With two games to go, the Bears have made no public disclosures of their plans for coach Matt Nagy. But privately, they seem to know which direction they're headed.
According to multiple sources, Chicago appears primed to have a new head coach for the 2022 season and is expected to begin its search for Nagy's successor after Week 18.
Nagy's tenure with Chicago started with a bang in 2018 and went extremely downhill from there. The last two years in particular have been very frustrating to watch, and Nagy's handling of Justin Fields was probably the final nail in the coffin. The McCaskey family will now look for a head coach who can develop Fields' talent while putting a winning product on the field in the long-term. Whoever takes this job can be assured they'll get at least three full seasons to put together the team they want, which makes it a very attractive job indeed.
Here are three possibilities.
The Bears may be inclined to spring for a veteran head coach after hiring a rookie in Nagy. If so, Pederson is the best available option. He knows how to bring along a young quarterback in a tough, big market that expects success immediately. Lots of reports suggested he left the Eagles after conflicts with ownership, which won't be a problem in Chicago as the McCaskeys have a reputation for being hands-off in football operations. Most importantly for the franchise, Pederson knows what it takes to push a team to the next level. Pederson will be on a ton of head coach shortlists this season, but the Bears can offer stability and security with a great young talent at the most important position in football. It feels like a natural marriage, even if Pederson stems from the same Andy Reid coaching tree that bit Chicago in the form of Nagy.
Another veteran head coach, Bowles doesn't fit the mold of a leader who will necessarily help usher along Fields' development but very much fits the mold of past Bears head coaches. He's an excellent defensive mind who knows what being a head coach is like, even if his first stint with the Jets was not exactly a roaring success. Bowles would need to come with a very smart offensive coordinator hire to sell this completely, but winning off the strength of a feisty defense would be a return to the Bears football we've grown familiar with over the years. It may not be the best way to win in today's NFL, but if Bowles can bring a talented offensive play-caller along with him, it could be a good fit.
This hire certainly feels like the Bears would fall into the same kind of trap that led them to Nagy and the situation they now find themselves in. A young, offensive-minded coach coming off a run of great success with a younger quarterback who has never been the top dog before. But there's reason to think Moore would work out better than Nagy. Fields is a similar type of quarterback to what Dak Prescott was when he entered the league, a top-tier athlete who could do damage in RPO and run-option offenses immediately but needs some time to figure out NFL defenses in order to take full advantage of elite arm strength. Moore helped preside over Prescott's development from the RPO running QB to the all-around threat he is now. If the first and only priority for the Bears is to help Fields reach his potential as fast as possible, Moore is the best guy available to do just that.