Dan Graziano reveals early favorites for Bears head coach job

By Alyssa Barbieri

The Chicago Bears are in the middle of their search for a new head coach after firing Matt Nagy earlier this week.

They’ve lined up a slew of coaching candidates ranging from offensive to defensive guys to former head coaches. But it’s interesting to note that, among the three favorites mentioned by ESPN’s Dan Graziano, there’s a similarity between them: they’re defensive-minded coaches.

According to Graziano, former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier have emerged as early favorites in Chicago’s coaching search.

Although, Graziano is quick to note that “early favorites don’t always end up getting the jobs.”

The Bears appear to be conducting their general manager and coach searches concurrently, which will allow them to identify candidates they like for each spot and figure out which of them pair best together. Coachwise, Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier is the name I’ve heard most strongly connected with this job in the early going, although I think Todd Bowles and Brian Flores will get serious looks as well. And early favorites don’t always end up getting the jobs.

If the Bears do pick Frazier or Bowles or Flores or another defensive-background coach (which is totally fine, of course, if you believe in the guy as a leader), the big question that will follow is whom they’re bringing with them for offensive coordinator to shepherd the development of Justin Fields.

Bears Chairman George McCaskey, who is leading the search for head coach, said he’s not looking specifically for an offensive or defensive guy. They’re looking for the best leader among them.

But it certainly seems like he’s leaning in a defensive direction, at least early, with Flores, Bowles and Frazier. If that’s the case, the biggest thing will be assembling their coaching staff, particularly on offense. While the Bears might not be looking for an offensive guru as head coach, there needs to be the right staff in place to develop quarterback Justin Fields.

Here’s a look at the complete list of head coach and GM candidates the Bears have requested to interview or has interviewed:


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