Even though it’s been in the rearview mirror for almost a month, it’s still hard not to feel like the Chicago Bears dodged a bullet. Matt Nagy may have been the favorite for the head coaching job, but rest assured that New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was deep in that mix. The same man who ran the Denver Broncos into the ground and shirked the Indianapolis Colts at the last minute could’ve done as bad or worse to the Bears.
On the surface, his allure was hard to ignore. Love him or hate him, McDaniels is one of the top offensive minds in the NFL. His work helped turn Tom Brady from a great quarterback into an all-timer. He’s 41-years old with a wealth of experience under his belt. Just imagine what he might be able to do with a talent like Mitch Trubisky.
At one point the Bears seemed willing to find out, but they quickly cooled on the idea. It’s been reported here and elsewhere the Bears started to sour on McDaniels. Most of that centering around the belief he might get cold feet and stay in New England. It turns out they were right. However, they also got an assist from several outside sources, warning them it was a catastrophe waiting to happen.
Jay Cutler joined chorus begging Bears to avoid Josh McDaniels
A couple weeks ago I reported that a number of representatives from other teams including the Rams, 49ers, and Broncos spoke up to the Bears on McDaniels. As it turns out it wasn’t just the execs doing that. According to a source, several former players who worked under him with those teams were quick to offer their opinions as well.
“Several former Rams, Broncos and Patriots players contacted the Bears ‘in a hurry’, urging them not to hire him and that they ‘were making a huge mistake’ when word got out he might be their guy.”
That alone paints a pretty clear picture of how good McDaniels has been at burning bridges with a lot of people. That’s not the best part though. Apparently, the Bears also might’ve gotten a courtesy call from a familiar face on the subject, one with deep personal experience about the darker side of McDaniels.
“Heard talk that Cutler was one of the guys urging Pace not to hire McDaniels.”
If true, Cutler finally got his revenge
Cutler isn’t known for speaking up on most things but there is little reason to question whether or not he had an opinion on McDaniels. In fact, it was their first meeting nine years ago in Denver that ended up getting Jay traded to Chicago. A meeting where the young rookie coach, according to former GM Ted Sundquist, came off as arrogant and unimpressed with Cutler’s game.
“After the perplexing recitation of accomplishments, McDaniels suddenly shifted gears.
He began to bash and berate Cutler and his game to the tune of a verbal flogging neither had ever witnessed. The expletive-laden diatribe went on for a few minutes, after which Cook stood up and told Cutler they were leaving. As they walked down the long hallway past Bowlen’s office, Cutler turned to Bus and said, “Get me out of here. I don’t care how you do it.”
Cutler got his wish. McDaniels got Kyle Orton, a black eye in the media and fired after less than two seasons. It seems Jay hasn’t forgotten those remarks either. He played one of the best games of his career this past season in an upset win over the Patriots, throwing for 263 yards and three touchdowns. This supposed tip-off to his old team may have been the icing on the cake.
Revenge is indeed sweet. Either way, it clarifies the picture even further. The Bears were told not to hire McDaniels at all costs. They listened. We should all feel grateful for that. Cutler may not have been what we all hoped. At the end of the day though he came through in the clutch.