Jim Harbaugh would have been the perfect coach to hire for the Chicago Bears.
Harbaugh arrived in San Francisco and immediately helped quarterback Alex Smith go from a potential bust into a winning quarterback. Prior to Harbaugh, Smith struggled through misuse, injuries, and inaccurate passing. Smith experienced lots and lots of losing.
Smith threw for 3144, played in all 16 games, and won 13 games in his first season under Harbaugh in 2011.
Colin Kaepernick thrived under Harbaugh. Kaepernick took the NFL by storm midway through his second season in 2012 and led the 49ers to the Super Bowl.
Kaepernick was outstanding in the run-pass option offense Harbaugh used. Kaepernick threw for 8380 yards, 50 touchdowns, and 21 interceptions in the two-and-half seasons he started for Harbaugh.
Kaepernick also rushed for 1578 and 10 touchdowns in that span. Post-Harbaugh, Kaepernick struggled as he only threw for just 3856 yards and 22 touchdowns. The system Harbaugh ran helped Smith and Kaepernick succeed. It would be the perfect system to get the most out of Fields.
Harbaugh could have brought back Vic Fangio
Fangio was Harbaugh’s defensive coordinator in San Francisco. Chicago Bears fans still love Vic for presiding over one of the best Bears’ defenses of all-time in 2018.
Fangio left to be the head coach in Denver but now that he is available after being fired by the Broncos, he could join up with Harbaugh again.
Just imagine the Chicago Bears’ defense with Fangio back in control. Well, it would probably have a good chance of being like 2018. Eddie Jackson would have a chance to be the ball-hawking safety he is paid to be.
Plus, the Bears could have stuck with their 3-4 base defense and added to the talent they already have. Instead, Chicago is switching to a 4-3 base defense under Eberflus and that means the defense either needs a retool of players or a complete overhaul.
The Bears could have kept young, up-and-coming defensive coordinator Sean Desai and had Fangio slide into the same role Mike Pettine had last season. Either way, it was a missed chance to bring back Fangio.
Also, maybe Jim could have pried away Mark Roman from his brother John Harbaugh to be the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator. Roman would be another perfect fit for Fields. Roman helped develop Lamar Jackson into an MVP quarterback with a system that played to his strengths.
This could be the Bears choosing the wrong head coach again
The Chicago Bears have had a history of going with the wrong head coach. In 2015, the Bears went with the experienced John Fox over Dan Quinn. Quinn in two years took the Falcons to the Super Bowl while Fox coached like he was in semi-retirement.
In 2013, the Bears hired Marc Trestman from the Canadian Football League over reigning NFL Coach of the Year, Bruce Arians. It just seems like when there is a better choice, the Bears choose badly.
This gives the Vikings an offseason win
The Chicago Bears beat out the Vikings for Fields in last year’s draft. They also beat out Minnesota for Poles.
The Vikings landing Harbaugh gives a division rival a leg up in the offseason battle. Outside of Doug Pederson, Harbaugh is clearly the candidate with the best head coaching resume. His proven track record for turning teams around would now be in the Bears division playing Chicago twice a year.
If Harbaugh can resurrect Smith’s career, imagine what he can do with Kirk Cousins. Also, think about the offense Harbaugh could have with Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson.