Everyone has their preferred qualifications for the next Chicago Bears head coach. In a way, they are all correct. Or all wrong.
No Surefire Resume
There are 11 coaches who have been in the league for more than three years and won 60% of their games. Of those, five were defensive coaches. If you stretch the list to include Pete Carroll – currently at 59.3%, with a Super Bowl ring – it’s an even six offensive and six defensive coaches. So, while fans tend to focus on one side of the ball or the other, history doesn’t seem to prefer either when it comes to sustained success.
What’s maybe more interesting is that their coordinator experience isn’t all that relevant.
- Five of the coaches were coordinators for at least five years. All of them had success, though they weren’t successful every year. (Bruce Arians had some awful offenses in Cleveland, so did Mike McCarthy in San Francisco. Sean McDermott was fired as defensive coordinator in Philadelphia.)
- Sean Payton was only a coordinator for three years, but he was stripped of play-calling duties by Jim Fassel early on and wasn’t a regular play caller again until he got to New Orleans.
- Mike Tomlin and Mike Vrabel were only coordinators for one year. Tomlin was good, Vrabel wasn’t.
- Matt LaFleur only called plays for one season, having one of the ten worst offenses in the league. (Are we sure LaFleur is good and isn’t just being carried by Aaron Rodgers?).
- Andy Reid was never a coordinator at all.
- John Harbaugh coached special teams.