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Monday, December 31, 2012
Bears names: Mike McCoy, Keith Armstrong

By Kevin Seifert

In the hours since the Chicago Bears fired coach Lovie Smith, the names of two possible replacements have surfaced: Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and Atlanta Falcons special-teams coordinator Keith Armstrong. Both coaches are available to be interviewed this weekend, according to NFL rules, because their teams have playoff byes.

ESPN's Adam Schefter confirmed McCoy will interview over the weekend; Fox Sports' Alex Marvez and ESPNChicago.com's Michael C. Wright reports that Armstrong has a meeting planned as well.

McCoy also has drawn interest from the Arizona Cardinals and figures to be one of the hottest coaching candidates on the market. He drew rave reviews last season for adjusting his offense to fit run-oriented quarterback Tim Tebow. He then presided over a substantial transition in 2012 following the Broncos' acquisition of quarterback Peyton Manning.

Armstrong, meanwhile, has a history with Bears general manager Phil Emery. He coached the Bears' special teams from 1997-2000, overlapping for three seasons when Emery was a Bears scout. The pair also overlapped with the Falcons for one season in 2008 when Emery was director of college scouting.

I would imagine that more names will emerge. We'll keep you updated.