Bears Rumors: Byron Leftwich, Josh McDaniels Among HC Candidates If Matt Nagy Fired

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVNovember 28, 2021

Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, right, and head coach Bruce Arians watch from the sideline during the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Monday, Nov. 22, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll are among the names the Chicago Bears could pursue if they fire coach Matt Nagy.

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported the Bears could also make a run at Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald, but he is unlikely to leave his alma mater. It's nearly a foregone conclusion that Nagy is coaching his last season in Chicago.

The Bears will have competition for all three of the aforementioned coordinators, all of whom are considered prime candidates for head coaching positions.

Teams have been attempting to coax McDaniels out of New England for several years, but he's remained under Bill Belichick. McDaniels previously coached the Denver Broncos in 2009 and 2010 and likely wants to avoid a similarly bad situation in his second stint as a head coach.

Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians has gone out of his way to praise Leftwich, who often does not get as much public recognition as deserved for his role in the Tampa offense. Despite Arians being an offensive-minded coach, it's Leftwich who calls the plays and runs all of the offensive meetings.

Daboll was among the hottest names in coaching last season, but he likely lost out on jobs with the Bills making a deep run in the playoffs. His work in developing Josh Allen into a Pro Bowl-caliber passer and devising a scheme that fits Allen's skill set has been some of the best offensive coaching work in football.

The Bears will look to avoid a mistake similar to the one they made with Nagy, who was plucked Nagy from Andy Reid's coaching tree in Kansas City. The team soon found that the apple fell far from the tree. Nagy failed in helping develop Mitchell Trubisky into an NFL starter, and his schemes have consistently put first-year passer Justin Fields into a position to fail.

The person who takes the Bears job will be tasked with undoing the damage done by Fields' rookie season and helping him realize his potential under center.