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Quick Addendum for Bears Finalists List

Names for Ryan Poles to consider if the team actually is going to let him expand the list of finalists for Bears head coach.

It's easy to draw conclusions about the next Bears coach even without the hiring.

New general manager Ryan Poles has three finalists to consider for head coach and three distinct options.

They can consider a 67-year-old head coach whose offense lost the ability to run the ball and whose defenses fell apart after he had been a year on the job directing the Lions and Colts. He had proven, experienced passers and never developed one anywhere in the NFL in the past but he did coach in a Super Bowl loss he could have won. This is Jim Caldwell.

They have the untested, hot candidate with only four years as a defensive coordinator, but who has a relationship with Poles because both use agent Trace Armstrong. This is Matt Eberflus.

Finally there is another defensive side entry who was head coach of a team that should have won the Super Bowl, leading 28-3 and then 28-9 well into the second half, but lost. Like Caldwell, he was a coordinator for a team that did win the Super Bowl, although his contribution heading up a historically great defense seemed more impactful than Caldwell's considering the Colts had Peyton Manning to lean on. And besides, Caldwell's Colts merely beat Lovie Smith and the Bears in the Super Bowl. This is Dan Quinn, whose Cowboys defense in his first year went from 28th in points allowed to seventh, and led the NFL in takeaways.

If they don't hire Caldwell, they'll need someone with real experience handling quarterbacks to help Justin Fields. Eberflus hasn't hired anyone like this, and as a coordinator only four years it's unlikely he has the background for this. Quinn would have a much better chance of this. After all, he hired Kyle Shanahan as his offensive coordinator in Atlanta.

Finding someone else would require expanding the search.

Regardless, it would appear there is no ideal option among those three because the two with head coaching experience both went through losing seasons after getting their teams to the Super Bowl and were fired—Caldwell twice.

Poles didn't make these three his finalists. There is much speculation he could widen the search. This would take some real guts because he'd more or less be spitting on what the committee assembled for him to consider.

So what.

Here would be the most likely candidates to easily throw into such an expanded search:

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Brian Flores

He has already interviewed and definitely commands respect from players, although his history of going through four offensive coordinators in three years while not getting along with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa are definite warning signs. The fired Miami coach is friends with Poles as both are former Boston College players—although Flores was a few years earlier than Poles. Does a new GM want to bring in a coach with the history of a power struggle with his GM even if he knows the hiring?

Eric Bieniemy

He saw Bieniemy close up while the Chiefs won the Super Bowl and knows his strengths, as well as why he has repeatedly failed to get head coaching positions. Bieniemy interviewed in Denver but they seem pointed at Nathaniel Hackett, and at getting Hackett's current quarterback.

Doug Pederson

Poles knows Pederson from his time in Kansas City. He won a Super Bowl on his own before Andy Reid did with the Chiefs and in much less time. On top of this, he's on the offensive side and has been part of working with a young quarterback in the past. There is no more ideal candidate for the Bears situation. Frankly, Pederson should be a finalist already anyway and the failure to include him as a finalist after he interviewed already labels this Bears hiring committee as a complete failure.

Dave Toub

Bears fans and media might love the return of Devin Hester's special teams coordinator under Lovie Smith, and like Bieniemy he is well known to Poles as Andy Reid's special teams coordinator. However, he wasn't even interviewed initially for this Bears opening. George McCaskey knows him, and he has interviewed in the past for Bears head coach.

Brian Daboll

There is no tie between Poles and Daboll, but just like with Pederson it is ridiculous the committee could do interviews and not include someone as a finalist who just did what he has done with the Bills offense and in developing Josh Allen.

Kevin O'Connell

This wouldn't be an easy addition because the committee didn't interview him. That's the problem. With the past success of Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay, and their former assistants now succeeding like Matt LaFleur and Zac Taylor, any coaching search which didn't include the Rams offensive coordinator over the last two years is a pointless and stupid exercise. 

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