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Considering the Bears have a rookie quarterback who needs developing, the makeup of their list for head coach could cause a few raised eyebrows.

New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen joined the list of known Bears candidates for head coach. Da Bears Blog initially reported this and then NFL Network's Ian Rapoport on Friday confirmed it. The Bears are to talk to Allen Tuesday.

The only known second interview granted is to a defensive coordinator, Matt Eberflus off the Indianapolis Colts.

Where this all leads is Bears fans should brace for this possibility: Even after watching Chicago offenses ranked 21st or worse for 19 of the last 22 years, they are going to have a new head coach from the defensive side of the football.

It's not certain yet, although, if you listen to Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer, or ESPN's Dan Graziano then the favorite is former Bears cornerback Leslie Frazier rather than Eberflus. All of this seems based on Bill Polian's involvement on the hiring committee.

"The name that's consistently come up with the Bears is Bills defensive coordinator, and former Vikings coach, Leslie Frazier," Breer wrote. "He's got experience and the leadership traits they’re looking for, with obvious ties to the franchise from his days as a Bears defensive back in the '80s, and he's also got connections with Bill Polian, who has a strong voice in the search, having been hired to consult. Polian and Frazier won a Super Bowl together in Indianapolis. (It's worth noting that Jim Caldwell has connections to Polian too)."

Allen would be a coach much like Frazier, a defensive coordinator who was once a losing head coach and now is with a winning team. The difference here is Allen operates his own defense under a head coach who had an offensive background.

Allen's Saints defenses ranked top half of the league each of the last four years, top seven the last two years and top half of the league in takeaways for five years.

His defense shut out Tom Brady this year and kept the Saints afloat. New Orleans' offense ranked 28th on offense this year despite Sean Payton's brilliance. They finished 9-8 and one win came with Allen as head coach because Payton had COVID. 

The main reason it seems possible the Bears will hire a defensive-oriented head coach is Polian's participation in the process. He hired Dom Capers, Tony Dungy and Jim Mora as head coaches with Carolina and Indianapolis. All were from the defensive side. 

The only head coach Polian hired who was an offensive coach was Caldwell, who is considered by some as a favorite for the Bears job. But with that hire, Caldwell was simply promoted from the coaching staff after Dungy retired.

The other head coach Polian hired was Marv Levy, whose roots go back so far that he really didn't have an offensive or defensive assistant's background. He started in football when they had smaller staffs. His mentor in the NFL was a defensive coach. It was none other than George Allen, director of the 1963 Bears championship defense and the man who should have been Bears head coach if George Halas had used common sense and retired after the 1963 season. The assistant coaching experience Levy had was as a special teams coach, although later in the NFL he became known for the K-gun offense after he was Bills head coach.

None of this should necessarily mean disaster for the Bears' quarterback-coach relationship. Building that is one of the main goals with a coach hiring, according to what Bears board chairman George McCaskey said.

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"Our conversations with Bill Polian, he told us it's that relationship between the general manager and the head coach and the relationship between the head coach and the quarterback that will determine the success of your team," McCaskey said when announcing the start of the coaching and GM hunts.

There are plenty of successful relationships between head coaches from the defensive side and the quarterback. 

Bill Belichick wouldn't have six Super Bowl rings without this. Chuck Noll and Terry Bradshaw represented this in the 1970s and, in fact, all three Super Bowl-winning Steelers coaches had this type of situation with their quarterback. 

The key is finding the head coach from the defensive side who hires the right offensive people.

Dan Quinn hired Kyle Shanahan as offensive coordinator. It would be difficult arguing he fouled that up.

Dennis Allen has been working under Sean Payton since 2015 so he should have a good idea about people who know offense well. Allen hired Greg Olson for his 2013 Raiders, a bright spot in an organization mired then in mediocrity or worse.

Frazier hired Bill Musgrave as his Minnesota OC. Musgrave had a few top-10 offenses during his 10 years as an NFL OC but had teams ranked in the bottom half of the league in scoring seven times.

Frazier had one winning season when he first took over in Minnesota and then struggled, but has had solid results as a coordinator again for four years in Buffalo.

Some of the other defensive side candidates have enjoyed excellent success when they were head coaches. Dan Quinn had a team in the Super Bowl and should have won. Todd Bowles and Brian Flores had teams with double digits in wins, although Flores is receiving plenty of interest from other teams now.

Hiring off the defensive side worked out well with Lovie Smith, not so well with Dick Jauron, Dave Wannstedt or John Fox. Recent offensive hires have been no more impressive, with Marc Trestman and Matt Nagy.

One thing the Bears haven't tried recently is a head coach who had been a special teams coach. The last one was named Ditka and he worked out much better than the others.  

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