Could Chicago Bears next head coach be this defensive coordinator?
The Chicago Bears have shuffled from defensive-minded coaches like John Fox and Lovie Smith to offensive coaches such as Marc Trestman and Matt Nagy. Based on the order of going defense then offense then back to defense and so on, it would make sense that the Bears ownership would be interested in a defensive-minded head coach.
One coordinator who has been brought up in head coaching talk is Patrick Graham. The defensive coordinator of the New York Giants made the NFL.com list of rising NFL coaching candidates. The list has featured 14 hires in the past three years.
Beyond that, others in the media have highlighted Graham as a potential choice for the Chicago Bears.
Would Patrick Graham be a fit for the Chicago Bears? What qualifies him to be on the rising candidate’s list?
Why Chicago Bears should hire Patrick Graham?
At 42 years old, Patrick Graham is still young for coaching standards. Despite that, he has been in the NFL since 2009, which gives him a good bit of experience. His run started when he worked as a grad assistant with Charlie Weiss at Notre Dame.
Weiss put in a good word, and Graham found himself as an assistant with the Patriots a year later. Graham was with the Patriots from 2009-2015. It is beneficial to be in a room with Bill Belichick, but Graham also moved around and grew there.
He took on roles as an assistant coach, a defensive line coach, a linebackers coach, and more. Many of the Belichick disciples that fail stuck to one role, whereas Graham has worn a lot of hats.
Graham also was the Packers run game coordinator in 2008, showing he has offensive skills in his bag. Graham is no non-sense and a program builder. He worked his way up and has plenty of diversity. When it comes to putting together a staff, and building a team in his identity, you should expect him to do well.
The Giants offense has been a disaster, but the game plans and coordination of the defense have kept them in games the past two years.
Why Chicago Bears should not hire Patrick Graham?
Patrick Graham may have climbed up a different branch of the Bill Belicheck tree, but the tree is not strong at all. In fact, Graham is currently on a sinking ship led by Joe Judge, another Belicheck coach. With Graham, you risk getting a bunch of former Patriots assistants and a poor Belicheck imitation.
Beyond that, the biggest thing Bears ownership will need to hear is his plan on offense. Graham would take over the defense, but with Justin Fields, the offense is more important right now. Can he bring in the right coaches? Will they stay if Fields takes off or take a promotion? That is the scary proposition of going with a defensive mind.