The Chicago Bears’ historic 31-26 loss to the Detroit Lions in Week 11 dropped them to 3-8 this season and leaves them at 6-22 under head coach Matt Eberflus. That leaves him with a worse winning percentage than any of his predecessors. It has also made him the target of ire, not just from the fans, but from media figures too as ESPN’s Mike Greenberg showed on “Get Up” on November 20.
“The Bears side of that game was embarrassing,” Greenberg said. “If I owned the Chicago Bears, I would not have let my coaches on the flight back to Chicago yesterday. The way they coached the end of that game was genuinely as though they would rather lose than win. … The way they coached the end of that game was disgraceful.”
Greenberg urged the Bears to hire current Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh.
Analyst: Bears Coaching ‘Disgraceful,’ Pushes for Jim Harbaugh as HC
Mike Greenberg: Bears Would be ‘1000 Times Better’ Under Jim Harbaugh
“I would not have let my team leave the state of Michigan without Jim Harbaugh,” Greenberg continued. “The Bears should absolutely beg Jim Harbaugh to come be their coach next year, whoever their quarterback is. They will be a thousand times better immediately. They had no business losing that game yesterday.”
“It’s an interesting thing because the last time the Bears won anything, who was their head coach? Mike Ditka, a former Bear? That’d be interesting.”
It would also be interesting because Harbaugh is currently mired in a cheating scandal in which an assistant was caught purchasing tickets to rivals’ games and recording them in secret among other transgressions in an investigation that has had the college football world in a chokehold.
Harbaugh is currently suspended for the rest of the season and could face suspension in 2024.
"It would not be surprising if Jim Harbaugh could be suspended for the bulk of the 2024 season, I'm told." @BruceFeldmanCFB breaks down the Harbaugh suspension and his future at Michigan ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/7b1A8t7UIf
— Big Noon Kickoff (@BNKonFOX) November 18, 2023
That, Greenberg says, should be part of the Bears’ pitch to Harbaugh who quarterbacked the team for seven seasons, four of which were as a starter.
His tenure featured two double-digit winning seasons and he went on to play seven seasons split between the Indianapolis Colts, Baltimore Ravens, and San Diego Chargers. But his most relevant work came during his four seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. He coached Colin Kaepernick who was very similar in skill set to Fields.
Harbaugh’s Niners won 11-plus games in each of his first three seasons at the helm all of which culminated in playoff appearances. He led them to the Super Bowl in 2012, their first since 1994 when they won.
Even in his final season, they were 8-8. This year’s Bears are 3-8.
Bears Could Lean Into History for the Better
Hiring Harbaugh would also be an interesting balancing act of the nostalgia the Bears are accused of loving and proven results by Harbaugh, both in the NFL and at the collegiate level. He has consistently shown an ability to connect with his players.
That is especially true of quarterbacks which needs to be the Bears’ primary focus.
The owners are ok with losing a game but not the brand built on the past. The bears need an entire rebrand. Top to bottom and they need ownership that is going to transition the organization into the future.
— Martellus Bennett (@MartysaurusRex) November 19, 2023
Former NFL quarterback Dan Orlovsky believed Fields showed plenty to suggest that he can make it in the NFL, even if he has to do it somewhere else.
“I saw a starter in the NFL,” Orlovsky told Greenberg about Fields’ performance on Sunday. “I don’t think his future is in Chicago … because of their situation with draft pick and money. But if he plays the rest of the season the way he did yesterday, he’s gonna be someone’s starter next year, unquestionably.”
For all of the accusations former Bears tight end Martellus Bennett lobbied at the franchise’s ownership, for favoring history and “lacking futurism”, hiring Harbaugh could balance doing that but also doing what is best for their players as Bennett wants.