HC/GM Rumors: Lynn, Harbaugh, Bears

Three head coaches and two GMs have already been fired this season, and there will be more dismissals to come. We learned this morning that Eagles HC Doug Pederson is on the hot seat, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com says Chargers HC Anthony Lynn is in danger of losing his job as well.

The Bolts gave Lynn a modest vote of confidence this offseason by handing him a one-year extension through 2021, but despite the emergence of rookie signal-caller Justin Herbert, Lynn’s squad has limped to a 3-8 record. Several of those losses have been of the heartbreaking variety that Chargers fans have become accustomed to, and Lynn’s in-game decisions have been called into question.

The 51-year-old is highly-regarded in the Chargers’ building, and he did lead his club to a 12-4 record two seasons ago. If he does get fired, he probably won’t have a difficult time finding another HC gig.

Now for more from the HC/GM rumor mill:

  • Jim Harbaugh‘s days with the University of Michigan appear to be numbered, and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk says the former 49ers HC is eyeing an NFL return. Florio adds that a number of clubs are already “doing their homework” on Harbaugh, who could be one of a number of prominent college coaches looking to make a leap to the pros.
  • A few weeks ago, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports said the Bears “could” move on from HC Matt Nagy at season’s end. Now, La Canfora says it’s more likely than not that Nagy will be ousted and that Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald will be Chicago’s top choice for Nagy’s replacement.
  • Although Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy has drawn plenty of interest and is expected to get his first HC job this offseason, Kansas City quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator Mike Kafka is also a name to watch, per La Canfora. We knew that the Eagles were interested in Kafka as an OC last offseason, and JLC says the 33-year-old former QB also had the opportunity to take a head coaching interview. Kafka declined, as he wanted to continue to learn under Andy Reid, but he will be a top target for HC and OC openings in 2021.
  • As far as GM jobs go, former Giants general manager Jerry Reese is expected to draw interest for the Lions‘ GM opening, as La Canfora writes. Reese, who was fired by Big Blue in 2017, wants to return to an NFL front office and has the support from advisors to the Ford family (including Ernie Accorsi, whom Reese succeeded as Giants GM in 2007).
  • The Texans are expected to interview former Chiefs and Browns GM John Dorsey, according to La Canfora. Dorsey was fired by Cleveland at the end of last season, but it would be fair to blame more of the Browns’ disappointing 2019 campaign on former head coach Freddie Kitchens than on Dorsey. After all, Cleveland is now poised for a playoff berth with a roster that Dorsey largely constructed, and Dorsey also has ties to Bieniemy, who has been heavily connected to Houston’s HC job.
  • An unfortunate neck injury may have brought an end to A.Q. Shipley‘s playing career, but he will get the chance to join the Buccaneers‘ coaching staff, as Carmen Vitali of the team’s official website writes. Shipley has long been a favorite of Tampa HC Bruce Arians, who believes the veteran center has all the makings of an excellent coach.
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27 comments on “HC/GM Rumors: Lynn, Harbaugh, Bears

  1. sss847

    a college coach who hasn’t won a title and doesn’t produce professional football players. makes perfect sense for the bears.

    • myaccount

      Northwestern currently has 17 players in the NFL, so your first point is easy to debunk. As for your second, you somehow expect them to compete for titles with traditional powerhouse programs like Bama, Clemson, Ohio State, Florida, Notre Dame, USC, LSU, Michigan, Texas, etc.? They win a lot of ball games every year with 2 and 3 star recruits. Fitzgerald still may not be the right choice, but NW’s lack of title success is due to failure to draw big time recruits, not coaching.

  2. GoLandCrabs

    Lynn has to go. Chargers have all the talent to be a playoff team but somehow are only able to beat the dreds of the league.

    • JDGoat

      They lose every single game but one score or on the last play of the game as well. If they had a competent coach they would only have 2-3 losses this year right now lmao.

    • wagner13

      Agreed. Lynn is superb at player development and coordinating, but his time management skills leave much to be desired

    • Ak185

      I don’t know, if you lose games by only a single score, it seems that maybe the team needs only a minor change to become competitive. Herbert is still a rookie, but he’s been so good that we’ve unreasonably expected him to carry the team and blame Lynn when he doesn’t.

      Ekeler is solid, but the Chargers need more from their running game. Lynn is a running coach, anyway-that’s the foundation of his gameplan. Their defense has let them down in a few games, but I would certainly argue also that there are many shades of 2010 in their special teams that have cost them at least two wins this year.

      I do agree regarding Lynn’s game management skills, but ultimately I think it is certain that L.A. loses more than it gains by letting him go. They are extremely close to being a quality team at this point, despite their record, and a coaching turnover is unlikely to capitalize on the momentum that they do have. Quality special teams and consistent defense will by themselves improve the Chargers’ standing. I am of also if the personal opinion that drafting the right back will improve their production exponentially. Hiring a new coach and going through a rebuild wastes Herbert’s rookie deal and a couple of veterans’ windows (mostly on the offensive line and defense) for improvement that may not occur.

  3. Lefty_Orioles_Fan

    I liked Lynn at first, he was a true gentleman (he didn’t run up the score when a good game was well in hand) anyway he probably is still a good person, but he is a complete disaster as a head coach

    • bestno5

      Or maybe he has a young team with a young QB and injuries at RB. I say he deserves one more year.

      • Lefty_Orioles_Fan

        After 45 to zip shellacking
        Mmmm not sure
        I also know ownership sucks but still
        PS they should go back home to San Diego where they belong

  4. dugdog83

    Detroit’s gonna get burned again here with Houston, Philly, Chicago, and LA gonna have openings, maybe more. The good coaches and GMs are gonna take the better markets.

    • alproof

      The last good Lions coach was Joe Schmidt. Webster’s father was on the line.

  5. Michael Chaney

    Blaming Freddie for last year without putting any of the blame on Dorsey is probably unfair. There were a few people who wanted Freddie in the first place (I was unfortunately one of them), but he was the guy that Dorsey picked when a lot of others probably wouldn’t have. The runner-up was Stefanski, and clearly he made the wrong choice not picking him last year to begin with.

    It’s also worth pointing out that Dorsey pretty much ignored the offensive line, and a big part of the Browns’ improvement this year has been because Berry went out and got Wills and Conklin. (Dorsey does deserve credit for trading a few late round picks for Wyatt Teller, but it’s possible that Bill Callahan deserves most of the credit on coaching him up.)

    • Ak185

      Dorsey should get credit for acquiring exceptional talent on the roster, just as he did in KC. The knock on Dorsey, of course, is his undervaluing of personal or character concerns (and apparently being difficult to work with).

      That was, to me, his major failure in Cleveland-the inability to see how that team needed strong personal direction in the locker room. Kitchens was the worst choice in that regard. Your team culture has to be strong enough to absorb strong personalities and/or past baggage with Beckham, Landry, Hunt, Calloway, and Mayfield in the room. All of those guys have different concerns of course (and I personally think that Mayfield in particular has matured in comparison, for instance), but you need a strong personality to keep them all focused, and you need to also weigh how those individual personalities will mesh. Last year, Mayfield did not even work with his supposed top two receivers because their coach did not emphasize the need for that. We saw what happened as a result with the connection there.

      Dorsey acquired a lot of talent, which is what you ask of a GM, but ignored any concern of how that talent fit together. In KC, Andy Reid provided the winning character and player management, and Dorsey looked for talent. In Cleveland, Dorsey lacked that strong coaching presence. If Dorsey can work with a capable coach, the partnership may be successful.

  6. leprechaun

    Fitzgerald isn’t the answer to the Bears problems. Big jump from College to Pros

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