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Schefter: Shanahan won't coach Bears

12/27/2009

We don’t yet have an opening for the head coaching job in Chicago, but we’re now pretty sure of one coach who won’t be on the replacement list if there is one.

Shanahan

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that former Denver coach Mike Shanahan won’t be the next Bears coach because he has too much respect for current coach Lovie Smith. Shanahan has been linked most closely with Washington.

There has been some speculation that the presence of former Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler would make Shanahan a natural target. But it’s always been hard to believe that the Bears would pay Shanahan $8 million to $10 million annually in addition to paying Smith’s $11 million buyout.

This is just speculation, but if the Bears fire Smith and keep general manager Jerry Angelo, it’s more likely they’ll pursue a cheaper alternative to Shanahan. One name to consider is Tennessee offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger, who served in the same capacity for part of Cutler’s time in Denver.