Chicago Bears: Jon Gruden

Who's next? Candidates for Bears coach

December, 31, 2012
12/31/12
2:41
PM ET
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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