On the heels of the Chicago Bears missing the postseason, I wrote that Lovie Smith should be relieved of his duties as head coach. Earlier today, Smith’s departure from the Bears became a reality. It appears that Chicago’s dominance on defense and special teams wasn’t enough to get the championship the Bears have been eagerly anticipating over the past 27 years.
Bears general manager Phil Emery made it painfully clear that he is willing to do whatever it takes to make Chicago an elite team in the league, including firing the third-winningest coach in franchise history.
I don’t know if Emery has anyone in particular in mind for the head coaching vacancy, but I do have a couple of names that I feel that he should take into consideration. Though it may be a long shot in getting one of these two coaches interested in coming to the Windy City, I think that Jon Gruden and Andy Reid are two candidates that can get the Bears’ offense where it needs to be.
During Smith’s tenure as head coach, Chicago’s offense has ranked no higher than 15th, which was in 2006 (the year the Bears went to the Super Bowl). The lack of production on the offensive side of the ball is the thing that has prevented Chicago from becoming one of the league’s all-around best teams.
Defensively, the Bears will be alright, as long as defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli is around. I mentioned before that Chicago needs to have an offensive minded head coach in order to have success in this day and age, and I believe that either Gruden or Reid could be the person to take the offense to a higher level.
Gruden has been out of coaching since 2008, however, if Emery can somehow woo him back into the league, he could probably do the same thing he did when he was head coach for the Oakland Raiders and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
In 2000, Gruden built an offense in Oakland that ended up being ranked sixth overall. In addition, the Raiders’ running game was tops in the league. The following year, Oakland’s offense was seventh in the league, and had a passing game that was ranked fourth.
Although Gruden would leave after the 2001 season to coach Tampa Bay, Oakland’s offense was number one in overall offense and in passing in 2002, and would go on to play in the Super Bowl. Remember, this was because of the offense that Gruden put together.
Reid has a much better track record than Smith does. During Reid’s 14-year tenure as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, he has led his team to nine playoff appearances. In those nine postseason berths, the Eagles won six NFC East division titles, played in five NFC Championship games, won one NFC title, and appeared in a Super Bowl.
The one thing that Reid is known for in the football world is bringing out the best in talented quarterbacks. It’s no secret that Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is arguably the most talented thrower in the league. Just imagine what Reid could do with a quarterback of Cutler’s caliber.
I’m pretty sure that there are some other coaches being considered to become the Bears’ 14th head coach in franchise history. The fact that Emery doesn’t have any previous experience as a general manager makes it a bit difficult to determine what direction he could possibly go in seeking a new head coach.
From my point of view, if the Bears want to win a championship in the near future, then Gruden and Reid wouldn’t be bad choices to put on the list of possible successors.
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