Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is playing some of his best football in Chicago and he owes a great deal of his success to offensive coordinator Adam Gase. As head coaching positions begin to open up with more to follow, the Bears have to do their best to make sure Gase doesn't leave.
Before joining the Bears this season, Gase was a hot head coach candidate and was a finalist for the San Francisco 49ers' job before ultimately being turned down in favor of Jim Tomsula. Gase has found success working with Tim Tebow, Peyton Manning and now Cutler. Those are three very different quarterbacks who bring about a variety of challenges.
It shows strong leadership skills to be able to adapt a whole offense to fit a now defunct quarterback in Tebow, put your own ego to the side in favor of a future hall of famer like Manning and embrace the task of fixing a player with a reputation for being a coach killer in Cutler. It's leadership skills like this franchises want in their head coach.
At only 37-years-old, Gase's youth is also an attraction. He's the kind of coach teams can build around for years to come. This is all the more reason the Bears need to do whatever they can to keep him.
Current Bears head coach John Fox is 60. He's now on his third head coaching job and likely not in it for the long haul. He's a great bridge coach but in large part isn't viewed as the long term answer. In a perfect world, the Bears can transition Fox out in another few years after the culture is in place and give the keys to the team to Gase.
In 2006, the Dallas Cowboys made a coaching error they still might be regretting to this day. They allowed a young Sean Payton to bolt to New Orleans to become the head coach. Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells left a year later and Payton went on to make sweet football music with the Saints including a Super Bowl win. Dallas has had success under Jason Garrett but not nearly what Payton has done in New Orleans.
Why would Gase turn down a head coaching position elsewhere to stay in Chicago? Job security would be at the top of mind. It's a cut throat business where the hot head coaching candidate gets hired one day and fired a few years later after a couple of mediocre seasons and an impatient front office. Gase can take his time in Chicago, build his system with the players general manager Ryan Pace gives him and take over a team he's familiar with.
The money and opportunity would be tough for Gase to turn down. The Bears would have to give him some incentives to entice him to stay. He'd have to be made the highest paid coordinator in the league, likely would need the title of assistant head coach and probably some behind the scenes agreement he'd get the job once Fox leaves. All these things are a lot to give one assistant but it's very doable and worth it.
It's time the Bears start investing in their future. Never again should they go down the road of the Marc Trestman and Phil Emery years. Pace and Gase are both young and smart football minds who can make this franchise a force to be reckoned with for years to come. Who knows, 10 years from now we might look at 2015 as the pivotal year the Bears were able to retain a man who turned into one of the league's premier head coaches.