Chicago Bears Chairman of the Board Geroge McCaskey tapped Bill Polian to help lead the search for a new general manager and head coach. Is Polian using his Indianapolis Colts connections to help Colts personnel get hired?
It’s been two weeks since the Chicago Bears fired general manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy. Chairman of the Board George McCaskey had a long press conference talking about wanting to get the team back to its winning ways.
McCaskey also spoke about giving the new general manager more authority and the new hire would report to him and not CEO Ted Phillips.
Phillips is known as being an expert on the financial aspect of the team. While the losses piled on, the money kept flowing. The Chicago Bears are a billion-dollar organization and that is in large part due to Phillips.
The losing product on the field is also due to Phillips.
Many people weren’t satisfied that the new general manager would report to McCaskey. Just as Phillips isn’t a football person, neither is McCaskey. In fact, he admitted in the press conference that he was a fan and not a football expert.
So, if McCaskey and Phillips aren’t football people how will the Chicago Bears get the right candidates hired? Well, they formed a committee that includes them, Lamar “Soup” Campbell, Tanesha Wade, and Bill Polian.
The only one in that search committee with football experience is Polian. He is a Hall of Fame executive. He had the bulk of his success working for the Indianapolis Colts from 1997 to 2009. His teams went to the Super Bowl five times, winning once. That one win was against the Bears in 2006, ironically.
This committee may have five people in it but make no mistake, Polian is running the show. His opinion will have the most weight in the room. McCaskey said that the final decision will be made by him so I don’t see him giving someone else’s opinion more weight than Polian’s.
Not being a football person, McCaskey could be easily influenced by someone who is. This could be happening with Polian.
Recent reports indicate that Polian is pushing for some of his Colts brethren to be hired in Chicago.
Matt Eberflus, the Colts’ defensive coordinator, is the first head coach candidate to receive a second interview. Morocco Brown, the Colts’ Director College Scouting, has his interview set for Monday. He has an added advantage since he worked in the Bears’ front office from 2001 to 2007. He already has connections at Halas Hall.
On the surface, it may just seem like a good idea to connect two individuals who already work in the same organization. They know each other and there wouldn’t be any period of adjustment. However, there is more.
ESPN’s Dan Graziano reported on another possible candidate, Jim Caldwell. Caldwell was the Colts’ head coach from 2009 to 2011. He was Polian’s final head coach hire and led the team to the Super Bowl in 2009. The Las Vegas Raiders and Minnesota Vikings requested interviews for their head coach openings. Caldwell declined. The thought is that he feels he has a job set up.
"According to multiple sources, the Raiders and Vikings both reached out to former Colts and Lions coach Jim Caldwell this week to request to interview him, and he declined both requests… If I had to bet right now, I’d say Caldwell ends up in Chicago."
It is interesting that Graziano said Caldwell ends up in Chicago but not specifically saying as head coach. With Eberflus being a defensive coach, he needs a good offensive coordinator. Caldwell could be that coordinator.
We won’t know how Polian’s influence turns out until the new hires are announced. It’ll be interesting to see how Chicago Bears Nation reacts if the team ends up with Colts people in place. The only hope is that it works. There are flashier candidates out there but remember, the Bears went with flash when they hired Nagy. We saw how that turned out.