While many fans and analysts believe the Chicago Bears are going to keep head coach Matt Nagy around after this season, one prominent NFL insider doesn’t seem to think that’s going to happen.
KOA Colorado’s Benjamin Allbright, a Denver Broncos insider who occasionally drops information about other NFL teams, thinks that Chicago might be looking to find an offensive-minded head coach to pair with quarterback Justin Fields next season.
If the Bears surprise some people and win some games over the next 5-7 weeks, Nagy will very likely stick around, but if that doesn’t happen, things could get interesting in the Windy City. Who does Allbright think will replace Nagy if the season goes south in any way? Current Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll — and he says Chicago is “probably the leader in the clubhouse” to acquire him.
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Brian Daboll: A Brief History
Daboll has been coaching for over two decades, and he has worked with some of the best minds in the NFL, including Bill Belichick, Andy Reid and Sean McDermott.
Daboll caught the attention of many Bears fans this preseason when he choreographed an offense in which former Bears QB Mitch Trubisky completed 20 of 28 passes for 221 yards and a touchdown — against what was largely the Bears’ first-team defense. It was only preseason, but many felt the game provided solid evidence Daboll was a superior offensive mind than Nagy.
Here’s a quick look at Daboll’s resumé:
- William & Mary (1997) –Volunteer assistant
- Michigan State (1998–1999) — Graduate assistant
- New England Patriots (2000–2001) — Defensive assistant
- New England Patriots (2002–2006) — Wide receivers coach
- New York Jets (2007–2008) — Quarterbacks coach
- Cleveland Browns (2009–2010) — Offensive coordinator
- Miami Dolphins (2011) — Offensive coordinator
- Kansas City Chiefs (2012) — Offensive coordinator
- New England Patriots (2013–2016) — Tight ends coach
- Alabama Crimson Tide (2017) — Offensive coordinator & quarterbacks coach
- Buffalo Bills (2018–present) — Offensive coordinator
Daboll is expected to be one of the top head coaching prospects when the season ends, largely because of how he has developed Bills QB Josh Allen, while also turning Buffalo into one of the league’s most formidable offenses.
The Bills scored 16.8 points and averaged 298.6 total yards per game on Daboll’s first year as OC in 2018. Those numbers went up slightly the following season, when the Bills scored 19.6 points and netted 330.2 total yards per game. Things really took off for his offense in Year 3. The Bills had the No. 2 ranked offense in the league, putting up 31.3 points a game while averaging 396.4 yards per contest.
Allen’s development has also been incrementally better each year, culminating in a 4,544 yard, 37 touchdown 2020 campaign in which he also rushed for 421 yards and eight scores.
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What Are the Odds Daboll Will Head to Chicago?
Right now, that’s impossible to gauge. The appeal of a young quarterback like Fields will be strong if and when Nagy leaves, but that’s the thing: We just don’t know if that’s going to happen yet. Allbright seems to think that it may, regardless of Chicago’s record.
Either way, it’s clear Daboll is one of the top offensive minds in the league.
“There’s a lot of different ways to win a game. You’d like to be first in the league in pass, and first in the league in run, first in the league in total offense, and first in the league in points, but that rarely happens,” Daboll said in June, per Cover 1, before referencing the reigning Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“The team that won the Super Bowl was second in the league in pass and 28th in rush. To me, stats really don’t matter. What matters is being effective at the things you’re asked to do when we need to do them. If that’s to run the ball, it’s to run the ball. If it’s to pass it, it’s to pass it … Balance is good if you win, it’s not very good if you lose. Our philosophy is always going to be, do what we need to do to try to win a football game.”
That sounds exactly like something Fields said heading into Week 6:
“I’m simply doing whatever I need to do to help my team win. If that’s hand the ball off 80 times during a game or if that’s throw for however so many yards, that’s what I’m going to do. I’m not worried about comparisons between touchdowns, stats. I’m worried about winning. That’s it.”
For what it’s worth, Allbright also noted that he thinks new Bears defensive coordinator Sean Desai would stay on if Daboll was hired as HC:
We have a long way to go before the season ends, so we’ll see how it goes, but this is one of the more intriguing rumors swirling around the Bears right now.