Bears Rumors: Dan Quinn, Jim Caldwell Eyed for 2nd Head Coach Interviews

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 24, 2022

Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell addresses the media after an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Jose Juarez)
AP Photo/Jose Juarez

The Chicago Bears are reportedly moving forward in the interview process with multiple head coaching candidates as they search for Matt Nagy's replacement.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo, the NFC North team will request second interviews with Dan Quinn and Jim Caldwell. It is also scheduled for a second interview with Matt Eberflus on Wednesday, per Tom Pelissero. 

Chicago is also in the market for a new general manager after it fired Ryan Pace, meaning this is a critical offseason for an organization that is resetting following a third-place finish in the division and 11th straight season without a playoff win.

The first thing that jumps out about the Quinn and Eberflus pair is they both have defensive backgrounds, which may be somewhat surprising considering the Bears have long searched for stability at the quarterback position and seemed to make Justin Fields the franchise signal-caller when they selected him with a first-round pick in the 2021 NFL draft.

Hiring an offensive coach may be the way to go if the team is looking to build around Fields, but all three of the candidates who will be interviewed a second time have notable resumes.

Quinn was the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons from 2015 until he was fired during the 2020 season and finished with a 43-42 record and Super Bowl appearance. He was also the defensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks when they went to back-to-back Super Bowls in the 2013 and 2014 campaigns and helped lead the Dallas Cowboys to an NFC East crown as the defensive coordinator this past season.

Eberflus was on the defensive staffs at Toledo and Missouri at the collegiate level before he was the linebackers coach for the Cleveland Browns and Dallas Cowboys from 2009 to '17. He has been the defensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts the past four seasons, and the unit finished tied for ninth in the league in points allowed in 2021.

Caldwell is the one with an offensive background with experience on the offensive staffs of Southern Illinois, Northwestern, Colorado, Louisville and Penn State before he was a head coach at Wake Forest. He was also the offensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens and an assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach for the Colts and Miami Dolphins.

Yet his time as a head coach for the Colts from 2009 through 2011 and Detroit Lions from 2014 through 2017 stand out. He made the playoffs in four of his seven seasons and finished with a 36-28 record in Detroit. Since firing him following a nine-win season in 2017, the Lions' best record has been 6-10. 

Whoever lands the job will be tasked with leading a franchise that may not be as far away as its 6-11 record in 2021 indicated if Fields lives up to expectations.

There is talent on the defensive side of the ball, and Aaron Rodgers' future for the rival Green Bay Packers is up in the air after another early playoff exit. Making the right hire at head coach could set the Bears up for success for the foreseeable future.