NFL Chicago Bears

Top 5 Coaching Candidates for the Chicago Bears

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Top 5 Coaching Candidates for the Chicago Bears

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

In nine seasons as head coach for the Chicago Bears, Lovie Smith has had defenses ranked tops in the league. That side of the football is one of the main reasons why Smith has a winning record and has lasted that long in his tenure with the Bears.

Lovie Smith made a career of beating up on inferior teams and coming up short against some of the best teams in the league. Out of his nine seasons with the Bears, Smith reached the playoffs only three times.

What stood out the most looking back in Smith tenure is his lack of understanding on offense. He’s been through four offensive coordinators in nine years. Terry Shea is out of the league; Ron Turner never saw an OC gig again, Mike Martz is working for Fox NFL Sunday, and Mike Tice sealed his fate as a career positional coach as that quite possibly was Smith worst OC hire.

Years of bad offenses cost Smith his job, as general manager Phil Emery pointed out in his press conferences explaining the firing of Smith. Now it is up to Emery to find a coach that can keep this defense to playing at a high level while improving the offense to a championship caliber one.

Emery has a list of head coaching candidates, but I share to you my top five candidates for the Bears head coaching job.

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#5 Mike Sullivan

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Positive: Sullivan worked with Eli Manning as the New York Giants quarterbacks coach 2011, and has been instrumental in Manning’s success as a passer. Manning set franchise records in completions, completion percentages, as well as throwing for over 4,000 passing yards in a season under Sullivan's watch. He also saved Josh Freeman’s career this season as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers OC.

The Negative: Despite success he had with Manning and Freeman, Sullivan only has one-year of OC experience. Sullivan would be a bit of a gamble for offensive desperate Bears team.

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#4 Darrell Bevell

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The Positive: Bevell is one of the NFL’s best kept secrets. He has experience working with a quarterback who Jay Cutler is often compared to in Brett Favre back as QB coach with the Green Bay Packers and an offensive coordinator with the Minnesota Vikings. Right now he is the Seattle Seahawks OC and one of the main reasons for Russell Wilson success this season.

The Negative: Bevell has had great success in his career as OC for both the Vikings and Seahawks, but it makes you wonder why he isn’t getting calls for to be a head coach.

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#3 Kyle Shanahan

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The Positive: Even at such a young age (33), Shanahan has plenty of coaching experience. Right now he’s the offensive coordinator for the Washington Redskins. Shanahan has done a great job developing Robert Griffin by running his system while at the same time installing some of the read option that made Griffin a success back at Baylor. Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall have tons of experience in Shanahan system, and Matt Forte is an ideal fit for the zone-blocking scheme Shanahan runs.

The Negative: At 33, is he too young to be an NFL head coach?

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#2 Bruce Arians

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The Positive: Arians has worked with the likes Peyton Manning, Ben Rothlisberger, and at the moment, rookie Andrew Luck. The first two have gone on to become Super Bowl champions and top tier Quarterbacks in the league, while Luck is showing early in his career that he’s going to be a great one. You can’t overlook how he took the Indianapolis Colts to the playoffs under the circumstances they were in. He’s a strong personality that Jay Cutler needs at this point in his career.

The Negative: At 60, would you rather go with a young option instead?

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#1 Mike McCoy

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The Positive: McCoy is the hottest name out there when you talking about head coaching candidates. McCoy has tons of experience as a coach in the NFL; serving as a pass game coordinator, quarterbacks coach, and currently offensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos. What makes him an intriguing choice is his ability to adapt to his players strengths. He had success with Kyle Orton, Tim Tebow, and currently right now Peyton Manning. Emery stated that he’s looking for someone that can work with the talent on the roster and McCoy best fits his description.

The Negative: In high demand.