The Chicago Bears have interviewed 13 candidates for their head coaching position since general manager Phil Emery fired Lovie Smith the day after the Bears fell short of the playoffs at 10-6.
It appears as if the Bears have strong interest in three of the 13 candidates (Darrell Bevell, Marc Trestman, Bruce Arians). All three are expected to come to the Chicago area for a second interview. Here’s a look at all 13 candidates starting with the three who are considered as the finalists for the job.
Darrell Bevell (Offensive Coordinator, Seattle Seahawks)-NFL.com’s Albert Breer is reporting that Bevell is coming Tuesday to Chicago to meet with Emery for the second time. He first met with Emery in Atlanta on Saturday.
Bevell has become a hot commodity because of his great work with QB Russell Wilson and the Seahawks offense this season.
Bevell, 43, started his NFL coaching career with the Green Bay Packers in 2000 as a quarterbacks coach helping Brett Favre continue his stardom. He stayed there until 2005 until he left town to become the offensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings. He worked again with Brett Favre for a couple seasons helping the Vikings become a contender. He left Minnesota and came to Seattle to take over as the Seahawks offensive coordinator in 2011.
He has done a good job running offenses since becoming an offensive coordinator in 2006. He has great knowledge of the game and would be a nice addition in Chicago.
Marc Trestman (Head Coach, Montrael Alouettes)-He was at Halas Hall all day Monday, according to a source. The Chicago Tribune’s Vaughn McClure believes he is the “heavy favorite” for the head coaching gig in the windy city.
He started his coaching career at the University of Miami in 1981. He helped turn QB Bernie Kosar into a star as the Hurricanes won the national championship in 1983. He left for the NFL in 1985 and stayed there until 2004.
Some highlights of those years in the NFL include guiding the Cleveland Browns to the AFC Championship as the offensive coordinator with Bernie Kosar under center. As the offensive coordinator of the San Francisco 49ers in 1995 he helped them lead the league in points (457) and passing yards (4,779). He spent 1997 as a quarterbacks coach with the Detroit Lions and helped QB Scott Mitchell pass for 3,484 yards which was second in team history. From 1998 to 2000 he was the offensive coordinator of the Arizona Cardinals, where he helped guide them to their first playoff win in 51 years. He served as the offensive coordinator of the Oakland Raiders from 2001-2003. In 2002, the Raiders led the league in total offense as QB Rich Gannon won the MVP award and the team reached the Super Bowl.
He left the NFL for college in 2005 as he became the offensive coordinator of North Carolina State. He won two championships as the head coach of the Montreal Alouettes from 2008-2012. He has trained quarterbacks Jay Cutler, Jason Campbell, Tim Tebow, Jimmy Clausen, Brandon Weeden and Brock Osweiler as they prepared for the NFL Draft.
He interviewed for the Indianapolis Colts head coaching job last year. He has interviewed so far with the Bears and Browns this year.
Bruce Arians (Offensive Coordinator, Indianapolis Colts)-He is believed to be a finalist for the head coaching job, according to a league source. He has interviewed with the Bears and Chargers so far.
He started his coaching career with the Kansas City Chiefs in 1989 as the running backs coach. He stayed there until 1992. He served as the offensive coordinator for Mississippi State and as offensive coordinator for Alabama after that. He then returned to the NFL as the quarterbacks coach of the Indianapolis Colts (98′-00′). He went on to serve as the offensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns (01′-03′). Then he served as the wide receivers coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers until he was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2007. He left the Steelers to take the same position with the Colts. He served as an interim head coach for 12 games and posted a 9-3 record.
Arians, 60, knows what he is doing. He helped groom Peyton Manning, Derek Anderson, Ben Roethlisberger and most recently Andrew Luck. He knows how to coach up quarterbacks and he knows the ins-and-outs of offenses.
He would be a very good option for the Bears’ head coaching position. He would certainly help the Bears’ offense and Jay Cutler take the next step.
Tom Clements (Offensive Coordinator, Green Bay Packers)- The former CFL QB has been an NFL coach since 1997. He spent time with the Saints, Chiefs, Steelers and Bills as a quarterbacks coach. He was the Packers quarterbacks coach (2006-2012) until he was promoted to offensive coordinator this season.
