The Bears haven’t had a franchise quarterback since Sid Luckman. The Bears hope to have one in Justin Fields. The Bears hope the next coaching staff will nudge Fields in that direction.
The Bears have decided that said coaching staff should be led by former Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus. That’s their prerogative, obviously. But the decision comes with a challenge, and a potential problem.
It becomes critical for the Bears to have an excellent offensive coordinator. They’ll reportedly interview Pep Hamilton; whoever gets the job, the Bears need an offensive coordinator who will create the right connection with Field. Who will get the most out of Fields. Who will develop and mentor and help Fields become the best quarterback he can be. If that happens, if the Bears thrive and Fields rises, the offensive coordinator will become a prime candidate to secure the head-coaching job with another team.
If he leaves, Eberflus will need to replace him. And if things continue to go well, that coordinator will be gone, too. That’s why — especially with a young quarterback who already has had a rookie year that went poorly enough to get the coach fired — it’s better to hire an offensive-minded coach. If the team thrives, the coach will be there. The relationship with the quarterback will remain, and it will strengthen.
Sure, the Bears obviously decided the Eberflus will be a better coach than any of the offensive-minded candidates. But how can they be so sure? Whenever a coordinator becomes a head coach for the first time, it’s a projection. A roll of the dice. A hope. A wish.
If that projection is being made for a team with a young and unproven quarterback, I’d want to not undermine the relationship between coach and quarterback. I’d want the head coach to have an offensive background, making him the one person in the organization who is most closely tied to the young quarterback — and the one person who won’t get hired away by another team.