Bears coaching rumours: Latest on Brian Flores, Doug Pederson, other candidates after Matt Nagy fired

Bears coaching rumours: Latest on Brian Flores, Doug Pederson, other candidates after Matt Nagy fired

There was no doubt the Bears would leave Matt Nagy after the 2021 NFL season. The coach was in his fourth year with the franchise and he almost didn’t make it. He and general manager Ryan Pace had one more chance to get it right, but barring a playoff run, they would likely be replaced during the 2022 NFL offseason.

It came to fruition. The Bears fired Nagy and Pace on Black Monday, after the NFL regular season ended. The Bears posted a 6-11 record and while Justin Fields flashed at times, the offense — which was supposed to be Nagy’s calling card — was, for the most part, punchless. So the Bears dumped the former Chiefs offensive coordinator.

Now Chicago will be looking for a new coach for the fourth time in the past decade, and the team must get it right to win its first playoff game since 2010.

As such, it’s no surprise the Bears are casting their net wide in search of a replacement for Nagy. They have already sent out numerous interview requests and will begin the process of selecting their pool of candidates over the next few weeks.

MORE: Why the Bears fired Matt Nagy, explained

Here’s a rundown of all the candidates the Bears have asked to interview for their vacant coaching job, according to various media outlets.

Full List of Bears Coaching Candidates, Interview Requests

Brian Flores, former Dolphins head coach

Flores, 40, was shocked by the Dolphins after back-to-back winning seasons in which the team failed to make the playoffs. He led the Dolphins to a 24-25-1 record in three years with the team despite a complex rebuild. Flores is one of the most respected defensive minds in the game and is expected to land a new head coaching job this cycle. UPDATE: The Bears announced on January 14 that they had interviewed Flores for their position as head coach.

Doug Pederson, former Eagles head coach

Pederson, 53, spent the last year without practice after a five-year stint with the Eagles. He made the playoffs three times in those five games and led the team to a Super Bowl win over Tom Brady and the Patriots in 2018. He’s 42-37-1 on top of that ring of the Super Bowl and sparked the interest of several teams looking for a new head coach.

IYER: Is Jim Harbaugh best suited for the Bears?

Leslie Frazier, defensive coordinator, Bills

Frazier, 62, played cornerback for the Bears from 1981 to 1985 and helped the team win a Super Bowl ring in his senior season. He has coached the NFL since 1999 and is considered one of the best defensive coordinators in the game today. The Bills ranked No. 1 in yards and runs allowed in 2021 and Frazier coached three of the top three yard units in Buffalo. He coached the Vikings for three and a half years after becoming the interim in 2010 and went 21-32-1 with one playoff appearance.

Byron Leftwich, Offensive Coordinator, Buccaneers

Leftwich played 10 seasons in the NFL as a quarterback before becoming a key assistant on Bruce Arians’ team. The 41-year-old served as offensive coordinator the past four seasons at Arizona and Tampa Bay and led three of the first five offenses with Jameis Winston and Tom Brady at quarterback. Leftwich ticks a lot of boxes and could be a good mentor for Justin Fields.

BLACK MONDAY: Complete list of licensed coaches, openings in the NFL

Brian Daboll, offensive coordinator, Bills

Daboll had four different saves as the NFL’s offensive coordinator, but he finally figured it out with the Bills. He has overseen the development of Josh Allen since 2018 and transformed an offense that was a bottom three unit when he started in 2018 into a top five unit in 2020 and 2021. The offensively challenged Bears would surely appreciate that. , with Daboll’s experience working under Bill Belichick and Nick Saban.

Todd Bowles, defensive coordinator, Buccaneers

Bowles, 58, is considered one of the best defensive coordinators in the league, and he transformed Tampa Bay’s stopping unit from average to elite ahead of their Super Bowl run. Some may consider Bowles’ 24-40 record with the Jets a red flag, but he led the team to a shocking 10-6 record in his first season before the lack of talent became too much of an issue. The Jets are just 13-36 since Bowles was fired.

Matt Eberflus, defensive coordinator, Colts

Josh McDaniels took on Eberflus as part of his initial Colts team before deciding not to take the job in 2018. Frank Reich kept Eberflus, 51, and the decision was a good one. The Colts have consistently been above average with great defense and finished in the top 10 takeaways in each of Eberflus’ four seasons at Indy. He could be the man to get the Bears defense back to top form.

IYER: Top candidates to replace Matt Nagy with Bears

Nathaniel Hackett, offensive coordinator, Packers

The Bears have witnessed the work the 42-year-old Hackett has done up close in the NFC North with Aaron Rodgers. The Packers passer has had back-to-back MVP-caliber seasons under Hackett and has just proven the coach works well with QBs. Hackett oversaw Blake Bortles’ best season, one where the Jaguars finished with a top-five offense, which will make him an attractive candidate to work with Fields.

Dan Quinn, defensive coordinator, Cowboys

Quinn once led the Falcons to a Super Bowl, but his head coaching career went downhill afterward. His name rebounded after toppling the Dallas defense, which ranked as one of the worst stopping units in 2020 and is now decidedly solid. Quinn has a 43-42 career record as a coach despite losing seasons in each of his last three at Atlanta.

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