not sure this feels like the full autonomy for Poles we were promised on Tuesday. I guess that is to say, hopefully there’s a little more going on behind the scenes than we can see. For example, maybe Poles already had Quinn, Eberflus, and Caldwell on his short-list going into the hiring process.
But I was at least hoping to see the coaching search expand from here, not shrink immediately. After all, there still are plenty of options out there. Byron Leftwich isn’t quite locked into the Jaguars job, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. And a Joe Schoen-Brian Daboll combo isn’t set in stone in New York. In other words, there doesn’t seem to be anything preventing those coaches (or anyone else for that matter) from becoming an option for Chicago.
Maybe I’m just being sensitive because of how things played out with Pace and John Fox all those years ago. And ultimately, I’m still trying my best to believe the report that Poles will be the one to pick his head coach will full autonomy. But I almost come away feeling like Rapoport’s report implies something closer to “Poles can totally pick his own head coach … from a a list of guys left by Bill Polian.” Especially when Rapoport says that Polian seemingly gave Eberflus a strong recommendation. That would *NOT* count as full autonomy in my book. But I guess we’ll see.