The most exciting name on the list of potential Bears coaching candidates looks like former Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores.
At least it's that way until Jim Harbaugh's official candidacy is announced.
This isn't to say Flores is the best or even most intriguing among those reported to be interviewed or already interviewed by the Bears, although he could be. He's exciting because it's a case of high ceiling and very low floor. Just about anything could happen.
Speculation out of Miami has been Flores lost a power struggle with general manager Chris Grier, who has been in his position for more than two decades.
"After evaluating where we are as an organization and what we need going forward to improve, I determined that key dynamics of our football organization weren't functioning at a level I want it to be and felt that this decision was in the best interest of the Miami Dolphins," Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said according All Dolphins.
So it was Flores who left and what caused the situation hasn't exactly been spelled out, though there have been plenty of guesses it entered around quarterbacks and the possibility of trading for Houston's Deshaun Watson and/or poor use of draft picks by Grier.
The main quarterback issue seemed to be Flores wanting someone besides Tua Tagovailoa.
The Patriots defensive coordinator whose unit limited the Rams to a field goal in a 13-3 Super Bowl win, Flores came to Miami and the team's roster was completely overturned in his first year of 2019.
In his second year they managed to go 10-6 but miss the playoffs, and this season recovered from a disastrous 1-7 start to finish 9-8 and out of the playoffs. His team is the only one ever with a seven-game winning and seven-game losing streak.
Any coach involved in a power struggle will usually be heavily scrutinized by any NFL owner. This is what makes Flores' inclusion on the Bears list so interesting.
The McCaskeys normally have been the most conservative of owners and want nothing to do with any sort of controversy. It's even been suggested by former players in media that they fear bold personalities within their organization. It certainly was the case with the late Michael McCaskey and former coach Mike Ditka in the 1980s.
If the reports about Flores wanting a different QB in Miami are true, how would he fit in with Justin Fields?
Bear board chairman George McCaskey already said at his season-ending press conference he wants to hear coaches' plans for how to use Fields. If they hired Flores, then quickly found the new coach didn't like this QB option, would they then be firing the coach all over again?
Another concern is the seven-game losing streak. McCaskey spoke with disdain for this season and the six-game Bears losing streak and said this thing can't happen. And he'd hire someone who had an even bigger losing streak?
Regardless, George McCaskey runs the team now and the Bears are reportedly going to interview a coach who seemed like a rising star, even a candidate for coach of the year this season after his team's complete turnaround.
Another situation where the Bears are stepping outside their traditional box of staid thinking is the inclusion of former Texans GM Rick Smith on the general manager interview list.
Not that Smith doesn't qualify. He has enjoyed spectacular success drafting players. But he also was a power struggle loser.
Bill O'Brien more or less took over the Texans and ran them into the ground after Smith took a leave of absence in 2018 when his wife, Tiffany, was battling breast cancer. She passed away in January of 2019.
O'Brien started dealing away some of the outstanding talent Smith helped bring to Houston, like Deshaun Watson, J.J. Watt and DeAndre Hopkins. Mario Williams, Jadeveon Clowney, Duane Brown, Brian Cushing and Whitney Mercilus are some of the other players Smith has been given credit for finding.
There could also be concern over whether Smith has been out of the game for too long. He hasn't been involved since 2017.
Would the Bears ever pair Smith and Flores together after they already had power struggles within organizations?
It's simply one of the many potential combinations they could put together as they continue working through a broad array of candidates for both jobs before getting a short list.
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