Bears, Vikings fire coaches; Lions’ Dan Campbell second-longest tenured coach in NFC North

Detroit Free Press

Dan Campbell has been on the job as Detroit Lions coach less than a year, and already he is the second-longest tenured coach in the NFC North.

Both the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings fired their head coach and general manager Monday, a day after finishing disappointing seasons outside of the playoffs.

The Bears fired head coach Matt Nagy after four seasons and a 34-31 record, and dismissed general manager Ryan Pace after seven seasons on the job. Nagy led the Bears to playoff berths in 2018 and 2020, but Chicago slumped to a 6-11 record this season.

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The Vikings fired Mike Zimmer after seven seasons as coach and a 74-59-1 record, and GM Rick Spielman — brother of Lions executive Chris Spielman — after 10 seasons. Zimmer won two division titles and made three playoff appearances, but went 8-9 this season.

The Lions went through their own organizational reset last winter, when they hired Campbell as coach and Brad Holmes as general manager to replace Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn, and traded longtime starting quarterback Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams.

Campbell, who was hired Jan. 20, six days after Holmes, went 3-13-1 in his first season, but the Lions head into the offseason optimistic about their future after a 37-30 win over the Green Bay Packers.

“I think it’s just the way that the end of the season went, right?” quarterback Jared Goff said. “Our first half of the season was not great. The second half of the season was better and the last four or five games in particular were really pretty good. And we feel that energy and that’s kind of the way we wanted to finish it.”

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The Packers, coming off their third straight 13-win season, remain the class of the NFC North. Matt LaFleur has the most wins (39) by any head coach in his first three seasons in modern NFL history, and Green Bay is the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs.

But the Packers could face their own turnover this winter, as quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ future with the organization remains murky.

Rodgers, 38, was the subject of intense trade rumors last offseason and said last week he “wouldn’t rule out” retirement when asked about his future.

Why Lions have a brighter future than Bears and Vikings ]

Along with the Bears and Vikings, four other teams are in the market for head coaches: The Jacksonville Jaguars, Denver Broncos and Miami Dolphins have fired their coaches in recent weeks, and the Las Vegas Raiders made the playoffs after Jon Gruden resigned in October.

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

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