One NFL insider is naming names when it comes to potential candidates to replace Matt Nagy, should the Chicago Bears choose to move on from the struggling head coach.
The Bears are “expected to consider” New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to replace Nagy, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.
“Nagy is under heavy fire from fans, there was a strong push from that fanbase for a coaching change last year, and the team has been a tough watch for most of this season, including an ugly win at Detroit on Thanksgiving,” La Canfora reported on November 28. He then shared details about who the team is expected to be interested in as a replacement for its current coach, who will likely ride out the season before being let go.
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Josh McDaniels Among Potential Candidates, La Canfora Says
McDaniels has, of course, worked with the GOAT in Tom Brady for the bulk of his career, but he has also done an excellent job getting Mac Jones ready to compete in the league as a rookie (Jones has completed 70.3% of his passes for 2,850 yards, 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions so far this season).
La Canfora says that the presence of Bears rookie quarterback Justin Fields will make the job very attractive to coaching candidates if or when Nagy is relieved of his duties.
“Some names are already being connected to the job in NFL circles, with rookie quarterback Justin Fields seen as an attractive commodity to many top offensive coaches and Nagy’s offense failing to sustain high productivity no matter who has been at quarterback during his tenure,” La Canfora reported. “There have been internal discussions within that organization dating back at least a year, and Nagy was aware of the expectations for significant improvement this season.”
In addition to McDaniels, La Canfora listed Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll as other candidates Chicago was expected to look at. It’s impossible to know for certain whether McDaniels could get the most out of Fields, but he has a pretty impressive resumé.
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Josh McDaniels: Background & Resumé
The 45-year-old Patriots OC has been coaching since 1999, and he has won six Super Bowls in his tenure with the Patriots.
McDaniels was head coach of the Denver Broncos for two seasons, in 2009-10, and he finished with an unimpressive 11-17 mark. He also almost infamously became the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts.
Back in February of 2018, McDaniels was announced as the Colts new coach, but on the same day the announcement was made, he withdrew from the position and declared he was staying in New England, a move that was universally criticized.
Still, his connection to Bill Belichick and his experience running successful offenses will garner perpetual interest from teams looking to fill their HC voids. Here’s a look at McDaniels’ coaching resumé:
- Michigan State (1999), Graduate assistant
- New England Patriots (2001), Personnel assistant
- New England Patriots (2002–2003), Defensive assistant
- New England Patriots (2004), Quarterbacks coach
- New England Patriots (2005–2008), Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach
- Denver Broncos (2009–2010), Head coach
- St. Louis Rams (2011), Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach
- New England Patriots (2012–2019), Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach
- New England Patriots (2020), Offensive coordinator
- New England Patriots (2021–present), Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach
McDaniels hasn’t been interested in leaving New England recently, and there are no signs he’d be prompted to head to the Windy City should Nagy get his walking papers, but the presence of Fields has to intrigue every offensive-minded candidate. We’ll see what happens.