Two Chicago Bears head coaching candidates are now no longer an option

Chicago Bears (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /
2 of 3
Chicago Bears, Lincoln Riley
Chicago Bears – Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports /

Lincoln Riley will no longer be an option for the Chicago Bears

Just like that, the Chicago Bears have lost not one, but two potential options to replace Matt Nagy in 2022. Let me preface this by saying, I am not sure if Lincoln Riley was on the Bears shortlist as they plan for next year. That said, at this point, Riley should have at least been considered.

Lincoln Riley is now the former head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners. He took over the program and turned it into a dominant force. The Oklahoma offense was his bread and butter as he helped lead the team to a 55-10 record over his five-year career at the school. Where he has struggled is during Bowl games. He has a record of 1-3 during his career here — not so great, but good enough for the USC Trojans to pull him away.

The Trojans might be interested in bringing in a coach that has helped turn the Sooners into a juggernaut of an offense and developed five All-Americans. One of those included the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft — Baker Mayfield. 2018 was also the year that Riley won the Big-12 Coach of the Year award. Other big names that have come from his program include:

  • Ceedee Lamb (2019)
  • Jalen Hurts (2019)
  • Kyler Murray (2018)
  • Ben Powers (2018)
  • Mark Andrews (2017)
  • Orlando Brown (2017)

With Lincoln Riley switching from Oklahoma to coach in Southern California, obviously, he is not going to be interested in a Chicago Bears coaching vacancy if one opens up as expected. The team may not have been interested, but watching what he has done with Baker Mayfield, Jalen Hurts and Kyler Murray, you’d have to think he would work well with Justin Fields as well. Too bad he will never even be considered.