NFL Black Monday: Is Mike McCoy the Right Man for the Chicago Bears?
It's easy to see why Smith was canned. The Bears became only the second team in NFL history to start the season 7-1 and miss the playoffs. And as always, it's not about where you start, but where you finish. Just ask the New York Giants.
Also, when you state that your No. 1 goal is to beat the Packers, then lose seven of the last eight meetings, that's not enough to hold onto your job.
With Smith now gone, GM Phil Emery now faces a his first big decision. The coach he selects will be handcuffed to Emery. Either they will succeed together, or they will be fired together.
With Denver being on a bye week due to its No. 1 seed, McCoy will be able to interview for head coaching vacancies this week. The Bears have moved fast to interview one of the bright, young offensive minds in the game.
By no means does this news mean that McCoy will be hired by the Bears as their new head coach. McCoy will almost certainly interview for other positions this week. However, the Bears present a very enviable situation to new head coaches, with their defense filled with Pro Bowl stars and their offense a few missing pieces away from greatness.
So why do the Bears move so quickly on McCoy? Well, as most of you will remember, this is the man who managed to guide his offense to an AFC divisional championship game with Tim Tebow as his quarterback.
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McCoy went from having his offense lead the league in rushing in 2011 to creating a high-octane offense lead by Peyton Manning, resulting in a phenomenal 11-game winning streak. McCoy shows diversity and the ability to succeed with two completely contrasting offense, and he's a winner.
McCoy was hired as offensive coordinator by Josh McDaniels in 2009, the notorious year in which the Broncos traded Jay Cutler to the Bears.
In that very same year, McCoy took Kyle Orton and made him something nobody in Chicago could: a good quarterback. Orton posted career highs in yards, touchdowns and completion percentage in the McCoy/McDaniels offense, one which also featured Brandon Marshall.
Chicago's front office clearly recognises what the fans have known all along. The offense has been holding this team back from the playoffs. The defense has been stellar throughout Smith's tenure. The same can not be said about the offense.
McCoy is a coach who may not have a huge amount of experience, but makes up for it with innovation and finding a way to win. No, he doesn't not have the big name like John Gruden or Bill Cowher, but neither did Lovie Smith when he was hired.
Anybody who gets the head coaching vacancy in Chicago should know better than to tamper with the defense. Say what you will about Lovie Smith, but he consistently put together a strong defense which won the Bears multiple games over the years.
McCoy and Emery must realise that the job at hand is a win-now situation. The Bears don't need to rebuild; they must simply reload. The defense is aging, but showed this year they can still get the job done. And the credit for that can lie with Rod Marinelli.
Should McCoy take the job, I personally would like to see him keep Rod Marinelli as defensive coordinator and Dave Toub as special teams coordinator. By doing this, McCoy would go a significant way to winning over the fanbase.
But ultimately, what will get Mike McCoy this job is what he will do with the offense. The Bears have a Pro Bowl wide receiver, a Pro Bowl-caliber quarterback and a Pro Bowl running back. McCoy would be set the challenge of making this offense, which, outside of the offensive line, looks great on paper, but regularly disappoints in game situations.
Luckily for McCoy, he's done this the past two years in Denver. He formed an offense around Tim Tebow; he formed one around Peyton Manning. You won't find two quarterbacks more contrasting. Yet both had great success in his system. You can rest assured he would be able to do the same with Jay Cutler, which, in my book, makes him a great candidate for the head coaching vacancy in Chicago.
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