Posts Tagged ‘#ChicagoBears’

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The Chicago Bears need to think about only one thing while they look for their next head coach: offense.

While going 14-34 under now-fired John Fox for the past three seasons, the team struggled to score points with consistent balance and explosiveness.

Now that the Bears have future QB in Mitchell Trubisky, they need an offensive-minded leader to take him to the next level as they also continue to improve the personnel around him.

With that in mind, here are the seven coaching candidates most qualified for the task at hand.

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Pat Shurmur, offensive coordinator, Vikings

Shurmur, who worked with Sam Bradford early in his career and has turned Case Keenum into something special this season, would be a great get for Trubisky. He also has some previous NFL head-coaching experience in the QB wasteland known as Cleveland.

Shurmer is both organized and experienced at age 52. Trubisky’s athletic skill set would mesh well with his system. It also wouldn’t hurt to take him away from a division rival.

Matt Nagy, offensive coordinator, Chiefs

There’s also some Alex Smith in Trubisky, and Nagy is responsible for getting terrific, rejuvenated play from the veteran in Kansas City. In addition to helping Trubisky settle better, Nagy would turn running back Jordan Howard and tight end Adam Shaheen into the centerpieces of the offense while also pushing to get his second-year QB a speedy deep threat to complement them.

At age 39, Nagy is ready for a shot to break free from Andy Reid.

Matt LaFleur, offensive coordinator, Rams

LaFleur’s boss, Sean McVay, is an offensive wunderkind who’s about to run away with coach of the year honors. In relation to the 31-year-old McVay, LaFleur, 38, is a coaching veteran with good experience under another such genius, Kyle Shanahan, in Houston, Washington and Atlanta.

Given LaFleur’s work with last year’s No. 1 overall pick in Jared Goff, it should inspire he can do nice things with Trubisky, too.

Jim Bob Cooter, offensive coordinator, Lions

Cooter has gotten plenty of head-coaching buzz in previous years, but it seemed like his youthfulness was a limitation. The guy who has gotten the best out of Matthew Stafford still is only 33.

But in a copycat league, what McVay did in 2017 has probably made age just a number for teams looking for a new head coach in 2018. Cooter would be another good way to steal from within the division.

John DeFilippo, quarterbacks coach, Eagles

Frank Reich, Philadelphia’s offensive coordinator, will also be on many teams’ radars. But DeFilippo, 39, is a worthy candidate based on position-specific work for several colleges and NFL teams.

He did well molding both Derek Carr and Carson Wentz, so that should create appeal for a Trubisky match.

Dave Toub, special teams coordinator Chiefs

Toub is the one exception to the offensive rule in the Bears’ search, as by association with Nagy, Reid and Doug Pederson, Toub would put in place a good offensive coordinator to do his thing with Trubisky while he brings the rest of the team together.

Toub, 55, is overdue for a head-coaching shot and is very familiar with Chicago, having led the Bears’ special teams from 2004-12.

Josh McDaniels, offensive coordinator, Patriots

Every offensive wish list has to have McDaniels’ name on it, although his style and demanding demeanor might not be as good of a fit for the Bears as the options above.

McDaniels deserves at least an interview, because in moving on from Fox, the Bears need to think of every opposite approach.

As the minutes wound down on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium and Bengals fans looked for the exits, the band of Bears fans that remained began waving navy-and-orange blankets and chanting, “Let’s go Bears!” Yea! Bears fans travel with their team.

Afterward, in the locker room, Bears players joked and laughed and threw out words such as “rewarding” and “relief.”

Sure, the 33-7 victory over the Bengals brought the Bears’ record this season to a measly 4-9. And yes, it came against a hobbled, five-win team.

But the Bears went 49 days between victories — and two years and 25 days since last topping the 30-point mark in a game — so they and their fans were starved for celebration.

“I don’t think it was just Mitch (Trubisky); I think we all needed it,” tight end Adam Shaheen said. “We’ve been struggling, lost a couple of close ones. This was a great win we needed. And it was against a good team.

“When everything was clicking, everybody was getting opportunities. When you’re rolling, it helps out everybody.”

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Although Dwyane Wade was not part of the Cleveland Cavaliers‘ run of three straight NBA Finals appearances, he’s here for the run at a fourth. And he’s observed some familiar struggles.
Wade referenced the 2013-14 Miami Heat team — the last of the Big Three coalitions — when discussing the current Cavs’ plight. Where that might scare some northeast Ohioans given that team’s fate, he provided some contrast as well.

“That last year in Miami when we went to the Finals, I don’t know how we made it,” Wade said Thursday, via ESPN. “As a team, we were kind of like this. It was worse, because it wasn’t new guys; it was guys who had been around each other four years in a row. Your jokes weren’t funny anymore to other guys, when you walked in it wasn’t a big smile any more. Guys were just over you. It’s like being in a bad marriage.”
LeBron James and Wade led the Heat to their fourth straight Finals appearance, but the San Antonio Spurs dominated the top-heavy team on what turned out to be its last legs. James left for Cleveland a month later, taking his unprecedented finals-qualifying talents (excepting the 1960s Boston Celtics in an eight-team NBA for much of that span) to his hometown and using a collection of new teammates as sidekicks.
Several sidekicks remain from all three finals teams — like Kevin Love, J.R. Smith, Tristan Thompson and Iman Shumpert — but the Cavs are breaking in plenty of new players this season. And they’ve lost four in a row to plummet to 3-5. Only two East teams are worse.


The Cavs are not averse to drama during the James-2.0 stretch, but they are entering some oddly key regular-season games in November. James’ final Heat team started 4-3 before reeling off 10 straight wins. Wade didn’t guarantee that, but the 35-year-old guard believes the Cavs are better than what they’ve shown.
“With the new guys here, you’ve got guys that have never been [to the Finals], guys who are hungry,” Wade said. “Obviously, Isaiah (Thomas) is one of them, who’s out. [And there’s] Derrick (Rose) and guys who have never been. Hopefully we can eventually pull from that and everybody wants to see the other guys succeed and get to that pinnacle they got to.
“… We have to continue to understand that we’re going to get out of this together and this is going to be a distant memory at one point, but right now we’re in it. We have to figure it out, and I think we will.”