Bears Welcome Back Former HC Candidate Bruce Arians


In the 2013 off season, the Chicago Bears were looking for a new head coach. As we know, Marc Trestman ended up getting the job, before getting fired prior to the 2015 NFL season. The Bears currently seem to be in good hands with John Fox, but with this week’s match-up against the Arizona Cardinals, I cannot help but think, what could have been if the Bears decided to hire Bruce Arians in 2013?

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The decision then-general manager Phil Emery had to make seemingly came between Arians (who was the 2012 NFL coach of the year) , Trestman and Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. The plan was for the head coach to run the offense, while defensive coordinator Rob Marinelli primarily took care of the defense.

John Mullin of CSN Chicago looked back at the 2013 coaching decision after the Bears fired Emery this past off season.

"“At the time, the plan was to retain the highly regarded Marinelli to run the defense. And he had planned to, remaining on even after close friend Smith was fired,” Mullin writes. “But back in mid-January 2013, as part of their final selection process for a head coach to replace Smith, Emery and the organization had Marinelli interview the three finalists for the head-coaching job.” “Marinelli was asked to rank the three. He did. Arians was his runaway first choice; Bevell was the second; Trestman was a distant third. Emery selected Trestman.”“When he learned of the decision, Marinelli abruptly angrily resigned and left Halas Hall for Dallas and a de facto demotion to defensive line coach.”"

Marinelli is now the Dallas Cowboys’ defensive coordinator and has completely turned their unit around with suspect talent across the board. Now, I am quick to point out how satisfied I am with the current Bears’ coaching staff, but I cannot help but think what could have been if the Bears simply would have listened to Marinelli.

Sure, the Bears’ defense has been bad in recent years, but Marinelli surely would have done a much better job of coaching them than Mel Tucker. Also, Arians’ vertical passing style of offense would have been perfect for a younger and unproven Jay Cutler. Perhaps Arians was just what Cutler needed to turn his career around? One thing I am sure of, a combination of Arians and Marinelli would have been more successful than Trestman and Tucker.

Emery should have listened to the guy he was planning on having run his defense, or not asked him at all. His decision lost him arguably the best defensive coordinator in the NFL and one of the best head coaches in the game as well. When it comes down to it, that is why Emery is no longer the Bears’ general manager.

The new-look Bears led by Fox and general manager Ryan Pace will welcome Arians and the Arizona Cardinals to Soldier Field on Sunday. The Cardinals are a well-oiled machine who could be legitimate Super Bowl contenders this season, while the Bears are unlikely to even be a factor in the NFC North.

The future is brighter in Chicago than it has been the past two years, but if Arians was the choice, the present would probably have been bright as well. Oh, what could have been?

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