May 24, 2022


Analysis

Hub Arkush: Betting favorites are clear in Bears coaching search, but they seem to make no sense

Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores gestures on the sidelines during a game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, in Miami Gardens, Fla.

When you hear so and so is the betting favorite to become the Bears next head coach, please take it with multiple grains of salt.

Right now, the solid favorites for the job in betting circles are Brian Flores, Jim Harbaugh and Leslie Frazier, depending on where you get your odds. Doug Pederson and Brian Daboll are stacked not far behind them.

I ask you, why?

The Bears don’t have a general manager yet, and while you may believe chairman George McCaskey is capable of anything, hiring a coach first would be almost incomprehensible after McCaskey just got done promoting his own lack of football expertise.

Beyond that, no one making these bets or offering their own opinions via various sports talk platforms has any idea what’s gone on in interviews so far. Most have been done virtually, little more than introductions to try and get to a list of finalists.

To be clear, I have no dog in this race. I believe there are a number of excellent prospects but no easy choice, and there’s still a ton of research to do to have a better idea how to rank these guys.

But the betting favorites really puzzle me. Are they likely to happen or just folks throwing uneducated stuff at the wall?

The Flores folks may win the shortest memories around prize.

What happened the last time the Bears hired a coach just fired a week earlier, who was 38-10 his previous three seasons, not losing as many as four games more than once?

That, of course, was John Fox.

A little basic research shows that Flores went 24-25 in Miami, didn’t make the playoffs, went through four offensive coordinators in three seasons, including a goofy co-offensive coordinator setup this past season, and finished 27th, 22nd and 25th in total offense across his three seasons.

More concerning, according to multiple sources Flores often struggles to “play nice with others.” Additionally, after he and general manager Chris Grier “collaborated” to select Tua Tagovailoa with the fifth overall pick in last year’s draft – one pick ahead of Justin Herbert – Flores soured on Tua quickly.

While he was the one repeatedly saying publicly Tua is our guy, it’s believed he was the one pushing behind the scenes for Deshaun Watson in spite of Grier being firmly committed to Tagovailoa.

Dolphins owner Steven Ross faced an either or between Flores and Grier, and fairly quickly chose Grier.

I don’t know Flores, and he may prove to be a great coach, but he is the top choice? Why?

I do know Harbaugh well, and think he could be an excellent choice under the right circumstances. But after weeks of a couple of unverified rumors and pure speculation, we have no idea if he has any intentions or even desire to leave Michigan.

Yes, Frazier is an excellent football coach, an even better human being, and he obviously has a strong connection to Bears fans.

But after a failed head coaching stint in Minnesota, what on his resume other than being an ex-Bear makes him stand out among the other candidates?

Daboll, the current offensive coordinator in Buffalo, is a truly intriguing candidate because of the work he’s done on both Josh Allen and that offense. But shouldn’t we find out a little bit more about why he lasted only two years as the offensive coordinator of the Browns and only one season in the same role with both the Dolphins and Chiefs over four consecutive seasons before we’re sure he’s ready?

Yes, Pederson has a ring. The main reason is Nick Foles, and how’s that worked out for you so far, Bears fans?

Maybe more to the point, Pederson reportedly is one of Matt Nagy’s best friends.

If Nagy couldn’t make things work in Chicago reporting to McCaskey, Pederson will why?

I can tell you the hardest guy on the Bears list to find any warts on is Jim Caldwell. He’s been hired for the job by Bill Polian once before in Indianapolis and took that team to a Super Bowl. He had three winning seasons out of four with the Lions, and he appears to be the definition of a McCaskey kind of guy.

But apparently nobody’s betting on him at all?

I guess the best advice I have is keep those hard earned dollars in your pockets for now.

Hub Arkush

Hub Arkush

Hub Arkush is the Senior Bears Analyst for Shaw Local News Network and ShawLocal.com.