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Thursday, January 14, 2010
What's Plan "B" for the Bears?

By JEFF DICKERSON

CHICAGO -- So what's Plan B?

Perry Fewell was such a perfect fit, it's hard to imagine the Bears finding a more qualified candidate to run Lovie Smith's defense. But if the Bears still want to hire a defensive coordinator from outside the organization -- who really knows at this point? -- Smith has some serious work to do.

A smart move would be contact Tony Dungy and Herman Edwards -- if Smith hasn't already done so -- and see if (1) either of them will please reconsider getting back into coaching, and (2) pick their brains about former Colts, Jets, Bucs or Chiefs defensive assistants. Even though the Bears will probably say otherwise, the pool of potential candidates seems appears small because of Smith's insistence in sticking with his core defensive beliefs.

There are several talented and tenured defensive coaches in Indianapolis, but the Colts may go deep into the postseason, and who knows what other future competition may emerge for their services. If Fewell can pass up all the connections he had here in Chicago and go to New York, then there are no sure things when it comes to the Bears hiring practices.

Maybe the Bears revisit the issue of defensive coordinator with Rod Marinelli. Maybe Bob Babich is given back some control. Maybe they have a coordinator by committee approach. Or maybe the Bears feel since they already have two defensive coordinator types (Smith and Babich) and Marinelli on the payroll, there's no sense is rushing to make any hire or decision.

I really don't have the answer. Let's hope the Bears do.