Will Bears GM hire one of these 13 contenders for head coach?

  • New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is on the list of many NFL teams in need of a head coach.

    New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is on the list of many NFL teams in need of a head coach.

  • Kansas City Chiefs Special Teams Coordinator Dave Toub is rumored to be a top candidate for the Indianapolis Colts head coaching job.

    Kansas City Chiefs Special Teams Coordinator Dave Toub is rumored to be a top candidate for the Indianapolis Colts head coaching job.

Updated 1/1/2018 10:08 AM

Editor's note: This story was updated following the dismissal of head coach John Fox.

With the firing of Bears head coach John Fox and his staff following Sunday's loss to the Minnesota Vikings, general manager Ryan Pace will make the crucial decision on a successor.


In selecting the 16th head coach in team history, Pace is expected to seek an offensive-minded NFL assistant or college head coach who could continue the development of rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky, the team's most valuable asset.

Here's a glance at 13 NFL head-coaching candidates, several of whom have connections to the Bears.

Josh McDaniels, 41, offensive coordinator, New England Patriots. He was the Broncos head coach 2009 and '10, when at 33 he was the NFL's youngest head coach. His tenure got off to a rocky start when then-Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler demanded a trade when it was revealed that McDaniels wanted the Patriots' backup Matt Cassel as his quarterback. McDaniels went 11-17, including 3-9 before being fired in his second season. Has been an offensive coordinator for 10 years, nine with the Patriots. But how much of their success has been attributable to Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, and how much to McDaniels? He has been on the staff of all five Patriots Super Bowl winners.

Matt LaFleur, 38, offensive coordinator, Los Angeles Rams. Has coached for 10 seasons in the NFL. Never been an NFL play-caller -- head coach Sean McVay calls the Rams' plays. A Michigan native, LaFleur was a wide receiver for two years at Western Michigan before transferring to Saginaw Valley State to play quarterback. After two years as an offensive assistant with the Houston Texans, LaFleur went with Mike and Kyle Shanahan to Washington where he was instrumental in developing Kirk Cousins as the quarterbacks coach, where he also worked with McVay.

Frank Reich, 56, offensive coordinator Philadelphia Eagles. Played quarterback for 13 years in the NFL, mostly with the Buffalo Bills, where he backed up Jim Kelly for nine years but started just 20 career games. Quarterbacked the biggest comebacks in NFL and college history. Gets high marks for meteoric rise of second-year quarterback Carson Wentz. At Maryland in 1984, Reich came off the bench after the Terrapins fell behind Miami 31-0 at halftime and rallied his team to a 42-40 victory. At the time it was the biggest second-half comeback in NCAA history. In a wild-card playoff game after the 1992 season, Reich's Bills trailed the Houston Oilers 35-3 early in the third quarter, but he rallied Buffalo to a 41-38 overtime victory.

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John DeFilippo, 39, quarterbacks coach, Philadelphia Eagles. Gets much credit for Carson Wentz's MVP-type season, but it will be interesting to see how he does with Nick Foles in the postseason. Browns offensive coordinator in 2015. Was the Jets' QB coach in 2009 when current Bears backup quarterback Mark Sanchez was a rookie and guided that team to the AFC title game.

Gus Bradley, 51, defensive coordinator, Los Angeles Chargers. Became the Jacksonville Jaguars head coach in 2013 and was fired after a 2-12 start in 2016 with a combined 14-48 record. Seattle defensive coordinator from 2009-12 when he took the Seahawks from a bottom-10 defense to No. 1 in points allowed.

David Shaw, 45, head coach, Stanford 73-20 record since 2011. Spent nine years in the NFL with the Eagles, Raiders and Ravens, starting at the bottom as a quality-control coach and then coaching wide receivers and quarterbacks. He runs an NFL-style offense at Stanford.

Dave Toub, 55, special-teams coordinator, Kansas City Chiefs. Has been a special-teams coordinator since 2004. Has interviewed for four head-coaching jobs before, including with the Bears following the 2012 season after he had led the special teams for nine years, usually ranking among the top five in the NFL. Could be on the Colts' short list given previous relationship with new Indianapolis G.M. Chris Ballard, a scout with the Bears when Toub coached there. Special-teams coordinators haven't been popular hires recently but they have the valuable experience of working with players from all positions on a team.


Pete Carmichael Jr., 46, offensive coordinator New Orleans Saints. Sean Payton calls the plays, but when he was suspended for one season, Carmichael called the plays and the Saints finished No. 2 in yards and No. 3 in points that year. An NFL coach since 2000 and coached wide receivers and quarterbacks before becoming a coordinator. His father, Pete Sr., coached with the Bears for three years (2001-03) on Dick Jauron's staff.

Dennis Allen, 45, defensive coordinator, New Orleans Saints. Has history with Ryan Pace from his first go-round in The Big Easy (2006-10). Head coach with Oakland Raiders (2012-14) with 8-28 record. All his experience is on the defensive side, as he worked his way up from quality control with the Falcons to coaching the D-line and defensive backs in New Orleans when Pace was in their personnel department.

Todd Haley, 50, offensive coordinator, Pittsburgh Steelers. Rumors say he and Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's relationship has deteriorated to the point that, one way or another, they will not be together for another season. A former Bears assistant, Haley coached wide receivers under Dick Jauron from 2001-03 and was well known for his vocal and hands-on approach. He went 19-26 in three volatile years as the Kansas City Chiefs' head coach and was fired in 2011 with a 5-8 record. Critics believe Haley sometimes takes the tough-love approach too far, but there's never any doubt where players stand with him.

Scott Linehan, 54, offensive coordinator, Dallas Cowboys. Linehan calls the Cowboys' plays and did an exceptional job with that and with bringing along rookie quarterback Dak Prescott last year as the Cowboys rolled to a 13-3 record. This year has been a different story, as the Cowboys missed the playoffs and Prescott regressed. Linehan was the St. Louis Rams' head coach from 2006-08 and had little success, being fired after going 11-25. He has spent 12 years as a coordinator, including stints with the Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions.

Pat Shurmur, 52, offensive coordinator Minnesota Vikings. His 10-23 record as the Cleveland Browns' head coach in 2011-12 got him fired, but it looks spectacular compared to Hue Jackson's 1-30 mark. As the Philadelphia Eagles' offensive coordinator in 2013, he helped a young Nick Foles to one of the greatest statistical seasons in NFL history that included 27 TD passes and just 2 interceptions. But Chip Kelly's gimmicky offense had something to do with those numbers. Has helped the Vikings overcome loss of starting quarterback and running back this year.

Jim Bob Cooter, 33, offensive coordinator, Detroit Lions. Started as the Lions' quarterbacks coach in 2014 and was promoted to his current position midway through the following year. By far the youngest candidate of this group and has had just three years as a coordinator. Cooter would be the second-youngest coach in the NFL behind the Los Angeles Rams' 31-year-old Sean McVay. Cooter has done excellent work with quarterback Matthew Stafford, who was already an established star, but the Lions' run game has been one of the league's worst on his watch.

• Follow Bob's Bears reports on Twitter @BobLeGere.


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