In November, I reported that expectations were that the Chicago Bears would leave head coach Matt Nagy. Once that happened, one of the candidates the organization took a keen interest in was Josh McDaniels. The offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots. There were several reasons for this. One is his huge success in developing quarterback Mac Jones. Not to mention his remarkable work with Tom Brady and even Matt Cassel for over a decade.
Then there was the solid interview he delivered in 2018 when the Bears explored him for the job as well. The organization knows that the success of Justin Fields is paramount to his future. McDaniels is as qualified as anyone in the league to make it happen. Still, for some reason, the Patriots coordinator received no interview requests. Now, it’s finally been revealed why. Aaron Wilson of Sportstalk 790 explained.
Highly regarded New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is only focused on his preparations for an AFC playoff game on Saturday night against the Buffalo Bills and he shouldn’t be pursuing coaching opportunities -chief during the playoffs, according to sources in the league not authorized to speak in public.
McDaniels has a strong interest in the league. Among the teams believed to strongly consider McDaniels: the Chicago Bear, the Minnesota Vikings and the New York Giants.
All of this points to a clear reality.
The head coach’s decision may take longer than people realize. Both because the Bears want to assess each of their current candidates but also wait until McDaniels is available. The Patriots face the Buffalo Bills in the wildcard round this weekend. If they lose, he is expected to start interviewing at that time. Albert Breer of the MMQB has hinted that the veteran assistant is a big fan of Justin Fields, having reviewed him several times before the draft.
None of this guarantees that Josh McDaniels will ultimately be the Bears’ next head coach. Instead, it suggests that the organization is willing to take its time. They want this decision to be fair. Keep in mind that McCaskey and his team will be interviewing Patriots personnel manager Eliot Wolf in the coming days. Pairing him up with McDaniels would seem like a natural idea if he ends up being the guy they want.
Josh McDaniels’ wait allows Bears to take their time
McCaskey said the hope for this offseason is to hire a general manager first. By waiting at least until next Monday for the opportunity to set up a meeting with McDaniels, it allows them not to rush the decision to coach. Even as seven other teams enter the fray. While it sounds like a race, the reality is the Bears don’t have to rush. A lot of good candidates will still be around in a week or two. Find the right GM first. Next, determine the head coach.
The tricky part is figuring out what it would take for Josh McDaniels to jump. He seems comfortable in New England. Everyone remembers that he pulled out of the Indianapolis Colts job at the last second over concerns about his say in roster decisions. This has led a lot of people to believe that he wouldn’t take a head coaching job unless it’s with a GM / staff executive he knows and trusts.
That’s where Wolf would come in, having worked with McDaniels for two years now.
It’s a fun subplot to watch out for as this process continues to unfold. Bears supporters are not rushing into this case like they did four years ago. Remember Nagy was hired only a week after the end of the regular season. It shouldn’t happen this time. It will be methodical.
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