Although I still feel that Jon Gruden or Andy Reid would be a better fit for the Chicago Bears, the newest name added to their list of potential head coaches is a pretty good one. The Bears are interested in talking to Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians in regards to the head coaching vacancy in Chicago.
So far, the Bears have shown interest in a number of offensive coordinators and special teams coaches to fill the void, but no one with any head coaching experience. Though some of these candidates that Chicago has targeted seem to have the offensive knowledge that is needed for the Bears to improve on that side of the ball, I think that Chicago can benefit even more from someone who’s been a head coach.
Arians has proven this season that he is head coaching material. In the absence of Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, Arians led Indianapolis to a 9-3 record. This is a far cry from the 2-14 record the Colts had last season. The coaching performance of Arians this year could potentially give him the Coach of the Year Award.
In addition to what Arians did this season, his accomplishments prior to that are more of a reason why he is the Bears’ best potential candidate. Arians was the offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2007-11 and spearheaded some good offenses. Twice in Pittsburgh, he was in charge of a Steelers’ offense that ranked in the top half of the league, which also had passing attacks that were ranked in the top 10 in those same seasons.
The offense he took control of in Indy this year was even better. Their overall offense was 10th while the passing game was seventh. In the past nine years, the Bears’ offense hasn’t been any higher than 15th.
The history that Arians has had with quarterbacks in his professional coaching career is another positive. Arians spent three years as Peyton Manning’s first quarterbacks coach in Indianapolis and was very close with Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Having worked with two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks, I can only think that Jay Cutler would only improve under the tutelage of Arians.
Chicago won’t be able to talk with Arians until after the Colts’ playoff game on Sunday afternoon. I don’t think the chances are slim for Arians to be lured away from what he has grown accustomed to in Indy. He’s been coaching on the collegiate and professional levels since 1975, and has never been offered a head coaching position.
The success that Arians had this past season alone should give the Bears reason enough to strongly pursue him. If you ask me, of all of the people Chicago are interested in, Arians should be number one on their list.
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