Welcome to Midway Minute, the daily Chicago sports newsletter. Did someone forward you this? Join our list for free to get this email in your inbox.

Good morning, frents!

Remember last winter when that run of rumors had Russell Wilson, Carson Wentz, Derek Carr, Sam Darnold and a handful of other QBs all coming to the Bears within the span of a few weeks?

We're about to experience the same thing with coaching candidates.

Fingers crossed we don't end up with the coaching version of Andy Dalton.

Last night's scores
Cavaliers 115, Bulls 92

Today's schedule
Hawks at Canadiens (6, NBCSCH)

Second chance in the Second City?

Matt Nagy hasn't yet been fired, but the NFL rumor mill is already churning through some potential names for the next Bears coach.  

The slim possibility of trading for Sean Payton got some run over the weekend while a surprise name — Leslie Frazier! — got his turn on Wednesday.

We're all familiar with Frazier, of course. The ex-Bears cornerback was a Super Bowl XX team member — and a backup Shuffle dancer. Frazier was also the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings from 2011 to 2013 but didn't do well — he finished his three-year tenure with a 21-32 record and one playoff trip.

After leaving the Twin Cities, Frazier returned to doing what he does best — producing defenses that rank near the top of the league. He's been the defensive coordinator in Buffalo since 2017 and has produced three top-10 units in that time.

That and his Bears ties apparently earned him a spot in ESPN Insider Dan Graziano's column ($) about potential coaching changes:

"There's a fair bit of smoke connecting Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier to Chicago. The question then would be who he would bring as offensive coordinator to oversee the development of Fields. Current Bills quarterbacks coach Ken Dorsey could be a candidate, though he is also a candidate to get the Bills' offensive coordinator job if the current holder of that job, Brian Daboll, gets a head-coaching job elsewhere. Daboll remains high on the list of candidates expected to get interviews this time around, as he was last year."

The Frazier rumor wasn't received well by Bears fans on Twitter and you might also be grumbling over your eggs. I'm not excited about it, either. Frazier will be 63 by the time Week 1 rolls around and his last go-round didn't blow anyone away.

(To be fair, Frazier's quarterbacks over those three seasons were Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel, Joe Webb and Donovan McNabb using a walker.)  

His Bears ties might be overrated, too. Frazier more recently won a Super Bowl against the Bears — he led the Colts secondary in 2006 — than with them.

We likely have a few hundred more rumors to sift through before the Bears get their new coach, so I don't want to litigate Frazier's qualifications too much here.

But I will say that seeing Frazier's name made me think of a caller to the Bernstein and Rahimi show the other day. He made the point that the McCaskeys were still shell-shocked from the Ditka era and almost every hire made since then had fit the same mold: Deferential coordinators who wouldn't second-guess the way things are done at Halas Hall.  (John Fox is the obvious outlier here and he famously wasn't even given a chance to second-guess the Mitch Trubisky pick.)

Upon hearing Frazier's name, my first thought was that it'd be more of the same at Halas Hall. I think we all want a guy who isn't afraid of breaking a few eggs while installing his system for success in a place that hasn't had sustained success before any coaching candidate was even born.

I don't think Frazier is that guy.

📬
Recommend Midway Minute to a friend and earn some newsletter swag. Grab your personal referral code here. 


News and results


Bulls: Cavs snap winning streak

The COVID-caused lack of depth caught up to the Bulls in Cleveland. The bench didn't score for the first three quarters and the Cavs shot too well from behind the arc (13-of-28). The 115-92 Cavs victory ended the Bulls' four-game win streak.

  • Ayo Dosunmu came down to earth just a bit in his second start: 5 points, 3 assists, no rebounds and a -14 over 34 minutes. He also got some good news, though: U of I announced they'll raise his jersey to the rafters on January 6.
  • Next: The 17-9 Bulls will play Miami on Saturday night. Hopefully they won't lose any more players between now and then. (Matt Thomas just became the fourth Bull to enter protocols.)

Hawks: Jujhar Khaira released from the hospital

The forward left Northwestern Memorial on Wednesday morning after "extensive testing" gave him an "excellent prognosis" to recover from Jacob Trouba's massive hit in Tuesday's loss to the Rangers.

Bears: It'll be Justin Fields on Sunday night

Fields has been cleared and he's ready for Green Bay in primetime. Everyone say an extra prayer or two between now and then.


1. Aaron Rodgers says he has no regrets for the "I own you" comments the last time the Packers played the Bears. ESPN

2. Teven Jenkins says he feels 18 again. Don't we all. NBC Sports Chicago

3. Kevin Fishbain on the James Allen Hail Mary against Cleveland in 2001. Twenty years later, I still can't believe the Bears won that game. The Athletic

4. The Iowa Cubs and eight other minor league teams are being sold to a California-based entertainment firm. Des Moines Register

5. Mt. Carmel is mourning former student Glenn Foster Jr. He's the former New Orleans Saint and University of Illinois lineman who mysteriously died on Monday after suffering from a bipolar episode while in police custody. WGN-TV


You've reached the end of Midway Minute!

If you enjoy this newsletter, you can ...
✍️ Become a supporting member and get extra perks
🍺 Buy us a coffee or beer
👍 Refer some friends and earn some cool Midway Minute swag
🔗 Recommend a link or story

Join the conversation

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
You've successfully subscribed to Midway Minute.
Your link has expired.
Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.
Success! Your billing info has been updated.
Your billing was not updated.