Watch CBS News

Gabriel: Coaching Candidates The Bears Should Strongly Consider

By Greg Gabriel-

Editor's note: Gabriel is a former NFL talent evaluator who has worked in the Bears' front office previously. With that experience in mind, this is his take on who the Bears should seriously consider hiring if coach Marc Trestman is fired next week, as reports indicate he will be.

(CBS) Even the Bears' 20-14 loss to the Lions on Sunday, it became apparent that there will most likely be a coaching change at Halas Hall following the season finale at Minnesota. What we don't know is if there will be more than just a change at the head coaching position.

I'm on record as saying that I feel general manager Phil Emery should have another chance rectify the mistake he made in hiring Marc Trestman. Regardless of what outsiders feel, the powers that be at Halas Hall will make that decision soon -- and maybe already have.

The main problem that the Bears will have in finding a new coach is that they won't be the only NFL team in the market. Every year there are at least four to six coaching changes made, so the competition will be fierce to find the right man.

Another problem the Bears may have is that Emery reportedly has control over the assistant coaches the head coach wants to hire. If that is indeed the case, there are many candidates who won't accept the job under those conditions. If Emery wants to keep his job, he likely will have to relinquish that control.

That said, just who are the best candidates for the Bears to look at? The following are names I would talk to and seriously consider.

Jim Harbaugh, 49ers coach

It's no secret that Harbaugh's days as coach of the San Francisco 49ers will soon end. Harbaugh is a fiery, dynamic coach who demands and gets the most out of his players. He would be no stranger to McCaskey family as he was once the Bears' quarterback under Mike Ditka.

Harbaugh has been successful at every level he has been head coach, and those tops are comprised of the University of San Diego, Stanford and San Francisco.

There will be a lot of competition for Harbaugh, as he reportedly is a candidate for the Raiders' head job. He also has been offered the job at the University of Michigan, though my sources tell me he wants to remain in the NFL. He will also be a candidate for any other NFL job that opens.

One catch here for Chicago: There's a thought that Harbaugh will want full control over personnel decisions at his next stop. He doesn't have that power in San Francisco, but I've been told that he already has a list of potential personnel people he would want to bring with him. Presently, Emery has control of personnel decisions for the Bears.

Dave Toub, Chiefs special teams coordinator

Toub is another coach who would be no stranger to Halas Hall, as he spent nine years in Chicago as the special teams coordinator under Lovie Smith.

Toub is recognized as the one of the top special teams coordinators in the NFL. There are few who are as organized and pay as close attention to detail as Toub. He's outstanding in preparing his units.

Personality wise, Toub is the direct opposite of Trestman. He's full of energy and demands accountability. He also isn't afraid to get into a player's face when he makes a mistake.

Toub has had interviews to become a head coach in the past, and it's only a matter of time before he gets his chance. It's not as common, but there's history in the NFL of special teams coordinators becoming head coaches. One of the great Bears' coaches, Mike Ditka, was a special teams coordinator. Ravens coach John Harbaugh was a special teams coordinator in Philadelphia. Interestingly, Toub worked under Harbaugh in Philly before he came to Chicago.

Todd Bowles, Cardinals defensive coordinator

Bowles is a hot name with an impressive resume. He has been a defensive coordinator for three different clubs: Miami, Philadelphia and Arizona. He also did an outstanding job as Miami's interim head coach in 2011.

Todd is a no-nonsense type of coach but is also well-liked and respected by his players. Like Toub, he demands accountability.

I worked with Bowles in Philadelphia in 2012, and I can personally attest to what an outstanding coach he is. Mark my words, he will be a head coach in the NFL next season.

Greg Roman, 49ers offensive coordinator

Roman has coached in the NFL for 16 years and has been highly successful, as well as being highly respected by his peers. His San Francisco offense is always tough to defend, and he's helped the 49ers reach three straight NFC Championship games.

If Roman were to become the Bears coach, you can bet we would see a power running game here in Chicago.

Darrell Bevell, Seahawks offensive coordinator

Bevell has been an offensive coordinator in the NFL since 2006. This is his fourth season running the Seahawks offense, which is one of the more balanced offenses in the league. He's the man behind the development of Russell Wilson becoming a top NFL quarterback.

I also feel Bevell does as good a job as any in using his players to their strengths. That's a key to good coaching. Many thought Bevell would get a head coaching job a year ago, but that didn't happen, in part because Seattle went all the way to the Super Bowl and there were timing issues. The problem is that the same thing could happen again this year, as Seattle is playing as well as any team in the league right now.

Perry Fewell, Giants defensive coordinator

A few years ago, Fewell was a hot name in the head coaching market. He was the runner-up to Ron Rivera at Carolina and has been in the head coaching mix several times.

Like Toub and Harbaugh, Fewell is no stranger to Halas Hall. He was the secondary coach under Smith in 2005 before becoming defensive coordinator in Buffalo.

Fewell's name hasn't been as "hot" as in previous years because the Giants haven't played as well. That said, he still has two Super Bowl wins on his resume. It also must be stated that the talent level of the players in New York has dropped off considerably the last few years, and that isn't the fault of Fewell.

Having worked with Perry in the past, I can assure you that he's another coach who plays close attention to detail and gets the most out of his players. While Fewell may be considered a dark-horse candidate, he has the ability to become a good head coach.

Greg Gabriel is a former NFL talent evaluator who has been an on-air contributor for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @greggabe.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.