11 offensive coordinator candidates for Bears to consider to replace Luke Getsy

11 offensive coordinator candidates for Bears to consider to replace Luke Getsy originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- General manager Ryan Poles and the Bears made their bed Wednesday when they elected to retain head coach Matt Eberflus but fire offensive coordinator Luke Getsy and several offensive staff members.

Eberflus said Wednesday that the "growth and development" of the offense wasn't what it needed to be under Getsy. Eberflus and Poles said they would prioritize candidates who can adapt to their personnel, are innovative, can create explosives down the field, and are great teachers.

Poles said he didn't view the Bears' uncertainty at quarterback as a drawback to the position. Instead, he sees the potential to work with either Justin Fields or the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, be it Caleb Williams or Drake Maye, as a good test of potential candidates' creativity and ability to mold their attack to the quarterback they are given.

Eberflus and Poles said they are working off a list of preferred candidates and have already heard from a number of interested suitors. Poles also noted that he didn't think the idea that Eberflus would be entering a "win-now" season in 2024 would impact the candidate pool. Even if it does, the potential to work with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, especially perceived generational talents like Williams and Maye, would likely supersede any concern created by a potential hot-seat year.

With that being said, here are eleven potential candidates the Bears could/should look at for their open OC position:

Shane Waldron

Eberflus and Poles' ears probably perked up when they heard that Pete Carroll would be stepping down as head coach of the Seattle Seahawks on Wednesday. NFL Media's Tom Pelissero reported late Wednesday night that the Bears have requested to interview Waldron for their OC position.

Waldron took over as the Seahawks' offensive coordinator in 2021 after four seasons with the Los Angeles Rams, including three as the team's passing game coordinator.

Under Waldron, Seattle has ranked 16th, 10th, and 17th in scoring offense under Waldron. They have ranked 24th, 12th, and 14th in passing yards per game.

Waldron received a lot of praise for his work with Geno Smith in 2022 when the quarterback won the Comeback Player of the Year Award.

Frank Reich

The only reason Reich makes the list is his connection to Eberflus.

Eberflus was Reich's defensive coordinator in Indianapolis from 2018 to 2021. The two are good friends, and Reich is someone Eberflus trusts.

Reich's star rose during the Philadelphia Eagles' run to the Super Bowl with Nick Foles, but his offenses haven't been anything special since leaving Philadelphia. He was fired in each of the last two seasons and struggled to create an offense that could help No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young develop this year in Carolina.

This goes into the "could" bucket, not the "should" bucket.

Eric Bieniemy

Another one in the "past connection" group.

Bieniemy and Poles know each other well from their time together in Kanas City. The Chiefs were in the top six in points in each of his five seasons as offensive coordinator. Of course, as is always the case with disciplines of offensive gurus, there was a question of where Andy Reid ended and Bieniemy began.

Bieniemy spent this past season as the Washington Commanders' offensive coordinator. The Commanders ranked 25th in points per game and 18th in passing yards per game. It wasn't the best audition for his first year away from Reid and Patrick Mahomes.

Put this one in the "could" category as well, but it's probably a pass for me.

Klint Kubiak

Now, we get into the section of the list I prefer.

The Bears need to find an innovative offensive mind who has spent time working in a successful organization, has a pedigree, and will be looking to elevate their career to the next step.

Klint Kubiak checks those boxes.

Kubiak took over as the 49ers' passing game coordinator this season after Bobby Slowik left to become the Houston Texans' offensive coordinator. Kubiak is thought of highly in league circles. He is seen as a cerebral offensive mind, much like his father, Gary Kubiak, and has had some experience as a play-caller after taking over the duties down the stretch for the Denver Broncos last season. Kubiak also called plays as the Minnesota Vikings’ offensive coordinator in 2021 when the Vikings finished 11th in passing and 12th in scoring.

The Shanahan/Kubiak tree has had a lot of successful branches in the NFL. League evaluators view Kubiak as integral to Brock Purdy's superb season.

I always default to picking someone who has worked under and learned from Kyle Shanahan. The 49ers are a well-run organization, and Shanahan is the most innovative offensive mind in the sport.

I'd give Kubiak a long look if I were the Bears.

Jerrod Johnson

Slowik has been outstanding this year as the Texans' offensive coordinator, helping rookie C.J. Stroud author a phenomenal season as Houston won the AFC South.

How about the guy working hand-in-hand with Slowik?

This is Johnson's first season as the Texans' quarterbacks coach. He was the Minnesota Vikings' assistant quarterbacks coach in 2022. Prior to that, he spent three seasons with Eberflus in Indianapolis. In 2019, Johnson served as the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship with the Colts. He was an offensive quality control coach in Indy in 2020 and 2021.

Johnson spent time on the Bears' practice squad as a player in 2013. He is viewed as a bright, up-and-coming offensive mind in league circles who has played an essential role in Stroud's impressive rookie campaign.

Kevin Patullo

This is Patullo's third season as the Philadelphia Eagles' passing-game coordinator. He also knows Eberflus well from their time together in Indianapolis.

Eberflus previously considered Patullo two years ago but went with Getsy. Patullo followed Nick Sirianni to Philadelphia.

With Eagles offensive coordinator Brian Johnson getting head-coaching interviews, Patullo might be in line for a promotion in a more stable situation if he stays put.

Zac Robinson

Just like you should hire anyone who has worked under Kyle Shanahan, the same goes for Sean McVay.

McVay has a good eye for coaching talent, and Robinson, who is in his second season as the Rams' QB coach and passing game coordinator, is no different. Robinson received interviews from the Chargers and Ravens last season for their vacant OC jobs.

While McVay is the maestro in LA, Robinson is a vital part of a staff that helped engineer an offense that finished in the top 10 in both points and passing yards per game. He has a background in analytics and is seen as the next big offensive mind to come out of the McVay tree.

Frank Smith

The Dolphins' offensive coordinator is interviewing for head coaching jobs this cycle. He doesn't call the plays in Miami, but he's probably better off staying where he is than jumping ship to Chicago. The Dolphins own one of the NFL's most electric offenses, finishing second in points per game, first in yards, and first in passing yards.

Darrell Bevell

While Smith probably won't jump to Chicago, Bevell, who is the quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator in Miami, might.

Bevell has a long track record of success in the NFL, highlighted by his run as the Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator from 2011 to 2017. In 2015, the Seahawks finished fourth in yards and fourth in scoring.

Greg Roman

No offensive coordinator list is complete without Greg Roman, who didn't work in the NFL in 2023 after leaving the Baltimore Ravens.

Roman's offenses almost always finish in the top five in rushing, but his best passing offense was the 13th-ranked aerial attack he produced in 2021 with the Ravens.

Kellen Moore

Moore's arrival in Los Angeles was celebrated last offseason, but the success he found in Dallas didn't follow him to Los Angeles. Meanwhile, the Cowboys' offense didn't seem to miss a beat in his absence.

The Cowboys led the league in yards and scoring in 2021 with Moore as the OC. They also led the league in yards in 2019.

Moore interviewed for the Chargers' head coaching job this week. He has received other head-coaching interviews in the past.

While the Chargers' offense didn't meet expectations this season, Moore was named a top-five OC in a recent NFLPA survey. That speaks to how well-respected he is by his players and shows that LA's issues weren't put at his feet.

Honorable mentions

Kliff Kingsbury, Pep Hamilton, Thomas Brown, Tee Martin, Marcus Brady, Jim Caldwell

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