Early Offseason Moves: Bears, Browns, & Buccaneers

The Chicago Bears found their new General Manager in Ryan Pace. Recently with the New Orleans Saints as Director of Player Personnel, Pace got a ringing endorsement from Saints GM, Mickey Loomis. Pace worked his way up to a pair or promotions in New Orleans, and is said to have impressed the Bears with his immediate plans. This would obviously include the quarterback situation with Jay Cutler, as I expect Cutler to return to the Windy City for 2015. Next on the agenda is the search for a head coach and his staff. Although the Bears have been known for being a defensive team throughout their history, one would assume that they are leaning towards getting the offense and Cutler on track again.

Kyle Shanahan has been a favorite offensive coordinator of mine, from his days with the Houston Texans, Washington Redskins, and most recently, the Cleveland Browns. When Shanahan called the shots, the Texans were a playoff team and Matt Schaub was in his prime, as well as Robert Griffin’s standout rookie season with the Redskins. Plus, I like the experience he got under Gary Kubiak, the Texans’ head coach at the time, and current offensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens. Shanahan, the son of Mike Shanahan, will definitely garner interest to become offensive coordinator for another team. I don’t believe he is ready to be a head coach just, unless the Buffalo Bills are serious about bringing in the father-son tandem. That scenario is rumored to bring the father in as the new GM, and the son as the new head coach. Kyle was against the Browns’ decision to move on from receiver Charles Johnson, who became the Minnesota Vikings’ top target in the ladder half of last season, as well as turning the reigns over to Johnny Manziel. Minnesota offensive coordinator, Norv Turner, credited the emergence of Johnson for improving the offense late in the season.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hired Love Smith as the new head coach last offseason, who lost his chosen offensive coordinator to an illness. This offseason, OC Jeff Tedford, is now the new head coach for the BC Lions in the CFL. His sudden absence last season, thrust quarterback coach, Marcus Arroyo, into the role of calling plays for the first time at the NFL level. The offense sputtered through a pair of QBs and a trio of RBs. They do have a couple of playmakers at wide receiver in veteran Vincent Jackson, and Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate, Mike Evans. So, with the rival Atlanta Falcons cutting ties with head coach Mike Smith, that allowed the Buccaneers to swoop in on Dirk Koetter. Moving on from the Falcons OC role, Koetter dialed up the plays for an explosive passing game with Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Roddy White, and Harry Douglas. I would expect immediate improvement, not only for the Tampa offense, but the team as a whole in 2015.