Under Matt Nagy, the Chicago Bears have been notoriously horrendous after the bye week. They are 0-3, with two of those losses against backup quarterbacks, and two of the three being complete blowouts. Another woeful showing this week would take place in front of his potential replacement: Baltimore offensive coordinator Greg Roman.
Nagy is done. At least, that’s what NFL Insider Benjamin Allbright has reported, stating the Bears have already begun doing background checks on other coaches, mentioning Vance Joseph and Brian Daboll specifically.
Sunday’s matchup with Baltimore brings an interesting option to Soldier Field in Roman. Baltimore’s offense isn’t lighting up the league, but they sit a respectable 12th in scoring and second in yardage, despite numerous injuries. A major reason for that is Lamar Jackson’s ability to do everything on the field and it is easy to see how Justin Fields could fit in an offense that maximizes a quarterback’s mobility as well as his ability to throw the ball down the field.
What makes Roman more interesting, though, is that he isn’t just reliant on Jackson being an MVP. He brings a unique and exotic running scheme that has had his team leading the league in rushing each of the last five years he has been an offensive coordinator. His teams have never finished lower than eighth in rushing and have been inside the top five in yards per attempt seven times in nine seasons.
Roman has been in the NFL a long time, coming in under Dom Capers in Carolina. If available, Vic Fangio figures to be his top candidate as defensive coordinator, as the two were together in Carolina, Houston, Baltimore and San Francisco.
But do you really want Fields taking so many hits? While Jackson has proven to be excellent at avoiding big shots, Fields has been just the opposite. He takes a big hit every week. It isn’t hard to see why this kind of offense isn’t preferred when the top priority is protecting a young quarterback.
But Roman isn’t the only strong candidate who figures to be available for the Bears in this cycle, here’s a quick look at some of the others, in no particular order:
Brian Daboll, OC, Buffalo
The emergence of Josh Allen has made Daboll a hot name — Allbright said he is the top candidate for the Bears job — but it’s worth wondering who deserves credit for Buffalo’s success.
Before Allen became an MVP candidate, Daboll only once coached an offense that finished outside the bottom-10 in scoring. They have regularly been near the bottom of the league in turnovers and, of course, his teams haven’t won much as he was a part of three coaching staffs that were fired — largely because they couldn’t score.
Many want to fire Nagy because of his work with Justin Fields, but Daboll’s offense had almost identical production with Josh Allen as a rookie.
Vance Joseph, DC, Arizona
Much of the credit for Arizona’s success this year has gone to Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray, but Joseph has quietly coordinated a top-five defense.