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Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Vikings can't talk to Bears' Jon Hoke

By Michael C. Wright
ESPNChicago.com

The Chicago Bears said they denied the Minnesota Vikings permission on Tuesday to interview secondary coach Jon Hoke for their vacant defensive coordinator post.

The move marks the second time in as many years the team denied members of its coaching staff opportunities to interview for coordinator positions with other clubs.

The team denied the Tennessee Titans permission last offseason to interview recently promoted offensive coordinator Mike Tice for the same job. At the time, Tice served as the team's offensive line coach. After blocking the Titans from speaking with Tice, the Bears rewarded him with a contract extension that included a raise.

Hoke might be in for similar bump in salary. He's currently signed through 2012.

Bears coach Lovie Smith expressed in his season-ending press conference the desire to see some of his assistants receive an "opportunity to move up, whether that's assistant coaches into coordinator roles" or "the opportunity to be head coaches in the NFL."

"If a coach can better himself, get a better job or whatever, these things happen this time of year," Smith said. "I realize that because I've been in that position before."

Along with Hoke, special teams coach Dave Toub fell into that category, but he agreed to a two-year extension on Tuesday. Toub had interviewed with the Miami Dolphins just after the regular season for their head coach vacancy.

As for Hoke, the veteran coach just finished his third season with the Bears, having interviewed last offseason with the Philadelphia Eagles for a defensive coordinator's job.

Hoke started his career in 1983 as the secondary coach at Bowling Green, but he has also worked at San Diego State, Kent State, Missouri and Florida in the collegiate ranks. Prior to joining the Bears, Hoke served as the defensive backs coach of the Houston Texans from 2002-08.

Michael C. Wright covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.