NFL coaching searches: Predicting hires for Bears, 7 other teams

When Bears chairman George McCaskey described his ideal new coach, it was a romantic, old-school depiction that seemed like he wanted to find the modern Mike Ditka.

There was no mention of scheme or player development. It was much more of an artist’s rendering of a classic coaching persona.

“Tough, gritty, smart, opportunistic — winning football,” McCaskey said, pausing for emphasis between terms.

Sounding as though he were casting for the role in a movie, McCaskey also said players “don’t have to like him, they don’t have to love him, but they respect him.”

If that’s what he’s been imagining, it’d be no surprise to see the Bears fall in love with Brian Flores. And while his actual, concrete plans for quarterback Justin Fields, the declining defense and an incredibly crucial hire at offensive coordinator are much more important than his demeanor, McCaskey might end up hiring exactly the guy he needs by following his heart.

As Chicago Sun-Times NFL writers Jason Lieser and Patrick Finley predict who will land in each of the eight head-coaching vacancies, the Bears are most likely to connect with Flores.

They’ll probably interview a dozen or so candidates by the end of this, but few are going to be as impressive as him. At 40, Flores is among the rising stars in his profession, came up with the prestigious Patriots and is fresh off overachieving in three seasons coaching the Dolphins.

He did better…

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