The Chicago Bears are approaching the end of the second week of their search for a new general manager and head coach and it would appear that the team is not nearing a decision on either vacancy.
While the Bears’ list of candidates has been filled with strong options, the criticism that the team is receiving is centered around their process and pace. While other teams with vacancies such as the New York Giants and Jacksonville Jaguars are identifying finalists for their respective vacancies, the Bears have yet to reach that stage as they still have first round interviews to be completed next week.
The Bears will be interviewing Indianapolis Colts’ executive Morroco Brown for the first time on Monday in regard to their general manager vacancy, and on Tuesday, the Bears will speak with Saints’ defensive coordinator Dennis Allen for the first time regarding the vacancy for their head coach position.
While Allen will be meeting with the Bears for his first interview on Tuesday, it would appear that the team has targeted their next head coach. ESPN’s Dan Graziano is reporting that former Detroit Lions’ head coach Jim Caldwell has declined interview requests from both the Las Vegas Raiders and Minnesota Vikings. As for the reason Caldwell denied those requests? Graziano believes it is because Caldwell will be the next head coach of the Bears and has already begun assembling a coaching staff.
Jim Caldwell would be a respectable hire as the next head coach of the Chicago Bears but it would channel a mistake that the team has made before.
What should be noted is that Graziano was not citing sources in his belief that Caldwell will be the next head coach of the Bears. The connection between the Bears’ head coaching vacancy and Caldwell is obvious. Former Colts’ executive Bill Polian is the consultant that the Bears have entrusted to lead the search for their next general manager and head coach. Caldwell’s and Polian’s careers intersected in the early to late 2000s when both were with the Indianapolis Colts’ organization.
Caldwell was last in the NFL in 2019 when he served as the assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach for the Miami Dolphins. Bears’ fans know Caldwell’s name from when he was the head coach of the Detroit Lions from 2014-2017. What was impressive regarding Caldwell’s time with the Lions was that he coached the Lions to three winnings seasons including two playoff berths during his 4-year run as their head coach.
While Caldwell is not a buzz worthy name in this year’s cycle of head coaching vacancies, he certainly would be an improvement over Matt Nagy. The issue, however, is that a potential hiring of Caldwell seems vaguely similar to the Bears’ hiring of John Fox in 2015.
Fox was hired by the Bears in 2015 because of his relationship with Ernie Accorsi. Accorsi was the consultant that the Bears hired in 2015 to oversee the search for their head coach and general manager vacancies. Fox, in large part due to Accorsi, was then forced upon incoming general manager Ryan Pace. Fox was fired after the 2017 season after it was clear that his vision for the Bears was not aligned with Pace’s vision. That is the same risk that the Bears will be taking this year in the event that they hire Caldwell before having a general manager in place.