Chicago Bears: Chip Kelly

Top stats to know: 2014 NFL schedule

April, 23, 2014
Apr 23
8:34
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Jennifer Stewart/Getty ImagesThe 2014 NFL season will culminate at Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium.

Sure it is April, but the 2014 NFL schedule has been released and that means it is time to get ready for a season full of intriguing matchups.

From high-profile veterans facing their former teams, to the 16th meeting between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, here is a look at some of the early highlights of the 2014 season:

Reunion games
DeSean Jackson, Steve Smith, Chris Johnson, Darrelle Revis, Jared Allen and Julius Peppers.

Those are just a handful of veterans released during the offseason who will have a chance to play against their former teams in 2014.

After a career year in 2013, Jackson was released by the Eagles this offseason. He will face the Eagles twice this season (Week 3 in Philadelphia and Week 16 in Washington).

Smith, the Panthers' career leader in touchdowns, receptions and receiving yards, promised there would be "blood and guts everywhere" if he faced the Panthers in 2014 after being released by the team in March. As a member of the Baltimore Ravens, Smith will get a crack at the Panthers on Sept. 28 in Baltimore.

Johnson only joined the Jets a little more than a week ago, but he's already slated for a Tennessee reunion. Johnson and the Jets will travel to Tennessee Week 15 to take on the Titans. Johnson has posted six straight 1,000-yard seasons, the longest active streak in the NFL.

Allen signed a four-year deal with the Bears at the end of March after spending six seasons in Minnesota. Allen led the NFL with 85.5 sacks during his Vikings tenure. Allen will face the Vikings twice this season (Week 11 and Week 17).

Peppers is now on the other side of the NFL's most-played rivalry after signing a three-year deal with the Packers in March just days after being released by the Bears. Peppers totaled 38 sacks in his four seasons in Chicago and made three Pro Bowls.

And a college reunion
Former Oregon head coach Chip Kelly and the Eagles will play the NFC West this season as part of the standard division rotation.

Kelly will have the opportunity to coach against former Pac-10 coaching rivals Pete Carroll (USC) and Jim Harbaugh (Stanford). As a head coach, Kelly was a combined 2-1 against Carroll and Harbaugh with a win over each.

Kelly and the Eagles will also travel to Indianapolis in Week 2 for a "Monday Night Football" showdown against former Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. Kelly's Oregon teams were 2-1 against Stanford during Luck's collegiate career.

Top games
On Nov. 2, Manning and Brady will meet for the 16th time, including the playoffs, tied for the most between any pair of Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks.

Manning will also face his former team for the second time as the Broncos will host the Colts to open their season. Manning and the Broncos lost to the Colts 39-33 in 2013.

Luck and Robert Griffin III, the top two picks in the 2012 draft, will meet for the first time in Week 13. In their young careers, Griffin III is 12-16, while Luck is 22-10.

A rematch of last year's Super Bowl, Broncos-Seahawks, will also take place this season. The Seahawks' 35-point margin of victory in the Super Bowl is tied for the third largest in NFL history.

Who's next? Candidates for Bears coach

December, 31, 2012
12/31/12
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Tim TebowEric Lars Bakke/AP PhotoThe Bears have already asked for permission to talk with Denver offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears announced Monday their decision to go a different direction at the head coaching position, thus ending Lovie Smith's tenure with the club after nine seasons.

Immediately, speculation begins regarding potential Smith successors. Offensive-minded coach? Defensive-minded coach? Nobody knows. Even when general manager Phil Emery speaks Tuesday morning, it's unlikely he'll shed any real light on the club's plans entering this coaching search.

The speedy decision to fire Smith indicates Emery might already know what he wants in a new coach.

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler declined to divulge his preference in coaches Monday during "The Jay Cutler Show" on ESPN 1000.

"I've had both (offensive and defensive head coaches)," Cutler said. "There's pluses and minuses to argue each case. I'm not going to give a preference on what I want, what I don't want because I don't really know at this point. I trust Phil and management and George (McCaskey) and those guys to make the best call. They're going to get the best possible head coach and assistant coaches and coordinators they can. So you've got to trust in that."

Chances are the Bears won't look in the direction of former Broncos head coach and current Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who has been linked to the Chicago job and has a past with Cutler. When McDaniels took over as head coach at Denver, he played a role in facilitating Cutler's trade to the Bears.

"That would be awkward," Cutler said. "He's a good coach, and I think it was interesting how it unfolded in Denver. It's in the past. I'm sure he's going to get a shot at it with all the vacancies this year, and how well they've done in New England."

Here's a list of 16 potential candidates for Bears coach:

(Read full post)

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