The recent head coaching vacancy left by the Chicago Bears leaves many wondering who will take over as coach for next season. It won’t be for a few weeks that we get a better indication of who will have a chance of being the Bears’ 14th head coach in franchise history.
Whomever Chicago decides to bring in will have a chance of filling the best coaching vacancy in the league. Of all of the teams that fired their head coaches this week, the Bears are the only team that finished the regular season with a winning record. In addition, Chicago is probably the one team looking for a coach that has the best chance of being a contender in 2013.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Bears have four 2012 Pro Bowlers, and were ranked fifth in the league in overall defense during the regular season. Assuming that defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli doesn’t change Chicago’s defensive scheme, the Bears should still be one of the best defensive units in the league in 2013.
Though wide receiver Brandon Marshall is the only Pro Bowler on offense, the Bears still have the potential to be one of the best offenses in the NFL. Quarterback Jay Cutler is one of the most talented passers in the game today, and the chemistry between Cutler and Marshall has proven to be unstoppable.
Wide receivers Earl Bennett and Alshon Jeffery can definitely flourish in the right offensive scheme. Moreover, let’s not forget Johnny Knox, who sat out the entire 2012 season with a spinal injury. If Knox is able to return next season and is close to the player that he was before his horrific injury, then Chicago will have the deep threat that can compliment their big possession receivers. It will also make Devin Hester expendable, since his contribution as a receiver has significantly declined year after year.
Chicago’s backfield has one of the best all-around running backs in the league in Matt Forte. An ankle injury and a lack of commitment to the running game this season limited Forte’s production on offense, although he did rush for over 1,000 yards.
Just like Bennett and Jeffery, Forte can put up big numbers in a scheme that showcases his talents. It will also give him a chance to duplicate what he did in 2011 when he led the league in yards from scrimmage in the first 13 weeks of the season.
The only dramatic change on offense will have to be the offensive line. A complete overhaul will have to be done on the O-line in order for any of the Bears’ offensive weapons to have a major impact in adding to the contribution of the Cutler-Marshall connection.
Any coach considering the Bears should have them at the top of their list simply because of what they have on both sides of the ball. Chicago has been looking for the missing piece to the championship puzzle for a while, and it appears to be that the missing piece is the right head coach.
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