With Matt Eberflus set to become the next Bears head coach, the attention now turns toward who he can bring in as his top assistant coaches.
With a defensive-focused head coach taking the reigns, who he hires for offensive coordinator might be the most important decision he makes for the team’s future. Whoever becomes the next offensive coordinator will be tasked with fixing a broken offense that needs to be more productive with second-year quarterback Justin Fields.
Here are nearly a dozen candidates for the Bears’ offensive coordinator position.
Joe Brady, former Panthers offensive coordinator
Brady’s tenure in Carolina came to a premature end when he was fired in early December. That probably hurt his prospects for a future NFL offensive coordinator position, at least immediately. At 32 years old, he’ll get another chance eventually. He was the passing game coordinator during LSU’s magical 2019 season.
David Culley, former Texans head coach
Culley got a raw deal in Houston. A 66-year-old NFL lifer, Culley has coached in the NFL since 1994. He deserves a shot at being an NFL offensive coordinator, a position he has never held, despite two decades of experience as an offensive coach.
John DeFilippo, Bears quarterback coach
DeFilippo, 43, has been an offensive coordinator at the NFL level three times for three different teams, but has never lasted more than one season on the job (Cleveland in 2015, Minnesota in 2018 and Jacksonville in 2019). He was the coach who worked closest with Justin Fields on a daily basis throughout his rookie season. Keeping a familiar face in the room could be valuable for a young QB.
Ken Dorsey, Bills QB coach/passing game coordinator
Dorsey, 40, has been a quarterback coach in the NFL since 2013, and with the Bills since 2019. He worked with Cam Newton in Carolina and Josh Allen in Buffalo. It seems possible that he might go wherever Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll goes.
Jason Garrett, former Cowboys head coach
Eberflus coached under Garrett in Dallas for seven years. The bigger question is whether any NFL team will take a chance on Garrett after the way his offense struggled in Dallas, and following a disastrous stint as the offensive coordinator with the New York Giants. The Giants fired Garrett in late November this past season.
Mike Groh, Colts wide receivers coach
Groh, 50, interviewed for the Panthers’ open offensive coordinator position. He helped Alabama win three national titles a decade ago as a grad assistant and then as wide receivers coach. He was the Bears’ wide receivers coach from 2013-15 and held the same job for the Eagles when they won the Super Bowl in 2017. He later served as the Eagles’ offensive coordinator from 2018-19. Groh and Eberflus have only worked together for one season.
Pep Hamilton, Texans QB coach/passing game coordinator
Hamilton, 47, has a ton of experience at the college and pro levels. He was the Colts’ offensive coordinator from 2013-15. He was the QB coach for the Chargers in 2020 when Justin Herbert had his breakout season.
Mike Kafka, Chiefs QB coach/passing game coordinator
This would be a great hometown fit. Kafka, 34, went to St. Rita and played at Northwestern. He has been studying under Andy Reid since 2017. Kafka has been the QB coach since 2018, working directly with Patrick Mahomes.
Klint Kubiak, Vikings offensive coordinator
Kubiak was the OC in Minnesota for one season after being the QB coach for the previous two seasons. He was an offensive analyst in Denver for three seasons before that. The 34-year-old coach is the son of former Broncos Super Bowl-winning coach Gary Kubiak.
Bill Lazor, Bears offensive coordinator
If the Bears want stability for quarterback Justin Fields, there could be an argument for keeping Lazor around. The 49-year-old coach now has two seasons under his belt as the Bears’ OC. He has two previous stints in the same job in Miami and Cincinnati. Lazor called plays for Matt Nagy for the second half of the 2020 season and nearly the entire 2021 season.
Scottie Montgomery, Colts running backs coach
Montgomery, 43, earned a second interview for the Panthers’ offensive coordinator job before Carolina hired Ben McAdoo. Montgomery has a wide-ranging coaching history at the pro and college levels. At different times he has been an offensive coordinator, a quarterbacks coach, a running backs coach and the head coach at East Carolina for three seasons from 2016-18. This was his first season in Indianapolis, so he and Eberflus have only one year of experience together.
Kevin Patullo, Eagles passing game coordinator
Patullo, 40, has coached in the NFL since 2007. He worked with Eberflus in Indianapolis for three seasons as the wide receivers coach (2018-19) and pass game specialist (2020), before moving to Philadelphia with Nick Sirianni. He was previously a quarterback coach with the Jets (2015-16), among other stops.
Duce Staley, Lions assistant head coach/running backs coach
Staley, 46, spent a decade coaching in Philadelphia before joining Dan Campbell in Detroit last year as running backs coach. He has never been a coordinator, but has been listed as the assistant head coach for the past four seasons, three in Philadelphia and this year in Detroit.