Chicago Bears: coaching search

Playoff exits push coaching search along

January, 13, 2013
Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery acknowledged Jan. 1 that in his search for a new head coach "the playoffs are a consideration," but that potential roadblock appears to have come down Sunday with the conclusion of the divisional round of the postseason.

[+] EnlargeDenver's Mike McCoy
Byron Hetzler/US PRESSWIREDenver's Mike McCoy is one of four offensive coordinators whose season ended this weekend, opening the door for the Bears to move forward in their coaching search.
Of the known candidates, four coached for teams that lost in the divisional round, a group consisting of four offensive coordinators: Seattle's Darrell Bevell, Houston's Rick Dennison, Green Bay's Tom Clements and Mike McCoy of the Denver Broncos. The losses by the Seahawks, Texans, Packers and Broncos open up availability for those coaches to talk more in the coming days, with Emery expected to move into the next phase of the process. He'll probably pick two to three finalists for second interviews that will also involve team president Ted Phillips and Bears chairman George McCaskey.

"There may be a candidate that's in the playoffs and may be unavailable to us (that) we may have to wait out," Emery said. "After we're at the point where we feel good (that) we have quality candidates to select two or three as finalists, we will either have them come to us or go to them so we can have an opportunity for them to talk to George or to talk to Ted and that George and Ted can interact with them and get a feel for them. At the end, the final decision will be mine."

The timeline for Emery making the choice seems now to be a little less difficult.

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Cutler Show: Dennison 'great candidate'

January, 9, 2013

The Chicago Bears will interview Houston Texans offensive coordinator Rick Dennison for their head coaching position on Friday, according to a source, and quarterback Jay Cutler said Dennison is a "great" head coaching candidate.

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Source: Bears to talk to Armstrong

December, 31, 2012
Keith ArmstrongKim Klement/USA TODAY SportsKeith Armstong and Phil Emery have ties from a previous stints with the Bears and Falcons.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- In the aftermath of the firing Monday of Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith, the club has already set up an interview with Atlanta Falcons special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong, according to an NFL source.

The timeline for the expected interview is unclear with Armstrong in the midst of preparations for his team's Jan. 13 divisional round playoff game.

Armstrong, 47, worked for the Bears from 1997-2000 under Dave Wannstedt, and later Dick Jauron. For three years during Armstrong's tenure with the Bears (1998-2000), current general manager Phil Emery served as the club's area scout. Armstrong and Emery also worked three years together in Atlanta (2009-11), where the special teams coach groomed current Bears receiver Eric Weems into a Pro Bowl special teams player.

By interviewing Armstrong, the Bears satisfy conditions of the Rooney Rule, established in 2003, which requires teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching and senior football operations openings. Given Emery's history with Armstrong it is unlikely the general manager is simply adhering to the rule, meaning there's a good chance his interest is genuine.

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