TAMPA — The Chicago Bears have been known for great defenses, so it makes sense that they would want to talk to Todd Bowles.
But they also have a young ascending quarterback, which is why they want to interview Byron Leftwich.
The Bears have asked permission to interview Bowles and Leftwich for their head coach opening, according to reports on NFL.com and ESPN Tuesday. The Bears fired head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace after a 6-11 record in 2021. Both Bucs assistants interviewed for the Jaguars job virtually last week.
The Bucs are preparing for their wildcard playoff game against the Eagles on Sunday at 1 p.m. Their defense ranks fifth in points allowed at 20.7 per game.
Leftwich has presided over one of the league’s top scoring offenses the past three seasons, the last two with quarterback Tom Brady. The Bucs are ranked second in the league with 63 touchdowns, one fewer than the Cowboys.
Former Colts general manager Bill Polian is assisting Bears chairman George McCaskey with the head coaching search. Polian hired Tony Dungy to become the Colts’ head coach after he was fired by the Bucs following the 2001 season.
The Bears also plan to interview Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, who played for Chicago’s Super Bowl 20 championship team. Bowles went 24-40 as Jets coach from 2015-18.
The Bears job should be a highly coveted one with quarterback Justin Fields entering his second NFL season in 2022.
There are currently five head coaching openings in the NFL: Bears, Dolphins, Broncos, Vikings and Raiders with possible changes still coming at the Texans and Giants.
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