Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy will interview for the Bears' head coach job.
First off, I apologize for the lack of activity on DBN over the last couple of weeks. I left my laptop at home (where I'm back now) in Denver for a week as I visited my family in San Diego for the holidays, and I wanted to pay full attention to them instead of using my laptop constantly.
Anyway, by now you surely know that the Bears fired Lovie Smith on Monday morning after the team failed to make the playoffs for the fifth time in six seasons. I didn't have access to my laptop (I promise this isn't going to be a continuing theme) when the firing went down, otherwise I would've written a lot about it on here (I've tweeted much about the topic over the last two days, though).
But, I assume you understand why the nine-year Bears head coach was fired by general manager Phil Emery- The offense has been ranked in the bottom half of the league every year during Lovie's tenure; the Bears haven't been able to beat the Packers in recent seasons; the Bears started 7-1 this season and had an epic collapse to miss the playoffs; the Bears made the playoffs just three times over the nine seasons; Lovie made offensive coordinator hire after offensive coordinator hire with none of them producing quality results; etc.
And let me be clear- I have a ton of respect for Lovie Smith and think he's a very good NFL head coach. I would've been fine with keeping him around for another season, but I'm just fine with letting him go due to the reasons I stated above. You could make great arguments for each side.
Either way, there's no doubt that the team needs to become more offensive-minded, and after nine seasons of below-average offenses, you'd have to be pessimistic that there would be a major offensive jump anytime soon under the defensively-focused (but tremendously successful in that department) Lovie Smith.
And it should come as no surprise that two of the known candidates Emery is set to interview are currently NFL offensive coordinators. The first name to surface on Monday for an interview was Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy:
The Bears have already asked for permission to interview Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. He's a very, very hot name right nowMcCoy, 40, has served as the Broncos' offensive coordinator for the last four seasons, after being an assistant (such as quarterbacks coach for a few years) on the Carolina Panthers' staff from 2000-2008. The way he's been able to adapt with the Broncos' offense when having three different starting quarterbacks over the last few years in Kyle Orton, Tim Tebow, and Peyton Manning, has been remarkable. The fact that he was able to keep the Broncos' offense successful with the 2011 mid-season switch from the pocket-passing Orton, to the running, crappy-throwing Tebow, was quite unbelievable (that team was even able to win a playoff game). And even though Peyton Manning is obviously the No. 1 reason the Broncos offense is rolling right now, McCoy also deserves plenty of credit for the job he's doing.
— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) December 31, 2012
The Arizona Cardinals are another team known to have an interview lined up with McCoy, but you'd have to think he'd highly prefer the Bears' job for a variety of reasons, with the most obvious reason being that the Bears have Jay Cutler, and the Cardinals' quarterback situation is a dumpster fire (and the 2013 NFL Draft class of quarterbacks also appears to be a dumpster fire). The Bears will interview McCoy this weekend here in the Denver area, according to Mike Klis of The Denver Post.
The other offensive coordinator the Bears are said to have an interview planned with is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Mike Sullivan:
Bears asked for and received permission to interview Bucs OC Mike Sullivan for their HC job this week.Sullivan just concluded his first season as the Buccaneers' offensive coordinator, after spending the previous eight years with the New York Giants, where he served as the wide receivers coach for six years, and the quarterbacks coach in 2010 and 2011. So, he was Eli Manning's quarterback coach for their Super Bowl-winning 2011 season.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 31, 2012
The Buccaneers finished ninth in the NFL for total offense in 2012. The passing game ranked 10th, and the running game ranked 15th. Oh, and Pro Football Talk adds this very cool nugget about Sullivan:
Sullivan graduated from the U.S. Army Airborne, Ranger and Air Assault schools after graduating from West Point and before going into coaching almost 20 years ago.I'm going to go ahead and assume Sullivan's a no-nonsense dude that goes about his business quite seriously. I wouldn't be surprised if he really impressed Emery in the interview.
The third known candidate the Bears will reportedly interview is Atlanta Falcons special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong. The Kansas City Chiefs, owners of the worst record of the 2012 NFL season and the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, will also interview Armstrong:
#Falcons special teams coach Keith Armstrong set for head coaching interviews with Kansas City & Chicago, a source tells @foxsports.comHere's Rotoworld's take on the Bears and Armstrong:
— Alex Marvez (@alexmarvez) December 31, 2012
Largely unknown outside of league circles, Armstrong has been an NFL special teams coach since 1997. He was with the Bears from 1997-2000. He arrived in Atlanta alongside Mike Smith in 2008, and worked for Nick Saban in Miami. Unfortunately, we suspect Armstrong's interviews may be little more than Chicago and Kansas City's attempt to satisfy the "Rooney Rule."If you're unfamiliar with the "Rooney Rule", it's a rule the NFL implemented in 2003 that requires teams to interview minority candidates. Armstrong is an African-American. It's hard to see Emery choosing a special teams coordinator to be the new coach, and if he did, wouldn't the one currently employed by the Bears be the most likely candidate? Dave Toub's long been considered a future NFL head coach, and is the best in the business when it comes to coaching special teams.
We'll have more on the Bears' head coaching search as information becomes available.
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