Chicago Bears: Is Jim Harbaugh a good fit at head coach?

ANN ARBOR, MI - NOVEMBER 25: Jim Harbaugh head coach of the Michigan Wolverines looks on in the first half against the Ohio State Buckeyes on November 25, 2017 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
ANN ARBOR, MI - NOVEMBER 25: Jim Harbaugh head coach of the Michigan Wolverines looks on in the first half against the Ohio State Buckeyes on November 25, 2017 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

With the Bears sitting at 3-8 and likely finishing with another sub-.500 record, head coach John Fox’s firing is imminent. Is Michigan Head Coach John Harbaugh a good fit for the Bears?

Let’s be honest.

The John Fox experiment has failed. Once the hottest name on the coaching market, John Fox’s tenure in Chicago has been a forgettable one. The Bears are a combined 12-31 through Foxes first two-and-a-half seasons.

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The players haven’t even been the problem. The Bears have been able to field a decently talented roster over the past three years.

Yes, there are instances in which the players should’ve stepped up. The lack of an above-average quarterback certainly doesn’t fall on Fox.

Neither does poor field goal kicking and all-around production on special teams- the two things that used to make the Bears so successful.

But what does fall on Fox are the real back-breakers. Penalties. The Bears have been in the top-half of the NFL in total penalties and penalty yardage over the past two seasons.

Time-after-time again, seemingly winnable, close games have came down to crucial penalties. The lack of discipline most certainly falls on the coach.

Since firing Lovie Smith after the 2012 season, the Bears have went to both the CFL (Marc Trestman) and NFL (Fox) when looking for a new coach. Is it time for the Bears to look towards the college level?

In their 98-year history, the Bears have never hired a coach directly from the college level.

But there’s reason to believe that streak will be coming to an end shortly. Plenty of reason.

University of Michigan Head Coach Jim Harbaugh is the perfect man for the job.

History of Success

Some (older) Bears fans might remember Jim Harbaugh from his playing days. The former Bears first-round played quarterback for the Bears from 1987-1993.

Other football fans might remember Harbaugh from his days at Stanford. Harbaugh led Andrew Luck and the Cardinal to a 12-1 record in 2010.

But most football fans will remember what happened after that. Harbaugh left Palo Alto for San Francisco and the 49ers. What happened in San Francisco is history.

Harbaugh led the 49ers to three consecutive NFC Championship Games, an NFL Record. Harbaugh was the NFL Coach of the year in 2011, and coached the 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII.

Harbaugh was out after just four seasons. Harbaugh’s Niners missed the playoffs and finished at 8-8, Harbaugh’s worst record as an NFL head coach (still better than Fox’s best season in Chicago).

Three years through his tenure at the University of Michigan, Harbaugh has been good but not good enough. While Harbaugh did become the first coach in Michigan history to win 10 games in his first two seasons, an 0-3 record against Ohio State and no Big 10 Championship game appearance has marred a successful stint.

CBS Sport’s Dennis Dodd recently reported that Michigan was working on a lifetime contract for Harbaugh. While nothing is imminent, any rumors of a contract extension for Harbaugh show that it won’t be easy to pry him away from Michigan.

But if Harbaugh is interested in a return to the NFL, the Bears could, and should be one of his top suitors. The Chicago background is there, as is the prior success. So why not Jim Harbaugh?

Quarterback Development

Mitch Trubisky has shown some serious flashes of a potential franchise quarterback. While two wins in 6 games isn’t great, Trubisky’s ability to make plays despite having little talent around him has been impressive.

However, Trubisky still needs some serious developing. Dowell Loggains system just hasn’t done anything to improve Trubisky. Enter Harbaugh.

Jim Harbaugh is a former quarterback himself. Harbaugh can relate to Trubisky in the sense that the two are both former first round picks with high expectations.

Harbaugh developed Andrew Luck into a Heisman finalist and 2nd-overall pick while he was at Stanford. Harbaugh also played a big role in developing former Niners second-round pick Colin Kaepernick into a near Super Bowl Champion.

Next: Bears: Trubisky struggling to find his footing

Harbaugh certainly is an intruiging option. Whether Harbaugh is a serious candidate or not will come down to the Bears willingness to step outside their comfort zone, as well as Harbaugh’s determination to return to the pros.

There are still five games remaining in the season for the Bears to decide on the future of the team. Fox’s fate is likely sealed, but everything else is up in the air.

Harbaugh or not, there will be no shortage of change within the Bears organization in the coming months.

Buckle Up.