May 27, 2024

The Chicago Bears are set to interview Joe Barry, the fourth reported candidate for their defensive coordinator position, and assessing his background reveals both advantages and disadvantages to this potential hiring.

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Pros of Chicago Bears hiring Joe Barry as defensive coordinator:

  1. Relevant Experience: Joe Barry has an extensive football background, including playing college football at USC and progressing through various coaching roles in college and the NFL.
  2. Coaching Pedigree: Barry has worked with esteemed coaches like Tony Dungy, Monte Kiffin, and Rod Marinelli during his time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His alignment with the defensive philosophies of Marinelli and Alan Williams could be beneficial for the Bears.
  3. Familiarity with McVay System: Having worked with Sean McVay in Los Angeles, Barry is familiar with the offensive scheme that the Bears recently adopted by hiring an offensive coordinator from the McVay coaching tree. This alignment could facilitate a smoother transition.
  4. Assistant Head Coach Experience: Barry’s previous role as an assistant head coach adds valuable leadership experience that could complement Matt Eberflus, the Bears’ head coach.

Cons of Chicago Bears hiring Joe Barry as defensive coordinator:

  1. Mixed Track Record as Coordinator: Barry’s stints as a defensive coordinator in Detroit, Washington, and Green Bay ended with less-than-desirable outcomes. This may raise concerns about his ability to effectively coordinate a defensive unit.
  2. Limited Success in Play-calling: The fact that his experiences calling plays resulted in challenges for the teams he coached (Detroit, Washington, Green Bay) suggests that his strengths may lie more in coaching linebackers rather than overseeing the entire defensive strategy.
  3. Never Named Defensive Coordinator by McVay: Despite his role as an assistant head coach with the Los Angeles Rams under Sean McVay, Barry was not designated as the defensive coordinator. This may imply that McVay didn’t see him as the ideal leader for the defensive unit.

While Joe Barry brings a wealth of coaching experience and familiarity with certain coaching systems, the potential hiring comes with the cautionary note of his mixed track record as a defensive coordinator. The interview process would be essential for the Bears to assess how Barry would strategize for their defensive unit and, in particular, how he would plan against quarterback Justin Fields.

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