He knows offense and that’s something the Bears are looking for. He might be better suited as an offensive coordinator at this point in his coaching career though.
Rick Dennison (Offensive Coordinator, Houston Texans)- A former NFL linebacker for the Denver Broncos, Dennison spent 1995-2009 coaching the Broncos in various positions (offensive coordinator, offensive line coach and special teams coach). He has been with the Houston Texans offensive coordinator since 2010.
He has a different background than any of the Bears’ candidates considering he’s coached almost every position and has played on the defensive side of the ball when in the NFL as a player.
He is more suited for a role as a coordinator not as a head coach. The Houston offense was rather disappointing to say the least towards the end of the 2012 season.
Mike McCoy (Offensive Coordinator, Denver Broncos)- He spent 2000-2008 as an offensive coach for the Carolina Panthers. He went to Denver in 2009 where he took over as the offensive coordinator. He’s credited for helping Kyle Orton enjoy a career year and guiding Tim Tebow to the playoffs.
He is the hottest name out there right now. The Chargers, Eagles and Cardinals all are said to be interested. The Bears seem to have moved on from the offensive specialist. He just isn’t proven enough to earn a head coaching job in a big city like Chicago just yet.
Pete Carmichael Jr. (Offensive Coordinator, New Orleans Saints)- He came into the NFL as an offensive assistant with the Cleveland Browns in 2000. He then took the same job with the Redskins and Chargers until he found a home with the Saints. He was the quarterbacks coach in New Orleans until 2009 when he took over as the offensive coordinator. He helped guide the Saints to a Super Bowl victory in 2010.
He would be a nice fit for the Bears based on his success with NFL offenses. Is he more than an offensive specialist tho? I think the Bears would prefer a more polished candidate than Carmichael. He should be an NFL coach very soon however.
Mike Sullivan (Offensive Coordinator, Tampa Bay Bucs)- He served as wide receivers coach for the New York Giants from 2004-2009. He became quarterbacks coach the following year in New York as he helped QB Eli Manning throw for a franchise record 4,933 as the Giants won the Super Bowl. He served as the Bucs offensive coordinator this season and did a solid job grooming QB Josh Freeman.
He is another guy who is better suited as a coordinator or quarterbacks coach. Down the road he might have a shot at a head coaching position.
Mike Singletary (Linebackers Coach, Minnesota Vikings)- The former Chicago Bears star became a linebackers coach with the Baltimore Ravens in 2003. He then moved on to coach the linebackers for the San Francisco 49ers in 2005. He became the head coach of the 49ers in 2009, but was fired the following season. He’s currently the linebackers coach for the Minnesota Vikings.
He showed he didn’t have the proper knowledge needed to be a head coach. He might be a defensive coordinator soon.
Joe DeCamillis (Special Teams Coordinator, Dallas Cowboys)- He’s been a special teams coach since 1988 in the NFL. He bounced from the Broncos, Giants, Falcons and Jaguars until landing with the Cowboys in 2009.
He has experience, but it might not land him this gig.
Mike Priefer (Special Teams Coordinator, Minnesota Vikings)- He’s coached special teams in the NFL for 11 years serving as the Broncos and Chiefs special teams coordinator. He came to Minnesota in 2011.
Here is another guy who seems to be on his way up, but just isn’t head coach material just yet.
Dave Toub (Special Teams Coordinator, Chicago Bears)- The Bears decided to interview from within. Toub was interviewed last season for the head coaching vacancy in Miami. He came into the NFL as the special teams coach of the Eagles in 2001. He’s served as the special teams coordinator in Chicago since 2004.
He has shown that he is a very savvy coach. He will be an NFL head coach very soon. The Bears should feel lucky they still have him as their special teams coach.
Keith Armstrong (Special Teams Coordinator, Atlanta Falcons)- The 49-year old coached the Atlanta Falcons secondary (94-95), then spent the next four years coaching the special teams for the Chicago Bears (97-00). He coached the Miami Dolphins special teams from 2001-2007 before returning back to the Atlanta Falcons in 2008 coaching the special teams.
He is a veteran coach, but the Bears are looking for an offensive minded coach and Armstrong isn’t that.
Jake Perper is the owner and head writer for Bearsbacker.com. Follow him on Twitter, @Bearsbacker and on Facebook for up to the minute news about the Chicago Bears.