Bears search light on veteran coaches

Bears search light on veteran coaches

Word around the New England Patriots that Bill Belichick might somehow come available on the coaching market, based on reporting by ESPN’s Seth Wickersham, didn’t create much more than a brief what-if buzz in various cities of teams in search of head coaches. It shouldn’t have.

One big reason was laid out by Paul McCartney, who is reported to have said in response to one in the constant stream of questions about a Beatles reunion, “You can’t reheat a soufflé.”

More to the Bears case in point, notably perhaps, none of the candidates targeted in the early days of the search are coming directly from head-coaching spots. The only two at this point with head-coaching experience – New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels (Denver), Minnesota offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur (Cleveland) – flopped as head coaches, other than Shurmur going 1-0 as Eagles interim coach after Chip Kelly was fired.

Successful head coaches who suddenly become available for reasons other than via basic fired-for-losing usually sound good; they come with records of proven success. Jon Gruden in Oakland?

But the Bears just got over one of those – John Fox – and the likelihood that Bears GM Ryan Pace would entertain hiring another 60-something head coach is considerably short of zero. And Fox came nowhere near repeating the turnaround successes he’d accomplished in Carolina and Denver, probably because he couldn’t bring Peyton Manning and Von Miller with him.

Sometimes second-chance coaches do work out, quite nicely. Dick Vermeil left Philadelphia after a run of playoffs with the Eagles, then came back from 15 years in the broadcast booth to take both St. Louis and then Kansas City to the playoffs in his third seasons with each.

Bill Parcells got every team he head-coached to the playoffs – the Giants, Patriots, Jets and Cowboys – and wasn’t fired from any of his postings. Tony Dungy and Marty Schottenheimer achieved more success with teams after being fired than they did with teams that fired them.

Jim Schwartz retuned to respectability as Eagles defensive coordinator after his 29-51 five years coaching the Detroit Lions. But Schwartz does not fit any of the template that the Bears appear to have set with the majority of their other candidates.

Under Center Podcast: Checking in on the Lions with ESPN’s Mike Rothstein


Under Center Podcast: Checking in on the Lions with ESPN’s Mike Rothstein

JJ Stankevitz is joined by ESPN Lions reporter Mike Rothstein to dive into how close Detroit is to cleaning house (1:00), expectations for Matthew Stafford (5:50) and T.J. Hockenson (10:00), what new offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell’s scheme looks like (13:45), where the Lions are strongest and weakest on defense (16:50) and if this team actually respects Matt Patricia (22:20).

Plus, Mike discusses the story he co-wrote on the rise and fall of the AAF and what it would take for a spring football league to succeed (26:10).

Listen to the full episode in the embedded player below:

Under Center Podcast


Bears rookie WR Riley Ridley motivated by older brother, family name

USA Today

Bears rookie WR Riley Ridley motivated by older brother, family name

Bears fourth-round pick Riley Ridley knew what to expect coming into the NFL thanks to his older brother Calvin, the Atlanta Falcons wide receiver.

Their family bond kept them close even as they played for rival colleges and now competing professional teams, and they both take a lot of motivation from the name on the back of their jerseys.

The two receivers came together on camera for the Bears’ “Meet the Rookies” series.

“We do what we do, not just for the family, but for our name, our brand,” Riley Ridley said. “We want to take that as far as it can go. That Ridley name is strong, and that’s how we view it.”

Ridley opened up about growing up with his mother raising him and his three brothers. He said he’s going to be his own biggest critic and do everything he can to help his teammates.

His brother Calvin added some color to the image of Riley that’s starting to take shape.

“Very funny, really cool, laid back,” Calvin Ridley said. “He’s a different person on the field. I would say he has a lot of anger on the field — very physical.”

Matt Nagy should find good use for that physicality in the Bears offense, plugging Ridley in a wide receiver group already deep with young talent.

Ridley doesn’t seem like the type of player who will allow himself to get buried on the depth chart.