LAKE FOREST – As 14 teams took part in the postseason this weekend, the Bears continued their search for new football leadership that might put them back in the playoffs.
In total, the team completed five interviews – two for their general manager spot and three for their head coaching opening.
For the latter opening, the Bears talked to former Colts and Lions head coach Jim Caldwell, Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, and Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. For general manager, the team spoke to Bills assistant general manager Joe Schoen and Titans director of player personnel Monti Ossenfort.
The Bears are looking to replace both positions after firing general manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy on January 10th.
Caldwell has had two stints as a head coach in the NFL, first with the Colts starting in 2009. Succeeding Tony Dungy after his retirement, he led Indianapolis to an AFC Championship in his first year as the team finished the regular season 14-2. After winning the AFC South in 2010, the Colts slipped to 2-14 as a neck injury kept Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning out for the season.
After the season, Caldwell was fired and spent the next two seasons as quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator for the Ravens, who won the Super Bowl in the 2012 season. In 2014, he was hired as Lions head coach and took the team to the playoffs that season and in 2016, but was surprisingly fired after a 9-7 mark in 2017.
Caldwell last served as a quarterbacks coach for the Dolphins in 2019.
Daboll interviewed with the Bears after he coached in the Bills’ dominating 47-17 win over the Patriots in the AFC Wild Card game in Buffalo. He’s been the offensive coordinator for the team since 2018 and this past regular season the Bills were third in points and fifth in yardage in the NFL.
Starting his NFL coaching career as a defensive assistant with the Patriots in 2000, Daboll has coached for six different organizations and was also Alabama’s offensive coordinator in 2017.
An assistant in both professional and college football, Hackett has been with the Packers since 2019 as their offensive coordinator, joining Matt LaFleur’s staff when he took over in Green Bay. Prior to that, he spent four years with the Jacksonville Jaguars, first as quarterbacks coach in 2015 and 2016 before spending the next two seasons as offensive coordinator.
Involved in the NFL for 21 years, Schoen has spent the last five seasons with the Bills as their assistant general manager, aiding in the team’s rise back into one of the best teams in the AFC. Before his stop in Buffalo, Schoen spent nine years with the Dolphins as a scout, assistant director of college scouting, and eventually the director of player personnel from 2014 through 2016.
Ossenfort is in the midst of his second season with the Titans as their director of player personnel after being the Patriots’ organization from 2003 through 2019. He served as New England’s director of college scouting his last six years with the team.