Multiple NFC offensive coordinators are on the Bears’ radar. Chicago, which dismissed Luke Getsy after two seasons as their play-caller, are looking at the staffs of teams that recently fired their head coaches.
Already eyeing the Seahawks’ Shane Waldron, the Bears are set to interview Panthers OC Thomas Brown. The young assistant will interview for the Bears’ OC job today, The Athletic’s Joe Person reports. Given the makeup of the Bears’ interview list thus far, Matt Eberflus appears interested in adding a Sean McVay tree branch. Both Waldron and Brown were McVay staffers prior to early-2020s relocations.
Brown is not expected to stay with the Panthers. The ex-Rams assistant went through a turbulent year in Carolina, yo-yoing as the team’s play-caller during Frank Reich‘s historically short tenure. Despite the Panthers finishing 2-15, Brown joins DC Ejiro Evero in generating interest elsewhere. While the Panthers are blocking Evero from DC interviews, they look to be standing down when it comes to Brown.
Although the Panthers bottomed out — in a season that has given the Bears the No. 1 overall pick for a second straight year — Brown has received interview requests from the Bears and Titans. Tennessee is interested in meeting with Brown about its HC position. Brown interviewed for the Texans’ HC job last year. Brown, 37, has only been an NFL staffer for four seasons. But the McVay apprenticeship — as Rams running backs and tight ends coach at different points — fast-tracked his career.
Reich gave Brown the play-calling reins during the Panthers’ October bye week but took them back after three games. David Tepper soon fired Reich, handing the call sheet back to Brown. The Panthers attempted to combine Reich concepts with Brown’s, creating a difficult situation for Bryce Young, who struggled through a rough rookie season — one that also included Tepper firing QBs coach Josh McCown. This left Brown as the lead voice in Young’s ear down the stretch. While the Panthers did win a second game during Chris Tabor‘s period as interim HC, they completed a miserable season and are almost certain to make Brown a one-and-done OC.
The Bears are shopping for a new play-caller, doing so as they go through a big-picture research project centered around the likely Justin Fields-or-Caleb Williams decision. OC candidates will certainly be interested to know which quarterback they will be coaching. Ryan Poles indicating it could take until April for that call to be made would stand to throw a wrench into this search process.